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Eric is unfortunately still busy with his political activities, but will, we must hope, bring you some London coverage soon. Thus I've again filled in and taken a look at some recent high-level Tromp activity, while I'm grateful to Danny Gormally for annotating that most brutal of encounters from the Tal Memorial, namely Fressinet's amazing destruction of Kramnik.

Download PGN of April '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 [A45]

Nisipeanu isn't regarded as a Trompowsky expert, so 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 must have packed a certain surprise punch in Nisipeanu - Cernousek. Still, the Czech IM must soon have been regretting his choice of 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 Qb6?!:

This is a line that every Tromp player should want to see and after 6 Bxe4 dxe4 7 Nc3 Qxb2 8 Nge2 White obtains a huge initiative for his pawn, going on to win in crushing style.

2...e6 3 e4 [A45]

A much more respectable defence is 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 Nc3 Bb4, although here it's possible to have some fun with a move we've not considered before on ChessPub, namely 6 e5!?:

It's hard to believe this should be too dangerous and yet 6...Qe7 7 Bd3 c5 8 a3 Ba5 9 b4! cxb4 10 Ne4 bxa3+ 11 c3 gave White a certain initiative in return for his pawns in Kuzubov - Sachdev. Keep an eye out too for the Ukrainian GM's decisive bolt from the blue.

2...d5 3 Bxf6 exf6 [D00]

Another very solid defence is 2...d5. White opted for the old path 3 Bxf6 exf6 4 e3 c6 5 c4 dxc4 6 Bxc4 Bd6 7 Nc3 0-0 8 Nf3 Nd7 9 a3 (9 Qc2 f5 10 0-0-0!? is somewhat more incisive) 9...f5 10 0-0 Qe7 11 Qc2 Nf6 in Andreikin - Almasi:

However, it has long been known that White rather struggles for a good plan in such positions and the Russian Champion was soon slightly worse, but defended well to hold.

The Chigorin with g3 [D02]

Or should that be the Semi-Chigorin? At any rate we're talking about 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 g3 which transposes to Kramnik - Fressinet, where 3...Bg4 4 Nbd2 Qd7 5 h3 Bf5 6 c3 e5! was an excellent novelty:

Danny writes: "To my mind this idea has something in common with the Blackmar-Diemar Gambit which is very popular at club level. Kramnik was unable to solve the problems over the board, although he was no doubt feeling the fatigue from the recent Candidates tournament, as he was unrecognisable in this game."

The Torre Attack [D03]

The position after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 d5 5 c3 Be7 6 Bd3 Nc6 7 Nbd2 0-0 8 0-0 can come about from a number of move orders, including the Trompowsky as well as the pure Torre:

I'm not too big a fan of Black's classical approach and after 8...Qb6 would just go 9 Rb1, keeping the white queen in touch with a route to the kingside, but 9 Qc2 was preferred in Laznicka - Ju Wenjun where Black gradually unravelled with some impressive play.

The Colle-Zukertort [D05]

The line 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 c5 4 Bd3 d5 5 b3 Nc6 6 0-0 Be7 7 Bb2 0-0 8 Nbd2 b6 9 Ne5 is quite a common visitor to the tournament hall:

However, I have my doubts that Black can equalise here and he is quickly put to the sword in the all-grandmaster encounter Bu Xiangzhi-Thorhallsson.

If Black wants to fianchetto so on the queenside, 6...Bd6 7 Bb2 0-0 8 Nbd2 b6 is likely a better move order. White often continues with the cagey 9 a3 Bb7 10 Qe2 Rc8:

Here 11 Ne5 Ne7! illustrates an important defensive concept, but if White is trying to win I suspect he should debate the resulting positions rather than copy the ultra-solid 11 Rfd1 and course of Cori Tello-Leitao.

That's all for this month, Richard

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