Henrik Danielsen: Pressing Straightaway – The London System

11/5/2012 – "Recently ChessBase has hit upon a formula which I suspect will be a great success," writes John Watson. "They've introduced a series of videos limited to an hour, and available by download." Watson has studied the London System and watched Henrik Danielsen's "60 Minutes", in which the Icelandic GM not only gives a repertoire versus Black's most common setups, but presents some new ideas.

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Henrik Danielsen: Pressing Straightaway – The London System

Review by John Watson

Recently ChessBase has hit upon a formula which I suspect will be a great success: they've introduced a series of videos limited to an hour, and available by download, called '[X]...in 60 minutes', e.g., Attacking the Semi-Slav with g3 in 60 minutes by Robert Ris or An Anti-Sicilian Repertoire in 60 minutes by Loek van Wely. It seems to me that this is perfect for the average player, for whom six-hour presentations are somewhat intimidating, and for the everyday worker require the patience and consistency to split into various viewings over what might be a week or two. The '60 Minute' series videos are more focused and require only one session or at most two for the average player, and they cost less than the full-length ones (9.90 Euro). For me, the requirement to download is actually a benefit: I get the product more quickly and save shelf space.

Pressing Straightaway: The London System 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 in 60 Minutes;
(Download); Henrik Danielsen; ChessBase (2012)

Let's look at a couple of examples. Of the 24 '60 minutes' videos by ChessBase. Only two are not about openings, showing again how players are ever-hungrier for opening knowledge; this is a trend which shows no sign of stopping. I've been researching the London System recently and watched Henrik Danielsen's Pressing Straightaway: The London System 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 in 60 Minutes. This isn't a complete London System repertoire, since it only covers lines with 1...d5. This is a large subject, however, and includes a wide variety of combinations, e.g., ...d5 and ...e6, ...d5 and ...g6, ...d5 and ...Nc6, and ...d5 and ...c5, and others. Danielsen has a lot of experience playing the London, and not only gives a repertoire versus Black's most common setups, but presents some new ideas.

[Event "ChessBase 60 Minutes"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Danielsen, Henrik"] [Black "The London System"] [Result "*"] [ECO "D02"] [Annotator "Doe,John"] [PlyCount "35"] 1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Nf3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 Be7 ({In this line} 6... Bd6 {is often preferred, when Danielsen gives} 7. Bg3 ({He also mentions} 7. Bxd6 Qxd6 8. Bb5 Bd7 9. a4 O-O 10. O-O a6 11. Be2 {having in mind the trick} e5 12. Nc4 dxc4 13. dxe5 Qxd1 14. Rfxd1 Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Be6 16. Bxc4) 7... O-O 8. Bd3 Re8 9. Ne5 Bxe5 (9... Qc7) ({and} 9... Qe7 {are met by} 10. f4) 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. Nf3 Qc7 12. O-O {with the idea} Ndxe5 $4 13. Nxe5 Nxe5 14. Qh5 f5 15. Qxe8#) 7. Ne5 ({Danielsen doesn't like the normal} 7. Bd3 {due to} Nh5) 7... O-O $6 8. Bd3 Qb6 9. Rb1 $1 Rd8 10. Qf3 $1 Bd7 11. Qh3 Rac8 12. g4 g6 13. Ndf3 cxd4 14. exd4 Ne8 $4 ({Better is} 14... Be8 15. Bg5 Rd6 16. Qh4 Qd8 17. O-O Rc7 18. Rfe1 h5 19. h3 {but White has a clear advantage.}) 15. Nxf7 Kxf7 16. Qxh7+ Ng7 17. Bxg6+ Kf8 (17... Kf6 18. Bg5#) 18. Qh8# *

Danielsen's solutions to an early ...c5 and to Grunfeld structures with ...g6 are excellent, and he's convincing in his claim that Black will have a difficult time fully equalising in all these variations. Obviously, anyone who plays the London on whatever level will want to have this video. For a more general treatment on the London versus all defences, ChessBase has Nigel Davies' London System from 2008, in DVD format, whereas traditional readers may prefer the comprehensive treatments in the books Play the London System by Cyrus Lakdawala, and Win with the London System by Sverre Johnsen and Vlatko Kovacevic.

Sampler: Henrik Danielsen - The London System 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4


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