Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Plummeting Bird

I think everyone who plays chess long enough will eventually have a flight of fancy with the Bird, 1.f4 as White.  And, typically, it is short-lived.  Tim Harding's "Misadventures in the Aviary" at ChessCafe and Dana Mackenzie's "The 'Other' Bird" at his blog both express not a little frustration with the line.  It seems only Tim Taylor thinks "The Bird Rules!" -- as he explored in the excellent book Bird's Opening:  Detailed Coverage of an Underrated and Dynamic Choice for White (Everyman 2005).  My own occasional experiments (generally headed toward the related Stonewall) have practically been forgotten, even if I still have a hankering for the occasional Dutch treat.  GM David Smerdon, whose embrace of both the Stonewall Attack (as White) and Stonewall Defence (as Black) inspired my article "The Stonewall in Black and White," recently penned "An Open Letter to the Stonewall" in which he "breaks up" with the line that has too often let him down.  I'd try to warn you that the Bird and the Stonewall might seem like creative fun for a time, but after a while, you'll see that they are just wrong for you.  But you'd never listen.  So see for yourself.  It's the only way you'll learn.  

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