The Dutch Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves:
- 1. d4 f5
Elias Stein (1748–1812), an Alsatian who settled in The Hague, recommended the defence as the best reply to 1.d4 in his 1789 book Nouvel essai sur le jeu des checs, avec des r flexions militaires relatives ce jeu.
Siegbert Tarrasch rejected the opening as unsound in his 1931 work The Game of Chess, arguing that White should reply with the Staunton Gambit, with White being better after 2.e4 fxe4 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 c6 5. f3! exf3.
Black's 1... f5 stakes a serious claim to the e4 square and looks towards an attack on White's kingside in the middlegame. However, it weakens Black's own kingside somewhat, and does nothing to contribute to Black's development. The Dutch is rare in top-level play. It has never been one of the main lines against 1.d4, though in the past a number of top players, including Alexander Alekhine, Bent Larsen, Paul Morphy and Miguel Najdorf, have used it with success. Perhaps its high-water mark occurred in 1951, when both world champion Mikhail Botvinnik and his challenger, David Bronstein, played it in their World Championship match in 1951. Among modern elite chess circles, its only consistent practitioner is world top-ten player Hikaru Nakamura.
White most often fianchettoes his king's bishop with g3 and Bg2. Black also sometimes fianchettoes his king's bishop with ...g6 and ...Bg7 (the Leningrad Dutch), but may instead develop his bishop to Be7, d6 (after ...d5), or b4 (the latter is most often seen if White plays c4 before castling). Play often runs 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 e6 4.Nf3 (4.Nh3!? is also possible, intending Nf4-d3 to control the e5 square if Black plays the Stonewall Variation) Be7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 and now Black chooses between 6...d5 (the characteristic move of the Stonewall), 6...d6, the Ilyin-Zhenevsky System (less popular today), or Alekhine's move 6...Ne4!? retaining the option of moving the d-pawn either one or two squares.
The Stonewall Dutch enjoyed a resurgence of interest in the 1980s and 1990s, when leading grandmasters Artur Yusupov, Sergey Dolmatov, Nigel Short and Simen Agdestein helped develop the system where Black plays an earlier ...d5 and places his dark-squared bishop on d6. Termed the Modern Stonewall, this set-up has remained more popular than the traditional early ...Be7.
The traditional line is for White to play c4 on the second move.
White may instead play g3 immediately, prioritizing the fianchetto over the pawn move. Arguably this is inferior since it doesn't deter ...d5 and after this ...dxc4 occurs before cxd5. In fact this is not an especially good move for Black. Thus in practice it makes little difference which move order is used, and the c4 move can be deferred quite a bit (e.g. 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4).
Again this makes little difference since the move is likely to be made anyway.
Other 2nd moves
White has various more aggressive alternatives to the standard moves, including 2.Nc3 Nf6 (or d5) 3.Bg5; 2.Bg5 (hoping for the naive 2...h6 3.Bh4 g5 4.Bg3 (4.e4!? is also playable) f4? 5.e3 fxg3?? 6.Qh5#); and 2.e4!?, the Staunton Gambit, named after Howard Staunton, who introduced it in his match against Horwitz. The Staunton Gambit was once a feared attacking line, but it has been out of favor for over 80 years. Grandmaster Larry Christiansen and International Master Jeremy Silman have opined that it "offers White equality at best." Staunton also introduced a completely different gambit approach to the Dutch, 2.h3 followed by g4, in his 1847 treatise The Chess-Player's Handbook. Viktor Korchnoi, one of the world's leading players, introduced the line into tournament practice more than a century after Staunton's death in Korchnoi-K nel, Biel 1979. GM Christiansen later concluded, as Staunton had done over 140 years earlier, that Black could get a good game by declining the gambit with 2...Nf6 3.g4 d5!
The opening's attacking potential is shown in the Polish Immortal, in which Miguel Najdorf, using the Stonewall Variation, sacrificed all of his minor pieces to win by checkmate.
The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) has twenty codes for the Dutch Defence, A80 through A99.
- A80: 1.d4 f5
- A81: 1.d4 f5 2.g3
- A82: 1.d4 f5 2.e4 (Staunton Gambit)
- A83: 1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 (Staunton Gambit)
- A84: 1.d4 f5 2.c4
- A85: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 (Rubinstein Variation)
- A86: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3
- A87: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 (Leningrad Dutch)
- A88: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 c6 (Leningrad Dutch)
- A89: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 (Leningrad Dutch)
- A90: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2
- A91: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7
- A92: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0
- A93: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d5 7.b3 (Botvinnik Variation)
- A94: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d5 7.b3 c6 8.Ba3 (Stonewall)
- A95: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d5 7.Nc3 c6 (Stonewall)
- A96: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6
- A97: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Qe8 (Ilyin-Genevsky Variation)
- A98: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Qe8 8.Qc2 (Ilyin-Genevsky Variation)
- A99: 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 Qe8 8.b3 (Ilyin-Genevsky Variation)
Notes and references
ca:Defensa holandesa cs:Holandsk obrana de:Holl ndische Verteidigung es:Defensa holandesa fr:D fense hollandaise is:Hollensk v rn it:Difesa olandese he: kk: lb:Holl nnesch Verdeedegung hu:Holland megnyit s nl:Hollands (schaakopening) ja: no:Hollandsk (sjakk pning) pl:Obrona holenderska pt:Defesa Holandesa ru: fi:Hollantilainen puolustus sv:Holl ndsk ppning uk: zh: