ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
After having thoroughly examined some responses to the 2...Ne4 Trompowsky where b2 proved to be White's Achilles' heel, we now start to deal with the current main line of the Trompowsky, and a fashionable black gambit, in the first part of the update, while supplementing the study of the key position in the Torre Attack in the second part.

Download PGN of August '05 d-Pawn Specials games

Trompowsky [A45]

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 the main line is now 2...Ne4 3.Bf4 c5 4.f3 Qa5+ 5.c3 Nf6 6.Nd2 cxd4 7.Nb3 Qb6 8.Qxd4 Nc6 9.Qxb6 axb6 10.Nd4 where White thinks of preventing ...e5:

However, Black continues 10...e5 All the same! 11.Nxc6 dxc6!? when, rather than getting a dreadful structure (to be examined next month) after 11...exf4 12.Nd4 with the compensation of active play generated by a strong pair of bishops and the opponent's worries on the dark squares, Black opts for the classical compensation for one pawn: a development lead and the initiative plus a completely repaired structure. 12.Bxe5 Be6:

In Game one, after 13.a3 b5 White tried to maintain closed lines as much as possible with 14.e3 Nd7 15.Bf4, but soon had to admit his prep failure after 15...Nc5 16.0-0-0 Bb3 17.Rd2:

when Black played 17...Ba2!!, threatening ...Nb3+ whilst taking the square b1 from White's king and therefore provoking a draw by repetition after 18.Rd1 Bb3.

Which meant that in order to digest the pawn White unfortunately had to try 14.e4:

This move looks frightening as far as the safety of the white king is concerned. To be honest, I do not believe it, and after 14...b4 15.cxb4 Bxb4+ 16.Ke2:

Black has visibly adequate compensation for the pawn as well as a clear plan: long castling (because after having made White lose his own right to castle, Black's queen's rook has nothing to do on the open a-file anymore), ...Rhe8, and the freeing of his f-pawn in order to break open the cover of the enemy monarch.

In Game 2, however, Black let the opposing king slip to the other flank by guiltily castling kingside, and after the loss of his initiative only saved a half point around the time control thanks to White's inaccuracy.

Game 3 reached the same position, with two extra moves however, after White's refusal of the tacit draw offer 16.Kf2 Bc5+ 17. Ke1. (Note that 18.Kg3?:

would lead to a splendid forced mate in 8 beginning 18...Nh5+!!)

17...Bb4+ (Does Black have more than a repetition is one question, since the opponent has already lost his right to castle and is left with a weak king behind a fragile centre. But if White wants to avoid it he must play the next move, which hampers the problematic development of his pieces even more!) 18.Ke2. This time Black castled queenside, the open a-file having faithfully fulfilled its duty, and succeeded in breaking open the white king's central cover in a sizzling way.

Game four shows the new tendency in this variation, 13.e4 where White, rather than enduring the pressure subsequent to the weakening of the b3 square in connection with the plan ...b5-b4, returns the pawn immediately, relying on his kingside majority and facilitated development to insure himself a minimal advantage in the ending:

After 13...b5 14.Bd3 Nd7 15.Bd4 Rxa2 16.Rxa2 Bxa2 the benefit of the open a-file for Black is just lost. Still, in spite of the surprisingly difficulties for Black, in this structure, to undouble his pawns this should not have proved enough against steady defence.

Black continued in interesting gambit style in Game five by 13...Nd7 14.Bd4 Nc5!? (Actually threatening ...Nb3 which therefore more or less forces) 15.a3 Bb3 16.Nh3 0-0-0 17.Be2 Na4 18.0-0 (missing the critical 18.Nf2!) 18...Bc5!:

Forcing access to the second rank, quickly followed by an advantageous return on his investment.

Torre Attack [D03]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 c5 4.e3 d5 5.Nbd2 Nbd7 6.c3 Be7 7.Bd3 b6 8.0-0 Bb7, with this move order, or another (none of the 4 following games having the exact same one, by the way!) corresponds to a key position in the 'd-Pawn specials' universe:

From this basic set-up, apart from the main and original 9.Ne5 that we examined in May, there are several other thematic and consistent moves (most of them, incidentally, inspired by reversed colour play compared to either the Slow Slav 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4, the Colle 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4! or with the prophylactic 3...c6 before, the English-Reti with 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.e3 Nf6 4.b3 Bg4 5.Bb2 e6, and so on.)

White chose 9.Qc2 in Game six:

He wants to first pass his queen's rook to the kingside and only then play Qb1 followed by some central action including Nf3-e5, f2-f4 if given the chance, or more likely e3-e4. Alas for him, Nf3-e5 played carelessly at the worst moment, authorized the doubling of his e-pawns, and proved a fatal blunder.

Game Seven saw the World Champion play 9.Qb1:

White controls the crucial e4-square and wants to play b2-b4 (keeping c2 as a square of retreat in case of ...c5-c4 hitting his bishop) in order to force Black to release the tension in the centre because of the X-ray motive against the bishop on b7.

Later on, his opponent's unjustified abandon of the central tension provided him with a pleasant ending.

White opted for the solid but unambitious 9.Qe2 in Game eight:

He wants to play Ba6 and engage some action on the queenside or pressure an a6 pawn to tie the black queen's rook to its defence. Black could not find a way to unbalance the position and the game rapidly dulled.

In Game 9 White tried my preference, 9.a4:

The idea is to titillate Black's queenside, from the angle of his fianchetto, and push him to commit himself on his right flank before choosing where to develop the white queen.

After the queenside and centre closed, White succeeded in mounting a dangerous attack on the other side, thematically using the lever of his g-pawn against the enemy f5-pawn.

Till next month! Eric Prié.