Chess Openings: Learn to Play the French Defense, the Dutch Defense, and the London System
Need a complete chess opening repertoire? GM Ron W Henley is here to help with a comprehensive repertoire in the French Defense (Rubinstein Variation), the Dutch Defense (Stonewall), and the London System, in an incredible 29+ hour Henley Files collection
Covering everything from how to win all the strategic battles to how World Champions defeat different setups, these courses will have you tournament-ready in no time. With these openings, you will cover all possible responses you will face as White playing the London System, end the Stonewall and French defenses work together hand-in-hand so you can face both 1.e4 or 1.d4 as Black with confidence.
Ready to get started?
About the Author:
Ron Henley (born December 5, 1956, in Houston, Texas) is an American chess grandmaster, writer, narrator, and producer of chess videos.
Henley obtained the International Master title in 1980 and the Grandmaster title in 1982. He also appeared on the cover of Chess Life in 1982, representing the United States.
Aside from being a strong player in his own right, GM Henley acted as second, analyst and trainer for former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov in many of his matches in the 1990s.
Ron Henley also trained 7-times US Women’s Champion, GM Irina Krush.
The Henley Files The French Rubinstein – GM Ron Henley
You sit down at the board. You’ve got Black. Your opponent plays 1.e4… what are you going to do?
1…c5 and 1…e5 are for the players with a ton of time to study. White can steer the game in wildly different directions… and you better be prepared for all of them.
GM Ron Henley insists that, up to the 1700-1800 level, players should focus almost exclusively on tactics and building a repertoire they can rely on.
His recommendation against 1.e4? The Rubinstein French (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Ncd3/Nd2 dxe4!)
In this volume of his Henley Files series, Ron explains how to wreck White’s plans and pile on the pressure with this hugely underestimated chess opening.
What makes the Rubinstein so great?
In this incredible 17-hour course, GM Henley will make you forget what you may think about the French Defense… no cramped positions or development problems here!
He’s eager to share Top Secrets:
Rubinstein secret #1: By trading the e-pawn we open the position and eliminate all of White’s cramping e5 ideas… and we get to challenge the e4 knight with tempo with …Nf6.
Rubinstein secret #2: In most French lines, developing the c8 bishop can be a real problem – in the Rubinstein, it becomes an awesome attacking piece! Ron will show you how and when to get it gunning down the long diagonal opened by the trade of the d5 and e4 pawns!
And that’s just the very beginning of the enormous advantages the Rubinstein gives you.
So, what’s in the course?
As you’d expect from a 17-hour course, this is a completely comprehensive repertoire, preparing you for anything you might face at the board.
The 3-point plan. Ron makes the strategic aims clear: trade or challenge White’s best pieces, develop our own to their best squares as quickly as possible, undermine White’s center. GM Henley’s lines give you the very best way of achieving this 3-point plan.
Story mode. Variations and move-orders are like the sentences in a story. They make sense on their own but it’s much easier to understand them when you hear the whole story. It’s the same with chess. Ron Henley helps commit the ideas to memory by showing how they play out in complete GM games.
What about the sidelines? Some ‘repertoires’ fall apart if your opponent plays something unexpected. Not this one. Ron shows you how to deal with sidelines like 6.g3 and the King’s Indian Attack while also explaining which moves you have to deal with and which just give you a free tempo!
Every ‘what if?’ answered. What if White castles queenside, or delays castling? What if White tries to stop our queenside fianchetto by playing g3? What if White plays something offbeat like 2.Qe2 or the King’s Indian Attack? Black has fantastic responses to each situation but it’s important you learn them. GM Henley covers all these and more.
Killer counterattacks. Trust your position! Black’s free movement allows for some brilliant counters.
It doesn’t matter whether White plays the Winawer (3.Nc3) or Tarrasch (3.Nd2) formation. We can still play our move.
There’s no need to learn 5 different e4 openings. Play Ron’s Rubinstein and you get an easy way to take the game to White no matter what they play! This is a systematic way to rob White of their usual edge – space advantage and strong center.
Henley Files: The Stonewall Dutch – GM Ron Henley
Learn the most aggressive anti-d4 chess opening with GM Ron W. Henley’s 7-hour Henley Files – The Stonewall Dutch.
The Stonewall Dutch Defense is defined by Black’s c6-d5-e6-f5 pawn formation. We prevent White from playing e4, and secure that square for our knight – the perfect outpost for an attack on White’s king.
