Advice on Black Defenses against 1. d4

TwelfthKnight1

Hi all,

Hope you're doing well, was wondering if anyone may be able to give me some recommendations. I am relatively new to opening theory etc., so I am just beginning to build my first 'repertoire' if you will. As white I tend to play the London/Jobava London System, while as black I play the Scandinavian against 1.e4. However, I haven't found a defense/system against d4 which I feel comfortable with yet (I have tried  the Kings' Indian, QGD, the Slav, heck even the Englund Gambit!). I think, for example, with the KID, I was okay when white played the main line setups (e4,d4,c4,Nf3,Nf6) but struggled against deviations (this is why I prefer 'system openings' where I can learn and implement ideas rather than other theoretical openings which I simply do not have the time to learn in full. 

Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

Tom

LM_player
Have you tried the Dutch Defense? The Stonewall Defense was always one of my favorite variations. Leningrad and Classical Dutch seem far more popular, though, and are probably better than the Stonewall in many ways. The Dutch is generally pretty aggressive, and you’ll get many chances to attack on White’s Kingside.

Hope this helps! =D
TrainerMeow
TwelfthKnight1 wrote:

...... I think, for example, with the KID, I was okay when white played the main line setups but struggled against deviations ......

Opening principles come in handy against deviations . I don't want to dive deep into what these principles are. You can find well-written explanations of them in many books and articles. The important thing is that you should be confident about making good moves based on these principles, as well as the opening ideas you've studied.

Confidence is a big thing. Self-doubt during the game (I've never seen this move but my opponent must have studied it really really deep so holy s**t I'm in big trouble) does no good to your play. Don't let that kind of thinking slip into your mind! Instead, think about what to play on the next move, play it, and see what happens next.

Sidelines are sidelines often because they go against certain opening principles. You can be reasonably sure that, by sticking to those principles, you'll find good responses, if not punishment, to the deviations. Sometimes things goes wrong, though. I'm rated nearly 2200 FIDE and still loses occasionally to surprises before move 10. It happens to everyone, from beginners to masters.

TwelfthKnight1
LM_player wrote:
Have you tried the Dutch Defense? The Stonewall Defense was always one of my favorite variations. Leningrad and Classical Dutch seem far more popular, though, and are probably better than the Stonewall in many ways. The Dutch is generally pretty aggressive, and you’ll get many chances to attack on White’s Kingside.

Hope this helps! =D

Hi, thank you very much for this response. I have dabbled before in the Dutch but I am very attracted to the idea of learning an aggressive opening (I am an aggressive player). I will research some of your suggested variations. If you don't mind me asking, assuming you have experience playing the Dutch, can you recommend a good source/website for learning this opening?

Thanks!

TwelfthKnight1
TrainerMeow wrote:
TwelfthKnight1 wrote:

...... I think, for example, with the KID, I was okay when white played the main line setups but struggled against deviations ......

Opening principles come in handy against deviations . I don't want to dive deep into what these principles are. You can find well-written explanations of them in many books and articles. The important thing is that you should be confident about making good moves based on these principles, as well as the opening ideas you've studied.

Confidence is a big thing. Self-doubt during the game (I've never seen this move but my opponent must have studied it really really deep so holy s**t I'm in big trouble) does no good to your play. Don't let that kind of thinking slip into your mind! Instead, think about what to play on the next move, play it, and see what happens next.

Sidelines are sidelines often because they go against certain opening principles. You can be reasonably sure that, by sticking to those principles, you'll find good responses, if not punishment, to the deviations. Sometimes things goes wrong, though. I'm rated nearly 2200 FIDE and still loses occasionally to surprises before move 10. It happens to everyone, from beginners to masters.

Thank you. I think this is excellent advice. I will try to implement this mentality from now on. I recognize the importance of a firm grasp of ideas in a given opening, so any uncertainty can probably be pinned down to a lack of confidence in that respect.

Preusseagro

IF you are agressive

There are some choices

1. ..... f5

The dutch i preffer the stonewall dutch when i am playing f5 in the first move as i am a agressive player, but Leningrad may be equalltiy good. But look at the lines 2. e4, 2. g4 and 2.. Lg5 Sinc the are the most challenging here

1. ... Nf3, 2.c4 c5

Modern Ben Oni

An opening where white gains a good center while the black players often plays on the queenside or sometimes on the kingside. Wild poditions can arise here if white wants.

 

Benko

an alternative to the Modern Benoni

Black get an longterm active pieceplay. The plan is if white takes the pawns on b5 and a6 to pressure the d5 pawn an use the open b-line. Beware that somtimes the right moveorder should be played.

 

Thw Tarasch

Often you will have the isoltaed d pawn for the active pieceplay. I metioned here the mainline becuase white can derivate. If you are are trully agressive player you can play after 4.cxd5 cxd4 and enter the Von-Henning-Scharia-Gambit. I would want to but my opoents here never plays the mainline so i still stick to Benoni.

Albins Countergamvit

More known than the VHSG but quite wild and full of tactics.

I think the Benoni is the most universal here since it can transpose into KID

MarcoDiazz

Why not just play the QGD, I think that's the best option if you aren't interested in learning too much theory. The positions along with the plans are also very intuitive.

Susik_Gaboyan

https://chessmood.com/courses here you can make your full opening repertoire, against 1.d4 here is a very nice Benko gambit course, I played Grunfeld but after joining the ChessMood family I started playing Benko and I love it.

Uhohspaghettio1

Susik Gaboyan has financial interest in promoting that site. 

chrisbarcacook
I think you should stick to playing the KID if you are comfortable with it. If a sideline is played and you do not know it then just do what you think is best during the game. After the game you can look up the sideline and find the best response to it. Eventually you will play the KID enough that you remember patterns and know where the pieces go that if an opponent does deviate you can judge for yourself whether it is good or not and go from there.
TwelfthKnight1
Uhohspaghettio1 wrote:

Susik Gaboyan has financial interest in promoting that site. 

