30-minute training: Learn to play the London System

by Karsten Müller
9/19/2018 – Feel like trying out a new opening? How about learning a few basic tips on the London System from a GM? Here's the deal: you invest a small amount of time, reading a few paragraphs about an interesting opening line, selected for you by one of the world's great chess trainers. After that, you try it out, right there in your browser, against an engine that matches the playing strength of you potential opponents. You can play any number of games and test different ideas, as far as possible following the instructions of an experienced chess trainer. We have a brand-new application to support this kind of learning. Take a look – and admit: it is great fun!

The London System with 2.Bf4 The London System with 2.Bf4

"Simple yet aggressive!" Enjoy this new exciting DVD by Simon Williams. Let the famouns Grandmaster from England show you how to gain a very exciting yet well founded opening game with the London System (1.d4 d5 2.Bf4).


Simple yet aggressive

The London System with White

Today we're going to try out the position after 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.e3 e6


You can jump to the initial position, play forwards / backwards, and get help from an engine

The basic plan is simple: White plays Bd3, Nf3, Nbd2, c3 in some order and then you have a choice between 0-0, Ne5 and — maybe after preparation by Qe2 — the pawn push e3-e4 to open play in the centre.

Play it out against Fritz and learn from your mistakes! This is a highly effective way to develop your opening and middlegame play.

Of course, if you want more information then study the games of World Champion Magnus Carlsen with the London System (it was a go-to weapon at the 2017 World Blitz where he scored wins over GMs Kryvoruchko and Akobian) and Simon Williams excellent DVD on the 2.Bf4 line. 

GM Simon Williams introduces the London System

"A great attack, in a very lazy way" sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

See if the opening suits you by playing Fritz as your sparring partner. Choose an opponent to match your playing strength: Beginner, Amateur, Club-Player, Master.

Whether you want to prepare for your next beach game, a more serious encounter, your next club tournament, or the international GM event, this is a pretty good use of 30 minutes.

Play 4.Bd3, Nf3, Nbd2 or c3 and try to beat Fritz

In the window above you have buttons for the following functions (hover with the mouse for info):

  • New game
  • Take back move
  • Play move forwards
  • Play now
  • Get hint

And several opponents to choose from:

  • Very weak opponent (baby)
  • Serious amateur
  • Club player
  • Master

Lastly, switch colours, analyse with a chess engine.

Were you able to beat the program? If you were you should try the next-higher level — click or tap the New Game button on the left of the ribbon and the program will jump back to the end of the variation we are learning. Keep doing this to try alternate continuations. You will find that you are learning the ideas behind the London. It will help you in your games against human opponents.

Tell us what you think!

Simon Williams became an IM in 1998 and a GM in 2008. For the last 15 years he has concentrated on teaching, playing and making instructional chess DVDs. He also has a lot of experience commentating about chess including at high-class open tournaments like, Gibraltar and Reykjavik and his own live streams.

Williams is the author of numerous chess books. His first book, 'Play the Classical Dutch' was voted, in New in Chess, as one of the top 10 chess books of all time. His playing style is very aggressive, preferring attacking chess to positional grinds, which is one reason why he is perfect for DVDs on the Kings Gambit and Amazing Moves!

He has a few impressive personal results, including wins over Magnus Carlsen and Boris Gelfand (just after he was in the World Championship).  Two of his students finished 3rd and 5th in the World Junior Championships. More information at gingergm.com/about.

You can browse Simon's complete works in the ChessBase Shop.

Williams DVDs

Simon has recorded many of FritzTrainers for ChessBase


Karsten Müller is considered to be one of the greatest endgame experts in the world. His books on the endgame - among them "Fundamentals of Chess Endings", co-authored with Frank Lamprecht, that helped to improve Magnus Carlsen's endgame knowledge - and his endgame columns for the ChessCafe website and the ChessBase Magazine helped to establish and to confirm this reputation. Karsten's Fritztrainer DVDs on the endgame are bestsellers. The mathematician with a PhD lives in Hamburg, and for more than 25 years he has been scoring points for the Hamburger Schachklub (HSK) in the Bundesliga.


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