The London System: Essential Theory, TRAPS to Win Fast

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The London System chess opening became widely popular in the last 10 years or so. Therefore, you definitely have to be ready to face it, at least when you are playing Black. And maybe after watching this video, you would consider playing it as White after learning about the different ways to crush Black. 🙂

The London System arises after the moves like this: 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 4.e3 and then 5.c3. In this setup, the rock-solid pawn structure in the center really secures White from any early attacks by Black.

Also, the setup can be played virtually against any replies of Black, which makes it appealing for a lot of players to play it as White, as you don’t need to study any theory. White can simply play the same setup over and over again.

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov teaches you the general theory of this opening for White, key attacking ideas, interesting traps, and also, how to play the London System as Black.

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► Chapters

00:00 Introduction
00:18 What is the London System?
01:07 Game-1: Sharp attack
03:33 Game-2: Deadly trap
05:03 The winning continuation
06:52 Even Carlsen fell for this trap
08:14 Trap the Black’s queen
09:01 Another trap if Black plays Qxb2
11:11 Bxh7+ sac and tactical ideas
15:05 How to play against the London System as Black?
18:12 The double pin
20:39 Final quiz for you

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156 Comments

  1. Great detailed video! I think you forgot to mention that at 03:09 the king also can go to f6 and then you can checkmate with bisshop g5

  2. so the move is bf7 + ke6 wins queen trap

  3. What if blacks king goes to h8 instead capturing bishop on h7?

  4. Bf7 and it’s a winning position for white, took me a few minutes to find it, but with this move, you win the Queen or one of the rook (my answer for the final quizz btw haha)

  5. At 10:54 you could also go Ne5 and if the king captures your other knight you can go Nd3, which is a discovered check that wins the queen.

  6. Best London Video. And so complete, ending with a black counter attack.

  7. I cant remember every move but this help me win against a trainer thankksss

  8. Another Idiot telling us how to make millions all you do is buy my program and you will become a millionaire in six months and some people fell for this nonsense

  9. How do you respond to black knight to e4? I'm sure it's obvious, but it happened to me and messed up my whole system.

  10. At 2.49 sec if black play h3 thn how deal plz say sure

  11. Maybe : Bxf7+ Kxf7 Ng5+ Kg8 Ne6 Qe8 Nxc7 followed by Nxa8

  12. From 11:00 to 15:00, you didn't actually move the knight to take the e5 pawn. Many of the tactics shown would not be possible with the knight on that square.

  13. Why isn't black playing pawn to C4? it attacks the Bishop and gives it little place to move, can anyone help

  14. Ng5 black cannot do anything(plays random move) then Nf7 threatening the queen (king cannot take) black loses his queen no matter what he plays!!👍

  15. 14:19, bxe5 if queen takes nf3 discovered check wins the queen. If Knight takes it doesnt really work but if u want to trade then go nf6 u win the queen and the rook possibly on a8,

    edit : u cant take the rook because nxg4

  16. 12:59, is it better for White Nxf6 to get Queen or checkmate next move?

  17. Great instruction and fun to watch. Thank you Levy!

  18. i play the london almost exclusively as white and I struggle a ton with early queen aggression from black

  19. 9:53 POV: You've finally arrived in this position, and you're excited as you'll be able to sacrifice a rook soon. However in the corner of the screen you see it says "London System: Poisoned Pawn Variation", you instantly become vexed, as your opponent noticed it too. Waking back up to reality you realize, it was cannon event all along. You accept this, however you are no longer vexed, you feel calm as you know your opponent is most likely going to resign as they don't know what to do now against the London System.

  20. Dear Igor, I'm a Black homeschooling mom who recently bought your Remote Chess Academy course for my 11 year old son. I just wanted to share my customer testimonial here.

    1. My child diligently watches and studies every video. As a result, his ELO has climbed 200 points in just the first two weeks! You've made him believe he can achieve 2000.

    2. The "3 Steps to 2000 ELO" course cost us $97 USD and considering how much my spouse & I have invested in his chess classes (alot!), we would've gladly paid more. It is worth so much more! So it is incredibly kind of you to make your courses affordable to many viewers.

    3. I bought your course because I became a fan on YouTube after you thoroughly explained the London System. As a bonus, (and this may seem trivial to those who can't relate) I once heard you use the pronoun "she" as a default to describe an imaginary chess player in one of your scenarios.

    This gave me a sense of your character. You are inclusive and welcoming to all newcomers to the game, which is currently heavily male-dominated. We want our son to exhibit this quality too.

    You're awesome and I will continue to spread the word to other parents. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. You're inspiring the next generation of chess players.😊

  21. Ne4 idea is superb in Bg3 line with Qc7 pressure ! plus poisoned pawn on b2 with idea of Na4! Nc3-> Nb5 idea also great! To deal as black play fianchetto->play c5 Nfe7 with idea if e5!!! -> most london system lines involves Ne5!

  22. Thank you very much for this valuable content. I learn that traps in London and also how anti london gameplay could affect me👍

  23. As most videos like this you the consequences of the opponent not falling for the trap remain hidden.

  24. ► Chapters

    00:00 Introduction

    00:18 What is the London System?

    01:07 Game-1: Sharp attack

    03:33 Game-2: Deadly trap

    05:03 The winning continuation

    06:52 Even Carlsen fell for this trap

    08:14 Trap the Black's queen

    09:01 Another trap if Black plays Qxb2

    11:11 Bxh7+ sac and tactical ideas

    15:05 How to play against the London System as Black?

    18:12 The double pin

    20:39 Final quiz for you

  25. Bf7+ Kxf7 followed by Ng5+. If King goes to e8 or f8, Ne6 wins the Queen. If King goes to g8, Ne6 Qf8 followed by Nxc2 wins the rook.

  26. Ok, Maby the idea is Bxf7+ Kxf7 and now Ng5 + try to jump to e6 and attack the Queen and now c7 is under attack what wins the quality!?

  27. Nice video.Thanks for sharing.i love to play london.

  28. Bxf7+ Kxf7, Ng5+ and Ne6 winning the queen

  29. Very nice explanation keep baring such as games thank you A lot for your exertion

  30. I love your videos! Love how you explained both how to play the London and how to defend against it! 👍

  31. Great overview. You answered so many "what if?" questions about the London.

  32. Great video. STILL a huge fan of the evil laughter 👍

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