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The Dutch Defence (Starting Out Series) [Paperback]

Neil McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Mar 2005 Starting Out Series
The Dutch Defence is an ambitious and underrated counter to the queen's pawn opening. With his very first move Black creates an asymmetrical pawn structure, thus unbalancing the position from a very early stage and allowing both White and Black players to fight for the initiative. Black also has many options within the Dutch Defence, from the ultra-solid Stonewall formation through to the fluid Classical System and the dynamic Leningrad Variation. In this user-friendly book, Grandmaster Neil McDonald goes back to basics, studying the fundamental principles of the Dutch Defence and its many variations. Throughout the book there are an abundance of notes, tips, warnings and exercises to help the improving player, while key strategies, ideas and tactics for both sides are clearly illustrated. The book's user-friendly design helps readers absorb ideas. It concentrates on the key principles of the Ruy Lopez and is ideal for the improving player.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess (31 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857443772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857443776
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 18 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

English Grandmaster Neil McDonald is an experienced and successful player on the international chess circuit. He is a respected chess coach, who has trained many of England's strongest junior players. McDonald is also a talented chess writer and has many outstanding works to his name. Earlier Everyman books include Concise Chess Openings and Starting Out: The English.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Welcome to the often exhilarating, sometimes frustrating, but always exciting world of the Dutch Defence. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Dutch primer 5 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This is a great introduction to the Dutch, as discussed in Carsten Hansen's review at Chesscafe. I am still not sure that I'd want to play the Dutch exclusively, as there are undeniable weaknesses (the ...f5 move itself, for example) in the different setups, as well as move order issues (if you don't want to face White's very reasonable 2nd move alternatives to the mainlines)to be dealt with, but McDonald gives enough guidance for those willing to play their chosen setup (all three main Dutch lines are covered, ie Stonewall, Classical & Leningrad) should they face early deviations from White. The explanatory text is excellent, and there are few areas that get heavily bogged down in theory, although if you opt for the Leningrad especially there is no way around knowing a certain amount. A great book for those wishing to pursue the Dutch as a secondary or surprise opening, but for those wanting it as their main choice against 1d4 they will probably want to add some more material, i.e. Simon Williams' book on the Classical, Valeri Beim (or McDonald himself, though the theory is more likely to have dated due to age) for more on the Leningrad, or the new Stefan Kindermann Leningrad book that is imminent - a translation of his German text. Those preferring the Stonewall would do well to look at Jacob Aagaard's book on it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definately recommend this 7 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Dutch is a bit of a wild opening and not for the feint hearted. But this book is very well written and explains all the pros and cons of the different variations. Probably the best opening book I've seen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very systematic, as to be all the time... 23 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Neil MCDonald is doing every work in a very clear and understanble manner. In order to raise my tactical level against 1.d4, I bought this book; I saw that my decision was correct...If you are about on 2000 ELO and If you want to raise your tactical ability against 1.d4, if you want to be an attacking player against 1.d4 and if you want to win against 1.d4 player; play DUTCH! For this you should buy this book and study it...Bon courage!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good 24 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
it gives all it is necessary to understand and make choices for the ordinary player not so strong . that is what i whished !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McDonald's Dutch Treat! 4 Mar 2005
By Jill Malter - Published on
This is a superb introductory book about the Dutch Defence. It is appropriate for chess players of a wide variety of strengths: the Dutch is a good defence for a beginner to learn. I started out with it, having read Botvinnik's book (One Hundred Selected Games). And I still play it sometimes as Black, after 1 Nf3 f5 (what I play if White continues with 2 e4 I'll leave to your imagination). Occasionally, I also get into the Dutch after inviting a Meran Defence with 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6. If White now plays 4 e3, I may well reply 4...f5. Others get into the Dutch the way Botvinnik did, by inviting a French Defence with 1 d4 e6 and then (when White plays 2 c4) replying 2...f5. Those who want to get into a "Leningrad Dutch" (makes me wonder when the Dutch will finally invade Russia and capture Leningrad) sometimes start with 1 d4 d6. Of course, they play a Pirc or a Modern Defence if White plays 2 e4.

Reading this book, I got the idea that playing the Dutch means never having to say "I resign!" You simply play on until mate. It isn't tough, generally only one or two more moves.

McDonald is a great chess teacher. He begins by warning us about gambit attacks on the Dutch. Here, he cites an Awful Example: 1 d4 f5 2 h3 Nf6 3 g4 fxg4 4 hxg4 Nxg4 5 Qd3 Nf6? 6 Rxh7 Rxh7 7 Qg6 mate. That was quick! He tells us to play 3...d5 here and avoid this mess.

He gives more examples of gambit lines, such as the hilarious game 1 d4 f5 2 e4 fxe4 3 Nc3 Nf6 4 Bg5 e6? 5 Nxe4 Be7 6 Bxf6! Bxf6 7 Nf3 0-0 8 Bd3 b6 9 Ne5 Bb7 10 Qh5 Qe7 11 Qxh7+! Kh7 12 Nxf6+ Kh6 13 Neg4+ Kg5 14 h4+ Kf4 15 g3+ Kf3 16 Be2+ Kg2 17 Rh2+ Kg1 (do I get a new King for reaching the 8th rank?) 18 Kd2 mate. We also see some games with 2 Bg5. One of the few lines McDonald omits is 2 Qd3, but 2...d5 is a solid reply here of course.

