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Analysing with computers has changed our way of perceiving the game lately, it is becoming more and more concrete. What were vague plans of playing against the altered structure, and gaining favourable endings for White etc. now risk colliding with powerful dynamic refutations from the opponent.
Basically the exchange 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5! 3.Bxf6?! loses time for nothing and trades a potentially more active piece ( 8 squares is the knight's maximum when it can mount to 13 with a central bishop).
That is why 3.e3 must be the only move here and in any case has become more popular than both giving up the bishop and 3.Nd2. I have already discussed this move; the recent development of Tromp theory has only reinforced this conviction. Then the big question is what is the bishop doing on g5 (in comparison with f4, say...) when the Bc8 is still alive, Black is ready to attack the centre by 3...c5!, and the bishop is still subject to the annoyance of ...Ne4 at the right moment!?

Download PGN of July '09 d-Pawn Specials games

Trompovsky 2...d5 3 Bxf6 [D00]

3...exf6! is the simplest to dissuade White from playing the Trompowsky:

And then 4.e3 "Virtually the only move played here." reveals Wells in WWTT (Winning With The Trompowsky, Batsford 2003) adding "It is of course quite consistent with the intention to fianchetto because the e2 square is needed to develop the knight."...

4...Bd6! (4...c6 thematically introduces the idea of ...Qb6, in the Tromp, against b2. In this particular structure however, it may just help White to offer a good back-up to the necessary c2-c4 break after b2-b3. In any case, although it often transposes, it is not mandatory at this stage since there is no hurry to provide the Bd6 with the square c7 against any Nbd2, c2-c4, Nd2xc4 for instance.) 5.c4?! As natural as it may appear, this is not the plan and is even not mentioned by Wells. Indeed, as may strengthen even more the few extracts given in this update, all from 2009, involving at least one Master, White's score is appalling with this move. 5...dxc4! 6.Bxc4 0-0 7.Nc3:

White has only one plan after the recapture on c4 by the bishop: castle queenside and mount a highly problematic attack on the other flank. It worked in Game One, although from a suspect position, but fell through lamentably in Game Two following a more normal course.

Hence 5.g3 c6! (A very useful move in any case, and this is why 4...Bd6 and 4...c6 often transpose. It is good for Black to see the bishop developed to g2 rather than 'exchangeable' on h3 after a mutual advance of the h-pawns or e2 after ...Bg4 by Black.) 6.Bg2:

Now in Game Three and Game Four (by transposition) Black prematurely castled kingside, 6...0-0?!. I do not like this move which takes a lot of power off Black's annoying counter-idea ...h5-h4.

In the first, due to opposing inaccuracy, Black succeeded in implementing the counter idea ...Qb6, provoking b2-b3, ...a5-a4 and then ...Qa6 annoyingly pinning White's c-pawn (that had advanced to c4) against the Qd3. In the latter however, White reached the ideal set-up thanks to a good handling of this queen key move after 7.Ne2 Be6 8.0-0 Nd7 9.Qd3! f5 10.b3 Nf6 11.c4 Qd7 12.Nc3:

Having bypassed the concern ...d5xc4, White enjoyed the pleasant choice of fixing the opposing structure with an isolated pawn on d5 or continue to expand on the queenside with c5-c4, b3-b4.

Already more interesting is 6...Nd7. The idea of this move (equivalent to 6...f5) is to transfer the knight to f6 while keeping the possibility of a sudden attack beginning with ...h7-h5 backed by the rook h8 when White castles kingside prematurely. Game 5 then illustrates that taking back on c4 with a knight on d2 instead of the Bf1, provided that the enemy bishop can retreat from d6 to c7, does not promise anything either. In order to hope for something White must back this advance with b2-b3.

6...h5! is an idea Peter Wells is right to be very much concerned by... after 7.h4 however the unmentioned 7...Bg4! acts as the practical refutation of the variation beginning with 3.Bxf6...

Game 6 is a masterpiece by Black who first stopped White's liberating c2-c4 : 8.Ne2 Qb6! 9.b3 a5 10.a3 a4 11.b4 Qa6!:

Soon followed by ...b5, then organized the classical light-squared bind with ...Nd7, ...f6-f5 (after this unbearable bishop had been repulsed to e6 by f2-f3) ...Nf6, ...0-0 and started to pressure on the semi open e-file thanks to the exchange on f6! All that reorganizing at leisure in the absence of any opposing counterplay whatsoever.

4.c4? is A well-known mistake at this stage: In addition to the possible transpositions of the first two games, White never got his pawn back in Game 7 after 5.e3 Be6.

As for 4.e3 Be6?!, trying to prevent c2-c4, is just a strategical mistake because White could now switch plans in Game 8 with the idea of playing against the not optimally placed bishop on e6 by 5.Bd3! Bd6 6.Qf3! keeping the black pawn on f6, 6...Qd7 7.Nd2 Nc6 8.c3 Ne7 9.h3 c6 10.Ne2 Bf5 11.e4!:

followed by Nf4, therefore reaching a favourable version of the queenside majority theme: the core of which should be the fight against those doubled pawns, similar to the Exchange Spanish 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6... but after questioning the bishop!

See you soon, Eric