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Why exactly does the London get so much hate?

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FrogboyWarpz

I don't play the London. But I do believe it gets more hate than it deserves and I do not understand it that much.

Please enlighten me

FrogboyWarpz

I would also like to say that I know some people criticise it for being a lazy opening. But I don't think there is much wrong with wanting simple and easy to play. And not to mention the London specialists who are just like any Berlin specialists or Najdorf Specialists.

SamuelAjedrez95

The top G explains it better than I ever could.

SamuelAjedrez95

It's because it's very cheap and boring to play like this. There's such a huge variety of beautiful openings in chess. There's the Nimzo-Indian, the King's Indian, the Semi-Slav, the Ruy Lopez, the Sicilian Najdorf, the French Winawer, etc.

When someone plays the London they are saying "no, I can't be bothered with any of that, all I want to see on the board every game is this"

Every single game. It's an opening designed so that you can practically play it with your eyes closed and ignore the opponent and be ok. You are not engaging with the opponent and not engaging with the game of chess.

Instead of delving into all these different fascinating openings it's like "no, I don't want any of that. I'll just play the London because it's easy and avoids theory." It's just such a sad cop out.

Playing like this comes at a cost. They will never learn about the variety of different structures and positions that chess has to offer and will only ever know the London. They will not develop universal, adaptable chess skills. They will only be stuck in the pattern and structure of the London. Furthermore, this structure is very unambitious. It doesn't challenge the centre in the same way as the Queen's Gambit or the Ruy Lopez. It's very passive and so black equalises easily against it. Often black is even slightly better. At master level, the London is almost always a draw because neither side has anything to play for. It's very rigid, passive and boring.

ZaiFaLi

The London System is a good opening strategy for beginners around 200-1200. Further advanced and you'll realize that Black normally knows how to defend against it. 

ZaiFaLi

Kind of how the Fool's Mate is wonderful when trying to trick your friends (who have never played chess before) that you're a genius, only to realize that playing it against even a 200 rated player, it would not work.

ZaiFaLi

Not only that, it'll put you in a fairly bad position...but the London system doesn't. It's just that Black knows how to defend and there are much better openings for white, like my favorite, the Queen's Gambit.

Laskersnephew

Lynch mob mentality. 

SamuelAjedrez95
Laskersnephew wrote:

Lynch mob mentality. 

Lmao, the copium is strong in this one.

SamuelAjedrez95

This is literally the personification of London players.

"Oh geez, th-there's no way I could play the Queen's Gambit. That would be way too sharp and theoretical for me. It would s-s-set off my anxiety."

"SICILIAN!? Oh bejeezus, that would be way too aggressive for me. I c-c-could have a panic attack."

dpnorman

I think because basically there are many players who play it formulaically and don't react to their opponent's moves.

When I played 1. d4 2. Bf4 about five-six years ago, I wouldn't do that. For instance, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 g6 I was playing Nc3, if black went for a setup with d5/Nf6/Bf5 I would go for c4 and Qb3 etc. Basically I think it's important for players to react to the situation at hand.

Chess is a very concrete game. It's important to play according to the position on the board, not according to a pre-planned system.

But a lot of people in the London just play whatever formulaic moves they've remembered, regardless of the opponent's replies. That can't possibly give white any chances of an advantage.

Laskersnephew

Almost every great player has played the London System as white. Carlsen, Nakamura, Gata Kamsky and so many more. Somehow, I don't think they were afraid to play the Queens Gambit. 

LordVandheer

As for someone who is always going for the throat, chess is a fighting game for me and most of the London players use this system to avoid the fight in the opening, get that precious triangle, and then be clueless after.

Like you said, there are specialists in any opening. If said people weaponized that opening, I say such player demands respect.

The other gang I really can't stand. They think they just can't handle a sharp game. The truth is they are not really handling London that well either, its just most of the time they will get away with it because London is very solid even with the missed subtleties from white. Also the same reason why Caro is played so much these days.

LordVandheer
Laskersnephew wrote:

Almost every great player has played the London System as white. Carlsen, Nakamura, Gata Kamsky and so many more. Somehow, I don't think they were afraid to play the Queens Gambit. 

Such a weird argument. How many of these said players main London? How many of them play only London? You are giving names that has such understanding of the game they will do better than 99% of players with odds. How are these people in same category with people who use London to avoid theory?

newbie4711
ZaiFaLi wrote:

... 200-1200. Further advanced and you'll realize that Black normally knows how to defend against it.

No, that's where you're wrong.

Laskersnephew

The argument that since the best players in the world play the London it must be a decent opening seems unassailable. The assumption that people below grandmaster play the London to "avoid theory" is highly dubious.  People in the forums just like to hate on the London System because it gives them a wholly unwarranted sense of superiority

dpnorman
ZaiFaLi wrote:

The London System is a good opening strategy for beginners around 200-1200. Further advanced and you'll realize that Black normally knows how to defend against it.

Really? I've beaten, let's see here, five masters with the London in rated tournaments, as well as two others who have since become masters (one of whom will be a GM by the end of this year most likely). This was 5+ years ago, but still, it's not like white just rolls over and dies if black is a reasonably strong player.

I don't think I've ever *recommended* the London system to a student exactly, but I have some who play it and I don't ask them to change that, because it's definitely a playable opening at just about all levels.

I think if you're a super-GM you probably can't start every game with 1. d4 2. Bf4 and expect to get wins with white consistently over other super-GMs. But the same goes for almost anything actually; hence why players of that strength tend to vary their openings a bit.

DixieLandTN

When the world government takes chess over they will only allow the London to be played.  That is they type of opening it is.  It awards passivity and timidity.

NEETHUDAS123
SamuelAjedrez95 wrote:

It's because it's very cheap and boring to play like this. There's such a huge variety of beautiful openings in chess. There's the Nimzo-Indian, the King's Indian, the Semi-Slav, the Ruy Lopez, the Sicilian Najdorf, the French Winawer, etc.

When someone plays the London they are saying "no, I can't be bothered with any of that, all I want to see on the board every game is this"

Every single game. It's an opening designed so that you can practically play it with your eyes closed and ignore the opponent and be ok. You are not engaging with the opponent and not engaging with the game of chess.

Instead of delving into all these different fascinating openings, it's like "no, I don't want any of that. I'll just play the London because it's easy and avoids theory." It's just such a sad cop-out.

Playing like this comes at a cost. They will never learn about the variety of different structures and positions that chess has to offer and will only ever know London. They will not develop universal, adaptable chess skills. They will only be stuck in the pattern and structure of London. Furthermore, this structure is very unambitious. It doesn't challenge the center in the same way as the Queen's Gambit or the Ruy Lopez. It's very passive and so black equalizes easily against it. Often black is even slightly better. At master level, the London is almost always a draw because neither side has anything to play for. It's very rigid, passive, and boring.

Absolutely agree. Also the london is a very simple opening so when you play it you probably wont pay attention to your opponents moves that means they can get a massive attack without you realizing.

LordVandheer
Laskersnephew wrote:

The argument that since the best players in the world play the London it must be a decent opening seems unassailable. The assumption that people below grandmaster play the London to "avoid theory" is highly dubious.  People in the forums just like to hate on the London System because it gives them a wholly unwarranted sense of superiority

Assumption? I don't think a highly respected IM would make a video about what I am saying, if it was an assumption. Surely a coach IM does know what he is talking about since you keep bringing best players in the world to the discussion? Do better.