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A transitional update this month, for I had no time to dig into the theoretical importance of the 1.d5 Torre with the bishop on h4. Nevertheless, it still contains material just around it, and thanks to Tony's 'Colleperation' possibly the first time since I have taken charge of the d-pawn specials that it contains the 4 seasons of the queen's bishop: b2, f4, g5 and exchanged on f6!

Note that both the London and Colle have updated playable eBooks!

Download PGN of April '10 d-Pawn Specials games

2...d5 Tromp [D00]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.Bxf6?! gxf6!? 4.c4 c5! (The rest do not exist) 5.Nc3!? and now rather than 5...cxd4, the simplest and most thematic option that I examined last time, 5...dxc4 produced interesting play in Game 1 after the consequent 6.d5!?:

Indeed, as we have already seen in a redundant way, White should strive to keep the queens on the board in order to obtain dynamic counter chances and a reinforcement of his central presence after conceding the material advantage of the 2 bishops to the opponent.

However, the provocative Game 2 featured 5...Nc6!? instead, a novelty as far as my database can tell, which led White to take up the gauntlet of the gambit's acceptance by 6.cxd5 cxd4 7.dxc6 dxc3 8.Qxd8+ Rxd8 9.cxb7 Bxb7 10.bxc3 e6:

Alas, against the limpid opposing plan of ...Bd6 and ...Ke7, leaving the c-file open for the king's rook while the queen's rook will occupy the contiguous file, he failed to realize that the best he could obtain was a difficult ending without even a pawn to make up for the opposing mighty pair of bishops after the unavoidable loss of the c3 or g2-pawn.

This means the ball is definitely in White's camp after the premature exchange on f6, the reason why I have consistently granted it a dubious mark.

Torre Attack [D03]

Something that seemed understood by the two specialized protagonists of Game 3 which saw 3.Nf3 c5!?:

With ...Ne4 remaining 'in the air' this clearly is a candidate option for Black. Something which will be settled when finishing the Torre 1...d5 subject begun in February and finished ... well ... as soon as possible!

4.dxc5 then, is the only independent branch at this stage, gave White a micro plus following the prompt central counter-attack e2-e3, c2-c4... but without abandoning his Tromp/Torre bishop for free!

When Black plays 3...e6 White does not even have this opportunity and Game 4 is a perfect illustration of what Black should aim for, above all taking the greatest of care to not castle kingside before the opponent does!

London System [D02]

With his dark squared bishop classically developed to e7 and the opponent's better to f4 , Black forgot about this elementary precaution (not castling too soon) and got crushed two times facing model attacks in Game 5 and Game 6. The games feature several far from obvious tactical motifs, including this one:

which should belong to the tactical arsenal of every London system player!

Colle System [D05]

Tony Kosten

Talking of the famous Greek Gift (and Eric just was!), I played 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Bd3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Ngf3 Qb6 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. O-O Qc7 9. Qe2 against Seknicka in Baden (Austria) a few weeks ago, to both confuse my young opponent and to avoid any preparation. This worked immediately as he played 9...0-0?:

The position looks exactly like a mainline Colle, after 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. e3 e6 4. Bd3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Nbd2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. e4 Qc7 10. Qe2, with one, major, difference: in the French it is White to move and 10. e5 Nd7 11. Bxh7+!? won quickly!

Which is why Black plays 10...h6! in the Colle!

I had a couple of battles in the Colle/Zukertort with Alexei Slavin recently, so thought it was time to update the Colle, see Game 7 for my thoughts, Tony.

See you soon, Eric