Chess - Play & Learn


FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store


How to beat the london system with 1. ...d5?

  • #1

    I play 1. ... d5 as black against 1. d4. One of the problems I face is the London system. White goes for the same of similar setup every time: d4, nf3, bf4, Bd3/Be2, c3, o-o. How can I destroy this annoying opening? It's so solid and I hate losing to weaker players who adopt this system.

  • #2

    There was a video lesson here, how to play against the london, actually that helps, ive have got a draw with black against the london, when my opp was an IM 2300 or 2400 :),

  • #3

    You can't "destroy" it because White hasn't made any major blunders.


    Black has had some success with a Nf6/c5/Nc6/Qb6/g6/Bg7 setup.

  • #4

    A simple line is to just play e6 and Bd6 and after the trade Qxd6. What has White got then? Nothing but lame equality in which he'll probably blunder.

  • #5

    Hey Arnold. I don't think you can ever destroy an opening, but a FICS friend of mine suggested an antidote - which is really good. You play d6 at some point to prevent Ne5, which is like a cornerstone for many dutch/london types. So the line goes 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 and now, white can't play d5 since he doesnt have pawn support (c4). 

    It usually results in improved QID formations, which I use anyway in my games.

  • #6

    The London System isn't a serious attempt at advantage, so you shouldn't be having trouble facing it, particularly against weaker players.  But if you are out to "destroy" it, you may be overreaching, and that is often a source of problems.

    Black gets an easy equality because he can develop freely in any number of ways, a couple of which have already been described above.  But he isn't more than equal, and attempting to prove White's opening is faulty is going to fail.  As long as White is developing pieces and not creating unnecessary weaknesses, he's going to be okay.


    The London isn't highly respected because it doesn't give White the chance to increase his advantage in the opening materially, not because it is objectively bad.

  • #7

    If you want a quick answer:

    1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 Qb6 and now:

    6. Qc1 Bf5 followed by Rc8 is rather pleasent and

    6. Qb3 c4 7. Qc2 Bf5! is also rather nice to play from the black side (Qxf5? Qxb2).

    Edit: "Destroy" is not the correct way to think of things. Over-pushing against a solid opening such as the London can lead to terrible positions. The London, however, is easier to "equalize" against in comparison to more (lets say) testing openings. As black: 1. equalize 2. play for win

  • #8

    What maybe my best reply to 1. d4 d5  2. Nf3 Nf6  3. Bf4 c5  4. Ne5 ? Thank You! Be Well! 

  • #9
    DrSpudnik wrote:

    A simple line is to just play e6 and Bd6 and after the trade Qxd6. What has White got then? Nothing but lame equality in which he'll probably blunder.

    London aficionados tout 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 e6 3.Nf3 Bd6 4.Ne5 as being the answer for that.  4...f6 5.Nd3 Bxf4 6.Nxf4 Qd6 7.e3 Nh6 seems okay for Black, though.

  • #10

    This is the line that gives London players most headaches now I believe

  • #11

    @moonie: 5.Qb3 is a much better reply than 5.e3.

  • #12

    if you don't have much success against the london system, play the Kid or nimzo

  • #13

    @ moonnie: After Qb6, Black doesn't take on b2 next move?!? Any reason?

    None of this stuff changes a basic "=" assessment. Undecided

  • #14

    I play 1. Nf3 and 2.e6 so I can't develop my lsB outside the pawn chain. Sadly I can't use the excellent lines suggested here.


    Just a curiosity, how to deal with white snatching the pawn and wanting to keep it?



    I know this is supposed to be bad but I don't really now how it should be refuted and I'm really materialistic.

  • #15
  • #16

    ^ they would naturally play Nf3 before e3.

  • #17

    @Moonie in that line 7.dxc5 gives White some advantage. You may be thinking of the line 6.Qb3 c4 7.Qc2 and there ...Bf5 is the move. If White does 6.Qc2, then ...g6 is more reliable.

    @Plutonia - 4...f6 is a good alternative. Even in the final position that you give, Black has nothing to worry about.

  • #18

    @Roeczak That's super cheap; if White is smart he'll play 4.Be5 with a quick h2-h4, and you could end up with positional problems.

  • #19

    You can find many dozens of equalizing lines for Black in "Win with the London System", Kovacevic (2005), roughly 160 pages.  Pick one.   @Pellik above gives one of the more popular ones.

    Since it's just a Reversed Slav with the white pieces, "dream on" regarding destroying it. Just ain't gonna happen.  Yawn.

    Many fools say the same about white playing the English.  GM Tony Kosten put many of those people in their place.  Compare Kosten, The Dynamic English, (2005).

    Openings are mostly a matter of taste, for anyone rated under USCF 2000.  No amount of huffing and puffing will blow that house down.

    Playing "reversed openings" with the white pieces provides you with immense amounts of time to study other (potentially) more important phases of the Royal Game.

    Saves you lots of keystokes in the forum too.  Smile

    The "best opening" is the one you know, and your opponent doesn't.  Q.E.D.

  • #20

    After 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.Bf4 Qb6 (or 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 c6 3.e3/Nf3 Qb6), I'm not sure black has the clear waltz to equality he does in certain ...c5 lines, but it promises to throw white out of rigid London stuff early on, is perfectly sound and easy to play as black, and scores as well or better OTB than some of the so called "best" lines.

    All without allowing white the chance to prove that he does know how to handle the reversed QGA/Noteboom type lines, which can be a lot tougher on black if white happens to be experienced with them.

Online Now