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Much to enjoy this month, where we’ll see that 2...e6 then 5...e5!? continues to surprise even very experienced Trompowsky players, as well as enjoy two typically wild Mamedyarov encounters from the recent Aimchess Rapid.

Download PGN of October ’22 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bh4 d5 4 f3 [A45]

In practice, a common reaction to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bh4!? is 3...d5, rather than the critical 3...g5 and 3...c5, and after 4 f3 White has good chances of obtaining the advantage:

Here the knight really should go back to f6 as 4...Nd6?! 5 Nc3 just continues to look too ambitious from Black, as we’ll see in Varga, C - Ilinic, Z.

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 [A45]

It’s been great to see both Alireza Firouzja and Richard Rapport wheeling out 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 of late. The latter had to face the solid sideline 3...e6, the former was up against 3...d5 and after 4 e3 c5 opted for 5 f3!? Nf6 6 Nc3:

This leaves White a tempo up on a line of the Jobava-Prié and might be closely compared with Mamedyarov-Harikrishna below. I’m just not convinced here that the inclusion of f2-f3 is so great for White and 6...a6! seemed fine for Black at this stage in Firouzja, A - Gascon Del Nogal, J.

The Trompowsky: 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 e5 [A45]

The strong English amateur Alan Walton has a huge amount of experience in his beloved Trompowsky, but still appeared surprised by 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 e5!?:

This was, of course, Carlsen’s recent choice against Duda and White didn’t really obtain much after 6 dxe5 (6 Bc4!) 6...Qxe5 in Walton, A - Maciol, R.

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

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 a critical test is very much still 2...c5 when we’ll examine Gata Mr London Kamsky’s latest games with 3 e3. The main alternative is 3 d5 when 3...d6 4 Nc3 e5 5 Bd2 e4 continues to hold up well enough for Black:

Here 6 e3 a6 7 a4 Qe7 was new and seemed quite comfortable for Black in a key game from the President of Uzbekistan Open, Naiditsch, A - Vakhidov, J.

The London: 2...g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 most Jobava-Prié practitioners go 4 e4 and take on the Pirc, but 4 e3 0-0 5 h4!? is also possible:

This looks rather crude, but actual carries some danger and 5...h6? already allowed White a strong idea in Bortnyk, O - Gubajdullin, A. Can you spot what that concept might be?

The Jobava-Prié: 3...c5 4 e3 cxd4 5 exd4 Bg4 [D00]

1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 Nc3 c5 4 e3 cxd4 5 exd4 Bg4!? isn’t one of the main lines of the Jobava-Prié, but this then 6 f3 Bd7! seems like a decent enough line for Black:

Mamedyarov tried 7 g4!? and eventually won a complex struggle in Mamedyarov, S - Harikrishna, P, but not due to obtaining any opening advantage.

The London: 2...g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 e3 0-0 5 Be2 d5 6 0-0 c5 7 c3 [D02]

1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 c3 g6 4 Bf4 Bg7 5 e3 0-0 was a rather unusual move order to reach what is sometimes referred to as the London versus the Grünfeld and after 6 Be2 c5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 Nbd2 it’s hard not to like Black’s attempt to exploit the omission of h2-h3 with 8...Nh5!?:

The early stages turned out well enough for Black before his overambition was punished in Abdusattorov, N - Mamedyarov, S.

Will we have more Mamedyarov encounters to enjoy next month?

Until then, Richard

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