In this continuation of the “Climbing the Rating Ladder” series I take on players of various ratings levels while pointing out typical mistakes and spots for improvement along the way (possibly my own!? :)). Here I commentate a 10+0 game against a player rated 1781 on Chess.com. The Reversed Stonewall – also known as the Stonewall Attack – is a sturdy system with a cadre of die-hard supporters who often play it with both colors (the Stonewall Dutch against 1.d4). It can be reached via a few different move orders, but White’s basic setup involves places their pawns on d4, e3, f4, and c3, as well as playing Ng1-f3 and Bf1-d3. From here, white has a powerful grip on the e5 square and often aims to land their knight there, in addition to launching a potential kingside attack. On the pother hand, White lacks control of the e4 square, and their bishops often have drastically different fates (the light-square bishop is especially important as the “good” bishop). In this game, my opponent begins with Bird’s Opening (1.f4), and I play 1…d5 followed by a quick kingside fianchetto. When White shows their hand that they’re angling for the Reversed Stonewall with 3.d4, I soon aim to send my knight to h6. This proves to have a number of flexible benefits: retaining the option of …f7-f6 against White’s knight outpost on e5, possibly trading light-square bishops with …Bc8-f5 protected by the knight from h6, and pivoting the kingside knight to f7, and preparing an eventual …e7-e5 break.
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