Thank you.

chamo2074

My favourite opening against d4 is the KID, unfortunately, it is loaded of theory, the more you learn it the better it is but at your level (which is mine as well) I think knowing some ideas is enough to play it:

Now, of course, this is a popular line, not the only one but with some ideas, you would be ready I think to try it out:

  • Ne1 or h5 to push f4 and expand on the kingside while your opponent is gonna attack on the queenside
  • If the opponent plays h3 to prevent further pushing, sometimes the bishop sac on h3 works
  • Bishop and rook switching places so that the rook defends the 7th rank and controls the g-file
  • sometimes c6
chrisbarcacook
I should also mention the starting out series for chess openings is a good place to start reading and understanding the openings. It tells you reasons why the moves are played.
chamo2074

Yes, I forgot to mention, Nakamura's King's Indian defense lesson on chess.com by ginger GM since you are premium member

ThrillerFan
TwelfthKnight1 wrote:

Hi all,

Hope you're doing well, was wondering if anyone may be able to give me some recommendations. I am relatively new to opening theory etc., so I am just beginning to build my first 'repertoire' if you will. As white I tend to play the London/Jobava London System, while as black I play the Scandinavian against 1.e4. However, I haven't found a defense/system against d4 which I feel comfortable with yet (I have tried  the Kings' Indian, QGD, the Slav, heck even the Englund Gambit!). I think, for example, with the KID, I was okay when white played the main line setups (e4,d4,c4,Nf3,Nf6) but struggled against deviations (this is why I prefer 'system openings' where I can learn and implement ideas rather than other theoretical openings which I simply do not have the time to learn in full. 

 

Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

 

Tom

 

Systematic Openings are a HUGE MISTAKE!

 

The problem with them is that you are blindly playing moves, whether good or bad.  The London System is notorious for this.  Did you know that the London System doesn't work against everything?  Maybe fail to even know that!  They assume it's a "catch-all system".  Guess what?  The London System is WORSE FOR WHITE (Yep, you heard me, WORSE, NOT EVEN EQUAL) against the Modern Defense.  Even a London guru, Cyrus Lakdawala, mentions it in both his London book and his Modern Defense book.

 

After 1.d4 g6 2.Bf4?! Bg7 3.e3 d6 4.Nf3 Nd7 (or 4...Nc6 is also good) 5.h3? e5! and Black is already better.

If you decide to go with the 4...Nc6 line, just remember that you have to be willing to not castle, but Black is still better.  After 5.h3 e5 6.dxe5? (6.Bg3 is a slight improvement, but Black is still better) dxe5 7.Qxd8 Kxd8 8.Bg5+? (again, 8.Bg3 is the "lesser evil") f6 9.Bh4 (9.Nxe5 is no better) and with h5 and a timely g5 coming for Black, White's Bishop sucks, and he is virtually down a piece.  It will take him for ever to get the Bishop into the game!

 

The King's Indian Defense is another that people make the mistake of thinking that it's all a Kingside hack job for Black.  Those that think that way do not understand the point behind the opening at all! 

 

Do you know why Black is able to play ...f5?  It's not because of the Fianchetto.  It all has to do with White having advanced his d-pawn.  After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5, White has a number of options.  The most common is 7.O-O, but what about 7.d5 or 7.Be3?  Well, the former, known as the Petrosian Variation, is used to play 8.Bg5 and slow down Black's Kingside attack.  What does he do?  He should play 7...a5 or 7...Na6 and take advantage of the weakening of c5 by White's 7th move.  What about 7.Be3?  The point here is that White has not done 2 things:

1) He has not advanced d5, which allows him to still take on e5 instead of advance.  With this opening of the a2-g8 diagonal, playing ...f5 is a suicide mission.  This is also why you don't play ...f5 in the Four Pawns Attack.  Position is too open for that!

2) He has not castled.  He could stay in the center, or even go queenside, and use the weakening of your Kingside to his advantage.

 

The reason that the Kingside hack job works in the Classical is the center is completely blocked, and White's King is already on g1.

 

 

Therefore, despite your complaint about having tried the QGD, I don't think you've tried hard enough.  Have you studied the opening and middlegame ideas?  Or have you simply tried to memorize lines?  The Carlsbad Pawn Structure, which often comes from the Queen's Gambit Declined - Exchange Variation, is one of the easiest structures to learn and understand.

 

The Queen's Gambit Declined - Move by Move, followed by Sadler's classic on the QGD from 2000 would take you a long way!

1e4_0-1

I reccomend the King's Indian defense

Susik_Gaboyan
Uhohspaghettio1 wrote:

Susik Gaboyan has financial interest in promoting that site. 

Seriously? grin.png thank you I didn't know about that

IAmPomi

I generally play the Horwitz Defenses, d5, a reflected french defense with d6, or the Mikenas Defense.

ThrillerFan
IAmPomi wrote:

I generally play the Horwitz Defenses, d5, a reflected french defense with d6, or the Mikenas Defense.

 

There is no such thing as a "Reflected French".  It is called the Pirc Defense.  Do not associate that piece of cr@p with a well respected defense like the French.

TrainerMeow
Susik_Gaboyan wrote:
Uhohspaghettio1 wrote:

Susik Gaboyan has financial interest in promoting that site. 

Seriously?  thank you I didn't know about that

In post #8 you mentioned your "joining the ChessMood family". You can argue that this does not necessarily mean you're paid, in direct or indirect ways, for your recent posts. But these posts are clearly financing your image as a persistent promoter of that site.