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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Playing the Stonewall Dutch (Read 8342 times)
MNb
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #47 - 01/18/21 at 15:03:56
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brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 14:16:24:
why we shouldn't expect such lines to be covered in opening-books even if they are really strong.

Another reason is directly connected to what I wrote to Paul Cumbers. - as long as White plays sound moves everything is good against the Classical Dutch. For instance only after more than 15 years I found out how nasty 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 (my favoured move order) 3.Bf4 can be. Hence any book trying to be complete would become way too big.
Back to topic: according to GM Moskalenko in The Diamond Dutch the Stonewall may equalize after 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e6 4.e3 d5. If possible compare his notes (starting with "The Dutch Queens'Gambit: 4...d5" - a classification that made me chuckle)) to game 34 in his book to IM Bronznik's notes to game 40 in Beating the Guerrilla's, starting with 8...Nbd7.

Later addition: last fews weeks I rechecked my repertoire after 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3/3.Nf3 Bb4+ once again and sure enough I found some new problem lines (problems for Black, that is). 4.Nbd2 remains difficult to meet, 4.Nc3 is better than I previously thought if White aims at a quick c4-c5 and after 4.Bd2 Be7 only Alekhine's manoeuvre ...Ne4 and ...Bf6 might prevent White from making good use of the extra tempo as pawn d4 is unprotected in critical Nc3xe4 lines.
Really, sometimes I wonder why I don't play something normal like the Von Hennig-Schara Gambit.
  

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brabo
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #46 - 01/18/21 at 14:16:24
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MNb wrote on 01/18/21 at 12:53:49:
brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
Anyway I don't think you can blame Sedlak

Then it's a good thing I never did so and overall that you're needlessly defensive, even if one of those games was Gamundio Antonio (2440) vs. Roa Alonso (2320). White didn't play Rc1 as in the sample line of Paul Cumbers.

Oh I was replying to Paul as he was asking us if it was covered in the book of Sedlak. I could've just said no but I thought that it is also useful to indicate why we shouldn't expect such lines to be covered in opening-books even if they are really strong.

It took me some time to find your game until I discovered that the name in my megadatabase is Gamundi instead of Gamundio.
He played only once this setup and then again from the wrong move-order as the stonewall was played before g3. So again I am not surprised that this game has never been covered in any openingbooks about the stonewall. At least I am not aware of it and I do possess/ know quite some material about the opening.
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #45 - 01/18/21 at 14:05:46
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Paul Cumbers wrote on 01/18/21 at 12:53:32:
Admittedly I showed a computer line, but I think White's idea makes a lot of sense.

2 comments here.
1) It is a computer line as I expected so it is once more a confirmation of what I have been preaching so often last couple of years. Computers are rewriting big parts of the theory. Also my latest blog-article discuss this topic in detail (translation follows one of the next days).
2) From hindsight everything makes sense but then why hasn't this become a mainline already for decades? Well no human will play g3 to not play Bg2. We realize now that it can be stronger than the known schemes thanks to the arrival of the neural networks. E=mc2 also looks so obvious today but we needed an Einstein to tell us.
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #44 - 01/18/21 at 13:27:10
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Back when I played the Dutch, something like 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 is just what I was hoping for. 4...Bb4+ is much closer to equality than black gets in the Stonewall or Iljin-Zhenevsky.


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
When I state almost no games in the database then I only consider games played by masters (+2300).

When filtering a database by Elo then older games can be missed because the Elo is not filled in. ChessBase sometimes fills in an "historical" Elo, but not always.


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
Even beginners sometimes play strong novelties or ideas but they have no clue how strong it is themselves and nobody takes notice of it.

Sometimes beginners do have a clue and still nobody takes notice of it. Tal used to look at everything, he said you could learn even from beginner games. Of course he could "look" at a game blindfold and at great speed. I don't look at everything, but my working database does have games by amateurs in it. Lev Alburt's Chess Life column had true beginner games, even some of those games made it into my database.


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
I do consider Pillsbury a master ...

Showalter and Pillsbury were both masters. But Showalter is less known, I'm not sure if he would typically be assigned an historical Elo.


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
... but his game never influenced the theory of the stonewall.

I disagree on this one. Pachman used to quote Pillsbury's games in the stonewall and anti-stonewall setups that arise from the Semi-Slav move order, which is how black usually did it back in his day. I'm pretty sure strong play from people like Pillsbury is what made black abandon this approach. Soltis gave a classic Pillsbury example where black was crushed by the queenside space advantage and an endgame sacrifice against the light-squared pawn chain. Rubinstein's Meran with ...d5xc4 was a revelation compared to the previous stonewall (whether the pawn was on f7 or f5).


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
The very different move-order doesn't inspire to study this game as any Dutch specialist will tell you that you don't go for a stonewallsetup if white hasn't played g3 yet which happened in that game.

