General Dec 11, 2020 | 3:16 PMby chess24 staff

Destroying the Dutch: FM Kamil Plichta outlines how to tackle this tricky opening

He's lined up for a Banter Blitz appearance on Saturday, but first Polish FM Kamil Plichta has something to reveal: the wild man of chess presents an exciting new course for chess24 on how to set about destroying the Dutch Defense (1.d4 f5).

Kamil's course is packed full of interesting insights and it's free for Premium users.

The Dutch is an aggressive opening that sees Black trying to seize the initiative and play for the win.

We asked Kamil to sum up the content of his Crush the Dutch with 2.Bg5 course and to highlight some of the critical lines.

Kamil, what are you recommending as a sharp reply to the Dutch Defense?

I am recommending 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 and it is a very aggressive idea against the Dutch. Up to two or three years ago it was considered as a nice practical weapon but theoretically it was considered fine for Black. I think it is not true and Black must walk a tightrope to get a playable middlegame.

What does 2.Bg5 have to offer for White?

There are plenty of different attacking schemes for White and the only sensible equalizing attempt for Black is to go 2...h6 3.Bh4 g5 but White gets a pleasant middlegame here too.

This will look odd to anyone unfamiliar with this line. Is the white bishop in trouble?

No; there is no reason to be afraid of our Bishop being trapped, because here, we have 4.e3! preparing Qh5 and saving the Bishop.

Did you discover any new ideas to give the line more bite?

Yes; I found a nice novelty challenging Roland Pruijssers's course here on chess24. Also, 2.Bg5 was used by players such as Kasparov, Morozevich, Mamedyarov, Harikrishna, Grischuk, Navara and Radjabov so it is a serious attacking continuation.

What are the main problems facing Black after 2.Bg5?

If Black wants to get a Classical/Stonewall Dutch, he can't move the e6-pawn because it is pinned. The only sensible way of preparing the move ...e6 (besides 2...h6) is to go for something like 2...Nf6?! but it runs into Bxf6 and White is better in all lines. So these setups won't be possible for Black. If Black wants to play the Leningrad Dutch with g6 it is possible, but after 2...g6 we will usually launch the h-pawn up the board at some point combining it with castling long and a big fight incoming.

Based on your analysis and experience, which moves is White going to encounter most frequently after 2.Bg5?

There are only two decent moves for Black: 2...g6 and 2...h6, the latter of which is best. Everything else is bad and is analyzed in the video.

Please show us some examples of the line in action, to highlight the appeal of 2.Bg5 and to demonstrate the type of difficulties Black will encounter.

This is the first important position.

White would like to push the h-pawn up to h5, but we need to know our timings. If we play h4 then after ...Bg7 h5?! Black has ...h6! with ...g5! to come next and we have been tricked. So the best timing to push h4 - h5 is when:

a) the h8-Rook is unprotected, so h4 - h5 doesn't run into ...h6?? due to hxg6! and we use the pin on the h8-Rook

b) there is a Knight on f6 so after h4 - h5 we have Bxf6 after Black's ...h6??

This is the second most critical position.

There is a Knight on f6 so we don't have to worry about ...h6, so we go h5 immediately sacrificing the exchange if necessary.

After a series of forced moves we get this position.

Trust me or not, despite being an exchange and two pawns up, Black is more or less busted. Nd5 and Bc4 are coming and all of our pieces jump into the game.

Tell us about one of your improvements over existing material.

This is one of the most important positions, if not the most important.

It is here where my repertoire clashes with Roland's. Most players normally take on g5, but White has something stronger. 7.Be2! preparing some Bh5 ideas and provoking Black to close the kingside with ...g4. After Black does that, we re-maneuver the Bishop to c4 clearing the e2 square for the Knight. Then Nf4 with pressure on Black's position. White is comfortably better in all lines.

This all sounds excellent for White. Can you reveal which line is the most challenging?

This line is the best try for Black but I still found ways to ask questions after 7.Qc2!? Firstly, we defend the b2-pawn. Secondly, we sometimes want to take on f5. The third point is that after ...cxd4 cxd4 the c8-Bishop hangs, forcing Black to spend a move defending it. Black is close to equality but theoretically, White's position should be more pleasant.

Check out Kamil's free for Premium users Crush the Dutch course here.

Kamil is doing a Banter Blitz on Saturday at 16:00. We dare you to come and play the Dutch Defense against him!

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