London Opening and Knight to h5

UNCC49er

Hey everyone. I'm fairly new to chess (rating of 900), and I have been experimenting with the London Opening. As I have been playing it I come across the move Knight to h5 a lot and I am not sure the appropriate response to this move. If I move my bishop to square e5, black just needs to push a pawn and I have move my bishop again. If I leave it at square f4 I have capture back with the e3 pawn and give up the center. And if I move my bishop to square g3 I have to capture back with either the f pawn or the h pawn and loosen my king side, which unfavorable when castling. So what is the appropriate response to this move? Thank you for reading.

0SteelHead0

I'm not too sure but there's probably a lot of options. It seems knight to h5 would be just to put pressure on your bishop so maybe you could put pressure on something of the opponents. Maybe you could do something with your either knight. I'm still pretty new to chess and miss things.

ArtNJ

While c3 is perectly fine, I'd play bg3.  Its very hard for black to exploit the white kingside if he castles kingside himself, and white has the option of castling queenside.  White doesn't have to castle queenside by any means, but will probably want too if black does.  

It likely would have been even better to play h3 on the prior move, h3 is a normal part of white's system of development, but bg3 offers white a very slight edge due to black's passive deployment.  

UNCC49er

I think h3 would be a very nice move. Then I can tuck my Bishop away in h2 if the Knight attacks. I think I will give that a shot next time.

ArtNJ

H3 is not always played or necessary.  For example, take a look at this snapshot from the database I look at:  https://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=13&n=24880&ms=d4.d5.Nf3.Nf6.Bf4.e6.e3.c5.c3.Nc6.Nbd2.Be7&ns=7.8.10.13.226.1471.1202.84.2197.2401.90.24880

I just think that in this particular position, the way black was deploying, you had time for h3 and nothing so compelling you could do with that move.  Always think about it, and experiment different ways.  I know people play the London to avoid learning a ton of opening theory, but its still useful to think about the different possibilities depending on what black does rather than auto-moving out the "standard" set up of the London.  

LeeEuler

I try to avoid this position by delaying Nf3 and playing h3 to have a retreat square. But the e5 square is the square you want control of in the London, so if you play Nf3 for control and this comes up, I'd retreat to Bg3 and open the h-file. 

UNCC49er

Thank you very much for the tip!

DreamscapeHorizons

If u play Bg3 and the N takes it u take back with the h pawn and ur rook has an open file without even investing any moves (moves/time is an expense and or asset, ur trading it for something). Ur rook increases in value because it can move to more squares that it could before the h pawn captured.

eliothowell

I would let him take my bishop.  He's used 3 moves to do so.  Nh5, g2...Nxf4, gxf4.  Results in double pawns obviously but I get to control the g file with the rook and get the ability to fianchetto my light square bishop. I think that is an acceptable trade-off for doubled pawns.

nighteyes1234
eliothowell wrote:

I would let him take my bishop.

Doesnt work like that. Must spend years on all opening moves . Need to acquire 10 London books and 3 GM Ginger DVD sets. I was thinking c3 too....but then the engine had a different move.I should have seen it, drat..now I'll spend 100 hours engine time on this position just so I know the exact moves in all positions wink.png

DarkKnightAttack
UNCC49er wrote:

Hey everyone. I'm fairly new to chess (rating of 900), and I have been experimenting with the London Opening. As I have been playing it I come across the move Knight to h5 a lot and I am not sure the appropriate response to this move. If I move my bishop to square e5, black just needs to push a pawn and I have move my bishop again. If I leave it at square f4 I have capture back with the e3 pawn and give up the center. And if I move my bishop to square g3 I have to capture back with either the f pawn or the h pawn and loosen my king side, which unfavorable when castling. So what is the appropriate response to this move? Thank you for reading.

In most cases you retreat that bishop to g3 square, and if Black captures that bishop, you recapture with h-pawn to open up the rook's file.