London System


First time annotating my own game. All feedback is appreciated.

Time control 2 hours 5 second delay U2100 SectionGame 1 of 5. 

London System


  1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 e6 5. Nd2 Bd6 6. Bg3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Ngf3


This looks like a normal London System. White develops his bishop to f4 - where it fights for control of the DARK e5 square, builds the c3-d4-e3 pawn triangle which controls DARK squares, develops his knights to d2 and f3 where they are ready to fight for the DARK e5 square.




The main line continues 8..b6 9. Ne5 Bb7.


  1. Ne5

            Note that playing the move 9..b6 now, just one move later loses on the spot to Nxc6.




            This move is a mistake. Although it is not the type of mistake that immediately loses on

            spot, making enough minor mistakes like this throughout the course of a game can        

            give the enemy a decisive advantage.

            This move is a mistake because:

  1. It releases tension and fixes the center pawns favorably for white.
  2. Indirectly weakens blacks control of the e5 square because d4 is no longer a target due to the fixing of the pawn structure.



The best moves for black here are either  9..Nd7 or Bxe5 as far as I can tell.


  1. exd4

            Not 10.cxd4 allow the knight to jump into b4 hitting the bishop


… Nd7


Note the weakening of the light squares around black’s king after the knight moves from f6. Chiefly the h5-g4 squares and the h7 pawn. Whites queen wants to go to c2 putting serious pressure on blacks h7 pawn.

  1. Ndf3


The queen doesn’t have as easy of access to the newly weekend light squares because the knight is now on f3 blocking her route.




            This is the point behind ..Nd7. Note how f6 weakens the e6 pawn for good. Also note, although the e6 pawn is “weak” since it isn’t backed up by another pawn…it is firmly defended by black’s light bishop.





  1. Nxd7 Bxd7


  1. Bxd6

            It’s important to notice that this move removes the queen from defending blacks 7th rank.





  1. Qc2

White has the “initiative” and has probably has it for the last 5 or so moves.


Targeting h7. Highlighting the weakness of my light squares as mentioned earlier-because my knight is no longer on f6 protecting h7.


Also its important to understand that this is a critical moment. The way black chooses to defend this pawn will determine how both sides end up playing for the next several moves. This is a situation where I calculate as deeply as I can CLEARLY see. When you can’t CLEARLY see the moves ahead in a critical situation/tactical position- heading into a line like that is often very risky and can cost you a pawn, a piece or the game.


Black can defend the h7 pawn 3 separate ways.


14..g6. It’s easy to see that this isn’t very appealing. If white wants he can play Bxg6. If I do nothing and don’t recapture he wins a pawn, meanwhile if I recapture, he recaptures Qxg6 check and at the least can force a draw with Qh6-Qg6. ****White can only do this because my queen is no longer on the 7th rank. If it were…I would answer Qxg6 check with Qg7! and a winning game.


14..f5. This completely shuts down the bishop and queen battery against h7. That’s a huge plus for me.  The con, it severely weakens the e5 square. Leaves black with a bad pawn structure and sort of forces black to play e5 after which blacks pawns are much bigger targets then any of whites-making the positon easier to play (Simply start lining up whites pieces against blacks pawns)



Before black played h6..he had to see that after 15. Bh7+  is not threatening. I saw Bh7+ kh8 Nh4 (threating Ng6+) was easily defended by Be8. I didn’t see 15..Kh8 16.0-0 f5 17. Bg6 e5!! (breaking through in the center and exposing the bishop to the queen). This is good for black. So, now that we rule out that Bh7+ isn’t threatening- black asks- does white have any other immediately threatening moves? Nope. He’ll probably castle.


  1. 0-0 e5 16. dxe5 fxe5


I wasn’t sure if I was better or worse in this position.

It looks like I’m threatening e4!! Forking the bishop and the knight…but im not, BECAUSE



If 17..e4 18. Be4! And black can’t take back because the pawn is pinned to the queen!





Trying to control e4 again to make the forking idea work-but it does not because it the bishop is backed up by the queen.

            Better to just keep the phony threat looming in the air and play around it?

            After Whites next move I was under lots of pressure and eventually cracked.


18.Be4!! Be6 19. Rfe1 Rad8 20. c4


It’s not that I’m 100% losing in this position. But white is clearly better and my defense must be much more precise then his attack to stay alive.




Trying to get some sort of “activity” by hitting the queen.

This move just allows he queen to exert more pressure on my already weak d5 pawn.

Qc5 and black is holding.


  1. Qb3 Qc5


  1. cxd5 Nxd5


            And now my pawns star dropping along with my entire position.


  1. Qxb7 Rf7 24. Qa6 Rd6 25. Qe3 Rfd7

            Black resigned in view of Nxe5 dropping another pawn. Look at the position final position for yourself and see how nice it is for white. **Computer gives it as +5 for white.


Also, I will get the next several games in the analysis board some you can view from you own computers. 


    Post the game on a board or post your comments on a pgn so that we can put it on a board otherwise don't expect many comments.


Instead of Rf4 I like Be6 then bring the a rook to the d file. 




I posted (post #5) a diagram of the game. I put it together relatively quickly, but it goes something like above happy.png 

(Analysis given by ChaosinPalmBeach in post #1 of this forum)


Also, it should probably be made more clear (not just in the analysis) - but the player (here it is ChaosinPalmBeach) is the Black pieces, I believe (contextual evidence). 


Thank you so much for adding the game to the board. I will upload the next games in the same format! 


Yes I am using the black pierces and I am rated 2015 USCF


You're much stronger than I am but the move that leapt off to me as being poor was 19. Rd8.  

Basically, you're going to lose the pawn regardless, right? So the question is, how do you achieve the best possible position when down a pawn? I'm not sure I would have found 19. ... Qc7 on my own (because 20.Bxd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 Nb4! wins the exchange) but my eye was instantly drawn to 19. ... Raf8 and now 20. c4 d4 and you've got some active pieces. I don't love the hole I've left on e4, but white has to worry about f2 if he tries to win the e-pawn, which I think give you chances to organize your bishop and queen better.  

I try to only bunker down to tough, long-term defense if it's my only option. Those positions are just so hard to play. 

I understand why you're critical of 16.Rxf4 but I see that move as the beginning of an aggressive plan to shift your pieces to the kingside. 


Annotation started off great. I got an explaination for whites plans with his system. Then I get 8...Qe7 with no explaination. I get the mainline referenced and a good reason this could be a bad move. You must have plans to attack this weakness as white, right?'re black,...huh? What were your plans here?


Thank you for your reply. I am at my office right now but will give a full reply later tonight going over my plans!

One of the main ideas for black in the London system is to play e5. Often chess people refer to moves like e5 as thematic. In many Sicilian lines the thematic break move for black is d5. My move , qe7 which has been played before was designed to attempt to push e5.... which white easily stops with the knight clamp as in the game

Do you think 2...Nc6 was a good move? Why?

Here's why I ask that...

Notice I didn’t ask if that's a good place for your knight? The trick is in the timing/sequence of each move.

1.d4 d5 (simple stuff)


What are some moves you would consider here? Why? What is white threatening? What is his weakness? Right now? Notice I ask right now? You have to address certain things at certain times. You need to understand why that is the case.


I can see, that when your annotations start, you understand this concept. I'm pointing out that it starts much, much earlier than that.


Someone else had similar issues.

Here's a link to that:

Read all the posts, break out your board and make all the moves so you understand why.

Now read #9 (in link) again. Get it?

Just know what the correct move is doesn't help you at all. You must understand why.