ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
We’ve plenty to enjoy this month, with developments in the Modern London, Trompowsky and even Torre lines with a quick e2-e4 to consider. Look out especially for a hard-fought encounter from the top board of the Bundesliga between Kukov and Kamsky, where the American legend found himself on the black side of the London for once.

Download PGN of May ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

>> Previous Update >>

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Nf6 [A45]

Not everyone meets 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 with the theoretically-approved 4...Qa5+, with 4...Nf6 still attracting some attention. As we’ve seen many times before, while there’s nothing at all wrong with 5 d5, 5 dxc5 must be critical, as arguably here is 5...b6!?:

A well-prepared white player shouldn’t be too unhappy after 6 e4, in contrast to which 6 c6? Nxc6 7 e4 rather smelt of panic in Vereggen, L - Chatalbashev, B, which Black went on to win in determined attacking fashion.

The Trompowsky: 2...c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 [A45]

Very unbalanced positions also arise after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 when 5 Nd2!? remains in need of some testing. Normal, of course, is 5 Qc1, but after 5...f5 6 c4 we’ve tended to focus on Black’s two main moves, 6...Bg7 and 6...Bh6. There’s also 6...Qh6!? 7 e3 e5 8 Nc3 d6 9 Qc2:

This is a fairly standard set-up from White, but is the black queen well-placed or misplaced here? Vlasenko, M - Sychev, K suggests that Black’s rare idea is a playable one in what became another brutal attacking display.

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

The modern handling of the London with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 shows no signs of going away and after 2...g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 e3 Bg7 5 h4 we’re into a fascinating and important variation. After 5...0-0 6 h5 c5 7 hxg6 Black plumped for 7...hxg6 in Munkhdalai, A - Batsuren, D.

Nigel Short once played 8 Qd2 Nc6 9 Nge2, which is recommended in Simon Williams’s upcoming Jobava-Prié opening repertoire for Everyman Chess. The alternative is 8 Nf3 when 8...Qb6 quickly became rather critical in our encounter from the Mongolian Championship.

The London: 2...c5 3 e3 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 c5 I would still do something with my d-pawn, but, of course, 3 e3 is the move that many London players would prefer to make work. One issue is 3...Qb6 (do know your theory if you decided to play out a draw in this line; even some quite strong players have bungled the move order, as we’ll see), another 3...Nd5, but after 4 Bg3 Qb6 I’m rather liking 5 c4!?:

This quickly turned out very well for White in Praggnanandhaa, R - Yoo, C until he opted for the wrong way to try and snare a black queen on a1.

The London: 2...g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 e3 0-0 5 h3 [A48]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 a number of closely related but subtly different set-ups for White are still seen, including 4 e3 0-0 5 h3. Play may continue 5...d6 6 Be2 b6 7 0-0 Bb7 8 a4:

Here 8...a5!? is Gawain Jones’s recent recommendation, while 8...a6 quickly led to a lengthy manoeuvring battle in Kukov, V - Kamsky, G.

The Torre Attack: 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 [A46]

Did you imagine that after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 we’d only be looking at 4 e3? That would normally be a good shout, but is wrong on this occasion! First we take a look at 4 d5!? exd5:

Here Daniil Dubov took on f6, but the more restrained 5 e3 was seen in Polak, T - Stohl, I, which contains much to be interested in, while also carrying all the hallmarks of a Sunday morning encounter.

There’s also 4 e4!?. Yes, really!

Black quickly found herself never in the game after 4...Qa5+?! 5 Qd2 in Matlakov, M - Kosteniuk, A, but 4...cxd4 5 e5 h6 seems to be fine, in what is a kind of Trompowsky and Torre hybrid.

Will there be more new ground to uncover next month?

Until then, Richard

>> Previous Update >>