27 November 2019

Video completed - Foxy vol. 135: The Stonewall and Colle-Zukertort Systems

I recently completed the Foxy vol. 135 (e-DVD edition) of "Queen Pawn System: Stonewall & Colle-Zukertort" by IM Andrew Martin. The Foxy video series are older (non-HD) video presentations that don't offer the interactivity or extras of newer computer products, so are basically equivalent to a recorded lecture.

Martin makes no great claims about these systems, instead repeatedly emphasizing their playability and practical effectiveness at "club level", where Black players are unlikely to be familiar with the right plans and also lack obvious opportunities for early counterplay. With the adoption of the Stonewall Attack - what Martin calls an "antique variation" since its heyday was around the beginning of the 20th century - the White player deliberately slows down the game's pace, deprives Black of tactical opportunities in the opening, and can generate some early kingside attacking threats if Black is not careful.

Below is a summary outline of the DVD contents, which run a total of two hours. After an introductory segment from Martin, there are 17 example games presented, with Martin providing light commentary and occasionally some alternative recommendations for White.

The sum of the example games and explanations provides a more or less complete White repertoire, with a couple of different options in different places. Martin is correct in also stressing ideas over specific variations during the presentations, especially since there are a lot of different move-order possibilities to reach these positions. The Stonewall Attack and Colle-Zukertort structures are not just old ideas, though, as searching on these database positions will pull up a number of examples at GM/professional level that are contemporary. The DVD has content through around 2011, so anyone looking to construct or augment a White repertoire should make the effort to find some newer model games, for other examples and ideas.


Introduction: White systems based on 1.d4 followed by 2. e3. These include three broad categories:
  • Stonewall Attack vs. Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) and related Black setups with ...d5
  • Colle-Zukertort (with a delayed or omitted f4) vs. Queen's Indian Defense (QID) or similar Black setups without ...d5
  • Rapid queenside expansion plan with Nf3/Be2 development vs King's Indian Defense (KID) setup
Game 1: Standard Stonewall Attack White setup (Stonewall pawn formation c3-d4-e3-f4, Bd3, Nd2, Ne5, Qf3) vs. QGD; game is from a 2002 Cuban tournament
  • Explores Black inaccuracies
  • White idea is to mount an early kingside attack, with option of castling queenside when there is no Black counterplay there
Game 2: Black QGD setup with blocked center (c5-c4) from 1998 Asian Championship
  • Removal of central pawn tension enables idea of White playing e4 to undermine Black's center
  • Again shows how White can maneuver to take advantage of planless Black play
Game 3: Black QGD setup with ...b6 to develop the queen bishop; technically a Colle-Zukertort with a delayed f4. (Nikitina-Fedotova, 2011 Sterlitamak Open)
  • Notably features White piece development with b3/Bb2, analogous to Modern Stonewall queenside fianchetto
Game 4: Kramnik - Deep Junior (2000 Dortmund Exhibition); Stonewall Attack against QGD with ...c5
  • Kramnik uses an old anti-computer strategy, with Deep Junior (2700+ at the time) not able to recognize the long-term attacking potential of White's setup
  • Computer plays an early 7...Ng4?! sally to attack e3, which is parried by Qe2 and delayed castling 
  • White features play on the g and h files, also eventual queenside castling to bring the second rook into play; again, no Black counterplay on queenside
  • Kramnik is familiar with the Dutch Stonewall from his training with Mark Dvoretsky, so understands the positional ideas deeply
Game 5: Black plays ...g6/Bg7 after 3. Bd3 (Parr-Broadbent 1946 British Championship)
  • Standard White Stonewall Attack setup, followed by h4/g4 advance
  • Relentless attacking play by White suitable for club level, according to Martin
Game 6: Early 2...Bf5 by Black (Liang-Shen, 2010 All China Games)
  • Martin's recommendation is to play c4, followed by Qb3, to target b7; 
  • White plan is to exchange pawns on d5, followed by Nc3 and Qb3 
  • Martin's suggestion is to go for winning the two bishops by Nf3-h4, if the Black Bf5 can't get away
Game 7: Early 2...Bf5 with an early White Qb3, results in queenless maneuvering middlegame (Abdullah - Shaw, 2008 Dresden Olympiad) 

