Stonewall Attack

by Chezz
(India)

Is it a good opening?

Admin
Hi,
I played the Stonewall Attack for some time myself. I don't recommend it due to the following factors.

stonewall attack

1. White has problems to get his queenside bishop at c1 out into the game because the white pawns are sitting on dark squares. This bishop is dead and it is no fun to worry about it all the time and to decide what to do with it.

2. You are White and there is no need to play an inflexible and inferior opening like this.

3. You give away the slight advantage you have as White by having the first move by setting up a closed, blocked and inflexible pawn structure where the factor time does not play a role anymore.
In closed games like this the time factor loses its effect and you lose your first move advantage right away.
In the Stonewall Attack Black has plenty of time to position himself as he wishes, because the game is slowed down due to its closed structure.

4. White gets a weak square at e4. Black might get his knights in there and maintain an outpost (usually a knight) at e4, which is very uncomfortable for White.

5.Grandmasters don't play the Stonewall Attack because of its inferior nature. There are better openings for White than that.

If you are Black

If you are Black then play the follwing set up against the Stonewall Attack. This setup will limit the power of the white bishop at d3 and will make it highly unlikely for White to organize a strong kingside attack, as the black king is well protected.
1. d2-d4 d7-d5 2. e2-e3 Sg8-f6 3. Lf1-d3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 c5 6.c3 0-0 7.0-0 b6
See below

stonewall attack

1. Black has blocked the white bishop d3 playing g6 which reduces its power as it cannot hit h7 anymore.

2. As you can see the white queenside bishop at c1 is dead like a duck. If White cannot get it out and trade it off he will have problems.

3. It is a good idea for Black to trade his bad bishop c8 against the good white bishop at d3. This would weaken the white squares in the white position and Black might penetrate into the white camp later on with his pieces using the white squares.

However, replay chess games with the Stonewall Attack

Comments for Stonewall Attack

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Oct 11, 2016
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I Agree with Chezz
by: Jeff

Please check this document for my full review. It looks better there then it would if I typed it here.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Z0xgwLTNuBvMJZtoD0LQuG4yd_yRR-E2NX5y5Oh48zE/edit?usp=sharing

Aug 09, 2015
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After a year using this opening
by: frjel el

after a year and two days since I posted my last comment, I still think stonewall attack is a very good opening. learn it, master it, use it. you won't regret it.

Jan 19, 2015
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The Stonewall Attack.
by: Anonymous

White's dark squared bishop is commonly played to h4 via e1 to pin the f6 knight or to be exchanged for its black counterpart. If a white knight on e5 is exchanged by black then taking with the f pawn gives the bad bishop a good diagonal leading to black's kingside through b3...Bb2 (or to a3)or a possible sac on h6 if possible.
The Stonewall Attack is a good opening,it's just unfashionable. Players of black can get into a right old tangle when faced with it.The poor reputation of it is mostly based on games played a very long time ago by inferior players of the white pieces,who often in fact got a very good position from the opening. Soltis' book on the Stonewall Attack is well worth reading.

Jan 17, 2015
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The great stonewall
by: Anonymous

world's best opening.it helps me all the time to beat my opponents and to be the champion

Oct 09, 2014
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Like Any Opening, Use With Care
by: Anonymous

I really like playing the Stonewall, which is less of an opening and more of a system.

If your opponent doesn't know how to defend, it makes it very difficult for black. However, if black does defend correctly, you have to be able to adapt. You can't just blindly stick to the stonewall.

Common defenses are:
- Black dark bishop fiancetto blunts white's bishop. In this case, do not use the stonewall, but perhaps transition into a London System or Queen's Gambit.

- 1...d5 2...Nc6, then 3...e5. Prevent e5 with 3.f4

- Early development of black's light bishop to f5. I've still played stonewall against this by putting my bishop on e2 instead of d3, with the idea of trying to exchange one of my knights for black's light square bishop.

All that said, if you are able to develop into the full on stonewall, it becomes very difficult for black to defend or gain counteryplay


Aug 07, 2014
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stonewall attack...
by: frjel el

Learned this attack few days ago. So far, i really like it. It seems easier to respond to black moves and panetrates the black king side. Never mind of the dark bishop because the black cant use his dark bishop too. Not many players used this opening compared to e4, so there is always element of suprise. Use it once in a while. Only works once or twice against same opponent.

Jun 16, 2014
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Stonewall - great unless opponents know it!
by: Play for fun!

I used to play only the Stonewall with white, and managed to win the national junior tournament with it. However, at higher levels opponents can suck any joy out of this, I got very few wins and I lost interest. Early Bf5, or systems with Nf6, Nc6, followed by e5 or Nb4 leave white struggling for anything interesting.

Nov 18, 2013
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Spare weapon
by: Barry

I had learned this opening from one of those "silver bullet" books on how to win every chess game. My common sense told me that if it's so great, why isn't everyone using it? But the aggressiveness of the attack always appealed to me. I never used it very often until one day, as a recent new member of a club, I walked into my first and only speed tournament. I pulled this little gem out of my pocket every time I had white and I just clobbered the opposition. They had never seen it before and had no idea at that speed how to respond to the heavy fast attack. I took second place trophy against some very good players. My proudest moment. So my advice is to learn an uncommon opening or two and keep it in your arsenal. Don't use it too often at the club or else everyone will run out and study it. Save it for the right moment like a speed tournament or when you're up against a much stronger player in a tournament and maybe you can knock them out of their element.

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