Earth confronted by the Queen Pawn Game: London System

Earth confronted by the Queen Pawn Game: London System

     In a correspondence chess (CC) match between Greg Chamitoff, crew member of the International Space Station, and a group of students attending Stevenson Elementary School in Bellvue, Washington, Chamitoff has faced the students with the Queen Pawn Game: London System (LS).

     The game began on a Monday, Sept. 29.  The United States Chess Federation (USCF) is responsible for allowing the children of Stevenson Elementary School to play against Chamitoff.  The students are allowed to choose four moves which will then be voted upon by all members of the USCF.  In return, Chamitoff responds to their moves within a designated time control - common time controls are three to five days.

     Chamitoff told the attendees of Stevenson Elementary, "I'm not going to make it easy for you."  But really, Chamitoff may as well be adressing the members of the USCF, for all voting is not decided upon by the children.

     Thus far the game has unraveled as follows:

1. d4 d5

2. Nf3 Nf6

3. Bf4

     "Earth," responded with 3... c5.  Seen below is the game:

     The New York Times Blog explained that this is not the first CC match that Chamitoff has been involved with versus Earth; in fact Chamitoff is currently in a game with mission control - the ground unit of NASA.

     A wiki article on the LS stated it's considered by some an opening that may result in closed positions and may require less opening theory than that of an opening such as the Ruy Lopez.

     In the introduction to a book titled Win With the London System authors Sverre Johnsen and Vlatko Kovacevic stated, "Basically the London is a set of solid lines where after 1.d4 White quickly develops his dark-squared bishop to f4 and normally bolsters his center with c3 and e3 rather than expanding.  Although it has the potential for a quick kingside attack, the white forces are generally flexible enough to engage in a battle anywhere on the board."

*Credits to NASA for picture of Greg Chamitoff