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Chess World Online Chess Forum - The Stonewall - arguably the easiest opening to play

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  Play ... Latest Forum Posts > Chess Forums > Chess Openings
  The Stonewall - arguably the easiest opening to play

Earl of Norfolk

Chess rating: 2482





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Mon Jan 31 2005 3:38PM | edited: 3:43:36 | MsgID: 1556474


I play the Stonewall mostly as a way to avoid the English or Benko openings, e.g. 1 c4 f5 and White will usually play Pd4 at some point and the game will tranpose. Also, after 1 g3 d5 2 Bg2 c6 3 Nf3 f5 4 0-0 e6, White will usually play Pd4 and Pc4 at some point, again transposing.

Recently, snowshine the dog played a White Stonewall Attack against me, and probably should have won the game, but for a few mistakes towards the end.

White: snowshinethedog
Black: Banoboy

[[1. d4 Ng8f6 2. e3 d5 3. Bf1d3 e6 4. Nb1d2 c5 5. c3 Nb8c6 6. f4 Bf8d6 7. Nd2f3 c4 8. Bd3c2 O-O 9. Nf3e5 Qd8c7 10. Qd1f3 b5 11. Ng1e2 Bc8b7 12. g4 Ra8d8 13. Ne2g3 Nf6d7 14. g5 b4 15. Qf3h5 f5 16. g6 hxg6 17. Ne5xg6 Rf8e8 18. Rh1g1 Nd7f6 19. Qh5h3 Nc6e7 20. Ng6e5 bxc3 21. bxc3 Re8f8 22. Ng3h5 Nf6e8 23. Bc1d2 Rd8b8 24. Ke1e2 Ne7c6 25. Rg1g6 Bd6xe5 26. fxe5 Nc6e7 27. Rg6g5 g6 28. Ra1g1 Kg8f7 29. Nh5f4 Rf8g8 30. Nf4xe6 Kf7xe6 31. Bc2xf5 gxf5 32. Rg5xg8 Ne7xg8 33. Rg1xg8 Qc7f7 34. Rg8h8 Ke6d7 35. Qh3h6 Kd7c8 36. Rh8h7 Qf7g8 37. Bd2e1 Bb7a8 38. Qh6a6 Rb8b7 39. Rh7h6 Ne8c7 40. Qa6f6 Qg8g2 41. Be1f2 Rb7b2]] {White resigned} 0-1


Playable game scores in this posting
Playable game #1






kingscrusher

Chess rating: 1715 Fide 2135
LCF 200 Fide approx. 2250
British Regional Master






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Mon Jan 31 2005 2:45PM | edited: 2:55:06 | MsgID: 1556307


Originally posted by: "Texas Time Traveler"
K,

But to play this opening as Black did here, must not Black be versed in the French Defense in case White plays 2. e4?

Might not an immediate 1. ., f5 be better to set up the Stonewall?




Good point - with this move order, it is useful/essential to be prepared to play a french defence. I think some Dutch defence players, and Dutch Stonewall players want to avoid the Staunton gambit which occurs after 1.d4 f5 2.e4?! which can be quite venemous.

I think Nigel Short has also played this move order of e6 first because he is very well versed in the French defence, and doesn't mind his opponents playing e4.

Addendum: Botvinnik was also well versed in the French defence, and interestingly he does not use f5 on his first move in the following games:-

Rabinovitch - Botvinnik (Ussr Ch'p, 1927)
1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 ...

Steiner - Botvinnik, Groningen, 1946
1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 ....

Flohr - Botvinnik (10) Match, 1933
1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5

However when one of his opponents played c4, he did play f5 immediately:-

Yudovitch - Botvinnik, Leningrad 1934
1. c4 f5 2. d4 Nf6 ....

Some Botvinnik Game examples
[Event "URS-ch05"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "1927.09.26"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Rabinovich,Ilya Leontievich"]
[Black "Botvinnik,Mikhail"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "A95"]
[[
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nc3 0-0 6.Nf3 d5 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Qe8
9.Bf4 Qh5 10.Rad1 Nbd7 11.b3 Ne4 12.Ne5 Ng5 13.h4 Ne4 14.Bf3 Qe8 15.Nxd7 Bxd7 16.Kg2 Bb4
17.Bxe4 fxe4 18.Rh1 Qh5 19.f3 Qg6 20.Kf1 e5 21.dxe5 Rxf4 22.gxf4 Qg3 23.Nxe4 dxe4 24.Rxd7 Bc5
25.e3 Qxf3+ 26.Qf2 Qxh1+ 27.Ke2 Qh3 28.f5 Qg4+ 29.Kd2 Rf8 30.e6 Qxf5 31.Qxf5 Rxf5 32.Rxb7 Rf2+
33.Ke1 Rf6 34.b4 Bxe3 35.Ke2 Bg1 36.e7 Kf7 37.e8=Q+ Kxe8 38.Rxg7 Rg6 39.Rxh7 Bd4 40.c5 Rg2+
41.Kf1 Rf2+ 42.Ke1 e3 0-1
]]


