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:

The First Four Steps with d4, Nc3, Bf4…

In this blog post, to keep things within the realms of “easy chess tips,” I will summarize the first four steps in the system, all of which work with 3. Bf4.

Simon explains an alternative to 3. Bf4 in the fifth step of the video.

In the second YouTube video on the Jobava London system, Simon deals with Black’s g6, Bg7 set-ups.

Doubtless there are more variations in his 6 hour Jobava London DVD course.

Rule 1: Open With The Same 2 or 3 Moves (if Possible!)

So, what are those first moves?

  1. d4 then, against any move EXCEPT e5 and c5 play…
  2. Nc3
  3. As often as not, Bf4 (like the “London” system)

When you play 1.d4 you are much more likely to be faced with 1. … d5 or 1. …Nf6 than with e5 or c5.

Rule 2: Play Knight b5 in response to …c5

In this opening, with the Knight on c3 and the Bishop on f4, White can respond to … c5 with Nb5 and threaten to fork the King and a8 Rook. Black is then forced to play …Na6 to guard the c7 square.

NOTE: Only do this after playing e3 to open up the f1 Bishop so that the Knight on b5 is protected against Qa5+…

Rule 3: Play f3 in response to …Bf5

Because the g1 Knight has not been developed, White can respond to …Bf5 with f3 and follow it up with g4 and h4, preparing for a pawn storm either against Black’s castled King, or inhibiting Black from castling on the kingside.

Jobava London chess opening against Bf5
White plays f3 in response to Black’s Bf5. A pawn storm is likely to follow…

Rule 4: Queenside Castle if Black Captures d4!

On the other hand, Black may choose to capture the d4 pawn (…cxd4). In this case, White recaptures (exd4) and if …e6 occurs White simply plays Nb5 as in Rule 2.

However, an experienced player is more likely to play …a6 to prevent Nb5. In that case, White can play Nf3 (compare with the Rule 3 set-up). Then, if … Bg4, White plays h3 to encourage …Bxf3 followed by White taking the f3 pawn with the Queen, then castling on the queenside and pushing the g pawn… E.g:

  1. d4 d5
  2. Nc3 Nf6
  3. Bf4 c5
  4. e3 cxd4
  5. exd4 a6
  6. Nf3 Bg4
  7. h3 Bxf3
  8. Qxf3 Nc6
  9. O-O-O
  10. g4
Jobava London cxd4
After …cxd4 White aims to exchange Black’s white-squared Bishop, castle on the queenside and push the g pawn.

The Jobava London: An Exciting Development In White’s Opening Repertoire

Baadur Jobava (ironically playing as Black!) Source: Flickr.com

Baadur Jobava, born in 1983, is a Georgian Grandmaster and three-time Georgian champion. (Check out his webiste, BaadurJobava.com if you’d like to challenge him to an online game.)

Jobava’s opening innovation offers a dynamic – and relatively easy to remember – opening repertoire for White, with the first two moves occurring in almost every circumstance, and the third move following more often than not.

For d4 players, I recommend that you use it as an alternative to the d4, c4, Nc3 (Queen’s Gambit and related openings) repertoire that I discuss elsewhere on this blog.

At present the Jobava London is much less well-known than the Queen’s Gambit openings, although it may catch on among British club players if Simon’s videos and DVD have any traction.

You can be pretty sure that it will go unnoticed among non-club players. 😉

Whether or not the Jobava London opening becomes the next big thing, alternating between 2.c4 and 2.Nc3 will give you a deeper understanding of the potential of d4 openings and will also help keep your opponents off balance.

Further Study

Good luck!

David Hurley

EasyChessTips.com