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Dutch defence facts for kids

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The Dutch defence
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Chessboard480.svg
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
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
f5 black pawn
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
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
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5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
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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.

  • McDonald, Neil (2004). Starting out: the Dutch Defence. Everyman Chess. ISBN: 1-857443-77-2.
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