Hello and welcome to the third of three articles on how to play the Stonewall Dutch. The Dutch is a fun and easy, attacking opening to play against 1. d4, 1. c4, and 1. Nf3! In the first two articles, we've looked at attacking set-ups for black. In this article, we will look at how black can play positionally on the queenside. This is the best way to play when white fianchettos both bishops, because a direct kingside attack by black is less effective now for two reasons:
- …g5 isn’t so good for black without a white bishop or pawn to attack on f4
- …the Nf3/g3/Bg2 setup provides a lot of defense for the white king.
So black does a normal stonewall set-up with pawns on f5, e6, d5, and c6, but chooses to play on the queenside instead with moves like b6, Bb7, Nd7, sometimes a5-a4, often Rc8 and …c5. Let's see these plans at work in our next game!
Important ideas to remember:
- When white fianchettos both bishops, black's kingside attack doesn't work as well. Black can play on the queenside instead with moves like Nb8-d7, b6, Bc8-b7, Rac8, Rfd8 and c5.
- Don't let white trade off your "good" dark-squared bishop. If they threaten to trade it off by playing b3 , play Qe7 to stop them.
- Plan your development ahead of time! Instead of choosing one move at a time, try to figure out a development plan 4-5 moves ahead of time. That way, your pieces have a better chance of working together well.
- When you are doubling or tripling heavy pieces (rooks and queens) on a file, try to put the rooks ahead of the queen.
You are now ready to play the Stonewall Dutch! Good luck, and remember the most important rule of any opening: HAVE FUN WITH IT!