Learning the Leningrad Dutch

Noreaster

I'M new to the Leningrad Dutch and I'M wondering which of the two following books are better for the newer player to the Leningrad. I have the Kindermann. This book has received some high praise. On a quick glance it seems heavy on the analysis so I get the gist that it maybe geared for the more advanced player despite some players claiming it is a great book for newer players to the leningrad. The other book I have is McDonald's 'Play the Dutch.' This book has not received that much praise and for the most part seems to be panned by Leningrad players. The reasons seem to be that some of the lines that McDonald advocates seem to be dubious if not outright busted. To counter all of this I have heard that McDonald's book is good for the newer player to the Dutch as McDonald goes over all of the basic ideas in the Leningrad Dutch. So I would like to ask anyone that maybe familiar with these two works which is the better book for a newbie to this opening? Thanks....... 

NimzoRoy

At the risk of raining on your parade it seems to me you're trying to learn trigonometry ahead of basic arithmetic. I'd follow GM Reti's advice to beginners from his classic work Masters of the Chessboard

I leave this rule for others when I'm dead
Be always sure you're right — THEN GO AHEAD!  Davy Crockett

http://www.chess.com/blog/NimzoRoy/beginner-chess-book-recommendations

Noreaster

I understand your advice and thank you but I prefer to go at things a certain way despite what others may think is right or wrong.  Anway, thanks again. So again waht is a good book for a player looking to start out with the Leningrad Dutch? Kindermann or McDonald?

Expertise87

There most likely aren't any books geared toward players of your level on the Leningrad Dutch, sorry.

TitanCG

The positioal concepts can be very confusing. I remember watching a game between Kasparov and Timman (or Speelman; I can't remember) that was aired on the BBC show Master game. Kasparov noted around move 7 or so that Black was lost...I think you will do fine if you try tactical plans like Qe8- Qh5 and just pawnstorm the other guy. At least then White has to swing back or lose quietly. 

Bookmarke

I have read parts of Play the Dutch and also all of McDonald's earlier work, Starting Out: The Dutch. I would say that if you are completely new to the opening you should definitely start with the starting out book. If I remember correctly I felt like the Starting Out book gave me a better clue of the ideas in the Dutch while Play the Dutch had more moves in it. Better to get a book that will have a heavy focus on explanation opposed to moves if you are new. Once you have a good foundation of the basics and have played a lot of games in the Dutch then picking up the Play the Dutch book might be a good idea to give you an idea of what to play when you're not sure. Then slowly you can learn the lines offered in the books.

Unfortunately I'm not familiar with the Kindermann book so I can't say anything about that, but if you want to choose between two books then I'd pick whichever has more text and less moves as a rule of thumb for the starter book. I also don't think its necessarily too soon to start picking up a book on the dutch. I read the starting out one when I was rated like 1400 and played only the dutch/leningrad against d4 for about two years until I was 1800.

jfiquett

I've experimented ALOT with learning openings. Rote memorization, videos, books, etc. To be honest, the most effective way I found to learn an opening is to look up a video on it, followed by practice (and then refinement).

Don't remember any rote moves yet; just simple patterns and ideas from the video. Then, start playing the opening in your online games (at least g/5). After EVERY game, go to MCO (or opening theory book of your choice / database) and see where you or your opponent deviated from book.

Try to figure out why your move is insufficient to the book move, and what the idea behind the book move is. Use an engine for help if you have to, or even better a stronger player (or the chess.com community Wink).

This will broaden your repertoire in a way that has emphasis on what is played the most (in this case by white), so you know what lines to be more familiar with.

If you simply "remember' columns a-x, it's very difficult to spit those moves back out in a practical setting, and is not an efficient use of your study time. You'll be paying just as much attention and study time to less played variations than most often played variations, which is illogical. Often times, you won't be playing mainlines (because white won't know them) so it's best to know what is played the most vs. what is best, in my opinion.

blasterdragon
sushi362 wrote:

dont even bother with a book.. 

for white, play queens gambit line, and ruy lopez

for black, play semi slav and silician najdorf. 

from what ive seen so far in my limited experience, the more openings you have access to as a novice player, the higher the chances are of confusing everything.

