Réti Opening and Related Systems - How to Play the d-pawn Openings - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book Eight

How to Play the d-pawn Openings

Réti Opening and Related Systems

From here to the end of the book we shall consider closed openings which are for the most part not characterized by the move 1.d4. They are given here in order to complete our survey of the most important closed openings.

Réti’s Opening, starting with 1.Nf3, has great flexibility and possibilities of transposing into many other openings. It involves, as a rule, the immediate fianchetto of White’s light-square bishop and the ensuing fianchetto of the remaining bishop.

White’s strategy is to control the center squares from the flanks. Black generally counters with aggression in the center in order to obtain equality.

(a) London System

Réti Opening

White - Black

1.Nf3 d5

Black can fend off an immediate decision by first playing the flexible 1…Nf6, which may transpose to many other openings.

2.c4 c6

Now White has the option of transposing into the Queen’s Gambit Declined (Slav Defense, pages 261-265).

3.b3 Nf6 4.g3 Bf5!

A good development for this bishop, which now bears strongly on the center.

5.Bg2 Nbd7 6.Bb2 e6 7.0-0 (D)


Position after 7.0-0

Black is well on the way to achieving a model development and need not fear the coming struggle for the center.


In order to create a haven for his light-square bishop. He can also continue to develop directly, for example 7…Bd6 8.d4 0-0 9.Nc3 Qe7 10.a3 a5! 11.Nh4 Bg4 with an excellent position for Black.

8.d3 Be7 9.Nbd2 0-0

With Black’s queen knight ready to go to c5, he need not be afraid of White’s e2-e4, for example 10.Qc2 Bh7 11.e4 dxe4 12.dxe4 Nc5 with a good game for Black.

10.Rc1 a5 11.a3 Re8 12.Rc2 Bd6 13.Qa1 Qe7

Note how Black bears down on the center from the wings. Black’s game is playable.

(b) 2…d4 Variation

Réti Opening

White - Black

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 (D)


Position after 2…d4

According to “hypermodern” theory, Black has compromised his position by advancing the d-pawn. In actual practice, the pawn has a cramping effect on White’s game.

3.e3 Nc6! 4.exd4 Nxd4 5.Nxd4 Qxd4 6.Nc3 Bg4!

Black has seized the initiative.

7.Qa4+ Bd7! 8.Qb3 Qe5+! 9.Be2 Bc6 10.0-0 0-0-0

Black retains the initiative and has lasting pressure on White’s backward d-pawn.

(c) King’s Indian Reversed

King’s Indian Reversed

White - Black

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6

White is playing the King’s Indian Defense with a move in hand. If instead of the text Black plays 2…d5, a likely continuation is 3.Bg2 e6 4.0-0 Be7 5.d3 0-0 6.Nbd2 c5 7.e4 with an excellent game for White.

3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.d3 (D)


Position after 5.d3

Black can still choose between an eventual …d6 or …d5.


Also after 5…c5 6.e4 Nc6 7.Nbd2 d6 8.a4 followed by Nc4 White has an excellent game.

6.Nbd2 c5 7.e4 Nc6 8.Re1 e5 9.exd5 Nxd5

Now White continues 10.Nc4 with a good game.