Lynch ’em with the London

Having done two DVDs for Chessbase on the London System (1.d4 followed by 2.Nf3 and 3.Bf4 or the Accelerated London with 2.Bf4) it would have been odd for me to cover anything else starting with ‘L’. It’s not without some reluctance though, as despite the solidity of the London and the fact that it’s fairly easy to learn and play, it does not easily lend itself to pawn levers. I see the 2.Nf3 version as a useful stepping stone to 3.c4 lines and 2.Bf4 as a useful surprise weapon, but not more than that and certainly not a lifetime repertoire.

The most effective version of the London is after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 as Black has already shut his queen’s bishop in with 2…e6. David Bronstein used to like to play it then and after he played the following game was delighted when I mentioned his game against Yuri Averbakh in the same line. Bronstein was probably the best player in the World at the start of the 1950s but felt that he had received no credit for that. His endgame play was also way better than he was ever given credit for as a way of explaining Botvinnik’s escape in their match:

Here’s the earlier game with Averbakh whose endgame technique is the stuff of legends:

Nigel Davies

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NigelD

Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer living in St. Helens in the UK. He works as a chess coach and author and Nigel runs the Tiger Chess Academy which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos, courses and a regular blog. His students include his 18 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: View all posts by NigelD

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