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The Stonewall Defence is an extremely effective chess opening for black against 1. d4 – representing a solid system that is very difficult for white to crack. The Stonewall Defence involves black placing pawns on the light squares d5, e6, and f5 to establish an iron grip on the centre, specifically restricting a potential breakthrough by white involving an e4 push. Even if you aren’t crazy about playing the Stonewall Defence against every set-up by white in the Queen Pawn opening systems, the Stonewall Defence is exceptionally versatile and very easy to transpose to from various chess openings for black against 1. d4, 1. c4, 1. Nf3, etc.. The validity of the Stonewall Defence as an effective opening choice at the highest levels in chess is reinforced by the fact that it has been frequently employed by countless Grandmasters, including current World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik, Mikhail Botvinnik, and Vassily Smyslov! If you are looking for a reliable weapon for black against 1. d4 where you can transfer the weight of the struggle to the middlegame, the Stonewall Defence will be a great addition to your opening repertoire. Grandmaster Eugene Perelshteyn is an extremely experienced chess trainer who has employed the Stonewall Defence with consistent success at the GM level. From a superficial glance, the Stonewall Defence may appear very simple (place your pawns on the light squares, trade your light-squared bishop or activate it via ..b6 and ..Ba6, and don’t let white play e4) – GM Perelshteyn is quick to point out common tactical and positional pitfalls. The Stonewall Defence also has an undeserved reputation for being a very drawish, passive opening – but GM Perelshteyn presents multiple attacking patterns in the centre and kingside for black that can destroy any opponent with the white pieces!

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