In the thread 'New Book - Win with the Stonewall Dutch' a poster called 'Ametanoitos' in post #18 starts a debate. I will not go into analytical details as I think the analysis provided mostly speaks for itself. I will rather comment on his points from an author's viewpoint.
- Ametanoitos doesn't trust our recommendation 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.d5 Bb4+ 4.c3 Bd6 because in his notebook he some years ago wrote 'Do not trust the ...Bd6 idea'. He doesn't remember his exact analysis but found that following some suggestions that were recommended as leading to equality (in some other books) didn't quite equalize against natural moves. So he instead decided to go for 3...d6.
- On page 168 we say that 1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 Be7 4.h4 'looks unsound and is likely to backfire after 4...Nf6.' Ametanoitos claims that 'this is not as bad as they say' and gives some examples demonstrating that the line can be quite dangerous but none of them with our recommendation 5.Nc3 Ne4.
Then Ametanoitos moves on to a main variation: 1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 d5 5.0–0 Bd6 6.c4 c6 7.Qc2!?:
- Firstly he is not satisfied with our 'recommendation' 7...Nbd7, offering the game Taimanov- Lisitsin, Leningrad 1949 which continued 8.cxd5 cxd5 9.Nc3 a6 10.Bf4 Bxf4 11.gxf4 0–0 12.Na4 with a quite clear advantage to White.
Then it must be pointed out that 7...Nbd7 isn't strictly a 'recommendation'. Rather we point out that this is how Black could respond if he prefers to leave his king in the centre against Bf4 lines (which White may still enter). With this basic premise in mind I will suggest that 11...b5!? is a very natural try for Black. Actually, after allowing Rybka chew on the position until it reaches 18 plys' depth it has 11...b5 on top ahead of 11...0-0 with the evaluation '= (0.23)'. That may not be ideal for Black but it's the kind of positions you sometimes have to be content with playing Black. Maybe I in a future entry will elaborate on the value (or lack of so) of these Rybka or Fritz evaluations.
- Next Ametanoitos is unhappy that we after our recommendation 7...0-0 doesn't mention Cox' suggestion in 'Starting Out: 1.d4', 8.Ne5!?.
I Plead Guilty!
This line should have been covered. I don't really know how we missed it but must assume I got too carried away mapping possible transpositions between 7.Qc2, 7.Nc3 and 7.Bg5 and missed some independent lines.
As can be seen from our bibliography, Cox' book wasn't among our sources. My chess library is quite extensive (3/4 of it has been deported to my parents' home for space reasons) but it doesn't contain that book and I didn't really consider buying it for the sake of writing this Dutch book. That may have been a mistake as I have been informed that the book is quite good. Nevertheless, this is not a sufficient explanation as there have been 42 games played, some of them with strong white players and with well known Stonewall experts on Black's side (Vaisser among others).
That being said, I am not really impressed by the move's pure chess qualities. In this position Rybka is greatly helped by its inability to understand the concept of 'consistency' and happily suggest 8...c5! (Dia) with what seems like instant equality.
As you can see for yourself this is just the start of the debate on the forum. I will follow up with another entry or two but not really enter the analytical discussion.