25

Stockfish isn't a perfect chess-playing entity, and you've found a position where it's unable to tell is a draw (at least until the 50 move rule kicks in and helps it prune). These positions are called "fortresses". You can tell this is happening because even if you input the solution, Stockfish still evaluates the final position as -10 or more. These ...


17

Good question! The positional priorities in this position do not really lie in whose bishop has more prospects, but rather in the emerging pawn structure, potential pawn breaks, and either side's ability to create targets and holes in opponent's camp. In short, c4 here is an extremely committal move which should only be played if it can be backed by very ...


11

It helps to understand that engines don't really go off of "strategy", so much as they look several moves into the future, evaluate the score of the position, and find the optimal move set. The great weakness of that approach is that if nothing can happen quickly, the engine's going to have problems. This used to be a huge problem with endgames. If you've ...


10

First of all, your plan of keeping White's queenside blocked doesn't quite work out in any case: After e.g. 1...c4 2. Qe2 Qc7 3. b3 b5 White can simply continue attacking your pawn chain by 4. a4 and you cannot answer 4...a6 because of 5. axb5 axb5? 6. Rxa8. If you try to protect the rook by 2...Qc6, White can insert 3. Ne5 to displace the queen. But even ...


8

I am new to french (so forgive me if the question seems elementary) I've just came across the pawn break f6 for black in the french advance variation, and I find the pawn break quite dubious for me for several reasons You must understand one whole new concept of chess modern strategy : Weakness is not a weakness if it can not be exploited. And another ...


8

Some points: White's "bad" bishop is already locked behind their pawns, your move doesn't change that, it's a feature of the opening white is playing. Long term white could go for Bc1-d2-e1-h4, or play b3 and Ba3. In fact in your proposed line of 1...c4 Qc2 2.Qc6 3.b3 b5, white has 4.Ba3. Note that if you don't play ...c4, Ba3 sometimes fails to ...cxd4 ...


8

Before we talk planning, you can see from the diagram arrows that the tactical line 12.Nxd3 followed by c4 is available. A trade of c&b pawns for Whites e&d pawns = the center is Blacks; not to mention the monster on b7 is unopposed. On to abstract thinking: "I considered moving a knight to g4 with the idea of exchanging with the dark-...


7

The weakness is b2 with the absence of the bishop. This is James Rizzitano's recommendation against the London system in his book "How to Beat 1 d4": [FEN ""] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 Qb6 6. Qb3 c4 7. Qc2 Bf5 The bishop is immune due to the b2 weakness (the rook on a1 will drop).


7

The other answers were great, but I think you could sum it up like this : the player who has built the stonewall is looking for a locked center so that he can benefit from the time to build up an attack on your king, funneling his pieces over in the vicinity of your king without having to worry about central counter-play. Doing c4 might superficially look ...


6

It would help to see a specific example of your games. Normally closed positions refers to positions with a closed center where the central (e and d pawns, sometimes also c and f pawns) pawns are blocking each other. It is unusual that all 8 pawns are blocked. In this case the normal plan is to attack the center by pawns from the side. For instance in the ...


6

A "blocked pawn" is a rather general term that describes a pawn that cannot advance. It can be blockaded by either an opponent's piece or pawn, and in certain rare cases it can be blocked by a fellow pawn (i.e. doubled pawns). However, perhaps the most common example of a blocked pawn is one that is isolated. Here is an example of a typical IQP position: (...


5

Playing ...f6 is less common in the Advance than certain other French lines (such as the 3... Nf6 Tarrasch). As with most thematic moves to open the position, the f6 break has to be timed correctly or white will indeed have a great target on e6. Your pawn chain isn't particularly weak in the normal French f7-e6-d5 configuration (it's really strong, ...


5

The pawn advance reduces the potential, what is done cannot be undone and Black uses the information to set up accordingly. This is probably the broadest and most general explanation. In the end, however, it may turn out to be a matter of taste or fashion.


5

The London is mostly an attempt to play the Slav in reverse. It is very solid and flexible. Black should be careful not to overreach. Kaufman recommends a King's Indian with a c7-c5 break like Avrukh. I have had luck with the e7-e5 break from the KID. A difficult problem for the original question is if your opponent does not play the London, you have to ...


