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One of the most exciting games of the Charity Cup so far has been Niemann-Anton Guijarro, where the young American Grandmaster obliterated Black’s position in double quick time, or so it seemed at first glance. Inspired by Niemann’s play, I’ve devoted this update to recent developments in the Jobava-Prié, not least those lines where White boldly prefers e4 to putting the pawn on e3.

Download PGN of March ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 Bf5 [A45]

We begin, though, with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5. Why? Well the position after 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 Bf5 5 f3 Nf6 6 g4!? Bg6 7 h4 has certain similarities with one of the main lines of the Jobava-Prié:

Here White’s queen’s knight doesn’t have to be bound for c3, of course, and he enjoyed definite chances for an edge in Smith, A - Sylvan, J.

The Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...e6 4 Nb5 Bb4+ [D00]

One of Black’s most important defences to 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 is the classical 3...e6 when White faces a choice. 4 Nb5!? was seen in the aforementioned Niemann, H - Anton Guijarro, D, where 4...Bb4!? (we’ll also examine developments after Black’s main move, 4...Na6) 5 c3 Ba5 6 e3 a6 7 Na3 0-0 8 Nf3 Nbd7 9 Be2 Ne4!? was seen:

Here I rather like Niemann’s calm 10 Nb1!, improving the worst-placed piece and after 10...g5 11 Bg3 h5 12 Bd3!? things quickly kicked off on the kingside.

The Jobava-Prié: 3...e6 4 e3 Bb4 [D00]

The alternative is that typical Jobava-Prié move 4 e3 when at club level Black often puts his bishop on e7 or d6, QGD style, but 4...Bb4 is critical:

Here we have developments after both 5 Nge2 and 5 Bd3 to consider and I certainly don’t like the 5...c5 6 a3? of Musat, A - Moore, N.

The Jobava-Prié: 3...c5 4 e4 [D00]

An arguably even more critical line is 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 c5 when 4 e4!? has recently attracted the attention of both Niemann and Mamedyarov.

After 4...dxe4 Niemann has made a decent case for 5 dxc5 (5 d5 would be the Morris Countergambit, which also arises after 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 c5 3 e4!? dxe4 4 d5 Nf6 5 Nc3), and we’ll see him quickly exploiting White’s lead in development after 4...cxd4 5 Qxd4 Nc6 6 Bb5 in Niemann, H - Rodchenkov, S.

Black has more often preferred 4...Nxe4 5 Nxe4 dxe4 when 6 dxc5 lets him choose between an early exchange of queens and 6...Qa5+ 7 c3 Qxc5 8 Qa4+ Nc6 9 Qxe4 Bf5:

I had thought Black was fine here, but Mamedyarov, S - Praggnanandhaa, R suggests that matters aren’t so simple for him.

The Jobava-Prié: 3...e6 4 e3 cxd4 5 exd4 a6 [D00]

White can also meet 3...c5 with 4 e3 when 4...cxd4 5 exd4 a6 6 Nf3 Nc6 7 Ne5 is the critical line:

Here Black should go 7...Bd7!, not 7...Bf5?! 8 g4!, as occurred in Cabarkapa, N - Stanojevic, I.

The Jobava-Prié: 3...Bf5 4 f3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 [D00]

Finally, we come to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 Bf5, a popular choice at lower levels, if no longer so much at grandmaster ones. Why? Well, 4 f3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 is just a lot of extra space for White:

Black should be OK here, but he does need to be fairly precise, as we’ll see in Zaragatski, I - Reichmann, H.

Will there be an more important Jobava-Priés to consider next month? Until then, enjoy following the Charity Cup and especially the Berlin Grand Prix!


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