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Understanding the London System

GM Nigel Davies Avg Rating: 1693 Openings

This course has been created so that players can improve their opening play in a way that is rarely presented in the books. By going through positions featuring typical strategies and tactics the reader can develop an understanding of typical positions arising from the London System. <p> Once this better PATTERN RECOGNITION has been acquired, players start to get a feel for where their pieces belong in the opening and what they should be trying to do. There are 15 lessons in total, all of which are based on positions which arise from the London System (1.d4 followed by 2.Nf3 and 3.Bf4). The lessons contain a variety of motifs and are of varying degrees of difficulty. Most players should be able to find the move in the easier positions but even these contain important insights as to how the London System should be played. The more difficult positions should be a challenge for anyone, providing a training ground for a player's game as a whole and not just Londonesque positions. Thus I hope this course will offer something for everybody.

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  • Kovacevic - Tokaji

    One of the greatest specialists in the London System is the Serbian Grandmaster, Vlatko Kovacevic.
  • Blatny - Seifried

    Pavel Blatny likes to play Queen's Pawns Games as they lead to original positions in which he can use his raw tactical talent.
  • Kovacevic - Fressinet

    Many players can attack, but far fewer can obtain the positions from which to do so. A lot of this is about getting as many pieces as possible into the kill zone.
  • Hartston - Lawton

    The outpost squares that arise out of the London system offers the side that possesses them an advantage. And knowing what to do with these outposts is an art in itself.
  • Kovacevic - Martos

    When Queen's Pawn Games are played at club level, one thing I've noticed is that Black often plays ...c5-c4. The problem with this is that White no longer has to worry about defending the d4 Pawn which would not be the case if Black's c-Pawn were still on c5. This makes it much easier for him to advance in the centre, as we'll see in this example.
  • Kovacevic - Palau

    Black often feels obliged to exchange on d4 in the London System, but this tends to be quite useful for White if he then gets to operate along the half open e-file. This example features this theme.
  • Lein - Maki

    Players often think of just piece play when they're attacking, but often it's just Pawn levers that do the real damage.
  • Petrosian - Chistiakov

    The former World Champion, Tigran Petrosian, was renowned for his strategic insight. In this example he conducts a masterful campaign on Black's weakened dark squares.
  • Bronstein - Thorsteinsson

    David Bronstein often played the London System, which contradicts the commonly held view that it's a dull opening. Here we see some typical Bronstein fireworks against a young Icelandic player.
  • Blatny - Sutter

    One interesting London System idea is to delay the obvious idea of castling on the Kingside so as to be able to advance Pawns over there. Here we see a direct attack using this theme.
  • Tseitlin - Leismann

    Wilhelm Steinitz argued that a castled position was at its strongest when there were no Pawns moved in front of it. Once the Pawns do move it becomes much easier for it to be opened up, either with a piece sacrifice or Pawn levers. Here we see a good example.
  • Hort - Dueckstein

    Another noteworthy idea in the London System is to play c4-c5 at the right moment and put pressure on the Queenside. In this example we see this theme together with a neat tactical twist.
  • Yusupov - Fuller

    When adopting the London System against the King's Indian Defence, the key piece is White's dark square Bishop, bearing down on the h2-b8 diagonal. In this example we see a World class player use it to great effect.
  • Spassky - Bukic

    Here we see a World Champion in action with the London system and a theme very similar to Yusupov - Fuller.
  • Bronstein - Zuidema

    Once again we see David Bronstein in action and making the London System look like an attacking line. This time Black has obtained 'hanging Pawns' on d5 and c5, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. But here the rest of his position is badly damaged.

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