The Stonewall Dutch is one of the most fun, aggressive and versatile defenses for black against 1.d4.
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The Dutch Defense is a very powerful weapon to add to your repertoire. It’s an opening system rather than an opening with an exact move order, and it can be reached via many different moves, and played against many different openings white chooses.
It can be employed against the Reti, English, and even Nimzo-Larsen, but the main line Dutch is played against d4.
The idea behind the Dutch is to challenge the center straight away by playing f5, thus taking control of the e4 square, and making it very hard for white to expand in the center. The downside of the move f5 is that it weakens the black king in more ways than one. It weakens the seventh rank, and both diagonals looking at f7.
Both sides have plenty of options at their disposal after the starting moves 1.d4 f5. White could choose to enter the main lines, but he could also play the London system (with Bf4), the Raphael variation (with Nc3), the aggressive Staunton Gambit (with e4, giving up a pawn), or the Hopton attack (Bg5). The normal way for white to play, though, is with c4, g3 and Bg3.
Against these main setups for white black can choose between three different systems withing the Dutch defense; the Leningrad Dutch, the Classical Dutch, and the Stonewall Dutch.
The Stonewall Dutch is perhaps the most controversial and complex of the three. It’s also an opening for those who are willing to invest time into learning the plans and ideas, rather than simply memorizing a few opening lines.
It’s a system opening, and a setup characterized by a wall of pawns on f5, e6, d5, and c6; an impenetrable blockade which white cannot break through from easily.
There are upsides and downsides to the Stonewall, as is the case with all other openings. the upsides are space and control of the center, as well as attacking prospects on the kingside. The downsides are weak dark squares and a bad light squared bishop, which are both consequence of putting all the pawns on light squares.