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Much to enjoy this month, including games from Bavaria and Mayrhofen, but the majority of our encounters are online blitz ones. There’s still plenty of fine attacking play, impressive resources and general instruction within them, as well as much hard-fought chess to enjoy as we tackle a wide range of our favourite system.

Download PGN of November ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...d5 3 e3 c5 4 Bxf6 exf6 [D00]

We begin by seeing two games in which Jan-Krzysztof Duda wheeled out 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5, including having to face that solid modern choice, 2...d5 3 e3 c5, although here 4 Bxf6 exf6!? was a slightly unexpected recapture in Duda, JK - Deac, BD. After 5 c3 Nc6 6 dxc5 Bxc5 7 Nd2 an IQP scenario arose:

I must admit that I’ve long been quite drawn to the white cause here, but Black is not without his resources, not least a timely pawn sacrifice with ...d5-d4, as we’ll see.

The Pseudo-Trompowsky: 2...h6 3 Bh4 c5 [D00]

Alireza Firouzja has been dabbling in 1 d4 d5 2 Bg5 of late at blitz, as has former ChessPub columnist Gawain Jones. One critical response is 2...h6 3 Bh4 c5:

Here the Veresov-like 4 Nc3!? makes a fair degree of sense and appears to be new to the site. We have all the details in Jones, G - Shipov, S.

The Torre Attack vs KID: 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 d5 [A48]

Teimour Radjabov has been on both sides of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 of late, as we’ll see, but the main focus is on the solid line 3...Bg7 4 Nbd2 d5 and then 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Be2 0-0 7 0-0 c5 8 c3 b6:

Here I still quite like 9 a4!, with which White won a fairly instructive encounter in Van Wely, L - Coenen, N.

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

In practice, meeting 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 e3 Bg7 5 h4 with 5...h5 has a lot going for it, ensuring that Black shouldn’t get mated. That said, White can still go for it, as with 6 Nf3 0-0 7 Qd2!? c5 8 Ne5 Nf6 9 0-0-0 (9 f3, as later used by Erigaisi to defeat Giri, is the alternative) 9...cxd4 10 exd4 Bf5:

I’m not totally sold on such aggression from White and here 11 Bb5? was already a significant slip due to 11...Nb4! in Praggnanandhaa, R - Giri, A.

Neo-London System: 2...c5 3 d5 g6 [A45]

Another important test of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 is, of course, 2...c5 when we have developments after 3 e3 Nd5!? and 3 d5 g6 4 Nc3 d6 5 Qd2!? to examine.

This is another pretty aggressive choice from White, but in Sevian, S - Sattarov, B, Black was quickly able to develop decent counterplay.

The Jobava-Prié Attack: 3...c5 4 e4 [D00]

In one recent Titled Tuesday, Bogdan-Daniel Deac had to twice face 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4, opting for 3...c5. As we’ll see, he was fairly well prepared for 4 e3, but arguably caught out a little by the more confrontational 4 e4!? when 4...Nxe4 5 Nxe4 dxe4 6 dxc5 Qa5+ 7 c3 Qxc5 8 Qa4+ Nc6 9 Qxe4 reaches something of a mini-tabiya:

We’ve previously seen Aronian suffering after 9...Bf5 10 Qa4, 9...g6!? is touted by the engines and 9...e5!? quickly led to a slugfest par excellence in Madaminov, M - Deac, BD.

The Colle-Zukertort: 3...e6 4 Bd3 c5 5 b3 Nc6 6 Bb2 Bd6 [D05]

There’s a new Chessable course out, The Killer Colle-Zukertort System, to which play after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Nbd2 d5 4 e3 c5 5 b3 Nc6 6 Bb2 Bd6 7 Bd3 0-0 might have transposed in Koellner, R - Bashirov, K, had White now played the standard 8 0-0. He preferred 8 dxc5!? Bxc5 9 a3 Qe7 10 b4 when 10...Bd6 11 0-0 e5 12 c4! is already quite critical:

Tactics mean that 12...e4? 13 Bxf6 is good for White, as was 12...Bc7? 13 cxd5 Nxd5 14 b5 in the game and even after 12...dxc4 13 Nxc4 Bc7 Black may not be able to equalise.

Might there even be a minor flurry of Colles to enjoy next month?

Until then, Richard

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