Saturday 30 January 2016

London System is falling down?

The London System (1.d4 2.Bf4 or 2.Nf3 3.Bf4) is another off-beat opening that is starting to appear more and more at top level chess. It's use may be more of a surprise weapon than an attempt to build it into a fully effective opening system, but the fact that Carlsen used it to beat Tomashevsky at Tata Steel does give it a stamp of approval.
However just because it is a surprise, doesn't mean it is going to work every time. Following Carlsen's lead, Karjakin used it against Michael Adams in round 10 of the same event, only to end up on the wrong side of the win/loss column. To be fair to the opening, after move 20 things seemed to fine for White, and optically White's attack looks stronger than Black's. Where it really goes wrong for White is at move 25 where Karjakin's plan to run his king to safety on the kingside ironically makes it less safe, as the queenside needed an extra defender to hold it together, that being the White king itself.

Karjakin,Sergey (2769) - Adams,Michael (2744) [A45]
78th Tata Steel GpA Wijk aan Zee NED (10.5), 27.01.2016

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