The Stonewall Dutch is a traditional favourite amongst club players, as it offers Black ready-made attacking plans on the kingside. As Grandmaster Bent Larsen has noted, the Dutch also has the tendency to 'bring out the coward' in opponents, giving it an added practical sting.
However, up until the late 1980s, the Stonewall wasn't fully trusted at grandmaster level, despite its earlier use by Alekhine and Botvinnik. Black's attacking plans were too one-sided, and White's methods too well worked out. The change came when a new generation of players, including Nigel Short and Simen Agdestein, showed that Black could handle his position in many other ways, including play on the queenside and in the centre, with the 'Stonewall' structure stifling White's attempts to generate play of his own. Agdestein in particular has continued to experiment with many new set-ups and move-orders for Black, and this book contains a wealth of new recommendations and suggestions based on this work.