Dutch defence

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The Dutch defence
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook b8 black knight c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn e7 black pawn f7 __ g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
a6 __ b6 __ c6 __ d6 __ e6 __ f6 __ g6 __ h6 __
a5 __ b5 __ c5 __ d5 __ e5 __ f5 black pawn g5 __ h5 __
a4 __ b4 __ c4 __ d4 white pawn e4 __ f4 __ g4 __ h4 __
a3 __ b3 __ c3 __ d3 __ e3 __ f3 __ g3 __ h3 __
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 __ e2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 white knight h1 white rook
End of chess board.
White to move

The Dutch defence is one of the oldest chess openings. It aims at counter-attacking the white K-side in the middlegame. White responds in various ways:

2.g3. This fianchetto of the KB signals White's attempt to control the central squares. It is the main line for tournament players. White continues with moves like Bg2, Nf3, 0-0, c4, Nc3.

2.Bg5. This is a hard move to understand. It makes 2...Nf6 doubtful, since 3Bxf6 doubles pawns and makes Black's game more difficult. Black usually plays 2...g6 to fianchetto his bishop before he plays ...Nf6. 2...g6 marks the Leningrad variation of the Dutch defence. The bishop cannot be chased successfully: 2...h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 f4? 5.e3! threatens mate, and so wins the pawn on f4.

2.e4. This is Staunton's Gambit. After 2...fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 d5 5f3 White may or may not have enough for the f pawn.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • McDonald, Neil (2004). Starting out: the Dutch Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN 1-857443-77-2.
  • Williams, Simon; Palliser, Richard; Vigus, James (2010). Dangerous weapons: the Dutch. Everyman Chess. ISBN 978-1-85744-624-1
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