[Event "Staunton mem"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "1946.08.13"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Steiner,Herman"]
[Black "Botvinnik,Mikhail"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "A95"]
[[
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Nc3 0-0 7.Qc2 d5 8.Nf3 c6
9.0-0 Qe8 10.Bf4 Qh5 11.Rae1 Nbd7 12.Nd2 g5 13.Bc7 Ne8 14.Be5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 f4 16.gxf4 gxf4
17.Nf3 Kh8 18.Kh1 Ng7 19.Qc1 Bd7 20.a3 Rf7 21.b4 Rg8 22.Rg1 Nf5 23.Nd1 Rfg7 24.Qxf4 Rg4
25.Qd2 Nh4 26.Ne3 Nxf3 27.exf3 Rh4 28.Nf1 Bg5 0-1
]]

[Event "Moscow/Leningrad m"]
[Site "Leningrad"]
[Date "1933.11.28"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Flohr,Salo"]
[Black "Botvinnik,Mikhail"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "A95"]
[[
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nc3 d5 6.Nf3 c6 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 Qe8
9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Qd3 Qh5 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Nd2 Ne4 13.f3 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 f4 15.Rfe1 Bd6 16.Nf1 Rf7
17.e3 fxg3 18.Nxg3 Qh4 19.Nf1 Nf6 20.Re2 Bd7 21.Be1 Qg5 22.Bg3 Bxg3 23.Nxg3 h5 24.f4 Qg4
25.Rf2 h4 26.Bf3 hxg3 27.Bxg4 gxf2+ 28.Kg2 Nxg4 29.h3 Nf6 30.Kxf2 Ne4+ 0-1
]]

Playable game scores in this posting
Playable game #1


Playable game #2


Playable game #3






Internet Traveller

Chess rating: 2458



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Mon Jan 31 2005 2:41PM | MsgID: 1556294


K,

But to play this opening as Black did here, must not Black be versed in the French Defense in case White plays 2. e4?

Might not an immediate 1. ., f5 be better to set up the Stonewall?





kingscrusher

Chess rating: 1715 Fide 2135
LCF 200 Fide approx. 2250
British Regional Master






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Mon Jan 31 2005 1:06AM | edited: 1:29:37 | MsgID: 1554237


The Stonewall opening has not a particularly great reputation, but as a junior, in coaching sessions, I remember Nigel Short had recommended it as a really underestimated opening. However, his results at the top level with this opening were sometimes a bit poor, especially against the likes of Kasparov.

The Stonewall is also emphasised in a really nice book by Leonard Barden which i have somehow misplaced unfortunately, but it illustrated this opening very nicely. The pawn formation of this opening is very distinctive.

Pawns on d4 e3 c3 f4 (a bit like a chequers pattern)

Then there is a ready-made attacking routine which the White player has at his/her disposal, or Black player, if playing the Dutch stonewall. The idea if Ne5 followed by Rf1-f3-h3, then g4-g5 chasing away Black's knight on f6. Then Qh5, and sacrificing some material, then mating black. Well sometimes this routine can work at club level OTB chess.

One major problem with this opening is the "bad" bishop on c1, or c8 if played against 1.d4 (The Dutch Stonewall defence). However, one of the strongest players in Barnet chess club, Paul Georghiou is apparently using the opening with great success and finding liberation for his bad bishop. Playing the Dutch Stonewall, as well as the Bd7-e8-h5 manoever, there are also ideas of black playing a sharp b5 b4 and Ba6 continuation.

Perhaps the Dutch Stonewall will have a kind of resurgence :) I think in this era of heavily analysed opening theory via Chessbase, players will be more attracted to off-beat systems such as the Stonewall, and its sister opening, the Colle, which can transpose into a Stonewall attack.

Illustrative game follows:

[Event "Manila (ol) 55/110"]
[Site "Manila (ol) 55/110"]
[Date "1992.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "A Shirov"]
[Black "Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR)"]
[ECO "A90"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "54"]
[[
1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c6
5.Nf3 d5 6.O-O Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Ne5 O-O
9.Nd2 Nbd7 10.Ndf3 Ne4 11.Nd3 b6 12.Nfe5 Bb7
13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.f3 Nf6 15.c5 bxc5 16.Nxc5 Bxc5
17.dxc5 e5 18.e4 Ba6 19.Re1 fxe4 20.fxe4 d4
21.Qd2 Ng4 22.Bh3 h5 23.Ba3 Qf7 24.Bb4 Rae8
25.Ba5 Re6 26.Bf1 Nf2 27.Bxa6 Qf3 0-1
]]

Exeter chess club useful link: https://www.ex.ac.uk/~dregis/DR/Openings/stonwall.html

Playable game scores in this posting
Playable game #1