Do you mean almost any Dutch specialist?
Quote:
First of all, the Stonewall is not so good if White does not fianchetto his KB! It is very much against this Bishop that Black's strategy is directed. So if White is not a fianchetto man you are probably wise to have another system ready. (Not all Stonewall fans will agree.) emphasis added
.. Larsen (1974) How to Open a Chess Game page 186

Brabo, I'm not sure if it's just rhetorical style or if you actually think this way, but you tend to write in absolutist always/never terms. In chess there are many exceptions. Basically you are correct on this one, Larsen is agreeing with you, but he also gave a caveat, which you almost Smiley never Smiley do.


brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
Anyway I don't think you can blame Sedlak of not having covered setups which were never played by a grandmaster in on the board chess (at least I couldn't find any such game in my megadatabase).

Those of us who are willing to spend time looking at old games and old theory are able to pose many problems for those who prepare based on filtered 2500+ (or 2400+, or 2300+) database games. As the saying goes, everything's new that is well forgotten.
  
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MNb
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #43 - 01/18/21 at 12:53:49
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brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 08:22:05:
Anyway I don't think you can blame Sedlak

Then it's a good thing I never did so and overall that you're needlessly defensive, even if one of those games was Gamundio Antonio (2440) vs. Roa Alonso (2320). White didn't play Rc1 as in the sample line of Paul Cumbers.


Paul Cumbers wrote on 01/18/21 at 12:53:32:
I think White's idea makes a lot of sense.

That's the problem with the Classical Dutch (perhaps the Leningrad too) - every combination of reasonable moves makes sense for White. Black never can comfotably lean back the first ten moves (approximately). It's only when Black manages to overcome problems in that first stage that the fun begins.
  

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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #42 - 01/18/21 at 12:53:32
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Admittedly I showed a computer line, but I think White's idea makes a lot of sense. Bf4 & Bd3 is known to be good against the Stonewall (e.g. see Reply #22 by LeeRoth or this excerpt from L'Ami https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quf17wCH4fw ), so once Black commits to ...d7-d5, White can just revert to this set-up. (Of course if ...d7-d6, then White continues with Bg2). I'd argue that the lost tempo with g2-g3 isn't overly significant. I don't see much counterplay for Black.

I'm tempted to only go into the Stonewall if White plays Bg2 immediately, i.e. 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 etc., but then again why am I worried about a line that nobody plays! If brabo is right, there's plenty else to be worried about...
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #41 - 01/18/21 at 08:22:05
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When I state almost no games in the database then I only consider games played by masters (+2300). Even beginners sometimes play strong novelties or ideas but they have no clue how strong it is themselves and nobody takes notice of it.

I do consider Pillsbury a master but his game never influenced the theory of the stonewall. The very different move-order doesn't inspire to study this game as any Dutch specialist will tell you that you don't go for a stonewallsetup if white hasn't played g3 yet which happened in that game.

Anyway I don't think you can blame Sedlak of not having covered setups which were never played by a grandmaster in on the board chess (at least I couldn't find any such game in my megadatabase).
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #40 - 01/18/21 at 07:26:07
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brabo wrote on 01/18/21 at 06:42:29:
II also find almost no games with it in the databaset?

The combination g3, Bf4, e3 was already played in Pillsbury-Showalter, Nürnberg 1896 with a very different move order - White played 9.g3 but left a pawn on h2. Dolezal-Lastovicka, CSRch 1961 was the first one to combine it with (9.)h4. Rau-Ott, corr 2016, saw White playing 9.Rc1 but 10.Be2.
With the setup pawns to e3, g3 and h4, knights to c3 and f3 and bishop to f4 I found 44 games. White won 20 and lost five,

  

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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #39 - 01/18/21 at 06:42:29
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I am pretty sure he doesn't. I also find almost no games with it in the database. In my own database of online played games (+70.000) I find 1 with it. I won but after the opening I was clearly worse.

I notice Stockfish is very enthusiastic about it. Anyway I am not surprised that more and more setups are found which put the stonewall deeper and deeper into troubles.
I already predicted that in my article http://chess-brabo.blogspot.com/2019/06/computers-achieve-autonomy-part-2.html

How did you bump on it?
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #38 - 01/18/21 at 00:43:22
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After the moves 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 d5, what if White treats g2-g3 as a semi-waiting move and goes the other way with the bishop, e.g.

5.Nc3 c6* 6.Bf4 Be7 7.e3 O-O 8.h4 Ne4 9.Rc1 Nd7 10.Bd3, followed by Ke1-f1-g2 or O-O. The light-squared bishop looks more active on d3 rather than on g2.

*or (a) 5...Bd6 6.Bf4 Bxf4 7.gxf4 and again White plays e3 & Bd3;
(b) 5...Ne4 6.Qc2 should take us to Chapter 8, narrowing Black's repertoire.

