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Stonewall Attack – Sac to Attack – (Part 1)


In part 1 of my 4 part Stonewall Attack Beginner Series, I will explain the classic Stonewall structure and plan. Stay tuned for the next 3 parts coming out soon. The Stonewall attack is a powerful opening play by white that puts immediate and consistent pressure on black and prevent’s black from controlling the center.

StoneWall Attack Series

Prevent Black from playing e5!

White wants to control the dark squares in the center with his pawns, and balance this by controlling the central light squares with his minor pieces. It is very important to note that white must prevent black from playing e5 in the opening (4. f4!), which would give black a space advantage and excellent counterplay in the center.

Castling is not a defensive move, it’s a necessary step to guard your king before starting the attack

Learn how to employ the Stonewall Attack in this Chess Video

This video applies the 3 Basic Principles of Opening Play to the Stonewall Attack

1. Control the Center (quickly establishing a bind on the dark squares with d4, e3, and f4 – and creating an excellent outpost on e5).

2. Develop Your Pieces Actively (compensate for the natural light-square weakness by deploying your pieces accurately – Bd3, Nd2, Nf3 –> Ne5, etc..)

3. Get Your King Safe! (castling is not a defensive move, it is a necessary step to guard your king before starting the attack)

Now … learn about the wild piece sacs!

After completing the opening stage, white is perfectly set up to attack the black king. With an excellent bind on the center, black is unable to achieve rapid counterplay – enabling white to focus exclusively on the attack against the black king. With a classical Stonewall Attack sacrifice 13. Bxh7+! – white tears open the black king’s pawn cover and begins an immediate and straightforward attack on the H-file (14. Qh5+ 15. Rf3 and 17. Rh3). White continues the attack with another bold sacrifice (18. Rxh5) and the resulting position guarantees white excellent winning chances with a knight and 3 pawns for a black rook. This game is a classic example of the Stonewall Attack: entirely stopping black’s counterplay in the center, actively developing white’s pieces in preparation for a decisive kingside attack, and sacrificing without hesitation to take full advantage of black’s lack of activity in the center.

About my Beginner Series

Beginner Chess SeriesMy new beginner series is specifically made for those of you just starting out in the game of chess. Anytime you see an article or video marked as a beginner series chess video or beginner series chess article you’ll know its instructive and easy to understand. Stay tuned as we will be releasing many more beginner chess videos and beginner chess articles in the upcoming weeks. By the time I’m done you’ll know the best chess openings for beginners! Please don’t forget to share and leave a comment if you enjoyed this article.

Stay tuned for the next 3 articles and videos on the Stonewall Attack
  • abodi

    this opining is birds not stonewall attack nothing new about this opining.:(

  • Craig


    Loving the videos, Will.

    After 1..g4, what would you play against the reply 11…h6?


    • http://www.OnlineChessLessons.net William

      Hey Craig,

      Not sure which point you’re talking about. What time in the video is it?



  • Craig


  • http://www.OnlineChessLessons.net William

    well …h6 for black usually just helps white by giving an easy target to attack. this would accelerate white’s attack – i would continue by angling for g5 to really break open black’s kingside.

    • Craig

      Thanks, Will. Appreciate it.


  • Fernando

    Very fluid for white.. just awesome for a beginner

  • chocolover247

    Thanks Will , love your style and pragmatic provenanced advice – your delivery leaves the kingcrusher for dead .
    Keep up the good work . you are truly inspirational !
    and whats more your analysis is easily understood by humble but very enthusiastic beginners like myself .
    you have taught me heaps already with the Slav series
    and I look forward to working my way through the other videos . They wouldnt have to be strong chess players – just very accurate translators ( with mellifluous voices ) but I think you should expand into German , French etc. and expand upon the great work you are already doing – just a suggestion , but I mean … how hard could it be ? and of course the upside for you would be increased webpower .
    chocolove to you & the team !!!!!!!!

  • Dan F

    Awesome web site will! I just started learning chess and your web site has gotten me so much more interested in the game. Your videos are clear and concise, thanks again!

    • http://www.OnlineChessLessons.net William

      Thanks Dan – definitely appreciated! I´d be glad to offer you a 25% off coupon for all items in our online shop – just shoot me an email if interested (will@onlinechesslessons.net) – Cheers, Will

  • Steel Karpov

    Gane más de algún juego en chess.com gracias a esta clase asi que gracias Maestro William por sus aportes y sigo a la espera del DVD de la Apertura Española que sé que valdrá la pena.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1360909400 Diego Ojeda Castillo

    Hi Will,

    I appreciate this kind of videos a lot, thank you!
    I have a question regarding this aperture:
    What if black plays 6.-…Ng4 threatening Nxe3? I think the reply should be Qe2 but how do you get that knight out of there? h3 will block the rook of the movement f3-h3.

    • http://www.OnlineChessLessons.net William

      Hi Diego,

      You’ve got the right idea to respond to 6. …Ng4 with Qe2 and then h3. Even though you can’t lift the rook via f3-h3, black is losing time by playing his knight to g4 and white can capitalize on this with a quick h3 and g4 – a different way of attacking black’s king.



  • daniel gomez

    Dear William,
    I think you are a great chess teacher !
    Your information is just fantastic.
    I am more or less a 1400 chess player at the moment,
    and this Stonewall opening ( or attack ) looks very very interesting to me.
    I will love to get your opinion about what opening will you recomend to me between the Stonewall and the
    KIA, taking into account my game level.
    Best regards,
    Daniel Gomez

    • http://www.OnlineChessLessons.net William

      Thanks Daniel – glad you like our website!

      The Stonewall and King’s Indian Attack are both good openings, so I would recommend whichever one fits in better with your style.



  • sharad

    what if 1. d4 d5 2. e3 c6 3. Bd3 Nd7 4. f4 Ngf6 followed by Bg4 threatening white Queen ?