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I'm afraid my work commitments are currently too time consuming and so this will be my last d-Pawn Specials update for a while.
In it I have decided to tie up a few loose ends in the Neo-London universe, assisted by GM Tony Kosten, who might not actually play the London ... but was born there!

Download PGN of July '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The '2nd Prié Attack'? 3 Nc3!? [D00]

1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 c5 3 Nc3!? is a new weapon in the arsenal of the Neo-London player:

Unifying much of the information concerning the combination of Nc3+Bf4 (which includes my previous updates January, February ...) it makes the position arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 an almost primary and broad gateway into d-Pawn Specials land.

Prie, E - Doluhanova, E Montpelllier 2013 examines the sensible 3...e6 answered by 4 e4!?, and Suteev - Rudenskij,N Moscow 1964, considers the critical-looking 3...cxd4 4 Qxd4.

3...Nc6 also looks fairly significant, when 4 e4!? transposes into the Morris Gambit with 4 Nc3!?, see Hoffmeyer, F - Hoffmann, H Germany 2011 (which did indeed start with a Morris Gambit move order), where we examine Johnsen's recommendation of 8 Bc7 (from his book Win with the London System):

This may be playable, at the end of the day, as the manoeuvre Ba5xc3 recaptures Black's pawn without altering the structure after a further b2-b3. Taking stock of his various suggestions (that I have often criticized in the past) after the test of time makes a second guideline to this farewell update!

London 'triangle' 3 e3, 5...Bf5 [D00]

After 3 e3 Nf6 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nd2 we next take a look at another Johnsen suggestion after 5...Bf5 6 Qb3 Qd7 7 Ngf3 c4, the move 8 Qb5:

This move has not set a trend to be imitated either, see the game Nguyen Thi Mai Hung-Bagi,M Budapest HUN 2010...

London 'triangle' 3 e3, 5...Qb6 [D00 & D02]

We next consider the important position arising after 5...Qb6 6 Qb3 c4 7 Qc2 Bg4:

Sergeev, V - Potkin, V Warsaw POL 2011, looks at 8 Ngf3 and 8 Be2, both moves granting Black easy play.

Instead, the correct move is 8 b3! as published on this site a certain time ago, Prie, E - Congiu, M Condom 2009, demonstrating a model white strategy.

If instead of the active 7...Bg4 Black prefers 7...e6, then after 8 Ngf3 (8 Be2!) 8...Nh5 9 Be5 we transpose to Huelsmann, J - Waldschmidt, G Germany 2007.

So the upshot of this is that perhaps Black will have to revert to 6...e6. After 7 Ngf3 Be7 Popovic, M - Desnica, V Valjevo 2011, continues 8 Be2 (instead of the 8 h3 we prefer) 8...0-0 9 0-0 Bd7:

and now 10 Qxb6 leads to an instructive endgame plus for White - note the importance of having the a1-rook defended in this game though!

London 'triangle' 3 e3, 4...Qb6 [D00]

Strangely I have never examined the line 4...Qb6 5 Qb3 c4 6 Qc2 g6 planning ...Bf5 before:

This is a line that scores well for Black, and is even employed by the London System specialist Stefanova. Actually, Yurtseven, M - Stefanova, A Albena 2013, is almost an ideal demonstration for Black ... which surprisingly ends in tragedy - a first round game after a lot of travel, perhaps?

Best wishes, Eric

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