Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tabiya: White vs Black London (Zukertort with 2...Bf5)

I am shifting from the 1.e4 e5 black Tabiya for this week, because I run into black playing a London formation a lot, and I wanted to refresh it.

My general move order 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 avoids the Catalan Benoni and several other annoying defenses to 1.d4. It does require me to have symmetric English lines, and allows black to play 2...Bf5 and get a London formation. A move order Capablanca use a lot (1.d4 d5 2.Nf3) presents black the same opportunity.

Black wants to get his bishop outside the pawn chain, but this is double edged. Whichever side of the d5-e6-f7 pawn chain the bishop is on causes problems for black. With the bishop on the outside, the b7 square is weak.

I will strike immediately with 3.c4, as the Bf5 is not well situated for accepting the gambit, black should reply with 3...e6, and I can strike with 4.Qb3. (4.Nc3 c6 5.Qb3 Qb6 allows black a more "normal" game)

Currently, black's best response here is 4...Nc6, as 4...dxc4 is met by 5.Qxb7 and black must reply Nd7, which is not where he wants the knight with his queenside pawns askew. 5.Bd2 continues the mainline, keeping the central tension and keeping control of b4. This position will be my tabiya:

Black has two main moves here. 5...Rb8 and 5...dxc4, and I want to track master games with both moves.

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