Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Stonewall Attack

I have posted my notes on The Stonewall Attack from Yaacov Norowitz's lecture (described in my previous post). I have also posted a selection of Yaacov's ICC Games with the Stonewall (many more of which can be seen by typing "search YaacovN D00" at ICC). If you are interested in learning the "Norowitz Stonewall System," his ICC games are one of the best resources out there. I have also posted a few Supplemental Stonewall Games that feature two of the more challenging lines that Black can throw at you, as discussed by Andy Soltis in his excellent (and, unfortunately, out of print) book Stonewall Attack.

Personally, I had not given the Stonewall much thought since I was a kid and took it up briefly after reading I. A. Horowitz and Fred Reinfeld's How to Think Ahead in Chess, which may have been one of the earliest mass-market repertoire books (covering The Stonewall Attack, The Lasker's Defense to the QGD, and the Dragon Sicilian). I remember getting some killer kingside attacks with it until my opponents learned better and I moved on to the Urusov Gambit (thanks to Horowitz's Chess Openings Theory and Practice). But Yaacov's lecture made me think that this is a fully viable line, especially for speed chess where knowledge of typical middlegame positions and tactics can garner many wins (as YaacovN's 3280 ICC blitz rating will attest).

There has been almost no serious interest in the Stonewall since the turn of the last century, when it was adopted occasionally by the likes of Pillsbury (before he discovered his Pillsbury Attack in the Queen's Gambit). More recently, there was a brief blip of interest in the Stonewall as a surprisingly effective anti-computer weapon (as discussed most recently by Christian Kongsted in his book on chess computers). A web search turned up a couple of good articles at Chessville by Keith Hayward and David Surratt discussing Game One and Game Two of a 2001 Stonewall Attack theme match. And there is a 60-game zipped PGN file of Stonewall games you can download from the Pitt Archives.

The following puzzles are taken from games discussed in the lecture for those of you who like the challenge.

stonewall diagram

The Classical Stonewall Attack
White to play and win.

stonewall diagram

How can White force a draw?
How can he try for a win?

stonewall diagram

Norowitz-Topalov (ICC Blitz)
White to play and win.


King of the Spill said...

Very nice! There is quite alot to this unusual opening. I will have to look at it some more to really absorb it. I enjoyed the trap in the Classic Stonewall after 4...f6 - definitely something to remember.

Umm said...

I play the stonewall, and I like some of the ideas offered here. My question is, what lines in which black does not commit his d-pawn to any square, what does Norowitz do then? For example, 1. d4 Nf6 2. e3 e6 3. Bd3 c5... Now what for white? c5 is no longer premature, so we can't go into the reversed Queen's gambit accepted. Does White go into a Zukertort line with b3 and Bb2? Black can not play the d-pawn for quite a while. In this case, is it good to play f4, or do we play Nf6 directly? Any ideas? I would love to ask Norowitz directly if anyone knew how I could contact him?

asifus said...

hi everybody!i play chess very often...and i didn't see any line of this attacking opening in any book...i like not only positional but more aggressive play because i play blitz games..its important attacking ideas and Stonewall gives it to you...
my question is that saw a line in stonewall attack(but its called super stonewall)with early queen's bishop maneuver which is then chased with opponents pawns...do you know any line with that???for ex:
1.d4 Nf6
2.c3 e6
3.Bg5 ...

Angel isai said...

ok . the stonewall attack is good. but only the King's indian defense can destroy the stonewall attack.. so that the only defense that can win the black.