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We’ve plenty to enjoy this month: some brutal games, instructive and impressive victories for our favourite systems, signs that the Jobava-Prié is still catching out some opponents, and a lovely long-term sacrificial win by the new world champion of computer chess, Komodo Dragon!

Download PGN of July ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 [A45]

There are developments after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 to discuss, not least the modern trend for answering 4...c5 with 5 Nd2!? and not 5 Bd3. All is revealed in the notes to Petrov, N - Stoyanov, T, where Black actually preferred 4...Bf5 5 f3 Nd6!?:

White now made a decent case for 6 g4!? Bg6 7 h4, but the critical test remains 6 Nc3 e6 7 Qe2! from what I can see.

The Trompowsky: 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d6 [A45]

Meeting 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 with 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d6 6 Bd3 Nd7 very much still has its adherents, understandably so. However, after 7 Ne2 going 7...g5?! surely asks too much:

White simply threatened f2-f4 with 8 0-0 in Wells, P - Rudd, J, where 8...e5 9 Na3 was already rather ugly for Black on account of that large gash on f5.

The Trompowsky: 2...c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 dxc5 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 White usually goes 4 d5 when we’ll see that the gambit 4...Qb6 5 Nd2!? is still a decent enough shout. Our main coverage though is devoted to 4 dxc5!?, a speciality of the Serbian IM Vuk Djordjevic.

This avoids theory and may well surprise your opponent, but objectively it does seem that Black is OK after 4...Na6, 4...e6 and even the 4...Qa5+ 5 Nc3 Qxc5 6 e4 h5!? of Dardha, D - Manukian, A.

The Torre Attack: 2...e6 3 Bg5 h6 4 Bh4 b6 [A46]

Dmitry Andreikin is the leading practitioner of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5, so attention should always be paid to his Torre games. He recently faced an opponent who held back on ...c5, with 3...h6 4 Bh4 b6 5 Nbd2 Bb7 6 e3 Be7 7 Bd3 d6 8 c3 Nbd7 (Eric understandably enough thought that 8...c5 was much more critical).

Here 9 e4!? was logical and new for us in Andreikin, D - Zhigalko, S, where Black maintained the rough balance with 9...Nh5!.

The London, Jobava-Prié Attack: 2...g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 e3 Bg7 5 Be2 0-0 6 h4 h5 [A45]

Via a Jobava-Prié move order, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 g6 4 e3 Bg7 reached a fairly common position for this column, but here 5 Be2!? was slightly unusual in Tica, S - Oparin, G. However, after 5...0-0 6 h4 h5 7 Nf3 play had just transposed to a standard situation:

As shown by the world champion no less, Black must now go 7...c5!, whereas 7...Bg4?! 8 Ne5 Bxe2 9 Qxe2 quickly left the strong Russian GM in trouble.

The Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...e6 4 Nb5 Na6 5 e3 c6 [D00]

As we’ll see in the notes to Korpa, B - Aczel, G, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 seemingly continues to catch out a number of opponents. The game itself does though see one of the main lines, 3...e6 4 Nb5 Na6 5 e3 c6 6 Nc3 Nb8:

Here 7 g4!? was an aggressive recent idea and the game itself is a cracker, White sacrificing the exchange for superb positional compensation before mistreating his king position and having to bail out.

Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...a6 4 e3 e6 [D00]

Talking of early aggressive pawn advances and long-term compensation... After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 a6 4 e3 e6 we’ve previously considered 5 g4!?, as well as simple development with 5 Bd3, but what other pawn might White push on move 5?

Did you come up with 5 h4? Full marks for creativity and deep understanding if so! This enterprising novelty was essayed in Komodo Dragon - The Baron, where Black was comprehensively outplayed as White sacrificed a pawn then the exchange for near-decisive long-term compensation.

Will we have any more Jobava-Prié brilliancies to consider next month?

Until then, Richard

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