ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Plenty to enjoy this month, including a dynamic piece of meistering from Maxime Lagarde, Arjun Erigaisi’s latest energetic miniature with one of our favourite systems, and a crushing win with the Torre Attack for the new British Champion, Harry Grieve.

Download PGN of August ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

>> Previous Update >>

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 d5 Qb6 5 Nd2 [A45]

We begin by looking at 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5, taking in developments after both the topical 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 5 Nd2!? and 2...c5 3 d5 Ne4 4 Bf4 Qb6 5 Nd2!?, a gambit that just won’t go away. As we’ll see in Roubalik, J - Lalic, B, the critical line runs 5...Qxb2 6 Nxe4 Qb4+ 7 c3 Qxe4 8 e3 g5:

Here pretty much everyone has gone 9 Bg3, but the engines pose a good question: why not 9 Bxg5!? Qe5 10 Nf3 Qxc3+ 11 Nd2? This certainly looks like a gambit in need of a test - or three!

The Trompowsky: 2...c5 3 Nc3 cxd4 4 Qxd4 Nc6 5 Qh4 [A45]

In Moiseenko, A - Le Tuan Minh, we round up developments after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5, examining the latest trends in the Vaganian Gambit and see that 3 Nc3!? cxd4 4 Qxd4 Nc6 5 Qh4 remains a decent surprise weapon:

The Vietnamese IM tried 5...Qa5 6 0-0-0 h6!?, but after 7 Bxf6 gxf6 8 Nf3 White ought to be slightly for choice.

The Torre: 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 h6 5 Bh4 d6 [A48]

Both Torre move orders, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 h6 4 Bh4 d6 5 Nbd2 Nbd7 6 e4 g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 c3 Bg7 and 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 h6 5 Bh4 d6 6 e4 g5 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 c3 e6, reach the same position:

I still rather like these positions with the well-placed white knights and 9 Nc4 quickly saw White building up a large advantage in Carlsen, M - Giri, A, no less.

The Torre: 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 Qb6 [A46]

The critical test of the hardly uncritical variation 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 Qb6 is, of course, 5 Nbd2. It was brave of IM David Eggleston to repeat 5...Qxb2 6 Bd3 d5 and after 7 Rb1!? Qa3 8 Bb5+ Black already has to tread carefully:

The latest engines rather like these positions for White and the precise defensive task proved beyond Black in a pivotal, penultimate-round game from the British Championship in Torquay, Grieve, H - Eggleston, D.

The London: 2...c5 3 d5 d6 4 Nc3 e5 [A45]

The whole 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 c5 3 d5 d6 4 Nc3 e5 and closely-related 4...a6 5 a4 e5 complex is much less topical than it was not so long ago. One reason may be the discovery that after the latter and 6 Bg5 Be7 7 Bxf6!? Bxf6 8 e4 White may have an edge, despite Black’s unopposed dark-squared bishop. The alternative approach for White is, as after the former, 5 dxe6 Bxe6 6 e4 Nc6 7 Nf3:

This avoids a closed centre, of course, but Black is dynamically placed and went on to win a nice game after 7...h6!? 8 Be2 a6 9 0-0 g5!? in Ajay Krishna, S - Lagarde, M.

The London: 2...Nf6 3 Nf3 c5 4 e3 e6 5 Nbd2 Qb6 [D02]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 d5 3 e3 e6 4 Nf3 c5 5 Nbd2 Qb6!? has always struck me as being slightly risky, but no more than that, in part because Carlsen has been happy to meet it with 6 Rb1. However, White can also be somewhat more vigorous and go 6 c4!?:

Black should be able to find a route to equality here, but he fell for one potential pitfall and only lasted until move 21 in Erigaisi, A - Xiong, J.

The London: 2...Nf6 3 Nf3 c5 4 e3 Nc6 5 Nbd2 Nh5 [D02]

1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 Nf3 c5 4 e3 Nc6 5 Nbd2 Nh5!? remains fairly topical and a decent way for Black to unbalance the struggle. White too can be creative in this variation, as with 6 Be5 f6!? 7 c4!:

This is too dangerous a piece sacrifice to accept and while 7...e6! is OK for Black, he was soon worse before ultimately winning a crushing game in Domenech, V - Pert, R.

Will we saw more cases of an early ...Qb6 backfiring next month?

Until then, Richard

>> Previous Update >>