The Stonewall Dutch · Chess Openings

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.



  1. A little surprised you didn't cover Nh3 lines for white that make Bf4 easier for white. Will you cover in other videos?

  2. Please make a video about nimzo larsen attack

  3. Do you maje video about all variations about Yugoslav attack?

  4. I prefer opening-videos that talk about the plans of the pawn structure in detail because it is so much more useful as an introduction to the opening, so thanks for that 🙂
    Oh and, I have a question, what if white doesn't play a kingside fianchetto? Is that just something the stonewall dutch doesn't work well against? I think it works regardless, no?

  5. I used to have a book about the Dutch. Half the book was the Leningrad and the other half Stonewall. I've always preferred the Leningrad, but it might be because my book didn't explain the idea as well as you did. The book seemed to be mostly just covering lines and didn't explain the plans and ideas as well as you do. Your style here is much better.

  6. Waited too long for this! Keep them coming, don't leave us "hanging" =)

  7. Dear stephan, can u make series of the English opening (c4). magnus always excel with that opening.

  8. This style of video is really really good. I love how you covered the ideas in depth before covering theory.

    As always, great video mate. Keep it up!

  9. Great video again! Very well made, planes are very important there, so this format is really great for those set-ups like dutch, london, exchange slav….

  10. I'm sorry, in the early going when when White is trying to exchange dark squared bishops, Black's dark squared bishop seems to just magically go from e7 to d6. Is this in cases where Black developes this bishop to d6 instead of e7? If so, which is better?

  11. Planning to switch to the Dutch you say? Quite a rapid shift in opening styles over the past few years I must admit: from the Semi-Slav, to the QID, and then finally ending up at the Dutch.

  12. There Is a way to get the png with the openings?

  13. I want to beat my friend who always uses King Indian defense/attack 🙂
    Is this opening good against it?

  14. Stjepan should focus on tactics, middle game and endgame instead to improve his ELO. His knowledge of Italian, London System, Q's Gambit, Prins Sicilian, Caro Kan etc is sufficient. Adding more openings to his repertoire is merely a distraction from his more pressing weaknesses.

  15. I don't know exactly why but your videos are so addictive. Absolutely nothing gets me more excited to play chess. I've had a pretty long break from chess but now I'm super keen to tighten up my opening repertoire and start grinding again. Keep it up!

  16. great channel. keep making videos. love the middle game stuff

  17. Congrats for good job ! Do u can make a video about Steintz defense,Modern Steintz defense,Cozio defense of the ruy lopez? At club level this openings are very popular 🙂

  18. This is by far the best video on the Stonewall that I have watched. Thank you so much for explaining everything so nicely. Your lessons are very instructive and helpful.

  19. Thank you for the very informative videos! They have really helped improve my play.

  20. thanks for this video… I usually don't watch your videos too much when looking at openings as they tend to be a very broad, shallow analysis, but this was a very in-depth and i really enjoyed how you showed the thematic moves for both black and white, along with a game to showcase the ideas in action. Great video and keep it up 🙂

  21. Excellent video! I look forward to seeing some of your 'training games' playing the Stonewall!

  22. As a French player, this was wonderful to learn. Thank you!

  23. Very interesting and informative video for me. I am starting to play the Dutch and seem to often transpose into the stonewall so this video was apropos for me. FYI, I am going full on Simon Williams with the Iron English (Botvinnik), Attacking French, and Classical Dutch. A fun repertoire the way Williams plays these. Thanks.

  24. Svaka cast na ovim tutorialima. Razradjena svaka varijanta . Nisam nasao bolji video za dutch defense. Obrana je odlicna i jako zanimljiva za igrati. Slavenke i damin gambit su za zaspati od dosade vecinom. Ovdje je svaki potez ostar i lomi partiju, pogotovo u leningrad varijanti.

  25. I swear Stjepan always shows openings from the perspective Im not playing

  26. Thank you so much for all of your lessons. I have learned so much, and am addicted to your content now. I can see my play improving with every video of yours I watch. Thanks coach!

  27. Thank you so much, I’ve been trying to find a good Dutch Stonewall tutorial and here it is!

  28. Small correction: not Ne5, Nd3, but Ne1, Nd3. (minute 11:40~), if you'll play Ne5, then Black may capture the horse, and you'll have to capture with a pawn – a pawn on e5 instead of a horse… – you lost your advantage.
    Ne1, Nd3. then Nd2, Nf3. – Would make White's game more suitable for horses (=more 'stable'). Farewell.

  29. in the beginning wouldn't c6 be better to play d5 then bd6?

  30. Fantastic Stefan!!! Keep doing what your doing great videos great explanations

  31. Hi. I like your videos, because you can explain things clear and simple. But sometimes you refer to the wrong sources. The game you show is the 22nd game of the 1958 world championship match Botvinnik vs Smyslov, Smyslov having the black pieces. So it´s Smyslov who won this beautiful game, not Botvinnik. Please honor the heroes of our wonderful sport by referring to the correct sources. Thanks a lot for your work and go on!

  32. great explaination of every plans or variations, thanks a lot sir😌

  33. I’m a bit confused because the initial position the Bishop was on d7 and you said this was the most common setup when in fact d5 followed by Bd6 is. In the first position you allow white to develop Ba3 and swap off black’s best piece and black can not play the critical Qe7 because his bishop isn’t on d6. However, the position then suddenly changed with the Bishop on d6 and white having not played b3 with no explanation? And then it keeps happening throughout switching between the correct and incorrect positions. I’m very confused

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