ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
I'm pleased to report we've plenty of critical and topical material to examine this month, including seeing the world champion no less wheeling out Eric's favourite opening. Enjoy!

Download PGN of February ’16 d-Pawn Specials games

>> Previous Update >>

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

First, however, I must correct an omission from last year and one I stumbled upon when preparing for Dan Bisby at a recent 4NCL weekend. He has been to the fore in promoting the slightly whacky looking 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 Nc6!? 5 Bd3 g5 for Black:

We've examined this before, but the idea of meeting 6 Bg3 with the simple 6...Nxg3! 7 hxg3 e5 is new to us. Chow - Bisby should put matters right.

The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 d5 Qb6 5 Nd2!? [A45]

A more common line faced by the 3 Bf4 aficionado is 3...c5, after which 4 d5 Qb6 5 Nd2!? remains an offbeat alternative to the main lines. However, I'm still not totally sure about White's compensation after 5...Qxb2 6 Nxe4 Qb4+ 7 c3 Qxe4 8 e3 g5 9 Bg3 Bg7 10 Rc1:

Here we've previously seen 10...d6 and 10...h5 11 h4 g4 12 Ne2 b5!? also seems quite viable, despite the fact that Black was soon outplayed in the resulting typically unbalanced middlegame in Barbosa - Wheeler.

The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 h4 d5 [A45]

When I did take on Dan Bisby, I decided to give 3 h4!? a punt, hoping to catch him by surprise and for a creative reaction. Indeed, the position after 3...d5 4 Nd2 Bf5 5 Nxe4 Bxe4 6 f3 Bf5!? (6...h6 is the solid main line) 7 g4 Bd7 8 e4!? was to both players' liking:

After 8...h6 9 Bf4 dxe4 10 fxe4 e5!? 11 Bxe5 Nc6 12 Bg3 Qe7 Black undoubtedly had compensation in Palliser - Bisby, but 13 c3! Qxe4 14 Qe2 forced the queens off and gave White a little nibble.

The Veresov 3...Nbd7 4 Qd3 e6 [D01]

Jonny Hector continues to champion 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bg5 and the Swedish Grandmaster must have been delighted with the result of Hector - Sadler. After the French-like 3...Nbd7 4 Qd3 e6 5 e4 dxe4 6 Nxe4 Be7 7 Nxf6+ Bxf6 8 Bxf6 Qxf6 9 Nf3 0-0 10 Qe3 White had control:

Black is, of course, very solid and shouldn't be doing too badly, although at the quick time limit Matthew soon lost his way and got into trouble.

The Colle-Zukertort [D05]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 c5 4 Bd3 d5 5 b3 is a line which just won't go away. Now Black's main move is, of course, 5...Nc6, after which we'll see a lovely attacking display from Kidambi Sundararajan in the notes to our main game. That is Stefanova - Ma Zhonghan, where the premature 5...cxd4 6 exd4 Bd6 7 0-0 b6 granted White a fine hold on e5:

Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with 8 Bb2, but the Bulgarian star was to prefer the Torre-like 8 Bg5!?.

The London System - Anti-Nimzo 5...Be7 [D02]

I wonder if this is becoming the new 1 Nf3 and 2 g3, i.e. the topical way for White to avoid excessive theory, as Carlsen, Giri and Karjakin have dabbled in it of late - with contrasting fortunes. 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bf4 b6 4 e3 Bb7 5 h3 Be7 6 Bd3 0-0 7 0-0 c5 8 c3 is pretty Queen's Indian-like from Black. However, his pawn doesn't have to go to d6 and 8...Nc6 9 Nbd2 d5 was seen in Carlsen - Tomashevsky:

White has a number of approaches here, but Magnus's centralising plan of 10 Qe2 Bd6 11 Rfe1!? Ne7 12 Rad1 contained a number of points and may well become popular.

The London System - Anti-Nimzo 8 Bd3 b6 9 Ne5 [D02]

Four other London encounters from Wijk are featured in Karjakin - Adams, where the fairly topical 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 d5 3 e3 e6 4 Nf3 c5 5 c3 Nc6 6 Nbd2 Bd6 7 Bg3 0-0 8 Bd3 b6 was seen:

This line is proving to be something of a bugbear for White and 9 Ne5 Bb7 10 f4 Ne7! 11 Qf3 Nf5 12 Bf2 Be7 did nothing to shake the notion that Black is just pretty comfortable, with the English no.1 running out a crushing winner.

More Londons next month I suspect! Until then, Richard

>> Previous Update >>