Najdorf is a complicated opening which should not be played at low levels

Noreaster

Expertise87 wrote:

There most likely aren't any books geared toward players of your level on the Leningrad Dutch, sorry.

Thanks for the enlightenment goofball......

NimzoRoy
Noreaster wrote:

Expertise87 wrote:

There most likely aren't any books geared toward players of your level on the Leningrad Dutch, sorry.

Thanks for the enlightenment goofball......

Have you considered the possibility that he's right - even if by accident or coincidence? I've acquired dozens of opening books in my sterling (sic) chess career of about half a century or so (sigh) and I can't think of any that bill themselves as being written for players rated circa 1200 or even 1400. That doesn't mean that there aren't any of course, but now that I think about it what IM or GM would write a book about the Leningrad Dutch for Class-E or D players?

I've seen contradictory statements about whether or not GM van der Sterren's Fundamental Chess Openings (FCO) is appropriate for players rated under 1600, and as the name implies it's a very basic look at all the openings in general with the emphasis on concepts and ideas not on the latest and greatest theoretical mumbo-jumbo from DBs and Houdini. But I guess all this is a moot point when you're busy re-inventing the wheel...

Fear_ItseIf

I tried to learn the Leningrad once, I still have nightmares.

Good luck.

Quasimorphy

The Leningrad Dutch is the most nerve-wracking defense I've ever played much. Even in most of the games I've won with it, I usually felt like I was on the verge of collapse. I can't say I ever really understood it, but on the plus side, at my level, I don't think my opponents understood it either. McDonald's "Starting Out: The Dutch Defence" is probably the book you should begin with if you are set on giving the Leningrad a try. McDonald is pretty good at explaining things for lower rated players, and since you'll also have to contend wth various anti-Dutch lines, McDonald's explanations will be useful for that as well. I won't discourage you from giving it a try (even though I've dropped it, myself) because it does lead to a lot of fun, unusual games of chess. Don't be surprised if you find yourself yearning for positions that make a little more sense after you've been playing it a while though.

Noreaster

NimzoRoy wrote:

Noreaster wrote:

Expertise87 wrote:

There most likely aren't any books geared toward players of your level on the Leningrad Dutch, sorry.

Thanks for the enlightenment goofball......

Have you considered the possibility that he's right - even if by accident or coincidence? I've acquired dozens of opening books in my sterling (sic) chess career of about half a century or so (sigh) and I can't think of any that bill themselves as being written for players rated circa 1200 or even 1400. That doesn't mean that there aren't any of course, but now that I think about it what IM or GM would write a book about the Leningrad Dutch for Class-E or D players?

I've seen contradictory statements about whether or not GM van der Sterren's Fundamental Chess Openings (FCO) is appropriate for players rated under 1600, and as the name implies it's a very basic look at all the openings in general with the emphasis on concepts and ideas not on the latest and greatest theoretical mumbo-jumbo from DBs and Houdini. But I guess all this is a moot point when you're busy re-inventing the wheel...

What do you fail to understand? I don't care on what you or anyone else might have to say on what they think I should be doing to get better at this game....it is unwanted advice. I'm asking a simple question in the hopes of getting a decent response to my question. If I want to waste my time studying the Leningrad then I will have fun doing it.......Sheeeesh

Noreaster

That seems like a reasonable suggestion. I have seen IM Martin's ABC's of the Lenigrad Dutch but I have not heard anything regarding the quality of the contents.