Does Sedlak examine this idea (maybe in Chapter 1B 3.Nf3 p.24)?
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #37 - 07/27/20 at 19:02:15
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Playing the stonewall continuously for more than 20 years against masterlevel I was of course also eager to buy this book. Today I finally received my copy and immediately started to check the analysis.

Overall I am satisfied with the book. At many points Sedlak recommends lines for black which I considered myself already as mainline but he also brings new interesting solutions which I didn't check yet.

Still the big problems I see with the stonewall are not solved or at least Sedlak is far too optimistic in his evaluations. Now you probably wonder which lines I mean but I hesitate to give here many details as some of my future opponents (FMs, IMs) are also reading this forum so I prefer to just point to the chapters if it is still part of my repertoire.
1) Chapter 2 - Fianchetto with Bf4 page 67. Sedlak doesn't mention a very strong novelty for white at move 11 by Leela which looks very sad for black.
2) Chapter 4 - 7.Nc3 page 111. Again Sedlak doesn't mention a very strong novelty for white at move 11 by Leela which I already analyzed deeply and looks not good at all for black. However at page 117 Sedlak already warns the reader that the line is still extremely fresh and new ideas are bound to emerge for both sides.
3) Chapter 6 - 5.Nh3 page 198 Sedlak is far too optimistic in the evaluation of the 10.Nf3 line. He ends the line in which Leela and Stockfish are still showing a clear edge for white. I also want to indicate that 11.Qd1 is interesting with the idea of 11...dxc4 12.Ne5 and also white's play can be improved in the line 12.Qxc4 Qd5 13.Rfc1. This definitely doesn't improve on the 9...h6- line which I have played several times but doesn't fully equalize either.
4) Chapter 9 - Move Orders page 253 A2) 3.Bf4
Only a half page for this system which nowadays have become extremely popular even at a high level. Also the coverage of it is far too optimistic. First it often makes sense to wait or even not play h3. Next often white plays Nfd2 with the idea of retaking with the queen so the other knight can be put at the much more active c3 square. These positions are very hard to play and probably don't equalize for black which is also why I stopped playing them. Nothing of this is is mentioned in the book.
5 ) Chapter 9 - Move Orders page 278 A2) 2.Bg5
I am happy to see Sedlak chooses 2...h6 as that is also what I play but the coverage is rather bad.
In B71) 4.e3 Sedlak refers to the correspondence game Ingersol - Bokar for the 7.h5-line but at move 16 where he breaks off Stockfish and Leela give about +1 for white and they show several promising continuations for white. This is not what I would like to sign for with black.
In B722) 4.e4 Nf6 5.e5 e6 6.Bg3 has several issues.
First nothing mentioned about 7.Be2 with which Leela scored a crushing win in 2019. Also after 7.Bd3 Rg8 there is nothing mentioned about 8.Nh3 which the engines favor a lot and looks very grim for black. Anyway I play other lines here.
6) Chapter 10 - 1.c4 and 1. Nf3 page 303
I played this system for several years but stopped playing it as I couldn't find any good patch for the line B321) 7.cxd5 exd5 8.d3. At the end of the chapter Sedlak warns the reader that he usually avoids it and plays something different so I am not surprised to see that engines give +1 what he evaluates as normal play for black (see line 9.Nb5N). A pawn down I don't consider normal play even for a stonewall.

There are many more smaller details but above are the bigger issues I noticed in just 2 hours while checking against my own notes.

Again this doesn't mean that this is a bad book. There is a plenty of good stuff that I hoped not to see as now it will be also available for others.
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #36 - 07/20/20 at 19:41:24
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Erratum 2: page 143, 3th paragraph, 11.Bb2 leads to variation C41 on page 154 should be page 152.
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #35 - 07/18/20 at 06:35:41
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Sedlak does not try to play ...Bb4 and goes for a setup with ...c5, in which 5.a3 would definitely not be the best use of a tempo. The position looks quite difficult to play (for both sides!) to me. His featured game is Kazhgaleyev - Vallejo, Moscow 2015 if you are interested.
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #34 - 07/17/20 at 16:40:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 07/17/20 at 15:49:55:
I last played the Dutch this way about 35 years ago. At that time I thought it was 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 b6? (my punctuation). How is black doing today after 5.a3! (my punctuation again)? I can see only a worse Petrosian 4B4E484F44444F5E1C1B2A014 here, or maybe it's a worse English Defense.

No mention of 5.a3?! (my punctuation Wink )
  
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Re: Playing the Stonewall Dutch
Reply #33 - 07/17/20 at 15:49:55
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I last played the Dutch this way about 35 years ago. At that time I thought it was 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 b6? (my punctuation). How is black doing today after 5.a3! (my punctuation again)? I can see only a worse Petrosian QID here, or maybe it's a worse English Defense. I also agree about 4...Bb4 5.Ne2!

I experimented with 3...Bb4 but ...f7-f5 doesn't fit against incisive white play. Later I tried 2...Bb4+ before giving up 1...e6. Might as well play the Nimzo-Indian.
  
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