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Good reply for black to the London System

  • #1

    Does anyone have any good ideas how black can combat the London system ?

  • #2

    A Good King's Indian can be difficult - also a sideline Dutch - the lennigrad - the London goes into the teeth of it - when I am black playing against the London I use the Leningrad - its a lesser known opening that gives great attacks on many d4 openings 

  • #3

    The modern, kings indian and others of a similar nature are all very effective against it.

    However, as white I play the london system against 1..d5 and 1..e6, diverging into other openings if they play say 1..nf6 (toward a KID possibly) or 1..g6 (modern) or 1..f5 (dutch)

    imo of these the modern is the most difficult to meet, the best reply imo to the modern outside of entering a queens gambit and playing mainlines benoni/KID/grunfeld is 2.e4 and entering the 150 attack.

    The 150 attack, especially against the modern isnt nearly as annoying to play against as the second move alternatives that I and many other d4 sideline players use, ex/ against 1..nf6 and 1..f5 I play 2.Bg5 which can be annoying for black and often even get white a slight advantage in positions he will be more familiar with, so to avoid having to deal with this move and other annoying moves I recommend the modern.

    Of course on the flip side the modern can lead to a hugely diverse number and type of positions which take much time to become accustomed to, also if your opponent does decide to grab a large centre rather than the london setup it can be quite uncomfortable for a player new to the modern.

    So if you intend on using it as a one time weapon against someone you know plays london, it may not be the best choice, though on the flipside if you intend to use it as your main against 1.d4 and even maybe 1.e4 and 1.c4 it is an excellent choice imo.

    Of course you could also play 1.d4 1..d5, followed by 2.nf3/bf4 2...c5!. For 2.nf3 plyers this move is quite annoying as they dont want to play 3.e3 and block in their DSB, and for 2.bf4 players the best move is 3.e4 imo, which many london players wouldn't play, as many hide their tactical weakness/laziness behind the systematic play of the london and will be too afraid/unknowledgeable to do so.

  • #4

    I was a Londoner - when I first started and really liked the solid positional play - It took a lot of 1500's off guard and even caught a 1900 sleeping (when I lost on time) - now I am looking at the Reti - still a positional opening but much more dynamic and fun - I would reccomend the London for anyone under 1700 for a solid opening - people who are 1200 trying to master the Queens Gambit are in for a TON of theory and might turn people off from chess - which is FUN 

  • #5

    The first thing for Black is not to worry about it too much.  The London is just not likely to get much going for White - it's played to avoid theory and get a playable even game, and that's what it does.

    The second thing to remember is not to underestimate White and play with scorn, either.  White's giving Black a good chance for a decent opening without much of a struggle, not an easy win.

     

    As Fear_Itself notes, many London players won't go into it against a KID move order, otherwise it is a good set-up to play.  After 1 d4 d5  2 Nf3 Nf6  3 Bf4 e6 is still most common and perfectly fine, but 3 ...c5 has strong adherents as well.  Frequently played alternatives include 3 ...Bf5 and 3 ...c6.

    I have also used a Grunfeld set-up with 3 ...g6 successfully.  It's mostly a matter of personal taste.  Whichever set-up you feel better and more confident playing is the one you should settle upon, but don't be afraid to experiment with them all before deciding.

  • #6

    Recently I played a nice game using the Modern against the London. I eventually lost due to a terrible blunder, but I think the setup works quite well:

  • #7

    Your system looks fine to me...

  • #8

    One has to wonder why White wasted time with 4.h3 when Black hadn't developed his g1-knight and then answered 8..h6 with 9.Bh4 making the pawn on h3 less then useless.

  • #9

    @blake: Yes, 6. Bg5 looks inconsistent, one would expect Bh2 instead.

  • #10

    The London system starts with 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4, and not 1.d4 anything 2.Nf3 anything 3.Bf4, so some posts here are off-topic.

    The setup with Bf4 is pretty lame if Black can still play d6.

  • #11
    duck_and_cover wrote:

    The London system starts with 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4, and not 1.d4 anything 2.Nf3 anything 3.Bf4, so some posts here are off-topic.

    The setup with Bf4 is pretty lame if Black can still play d6.

    no, the london system is the setup with d4 bf4 nf3 e3, followed usually by bd3 0-0 c6 nbd2.

    This is literally why its called a 'system', because it can be used against basically any black reply.


  • #12

    1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 is absolutely fine, and the same goes for 2.Bf4!? c5! 3.e4!? (hoping for a reversed tempo-up Albin) Nc6!

    Search games of good players playing black under that particular move orders for setups and ideas. Don't bother memorizing moves, not needed- black's plan is straightforward, you only need to understand it.

  • #13
    pfren wrote:

    1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 is absolutely fine, and the same goes for 2.Bf4!? c5! 3.e4!? (hoping for a reversed tempo-up Albin) Nc6!

    Search games of good players playing black under that particular move orders for setups and ideas. Don't bother memorizing moves, not needed- black's plan is straightforward, you only need to understand it.

    The first line doesn't require much prepration by Black, but for us mortals venturing into the second line (The Morris Gambit Declined) requires Black  to be well prepared, for instance: 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 c5 3. e4 Nc6 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Nc3 * and the complications are wild.

     
  • #14

    Just want to know..everyone is replying d4 with d5 what if we reply 1d4 with Nf6 2Nf3 and then whites  starts london system...any ideas against it..I liked Yelena Dembo's book Fighting the Anti-KID..

  • #15

    Strangely enough I've been dwelling on this question today. I think if folk followed Pfren's idea they wouldn't go far wrong. I do like the idea of punishing white.

    The problem with annoying "d" pawn openings is they are hard to avoid. For example 1d4 c5, white can play c3 or e3. Against a KID white can play the Barry Attack. I've been racking my brain. Part of me says "OK take a draw against a similiar rated player and then when you get white don't play like a wuss yourself".

    Another idea I keep returning to is what I call the "Deferred" Polish 1d4 Nf6 (hoping to head towards a Nimzo) 2Nf3 "ouch!" boring "d" player  .....b5 !?  Of course white may have been heading towards a Colle or an anemic QGD as well as a London.

    I played an "annoying" "d" player OTB the other day (nice fellow actually) and the game ended up as a QGD with colours reversed which has inspired me to return to my meditation on 1d4 Nf6 2Nf3 groan....

  • #16
  • #17

    Interesting gambit. Do you have any games with that ?

  • #18

    A good response that has caused me some trouble is 1.d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 c5. If white responds with e3 then black can play Qb6 with a very interesting game. I recently played against the best Junior player in Oregon with it and it ended up with a pretty interesting game.

  • #19

    Hi guys . Isnt this good for black , against london system?  1.d4 d5 2.bf4 c5 3.nf3 nc6 

  • #20

    Shankland's line 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 d6 5. Be2 (or something else) 0-0 6. h3 Nfd7!? 7. 0-0 e5!? is worth considering for KID players.

    A possible continuation is 8. Bh2 Nc6 9. c4 f5 10. Nc3 e4 11. Nd2 Nf6 with a highly dynamic position where black can play for a win.

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