Beginner Chess Openings – ⚔️ The Stonewall Attack – Greek Gift Sacrifice

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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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194 Comments

  1. At 8:18 why not sack the knight instead? then pawn takes knight, queen takes pawn and i believe from there, there is an easy checkmate in like 2 or 3…..idk….i probably missed something to be honest

  2. STONEWALL ATTACK —(PART 1) SAC TO ATTACK!
    http://youtu.be/F8owlkaNFlI

    The Stonewall attack is a powerful opening play by white that puts immediate and consistent pressure on black and prevent’s black from controlling the center.

    PREVENT BLACK FROM PLAYING e5!

    White wants to control the dark squares in the center with his pawns, and balance this by controlling the central light squares with his minor pieces. It is very important to note that white must prevent black from playing e5 in the opening (4. f4!), which would give black a space advantage and excellent counterplay in the center.

    Castling is not a defensive move, it’s a necessary step to guard your king before starting the attack

    This video applies the 3 Basic Principles of Opening Play to the Stonewall Attack

    1. Control the Center (quickly establishing a bind on the dark squares with d4, e3, and f4 – and creating an excellent outpost on e5).

    2. Develop Your Pieces Actively (compensate for the natural light-square weakness by deploying your pieces accurately – Bd3, Nd2, Nf3 –> Ne5, etc..)

    3. Get Your King Safe! (castling is not a defensive move, it is a necessary step to guard your king before starting the attack)
    Now … learn about the wild piece sacs!

    After completing the opening stage, white is perfectly set up to attack the black king. With an excellent bind on the center, black is unable to achieve rapid counterplay – enabling white to focus exclusively on the attack against the black king. With a classical Stonewall Attack sacrifice 13. Bxh7+! – white tears open the black king’s pawn cover and begins an immediate and straightforward attack on the H-file (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 a 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.

  3. 5:06 how is the prev exchange (which was advised avoid) any different than the undesirable loss of white's white B when it can readily happen after the 'leaves white a pawn up' exchange to end white's 'powerful'  B?

  4. I spend most of my time playing computers. Stonewall falls apart after I open with d4 and black move is pawn c5. It's OK if black pawn stays at d4 but trouble if white d4 gets taken.

  5. Rooky stupidity is the best defense for this because as i found out if the perspn doesnt give a shit about what pieces they loose ur defense gets fucked

  6. I've beeen p[laying the Stonewall Attack for about a year now and I keep loving it.

  7. wait!! didn't you just fuck the position of white in a tutorial ?

  8. ow and ps. You really think  just before the climax comes of the opening, people will play 5a???? NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE…

    Thy play 6h, 6g… and then what!? you invested all in that and hup, one little move and its all gone…

    I just understand the whole process i guess

  9. Sorry for the spam, im just frustrated and i hope you can help me:) cause i actueally like the opening, but it s o easely broken:/

  10. i will battle in provincial level and i always watch your video it is great

  11. i am about 1650 in rating and i use the ponziani. should i switch to this?

  12. Hello

    Nice video i enjoy it. But got a question here. In min 8:23 of the video why i have to eat the black horse in h5, when i can do is Ne5 x g5, then if f7x Ng5, black can do much there also. I don't know if you saw it.

    Thanks

  13. how does black defend correctly after white plays g4? a4 ends up doing nothing in this game.

  14. Can anyone suggest me a good opening with black

  15. Александр Шаламанов says:

    If the Stonewall Attack that good why on earth is it not often played on the highest level if ever played at all? Does that mean that if a black player knows his stuff White has no chance to gain advantage? I'm very interested in your opinion, Will. Have you ever played it against the strong opposition in open tournaments?

  16. at the end, why not play queen h7 for pawn, then checkmate because of the piece at d3?

  17. hey can u make an chess attack combo with defence?

  18. But the black player gan Bishop to D5 from the start. What then??

  19. The more I learn about chess – the worse I play.

  20. taking thee pawn with knight was the fastest move to checkmate

  21. …Iam very sorry to say that in my opinion this opening doesnt appear to be so ideal for a beginner bscause first…there many tactical moves and plans involved which are too hard for a beginner to comprehend at this stage…also,you have played quite weak moves from black's perspective…moreover, the positions that result from such an opening require accuracy and tactical knowledge in order to maintain a balanced position…let alone win it…finally,you have said so many times during your presentation the phrase"its very important to play this or that….dont forget this or that…this move is important to be played and so on"…when you are dealing with beginners you cant ask that much…they will either blunder very early in the game or they will quit chess for ever…

  22. When you go g4 black goes g6 .. so he can move knight to h5.. What about that ??

  23. I have many times played the stonewall technique even without knowing that it was a technique. It does work by restricting the opponent and breaking the defence.

  24. I think that in the last position before the end of the video White only has a perpetual,there are simply not enough pieces to mate the Black King. The While black square bishop is preventing White from bringing in his rook to finish the job.

  25. why sack rook on h fileplay night into pawn it is wining clearly

  26. Thanks for another wonderful chess lesson! Much appreciated.

  27. White played 3.Bd3 to stop black from playing his QB to f5. So why doesn't black simply play …Bf5 ON HIS SECOND MOVE and beat white to the punch? Also, after 19.g6, black should NOT play 19…fxg6 but 19…Nf6, covering some critical squares!! The engine gives this position as no better than equal.

  28. does this opening work against the king's indian defense?

  29. I just played it and I didn't know that I was playing stonewall until my opponent told me haha. It lead me to come on youtube and learn for more. I almost won the game if I had more time. I like this opening and I'm going to try playing it more often.

  30. 9:48 Letting white take the rook seems to be a better idea for black this way whites attack is stopped and after capturing the Nf8 night there would be a strong attack against whites king side. Whites bishop and rook would still be stuck.

  31. I put this on the computer and it shows that black is winning by a pawn; can someone clear my confusion. A great video though!

  32. I playing this opening from like 1 yr and didn't know about it's called stonewall attack until a 2100 player told me what I was playing..I am 1400 and managed to draw the game

  33. Good for a beginner like me, but I would have preferred if you had continued the game to checkmate.

  34. At around 820 instead of a rook sac, do you think Ng6 would be more appropriate? It's m1 if they don't take the Knight, which then sets up somewhat of a mad scramble of attacks with the queen and rook.

  35. Cornelius Constantine Balthazar Fitzpatrick V Sr. says:

    Aggressive

  36. Funny. Later into a stonewall game, as white, i might relinquish the e4 square to a black pawn. My dark square bishop then moves to e3 to prevent black pawn from going any further and black pawn acts as a plug and he is all by his lonesome. Lol. Happens quite often

  37. Play blitz and see begineer lose their mind with this hahhahahaha

  38. Your opening presentations are the clearest and most concise on YT.

  39. At 8:19 after black moves the knight to H5, I think the better move for white would've been KnightE5xPG6. Then black captures knight with pawn F7xG6, then white queen captures black pawn on G6, Check. Next move white queen takes black knight and is set up for check mate backed up by the rook. So, I think just giving away the rook at 8:19 was a bit too hasty.

  40. I would bê interested in a presentation of the Closed Sicilian. Thanks.

  41. Lately i've got some winstreak with stonewall after watching 3/4 of this videos series

  42. I watched this video last year but coming back to it now with more chess knowledge, it is a marvel to behold how strong the attack really is.

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