Fear_ItseIf
FirebrandX wrote:

 Experience players with the white pieces will exploit that weakness and make you suffer as you hope that one day you'll be able to play an e5 pawn break and not have your d6 pawn hanging in the process.

this, i cried everytime. I think the biggest issue I had after playing it for a while is that whites moves arnt all that hard to find, most are very easy. Black on the other hand has to play very very accurate to stay alive, often with seemingly counter intuitive moves which are difficult to find.

Estragon
Noreaster wrote:

What do you fail to understand? I don't care on what you or anyone else might have to say on what they think I should be doing to get better at this game....it is unwanted advice. I'm asking a simple question in the hopes of getting a decent response to my question. If I want to waste my time studying the Leningrad then I will have fun doing it.......Sheeeesh

Suppose you are walking in the street, and approach me on the sidewalk about directions to the local chess club.

At the same time, an out-of-control Yellow Cab driven by a sociopathic drunk driver careens down the street, headed straight towards you.  I tell you to jump out of the way.

But, of course, you will not listen to this because you asked about directions, and will not consider any advice not directly on point, and get squished by the taxi.

 

Sound familiar?

 

But I'm sure you'll have barrels of fun with the Leningrad Dutch - just watch out for speeding taxicabs.

Expertise87

I have Martin' DVD, I'll check it out and let you know.

And you would certainly benefit from not alienating people who are willing to help you for free.

Unwise

The Kindermann book has something like a 50 page introduction that should be accessible to any intermediate player.  If you're dead set on playing the LD, just attempting to take in all the info in there should be more than enough to get you started.

I might bolster it with the old Aagaard book on the Stonewall Dutch too.  It's not what you asked for, but a lot of Leningrads that go tits up early end up in non-Leningradish positions.  And the intro to Aagaard's book is probably the best beginner-intermediate stuff ever written for wannabe Dutchies.  A lot better, I thought, than the Starting Out book.

Evilution
Noreaster wrote:

I'M new to the Leningrad Dutch and I'M wondering which of the two following books are better for the newer player to the Leningrad. I have the Kindermann. This book has received some high praise. On a quick glance it seems heavy on the analysis so I get the gist that it maybe geared for the more advanced player despite some players claiming it is a great book for newer players to the leningrad. The other book I have is McDonald's 'Play the Dutch.' This book has not received that much praise and for the most part seems to be panned by Leningrad players. The reasons seem to be that some of the lines that McDonald advocates seem to be dubious if not outright busted. To counter all of this I have heard that McDonald's book is good for the newer player to the Dutch as McDonald goes over all of the basic ideas in the Leningrad Dutch. So I would like to ask anyone that maybe familiar with these two works which is the better book for a newbie to this opening? Thanks....... 

I bought that Kindermann book years ago and was all set to go Leningrad on my opponents... first game with it---an all too familiar story-- my opponent left the book moves early and... I crashed and burned pretty fast!!  That took care of that!  Almost everyone leaves book early now-- it has to be a conspiracy!Smile

It is probably an excellent book-- there are just so many grenades to dodge in the Dutch; I play the Stonewall and am always concerned  what's coming my way on White's second move... then you have to worry about all manner of clever moves by White once you are in the variation of your choice.

One way I thought getting to the Leningrad by transposition was slick:  1. d4 d6  2. c4  f5-- but you must be able to stomach the Pirc and 2. Nf3, etc.

These people who are warning you of impending doom are just trying to help--- it's no wonder the King's Indian is so popular-- an eventual f5 is much safer than an early one!

The Slav keeps looking better everyday--- solid and boring! But safe!

Good luck in your Leningrad adventures!  Please let us know about your progress with it in the future!

NimzoRoy
Estragon wrote:
But, of course, you will not listen to this because you asked about directions, and will not consider any advice not directly on point, and get squished by the taxi. 

Sound familiar? 

But I'm sure you'll have barrels of fun with the Leningrad Dutch - just watch out for speeding taxicabs.

I knew there was a reason why I never took up the Leningrad Dutch!

PS: I don't think he'll have barrels or even thimblefuls of fun with the LD - sheesh!