The author spends some useful time on the Stonewall variation. All Dutch players need to be familiar with its ideas, because it may be best to transpose into them. One terrific example is, of course, with Botvinnik playing Black. 1 d4 e6 2 c4 f5 3 g3 Nf6 4 Bg2 Bb4+ 5 Bd2 Be7 6 Nc3 0-0 7 Qc2 d5! 8 Nf3 c6 9 0-0 Qe8 10 Bf4 Qh5 11 Rae1 Nbd7 12 Nd2 g5! By now, White was ripped. Black simply built up an attack and then ... built up a bigger attack and then ... built up an even bigger attack and finally checkmated White. This is a very instructive game. We also see another example, with Torre as Black: 1 d4 e6 2 Nf3 f5 3 g3 Nf6 4 Bg2 d5 5 0-0 Bd6 6 c4 c6 7 Qc2 0-0 8 b3 Ne4 9 Bb2 Nd7 10 Ne5 Qf6 11 f3 Nxe5 12 dxe5? Bc5+ 13 Kh1 Ng3+ 14 hxg3 Qh6+ 15 Bh3 Qxh3 mate.

We are taught about Knight outposts for both sides, and shown Awful examples of what can happen to Black, such as Black being dead lost in an endgame with a Bishop on e8 and eight blockaded pawns against White's Knight on e5 and seven pawns.

We see examples of how to play the Classical Variation, such as 1 d4 f5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 e6 4 Nf3 d6 5 0-0 Be7 6 c4 0-0 7 Nc3 Qe8 8 Re1 Qg6 9 Qc2 Ne4 10 Nxe4 fxe4 11 Nd2 e3 12 White resigns.

And we see examples of how to play the Leningrad. This includes the amusing line 1 d4 f5 2 c4 Nf6 3 Nc3 g6 4 h4 d6 5 h5 Nxh5 6 Rxh5 gxh5 7 e4 Qd7 8 Qxh5+ Kd8 9 Nf3 Qe8 (who set up this chessboard?).

My favorite of McDonald's Leningrad examples is 1 d4 d6 2 Nf3 g6 3 c4 Bg7 4 Nc3 f5 5 g3 Nf6 6 Bg2 0-0 7 0-0 Nc6 8 d5 Ne5 9 Nxe5 dxe5 10 e4 Nd7 11 exf5 gxf5 12 f4 e4 13 Be3? Nf6 14 Qd2 Bd7 15 Rfd1 Qe8 16 Bd4 Qg6 17 Bf1 h5 18 Qg2 Ng4 19 Bxg7 Kxg7 20 Rd2 c5 21 Nd1 Rh8 22 h4 Kh6 23 Rc1 Rhg8 24 Rc3 Qd6 25 Be2 e5 26 Bxg4 exf4 (oh my!) 27 Bh3 f3 28 Qh2 f4 29 Kh1 fxg3 30 Qg1 Qf4 31 Bxd7 Qxh4+ 32 Rh2 g2+ 33 Qxg2 fxg2+ 34 Kg1 Qe1 mate.

This entire book is illuminating and easy to read. I recommend it to all of you who believe, as I do, that the Dutch has a right to exist.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplatory work on dutch 22 Oct 2005
By I. Knezovic - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have a few books from Neil McDonald, and they are nice works, especially the book Starting Out:The English. But i was really plesently surprised with this title. Chapters are written in best possible order for new dutch fan to follow, starting with nice introduction, then some offbeat chapters, which are nevertheless funny to follow, especially for the new student to incorporate them for future use, and following are three main parts of the book. In every game of every chapter there is a lot of explanations of plans and warning of possibility of cheap tactics. Book is written out of love for the opening from the author, and that is immidiately felt. Unlike many of todays opening books unfortunately. My recommendation.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book 30 Dec 2009
By Realreviewer - Published on
Its a very good book, I especially liked the coverage of the anti dutch lines, the Dutch is very versatile and cuts down your learning time. You can use it to meet any d4 or c4 opening, even irregular openings.
The book is broken down into 4 basic sections, Anti dutch lines, Stonewall, Classical and Lenigrad. To get the most out of the book I have included some tips below:

Ive got some great tips to save time in starting out the Dutch
Learn the stonewall,pages 56 to 70, that's all you need other then anti Dutch lines if you want to play as black. Even if you want to play the classical you still need to know the stonewall.
Tip 2
You do not need to read pages 45 to 55! These 4 games cover obsolete white and black moves. 3 of these games cover moves that have not been played since the 1960s.
Tip 3
For a defense to E4 try the French as it will allow you to meet d4 with e6 and then transpose to the Dutch.

I am actually going through the book again so I am including my progress below:
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starting Out: The Dutch Defence Pro's and Con's 4 July 2009
By H. Streit - Published on
The book gives a solid background to the four central directions the opening can take: Anti-Dutch; Stonewall, Classical, Leningrad.

Theory and pertinent games are what carry this book. One good way to learn an opening is to play over a number of games in this opening and then find at least one key game that epitomizes the goals of each player in that particular variation; this last game you memorize along with the notes. McDonald chooses at least one such game in each variation and comments on each in some depth, but mostly in prose; he does not provide lengthy notes, sidelines, or references to similar games in any depth.

There are only about 50 games in all. The good thing is that since this is not a definitive work, more games appear in books specializing on one of the main lines. As a starting out book it is first rate, accessible to players at all levels, and offers easy to follow prose! Recommend for players 1400 - 2000, but be prepared that if you are going to play the defence then you need more specialized texts!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun with the Dutch 22 Jun 2009
By Herb Baumann - Published on
Nothing can bias a reviewer faster then a couple of solid wins with Black after finishing this book. As someone who's been on the class A/B borderline for the last 20 years, I think Mr. McDonald does an exemplary job of laying out the basic goals and plans for both Black and White (with an emphasis on Black). He covers the trilogy of variations--Stonewall, Classical and Leningrad--in an entertaining and informative way. This book provides an excellent overview of the three primary variations of the Dutch, enough to get you started playing it with confidence while instilling a yearning for more detailed information about the particular variation you find most appealing. Highly recommended!
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