The Stonewall Dutch is a traditional favourite amongst club players, as it offers Black ready-made attacking plans on the kingside. As Grandmaster Bent Larsen has noted, the Dutch also has the tendency to 'bring out the coward' in opponents, giving it an added practical sting.
However, up until the late 1980s, the Stonewall wasn't fully trusted at grandmaster level, despite its earlier use by Alekhine and Botvinnik. Black's attacking plans were too one-sided, and White's methods too well worked out. The change came when a new generation of players, including Nigel Short and Simen Agdestein, showed that Black could handle his position in many other ways, including play on the queenside and in the centre, with the 'Stonewall' structure stifling White's attempts to generate play of his own. Agdestein in particular has continued to experiment with many new set-ups and move-orders for Black, and this book contains a wealth of new recommendations and suggestions based on this work.
"This book is incredibly well-written and it makes the theory of this opening extremely accessible. The authors are honest and objective in their appraisal of the individual lines, which makes the book a perfect tool for the study of this fascinating opening. If you have not already bought this book, it is time to do so now. For those who need a new weapon against 1 d4, this book makes an excellent case for it to be the Stonewall Dutch." - Carsten Hansen, www.chesscafe.com
The authors are all from Norway. Sverre Johnsen is an enthusiastic chess analyst, researcher, organizer and writer, and co-author of Win with the London System, one of the most popular openings books of recent years. Ivar Bern is a Correspondence World Champion and an International Master over-the-board. Grandmaster Simen Agdestein was for many years Norway's leading player, and also achieved fame for combining his chess activities with a career as a top-level professional footballer.
"I expect copious, reliable analysis with any opening book from Gambit, but Win with the Stonewall Dutch won me over with its flowing, enjoyable prose, its detailed descriptions of the plans for both sides, its historic discussions, its simple but logical layout which makes it easy to find anything and everything, and its lesson overviews and summaries, which make sure you understand the ideas it's trying to impart. As a repertoire book, [it] doesn't let you down since it also explores lines where White avoids 2.c4, lines where White doesn't fianchetto his light-squared Bishop, key sidelines like 2.Nc3 and 2.Bg5, and the Staunton Gambit and other odd 2nd moves. ... this is a must buy for fans of the Stonewall" - IM Jeremy Silman, www.jeremysilman.com
"The exercises are very difficult and require you to do some research of your own. I think that this is a strength of this book as it takes you through what you need to do to get on top of any opening. I found this book particularly instructive on how to study openings in general. Not an easy book to study, but rewarding." - Paul Dunn, Australasian Chess