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In part 1 of this 4 part series on the best chess openings for beginners, FM Will Stewart explains the classic Stonewall Attack structure and plans. The Stonewall Attack is a powerful chess opening for White that puts immediate and long-lasting pressure on Black and prevents Black from controlling the center. This chess opening applies the 3 Basic Principles of Chess Openings to the Stonewall Attack:
1. Control the Center
2. Develop Your Pieces Actively
3. Get Your King to Safety!
The great thing about this chess opening for White is it’s very easy to learn and can be played against most popular Black responses. It’s also solid while having strong attacking potential.
In this example, we see the one of the classic chess sacrifices, the Greek Gift sacrifice. This occurs a lot in the Stonewall Attack and can lead to quick wins.
With 13. Bxh7+! White tears open the Black king’s pawn cover and begins an immediate and direct attack on the h-file with 14. Qh5+ 15. Rf3 and 17. Rh3). White continues the attack with another bold sacrifice (18.Rxh5) and the resulting position guarantees White excellent winning chances with a knight and 3 pawns for the Black rook.
This game is a classic example of the Stonewall Attack: entirely stopping Black’s counterplay in the center, actively developing White’s pieces in preparation for a decisive kingside attack, and sacrificing without hesitation to take full advantage of Black’s lack of activity in the center.
If you want a reliable chess opening for White that you can play against nearly any Black option, the Stonewall Attack is a great choice. It is an especially good chess opening for beginners thanks to being easy-to-learn and fundamentally sound – meaning no early losses!
And it’s a reliable chess opening for White players who need a win, full of tactics and chess opening traps to spring on Black!
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