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Plenty of good attacking chess to enjoy this month, with a number of our favourite lines continuing to pack at least a definite practical punch. The Jobava-Prié is certainly going nowhere in a hurry, with White now turning his attentions to the visually shocking 7 h4!? in one of the main lines.

Download PGN of April ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 h4 d5 4 Nd2 [A45]

Along with Julian Hodgson, Igor Miladinovic really helped to put 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 h4 on the map, as well as keep it there. He’s now back playing his old favourite and demonstrates how to meet 3...d5 4 Nd2 h6 in Miladinovic, I - Iordachescu, V.

The reason 4...Bf5 is a more precise move order is that here 5 Nxe4 dxe4 6 Bf4 c5 7 c3 gives White excellent chances for an edge, or even more, as Miladinovic demonstrates.

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 d5 [A45]

Man of the moment, Arjun Erigaisi, is another who has been busy wheeling out 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 of late and after 2...c5 3 d5 Ne4 4 Bf4 he’s faced a couple of once topical but no longer so hot lines, including 4...e6!? 5 f3 Bd6. That seems in decent shape for Black, whereas 4...Qb6 5 Bc1 g6 6 f3 Nd6!? 7 e4 Bg7 no longer really convinces:

White goes on to produce a real tour de force in Erigaisi, A - Ayush, S, but I can’t really recommend his 8 Nd2?! here.

The Barry Attack: 4...Bg7 5 Nb5 [D00]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Nf3 is but a modern way of reaching the good, old Barry, namely 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bf4. The modern trend after 4...Bg7 is for 5 Nb5!? Na6 6 e3 0-0 7 h3:

Here 7...Ne4 is critical, if by no means forced, and I’d be surprised if the 8 Bd3 of Grover, S - Hesham, A was detailed preparation, much though I love the Indian GM’s follow-up exchange sacrifice.

The London System: 2...g6 3 Nc3 [A45]

Yes, the modern London is very much still fairly topical, not least 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 e3 Bg7 5 h4. One critical defence is, of course, 5...h5 when 6 Nf3 0-0 7 Qd2!? is White’s most aggressive set-up:

Castling long is risky, but White will also get to attack and a wild, topsy-turvy draw ensues in Bukal, V - Ciolek, A.

The Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...a6 [D00]

Having recently edited a book on the Jobava-Prié, it made sense to wheel out 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 in an important league match, where I was delighted to see 3...a6 4 e3 Bg4?! 5 f3 Bh5 6 g4 Bg6 7 h4 h6:

After 8 Bd3 Bxd3 9 Qxd3 White’s play is thematic and easy, although even after losing a tempo with his bishop Black shouldn’t be doing too badly, as we’ll see in Palliser, R - Gill, O.

The Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...e6 4 Nb5 [D00]

1 Nc3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 Bf4 was a slightly unusual route into a Jobava-Prié in Van Foreest, J - Giri, A, where the world-class players debated an important line in 3...e6 4 Nb5 Na6 5 e3 Be7 6 Nf3 0-0:

White has tried many moves here over the years, but can he really get away with 7 h4? It seems he probably can!

The London System: 2...Nf6 3 e3 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nd2 e6 6 Ngf3 Bd6 7 Bg3 0-0 8 Bd3 [D02]

I was asked whether at club level after 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 White should expect to regularly see the key tabiya that arises after, amongst other move orders, 2...Nf6 3 e3 c5 4 c3 e6 5 Nd2 Bd6 6 Bg3 0-0 7 Bd3 Nc6 8 Ngf3:

My experience is that getting this far is fairly rare at club level and that here Black is just as likely to play something misguided like 8...c4?! as go 8...b6. The former move is a classic case of prematurely releasing the central tension and led to a crushing win for White in Povah, N - Finnbogadottir, T.

Will there be more Jobava-Prié trends to explore next month?

Until then, Richard

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