After 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Stockfish gives the best move as 2...e6, entering a QGD position.

Why does Black voluntarily block the LSB instead of develop it first with 2...Bf5?

2 Answers 2


First of all, don't attribute too much weight to engine evaluations that early in the game. Rather look at the established theory, and what you want to achieve.

For example, after 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3, I am far from convinced that 2. ...e6 is the best move. I am sure that the most common move is 2. ...Nf6, which keeps your options open. You could for example play the Slav defence (...c6 after White goes c4) and develop your light-squared bishop later. Also in many lines of the London System you can still develop that bishop before going ...e6.

That said, I have indeed played 2. ...Bf5 on a few occasions in serious tournament games. One line I dislike is 3. c4 e6 (c6 is a not so great Slav line) 4. Nc3 Nf6 (Nc6 is possible, but has its own issues) 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Qb3 Nc6 7. Bg5 and the double attack on d5 and b7 basically forces 7. ...Na5 8. Qa4+ c6 9. Bxf6 gxf6 which isn't horrible for Black, but probably slightly worse than what you can get by defending a standard QGD, especially with White committed to an early Nf3 which rules out some critical lines.

  • The Lichess analysis engine gives 2...e6 and 2...Nf6 both an evaluation of +0.1, which is not surprising, since they transpose into each other after 3. c4 Nf6 (or ...e6).
    – Allure
    Feb 3, 2022 at 2:28

The absence of the bishop causes black problems. The weakening of b7 and the a4-e8 diagonal will often create more difficulties than the freedom of the bishop is worth.

  • 2
    Can you cite some lines?
    – Allure
    Feb 2, 2022 at 12:58
  • 1
    Instead of refuting Bf5 ask yourself: what purpose is that Bishop serving on f5 really? Not much. It does hit the vacant b1 square but that square is not that often used by white; c file is. On the other hand, that Bishop can provide a target for white to play against: e.g. prepare an e4 that comes with a tempo, or play g4 after preparation. Even on g6 the Bishop can be attached by an h advance or some Nh4. A B on c8 or d7 on the other hand serves important defensive roles against, say, Qb3. Hope this is convincing!
    – user13438
    Apr 6, 2022 at 20:05

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