5

The London system is a system for White where the dark squared bishop is brought out early to f4 after d2-d4. There are several ways in which it can appear: [fen ""] 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 and [fen ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 and [fen ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 This means it is very hard to avoid meeting the London system after White ...


5

Closed positions are a very different type of game, but if you understand them then there is no reason to avoid entering them. Generally, the best idea in closed positions is the play on the sides of the board (either the Queenside or Kingside) since the center is locked. The best way to play on the sides is to open lines for your pieces. This is often ...


5

As a chess player who currently studies computer science, I found this question very interesting so here's my thoughts on the topic. You already know how chess books categorize open and closed positions and you may also know that a semi-closed position is one with some of the characteristics of an open but not all. As you understand this makes the line ...


5

...c4 is generally bad because it releases the tension on White's d4-pawn. This makes it much easier for White to get away with pushing e4, since the e3-pawn doesn't need to support the d4-pawn anymore. You're correct that White does have a weak hole on e4, but after playing Qc2 and Nbd2, he's ready to push e4 and gain a central initiative.


5

In general White has more freedom of choice due to going first. He can play a move that is slightly suboptimal and still be around equal. But if Black does the same thing, he could quickly find himself in a bad position. However, it's obviously not always necessary to play dubious moves in order to get the kind of position you want. In general you should ...


5

This is a very complex question. First, by nature of moving first, white can clearly control whether the game is open, or not, more than black can, but black does have a say next. If white plays, 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3, or even moves like b3 or g3, we know that the game tends to be more closed than after 1.e4. After 1. d4, for example, black can attempt to ...


5

Michael Stean, in his "Simple chess" introduced the idea of the "capacity" of a given Pawn structure. How many pieces can live inside it without getting in each others way. If your opponents pawns do not have enough capacity for his pieces, he will have difficulty manoeuvering them to defend. This introduces the "principle of two ...


4

A super-abridged guide to the QGA (Queen's Gambit Accepted) is that Black temporarily cedes the center with dxc4, and hopes to develop rapidly while White recovers the pawn (you'll want to look up some key lines where Black suffers because he is greedy and tries to hold on to the pawn; personally, I found it instructive to look at the main line of an ...


4

Both players have some control. Neither one alone can dictate it. If they try they risk getting an inferior position albeit of the type they want. One example is the hedgehog type openings. They tend to be closed just because it takes longer for white to prepare to open things up. But in the long run they do not do as well, in my experience, when ...


4

I think the main idea od .. d5 here is to undermine the outpost. Hence the followup should not be a quick .. d4, but rather trying to keep pressure on e4. I don't like .. d4 for more than one reason: it makes Bc5 bad, and it tempts White to Bc2-b3 returning to the best diagonal. My plan would be: .. d5 motivated as above .. Bf8 to shore up the kingside ...


3

In the end the distinction between open/closed position is subjective and as you noticed there will always be some overlap or positions that don't fit perfectly into either category. What exactly do you need this for? For me the typical closed position has blocked pawn chains, generally many pawns, few or no open files. Because of this, the play tends to ...


3

8. ... h6 was unprovoked. Until White threatens to double Q+B on a c1-h6 diagonal, or places the piece ag g5, there is no reason to weaken the Kingside. The plan calls for immediate 8. ... f5, e.g. 8... f5 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4, and it is up to Black to decide between 10. ... g5 and 10. ... Bf6, whichever suites your style. Along the same lines 9. ... a6 seems ...


3

One of the benefits of the lines shown by Travis J are the transpositions for helping folks like me who do not play 1. d4 d5. I play the Nimzo-Indian and after 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 e6 I can play the d5 push and be in the systems he mentions. An even more aggressive option is available with this move order and that's 3. Nf3 c5 to deviate early. Of course, ...


3

"Main lines" of the London System (with ...d5) start off with 1. d4 d5; 2. Bf4. There is an important line to learn when faced with 1. d4 d5; 2. Nf3 Nf6; 3.Bf4 (which of course can arise via transposition: 1. d4 Nf6; 2. Nf3 d5; 3.Bf4). This is inaccurate for white because of the following line: [FEN ""] 1.d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 Qb6 6. ...


3

I would recommend looking at games of Eric Prie as white. He plays the London a lot. http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1122821205 is a long thread and agood introduction to its issues. There is an article by Prie, where he outlines the issue with Bf4: http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/8/feb06.htm However, Nf3 also has the issue of ...


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