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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Breaching the Stonewall Attack

     I have posted on the Stonewall Attack before: Stonewall and Anti-Stonewall. Also, there is an article on the Stonewall at Chessdotcom that explains the basics. 
     This post contains an interesting game where black played my favorite Anti-Stonewall; he fianchettoed his King's Bishop. I have liked this defense ever since I saw a game many years ago in which Euwe played it. 
     I have Soltis' book The Stonewall Attack and right at the beginning he cautions that white must know the features of the Stonewall so he can adapt his play according to his opponent's plans.  It must be remembered that the Stonewall is NOT a "system" opening where you can play the same moves no matter what black plays. In fact, such openings do not really exist. As in the so called "systems," like the K-Indian Attack, white still has to be flexible in the choice of his opening moves and that means he must put some effort into studying the opening. 
     Soltis also writes that the most difficult setup for white to meet is when black fianchettoes his King's Bishop because it greatly reduces his attacking potential as his B on d3 has little effect. White can try the advance of his f-Pawn, but that also loosens his control of e5. His best procedure is to develop his own dark squared B with b2-b3 and Ba3. White also has the possibility of capturing black's P on c5; white can then use d4 as an outpost for his N. 
    In the following game between a couple of masters it's instructive to see how the moves are dictated by the strategy of both sides. The first idea is black wanting to trade his light squared B and white attempting to prevent it. Black succeeded, but his N on a6 was somewhat out of play and white was then free to commence operations on the K-side even though the absence of his light squared B lessened his chances of success. 
     After black slipped up a bit at move 17 when he loosened the position, play revolved around white trying to open up black's K with f5 and black trying to hinder the P-advance and an exciting struggle ensued. White finally lost his way at move 24 and allowed black to seize the initiative and then missed a tactical shot two moves later and it was all over.

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