I play the Stonewall defense as black, but I seem to get consistently crushed by this quick Bf4, Bd3, Qc2, g4 setup. It seems that, as black, I am always lagging behind in development, and my center gets ripped apart. I don't know how to counter this, and I am on the verge of giving up the Stonewall defense. Please help me figure out how to get a playable position as black in the Stonewall defense.
It is not lost, but this particular setup has been known to be problematic for black for some time. The best version of the Stonewall is when white's bishop on c1 is more passive, meaning you should wait for white to go e2-e3 before committing to ...f7-f5.
Therefore, I would recommend playing the Triangle Slav and taking on c4 if white does not protect their pawn.
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 dxc4 and going for the Noteboom Variation which continues 5. a4 Bb4 6. e3 b5 7. Bd2 a5 8. axb5 Bxc3 9. Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7
If white protects the pawn with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 then you can go 4... f5 or 4... Bd6 followed by ...f5 which is pretty much the same thing.
In general the Stonewall is reached after moves like 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 etc. White plays g3 because he has to be ready for different setups by black, especially the Leningrad. But the Stonewall is directed AGAINST this Bishop on g2. So if g3 is not played, the Stonewall is weaker. Another concession would be an early e3, as @merillium pointed out. But with your move order, like 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 f5 white has made no concession at all. Here it is much weaker to go for the Stonewall.
giving up the stonewall is probably just a good idea overall
an interesting read: www.davidsmerdon.com/?p=931
@merillium it completely correct, and this is my current repertoire.
The setup I find most difficult to face is the Stonewall. With the completely locked center and both players trying to attack on the kingside, it's, normally, just a quick trade off into a draw.
You're probably less and less likely to win with the Stonewall as your rating increases -- it's not impossible to win games, but white typically gets pleasant positions in the main lines. There are other openings which can offer less passive chances with more active play for black.
i guess players in the 2100 level as white know what they are doing but in my side i play the stonewall with my eyes closed and have great success, however in the link you provided i wonder what the queen is doing at a5, all my pieces shift to the kings side attack,as long as i have the control of the e5 square then i consider myself much better, i might lose the game by a simple blunder but that doesnt mean it was the opening
The stonewall defense is great for me v d4 idk bout u but the stonewall is very solid and I always have a good position when I play the stonewall
Stonewall is quite solid. Carlsen has played it regularly on top level. It is a common pitfall to change openings after some losses. Here is an example.
Now we are all talking about different things, even though I tried to give some definitions above. So once again:
1.Classical Stonewall, in general reached via Dutch move order, for example 1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4. Bg2 c6 5.Nf3 d5 6.0-0 Bd6
2.Early e3, reached via Triangle move order, for example 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.e3 f5 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.0-0 Bd6 7.b3
3.Stonewall without any concession by White, for exapmle 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.Nc3 f5 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.e3
In general in the top openings White scores around 55% on GM level, in second rate openings around 60%. So let's see, I checked it for you.
No 1 scores 53% for White, so this is better than the top openings like Nimzo or Semislav!
No 2 scores 58% for White
No 3 scores 69% for White, that's way too much. Of course even here there is no clear refutation and you can post a lot of games showing good results for Black.
Most interesting is No 1, it seems there are no facts to support the somewhat bad reputation of the Stonewall.