Colle System

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Introduction
White quickly establishes a solid position that apppears somewhat passive, but in reality provides excellent attacking opportunities on the kingside with aggressive play. Knowing how to launch those kingside attacks is imperative. Perhaps the best way of learning how is to study the games of the master himself, Edgar Colle. Click here for a sampling.

The mainline Colle can be reached by the following moves:

Anti-Colle Defenses
Black best chances for achieving equality, or even an advantage, in the opening is to avoid playing e6. Black can avoid e6 by putting his light-square bishop out side the pawn chain aiming for an early e7-e5 push. (Note that White should avoid/delay Bd3 or Be2 as the following illustrates.)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4 4.Bd3?!

  • 4… c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.O-O e6 7.Nbd2 Bd6 (See M.Chodera-S.Tartakower, Bardejov 1926) a reversed QGD is fine for Black.
  • 4… Nbd7 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf2 e5 7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Qf5 Bd6 giving Black rapid and easy development.
  • 4… Nbd7 5.O-O e5 6.dxe5 Nxe5 7.Be2 Bxf3! 8.Bxf3 Qd7 9.b3bNxf3+ 10.Qxf3 Bd6 11.Bb2 Ng4! (J.Feys-M.Sadler, Ostend 1992)

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4 4.Be2 e6

  • 5.O-O c5 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.b3 cxd4 8.exd4?! (8.Nxd4) Qa5! 9.Bb2 Ba3 (J.Trapl-J.Stoeck, Tatransky Zruby 2003)
  • 5.O-O c5 6.Nbd2 Nc6 7.b3 cxd4 8.Nxd4
  • 5.Ne5 Bxe2 6.Qxe2 Nbd7 7.f4?1 c5 8.c3 Bd6 9.O-O O-O 10.Nd2 Rc8 (s.Perich-P.Niccoli, Arco 2005) and black has an edge.
  • 5.O-O c5 6.b3 Nc6 7.Bb2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be7 11.Nd2 O-O 12.c4 (W.Arencibia-A.Rodriguez, Cespedes, Matanzas 1997) White has no advantage.

Click here to view sample games.

Countering the Anti-Colle Defenses
White can counter the Anti-Colle Defenses by not playing an early Bd3 or Be2. White should respond to 3.Bg4 as follows:
1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4 4.h3!?

  • 4… c6 is Black‚Äôs most solid choice
  • 4… Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6 6.Nc3 c6 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.O-O Bd6 (See B.Westermann-R.Reichert, Willingen 2001)
  • 4… dxc4 5.Bxc4 e6 transposing into a Queen’s Gambit Accepted game

Example Colle Opening Games

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Anti-Colle Example Games

Excellent tutorial on the Colle System can be found here.

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