Category: Opening

The Marshall Defence Fails To Deliver…

If there’s ONE Easy Chess Tip I’d like to impress upon you it is this: When you are playing as Black against a d4 opening, do NOT go for the Marshall Defence!

Just a quick recap… The Marshall Defence occurs when Black moves his Knight to f6 on the second move in this sequence:

  1. d4 d5
  2. c4 Nf6

It is an inferior defence that poses no problems for White. Indeed, against an experienced player it practically guarantees that Black will never gain parity, will fail to gain control of the centre and will most likely go on to lose the game.

Yet, the Marshall Defence is a relatively common response to the Queen’s Gambit in casual chess games, probably because it seems to make sense to develop a Knight early on, and a Knight on f6 is at least defending the d5 pawn.

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Dealing with the Bird Invitation in the French Defence

The #PubChessBluffer was in full-on pub chess mode last night at a bar called Southern Cross , which is in the middle of Hiroshima, Japan.

The Bird Invitation

In one of the games I played with the black pieces, the opening moves were: 1.e4 e6 2. Bb5, which prevents the French Defence player’s ideal move of 2. …d5 as the d pawn is pinned to the King by the Bishop of b5.

This is known as the Bird Invitation after it was used as an innovation by Henry Edward Bird in a game against Maximilian Fleissig, which Bird won, in 1873.

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Dealing With White’s Early Bishop To g5 Move In The French Defence

If you are playing chess as Black, one solid way to respond if White opens with 1.e5 is 1…e6, the French Defence.

1. e4 d4 – the opening moves of the French Defence

As W. R. Hartston notes in The (now out of print) Penguin Book of Chess Openings, by playing 1. …e6,

Black announces his intention of playing [2]… PQ4 [d4], which White can hardly prevent.

The Penguin Book of Chess Openings, p. 136

How White might try to prevent Black from moving 2…. d4, and how Black can frustrate those attempts will be the topic of another blog post. Check it out here! (Ed.)

Heading Towards The Classical Variation…

The key tip in today’s blog post assumes a more classical development in the next two moves in the French Defence and looks at what to do if White develops his Bishop to g5 in the fourth move.

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The Jobava London: White’s Best Chess Opening for Beginners?

Simon Williams, aka “The Ginger GM,” has just published couple of videos and a 6-hour DVD about the Jobava London opening. It’s a relatively easy chess opening to learn as the White player because you almost always make the same two or three opening moves. That makes life a bit less complicated than is the case with other opening systems, which is why it might be the best chess opening for beginners playing white.

You may not have heard of the “Jobava London” opening, and that would be no surprise. The name for the opening has only just been coined by the Ginger GM himself for his new DVD about the opening.

As Simon explains,

It’s an opening which I’ve been very interested in for the last five years since I saw some top games by Baadur Jobava. He used this opening to beat some of the best players in the world. … I coined the name because I thought it should be named after the man himself because he’s the world’s leading practitioner.

Ginger GM: https://youtu.be/bPLrXjQyNFQ

Here’s the first of the Ginger GM’s two YouTube videos on the Jobava London opening:

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Chess Opening Moves White Can Play Against The Marshall Defence

In this video I take you through some chess opening moves White can play when Black responds with the Marshall Defence.

The Marshall Defence occurs after 1. d4 d5 2. c4…

Black now moves his g8 Knight to f6. When that happens, what should White do?

On page 42 of A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White John Watson recommends, 3. cxd5, the most common line against the Marshall Defence.

Actually, most of the theory behind this chess opening moves video training and blog post is taken from A Strategic Chess Repertoire for White – it’s an excellent guide to anybody who favours the Queen’s Pawn openings and is available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LPDCaf .

After 3. cxd5 Black has several options but I confine the video and this blog post to just ONE response, 3… Nxd5.

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