London System – An interesting opening

Are you searching for an opening option after 1.d4? Do you want it to be simple and straightforward, without any need for memorizing complicated variations?

If yes, then the London System is an excellent option for you! It’s easy to understand and involves minimum variations ー an ideal pick for beginners!

Here you’ll get a brief overview of this interesting opening!

What is the London System?

The opening begins with 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 or in some cases it might start with 1.d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4.

The basic idea is to follow the opening principles ー complete the minor piece development and castle. After that, White slowly improves their piece position and starts to push the pawns.

White’s Important Piece and Pawn

In the London System, the bishop on f4 is the most crucial piece for White. Often, this piece can give a significant edge to White. Therefore, understanding its important functions and the role it will play in the middlegame is the key to a successful opening strategy.

Unlike other 1.d4 openings, the c-pawn is generally developed to c3 instead of the regular c4-square. Only if it’s extremely necessary is the pawn pushed another square ahead. On c3, the pawn strengthens White’s centre, giving White a solid central base.

London System’s Reputation At The Top Level
This opening is considered extremely solid and difficult to break. When you opt to play it, you must be prepared for a long-patient-strategic battle. Short tactical ones are possible too but are rarely seen at the professional level.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen and GM Levon Aronian have often played this opening. However, the undoubted pioneer of the London System is GM Gata Kamsky.

If you’re planning to learn this opening, you may find it useful to read GM Nikola Sedlak’s books, who’s also a big expert in this line.

At our academy, our coaches also teach this line to students depending on their style and level of chess understanding.

Should I play the London System or not?

It depends on your playing style. But overall, the London System is an ideal choice for beginners and intermediate players.

This opening will help you get a good position in the middlegame without putting in much effort.

Here are the pros and cons of the London System –


  1. Simple to understand and grasp.
  2. Requires less time to learn compared to other openings.
  3. Does not have complicated variations – ideal for positional players.
  4. Gives a solid structure that is tough to break down.
  5. Follows the fundamental principles of achieving full development and a safe opening position – making it easier to follow.
  6. Middlegame ideas generally revolve around a few key concepts.
  7. Many top professionals trust this opening to secure a draw at the least.
  8. Excellent for beginners, since there are many nasty traps for unprepared opponents.
  9. The structure of this opening is such that it can be played against almost all set-ups of Black.


  1. Not an ambitious opening – especially for professional players.
  2. Lacks the surprise factor as lines generally revolve around a few basic ideas.
  3. No chance to improvise within the opening as there are few variations.
  4. Difficult to put pressure on Black. The second player can equalize easily if they know how to deal with this opening.
  5. Lesser chance for showing your creativity as most ideas are already studied well.

The London system is no doubt a good opening given that it’s so easy to learn and simple to remember. At the same time, it can be quite difficult to handle the strategic nature of this opening, if you are inexperienced in the middlegame.


So study the games of this opening as well as the resulting positions arising from it.


At our academy, we have a unique and fun way of teaching openings to children. Our coaches will first explain the general theory of the line and then help the student in memorizing the basic move orders. This way the student understands the opening and their knowledge is further reinforced with homework positions on the same theme.


To book your free demo session with our coaches, get in touch with us.