Game 8: "Book Antidote #1": 3...Bg4 (Wall-Olbrich, Bundesliga 2001)  
  • Recommended for Black by Martin in previous QP openings video
  • White reacts by playing f3 and c4, followed by Nc3/Ne2 development, then b3/Bb2
  • White Knight can go to f4, king can go to f2 as needed
Game 9: "Book Antidote #2": 3...Nc6 threatening to follow up with ...e5 or ...Nb4 (Rubinstein-Reti, Vienna 1908; Marshall - Suctung also cited)
  • Martin recommends proceeding with Stonewall formation, preventing ...e5
  • Continue development with Nf3, allow minor piece exchange and pawn recapture on d3 to cover e4, then play Nc3
  • Rf3-h3 rook lift idea, combined with standard Stonewall queen bishop maneuver over to kingside
Game 10: QID setup (Temnekov-Morisov, 2008 Russia) versus Stonewall Attack
  • By delaying ...d5, Black prevents usual Ne5 ideas, with ...d6 in reserve
  • However, allows for White idea of Qe2 followed by e4
  • White continues to grab space with a3/b4
  • Once rest of board is locked up, White can look to break on the kingside, but is not in a rush
Game 11: Colle-Zukertort move order (Alekhine-Del Turco, Zurich 1934)
  • Leads to favorable version of Stonewall, after Nf3-e5 and f2-f4
  • White has alert play on queenside with c2-c4 at the right moment, along with threats to open up long diagonal for the Bb2
Game 12: QID vs Colle-Zukertort (Bogdanovich-Lehman, Munich 1996)
  • Less loose (because no initial f4) than Game 10 system
  • White plays Qf3 and then e4, with queen moving to h3 after exchange on e4
  • No f4 played, more of a central focus
Game 13: Early ...g6 / KID setup (Kovacevic-Zufic)
  • White needs to find an alternative to Bd3 development, according to Martin, so goes Nf3/Be2, continuing with c4 and Nc3
  • Recommended plan is for queenside pawn expansion, which was started with a4 in the game
  • Need to find a place for the dark-square bishop development; default is to leave it on c1 to protect e3, unless specific opportunities/targets appear on the other available diagonals
  • Prophylactic play shuts down a kingside attack from Black, after dominance established by White on queenside and center
Game 14: KID setup; (Piskov-De Jong, 2006 Hoogeveen tournament)
  • Early b3 (before c4); Martin prefers to play b2-b4 in one go
  • Queenside expansion plan
Game 15: Gruenfeld setup; (Savechenko-Baramidze, 2000 Sparkassen Open)
  • White uses Nf3/Be2 development, followed by b3/Bb2, delaying or omtting c4
  • Ne5 is now available again, now that Black has played ...d5
  • Kingside attack after center is blocked
  • Exchange sacrifice opens up center after extended maneuvering
Game 16: Gruenfeld setup with ...c5 (Del Rio de Angelis-Suarez Uriel, Madrid 2010)
  • b3/Bb2 development again; follow up with Nbd2 and c2-c4; look to occupy e5 with a knight
  • White ends up with a c/d hanging pawns structure; defends them, then uses h-pawn advance 
Game 17: KID setup (Zwaig-Poutiainen, Team 6 Nations, 1973)
  • White plays early Qc2 after c4; Martin recommends continuing with b4 immediately
  • After a/b pawn pushes, White plays Nd5 to exchange off the key Black Nf6
  • White relies on c-file pressure and queenside play to break through, sacrificing a knight on c6 after a b-pawn advance

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