# Bird's opening problems

I've played the reversed Leningrad Dutch for some time, and I have the problem that when I play Nd2, Black forks my rook and queen on f6->g4->e3. I never get to push my e-pawn before Black forks me in some cases. Is there any solution to this problem?

Here is a sample line.

``````[FEN ""]

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. O-O e6 6. d3 Bd6 7. Nbd2 Ng4 ( I have wasted a move on Nd2.)
``````
• Thinking from my Lennigrad Dutch experience - Nd2 is usually wrong, and you must play Qe1 before it in the few situations it is right. Do you have a game you want to show us? Aug 16, 2020 at 23:08
• 7. Nbd2 is wrong precisely because of 7... Ng4. Your choices are Qe1, c3, or Nc3. Aug 16, 2020 at 23:23
• @AlexanderWoo My computer likes 7.e4.
– bof
Aug 17, 2020 at 1:25
• Interesting pawn sacrifice @bof. It requires white to find Ne5 after dxe dxe Nxe and also figure out that's playable, which is not 100% obvious- however, it scores ludicrously well in the lichess database (71% for white!) Aug 19, 2020 at 1:28
• I don't understand why you accepted an answer recommending 1. e4 in a question about Bird's opening. Moreover, it is advisable to weight until you have received a few answers before accepting any of them. (By the way, you can change which answer you accept). Aug 19, 2020 at 19:47

You have some options. You could abandon 7. Nbd2 because it allows 7. ... Ng4; the standard choices in the main line are 7. Qe1, 7. c3, and 7. Nc3, much like the regular Leningrad Dutch. If Black plays Ng4 while you still have e3 covered by the Bc1, you can simply proceed with your plan to push e2-e4, and maybe later kick the knight with h2-h3 to get an attack going on the kingside. Just make sure to keep an eye out for tactics on the a7-g1 diagonal as long as Black has a knight on g4; Bird's Opening can get ugly for White fast if you miss seeing a tactic. You'll still need to pay attention to e3; Black's main try in the strongest lines is to play d5-d4, possibly following up with Nd5, and eventually you'll need to be prepared to play against that. If your opponents are still gifting you e6 setups though, that might be a ways off.

In the specific position you've shown with Black's lackluster e6 setup, you have the option of going straight for 7. e4 as @bof and @pulsar512b discussed, but that idea won't ordinarily be available if Black plays more demanding lines.

If you're dead set on making 7. Nbd2 work instead, then 7. ... Ng4 8. Nb3 doesn't look like the absolute end of the world to me, but the positions aren't pleasant and Black is calling the shots.

Yes. Do not play Nd2.

It is better to not play that variation of the reversed Dutch.

It is best to just play 1. e4 and avoid the issues with Birds.