After the usual 2… Nf6 3. Bg2, the main line of the Dutch Defense – 3… g6 is covered in our Line 050. Move 3… e6 is another popular choice for Black, where his plan often includes d7-d5 and c7-c6, leading to the Stonewall Variation. There are several of options for Black against the most common 3… e6 4. c4, among them 4… c6, 4… d5 and 4… Be7.
The idea of 4… c6 is to postpone the d7-d5 advance until the Knight from g1 develops to f3, while keeping an extra option after 5. Nh3: 5… d6 followed by e6-e5. Black can also opt for 5. Nh3 d5, where White’s position is slightly preferable, though its closed nature gives Black good practical chances.
If Black immediately decides to play the Stonewall setup with 4… d5, he gets another interesting possibility in 5. Nh3 Bd6, postponing the c7-c6. There is also 5. Nf3 Bd6 6. O-O O-O 7. b3 b6, followed by Bb7 and Ne4, with good prospects for Black.
In case of 4… Be7, move 5. Nh3 appears to be the most precise reply, often leading to positions arising in either 4… c6 or 4… d5 lines.
[Diagram: White to Move] A well known “trick” that allows White to seize a longterm initiative. What would you play for White?
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