London System (2. Bf4) gained a lot of popularity, particularly because of Carlsen’s and Kramnik’s success with White pieces. There are plenty of setups for Black, but none of them guarantees an easy path to equality. Probably, the most principal setup is Nf6, c7-c5 and Nc6. After 2… Nf6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nd2, three common choices are 5… e6 6. Ngf3 Bd6, 5… cxd4 6. exd4 Bf5 7. Qb3 Qc8 and 5… Bf5 6. Qb3 Qd7, where in all cases Black is generally able to get even chances with accurate play. For beginners, we recommend 2… e6 3. e3 Bd6, with the following simple plan: Nf6, O-O, b7-b6, Bb7 and Nbd7.
Pseudo-Trompowsky (2. Bg5) is rarely seen nowadays in master practice, as Black gets comfortable position after 2… h6 3. Bh4 c6 4. e3 Qb6. Against both 5. b3 or 5. Qc1 move e7-e5 is a strong response, since White cannot capture on e5 because of the Queen check on b4, and the Bishop on h4 is hanging.
[Diagram: White to Move] G. Kamsky – S. Shankland, Sturbridge 2014. A trick that players entering the London System should be aware of: White to play and get a lasting advantage!
Click here to see the line in our viewer…