Because we’re aiming for a specific structure, we don’t have to worry about move order as much. This allows us to be flexible, taking advantage of inaccuracies by our opponents.
GM Henley explains how to play for the win by targeting weaknesses on White’s kingside and making sure we get all the strategic advantages: outpost for our knight, keeping the dark-squared bishops on the board, and a deadly rerouting of the light-squared bishop.
You will discover the most powerful chess opening of meeting White’s favored variations, and learn how to play this system like World Champions Botvinnik, Kramnik and Carlsen.
Whether you already play the Dutch Defense and want to enhance your repertoire, or you’re a club player searching for an aggressive way to take down those d4 players, Ron Henley’s Stonewall Dutch will give you the ammunition you need.
Win more games as Black by…
- Bringing unbearable pressure. Bishop on d6, knight on e4, rook on the f-file… bring the queen into play and it’s too much for White to live with… even if they trade off some pieces. See how Botvinnik destroys his GM opponent with a flurry of surprising sacrifices in this classic attack.
- Winning the strategic battles. GM Henley shows you how to win all the small battles that will ultimately win you the game. How to activate your light-squared bishop, force favorable trades, and keep your killer pieces on the board.
- Learning from the masters. Ron reveals the attack strategies that have been tested and proven at the very highest level with brilliant explanations of classics played by 3 World Champions and Dutch Defense pioneers like Torre, Bondarevsky, and Bronstein.
Why play the Stonewall Dutch Defense?
When it comes to getting an early edge, you want a chess opening that meets these 3 requirements:
- Strong structure with active pieces.
- Lines of attack against your opponent.
- An opening you understand better than they do.
The Stonewall Dutch ticks all these boxes. It’s criminally underused… but that’s to your advantage.
The Stonewall c6-d5-e6-f5 formation frustrates White’s plans, restricting their light-squared bishop, while allowing us to place a powerful bishop on d6 and get a killer outpost on e4.
It’s this setup that gives Black so many crushing kingside attacks in the Stonewall… and it’s this chess opening that’s going to give you many more wins as Black.
GM Ron Henley has turned his analytical microscope to the Stonewall Dutch Defense, breaking this system down into memorable maneuvers, piece placements, and attacks… and illustrating everything with hugely instructive games.
This 7-hour course is all you need to get started with and master this exciting opening.
Henley Files: The London System – GM Ron Henley
The guy has probably forgotten more than most GMs ever know.
Anatoly Karpov chose Ron as his openings analyst for his World Championship matches, and even GM Damian Lemos has been lucky enough to get Ron’s advice over the years too.
But he’s much more than a machine spitting out 20-move variations and a +0.21 evaluation at the end of it.
Ron is a proper coach… explaining ideas so you really get what you’re doing and why. What works and what doesn’t.
And now he’s back with his latest Henley Files course – 5 hours of training on the London System!
Played by Capablanca, Carlsen, and countless champions in-between, the London System (where White aims for this kind of setup – diagram), is as powerful as it is flexible.
Is the London System for me?
Solid, easy-to-learn, and with great attacking options, the London System is a chess opening every self-respecting player should have in their repertoire.
White can play this system against nearly anything Black responds with, and the first 6 or 7 moves are usually the same – saving you time on the clock.
American GM Ron W. Henley has put together a 5-hour training showing the ideas behind the London System and explaining how best to combat Black’s typical formations.
By analyzing games played by his students, GM Henley places the different strategies in a real world situation and helps make them memorable.
Designed for all players up to the 1700-level, this 5-hour course is the perfect introduction to an opening system that will win you games for the rest of your playing days.
Add these ideas in the London System to your game…
- Lines of Attack. Knowing what pawn breaks, piece sacs, and quiet moves to play makes getting that checkmate much easier. GM Henley analyzes some of his students’ games to teach you all the killer attacks including this b5 and b6 thrust (diagram) that opens up the a-file and b8-g3 diagonal with deadly effect.
- Anti-Positional Genius. Ever see one of the top players do something you’d only expect from a beginner? Like wreck their own pawn structure or give up their good bishop for a passive knight? Many strong club players never consider these “anti-positional” moves… but they’re missing out on deeper positional secrets. Ron explains why these moves work.
- Learning by Formation and Theme. You don’t need to remember 100 different variations 20 moves deep. Instead, GM Henley explains what to do in different formations (Black plays an early d6, or fianchettoes his bishop, for example) and themes (Black trades dark-squared bishops or copies your moves). This makes it way easier to remember what you should do!
A great opening taught by a great coach – get your copy now!