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It's impossible to entirely avoid those bishop deployments to g5, but we do have plenty too of both the London System and the Jobava-Prié Attack to enjoy this month. I've been unable to resist returning to that rich gold mine, the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Dubai, but while the games may be quick, I'm sure you'll enjoy some typically entertaining fare from the likes of Hikaru Nakamura and Baadur Jobava.

Download PGN of July '14 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...e6 3 e4, 5 c3 d6 [A45]

White tends to meet 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 with 5 c3 these days, as the Dutch Grandmaster Robin Swinkels twice ventured in the Calder Cup. After 5...d6 6 Bd3 e5 7 Ne2 Black always used to set up with a kingside fianchetto, but on top of Giri's 7...Qd8!? 8 0-0 Be7 (see the February update), we now have a GM example of 7...Be7!? 8 0-0 Nc6:

As this was the choice of the highly-respected Israeli theoretician Alon Greenfeld, it must be taken seriously, but after 9 Na3! 0-0 10 Nc2 Qg5 11 Ne3 White had quite a pleasant set-up in Swinkels - Greenfeld.

The Torre Attack 3...h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 e4 [A46]

The line 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 e4 (or 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 Nf3) has been under a cloud for a while, but Juan Bellon Lopez has persisted with it and support has also come from Cyrus Lakdawala. Quite a critical position is reached after 5...d6 6 Nc3 Nd7 7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 Qd8 9 h4:

Now Black can push his b- or c-pawn, with 9...b5 seen in Kiik - Agopov. There 10 h5 Bb7 11 d5 e5 12 g3?! was surely too positional a course from the strong Estonian IM. White should prefer either 12 Ne2 or Lakdawala's recommendation, 10 g4!? c5 11 Bh3, initiating sharp, Sicilian-type tactics.

Torre 2...g6 [A48]

The other main form of the Torre is, of course, 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7. Penteala Harikrishna faced this no less than five times in Dubai, recording the impressive score of +4 =1 against pretty strong opposition. We take a look at his successes in Harikrishna - Iturrizaga where 4 Nbd2 c5 5 e3 0-0 6 c3 d6 7 Be2 Nc6 8 0-0 h6 9 Bh4 was seen:

White's position may well be slightly the easier to handle, although it's hard to believe Black can be worse. However, not for the first time amongst the Indian Grandmaster's opponents, Iturrizaga couldn't resist expanding with 9...g5?! when even 10 Bg3 Bf5 wasn't fully convincing.

The London System 1...d5 without ...e6 [D02]

There are still a few folk playing 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Bf4, including some rather strong GMs at blitz. However, after 3...c5 4 e3 Nc6 5 c3 Qb6 6 Qb3 c4 7 Qc2 Bf5 8 Qc1 I've long felt that White is already the side playing to equalise:

Indeed, I can't really advocate this line, even if White did eventually prevail after 8...Nh5!? in Moradiabadi - Goloshchapov.

The Neo-London System/Caro Exchange 2 Bf4 c5 [D00/B13]

A much better move order is 2 Bf4, although I have to admit that 2...Nf6 3 e3 c5 4 c3 cxd4 is quite an annoying response, unless White is happy with 5 cxd4 and an Exchange Slav. Instead, 5 exd4 Nc6 6 Nd2 Bf5 7 Ngf3 e6 8 Qb3 Qc8 9 Nh4 Be4 was all rather critical and likely about level in Sandipan - Kasimdzhanov.

The Jobava-Prié Attack 3...c5, 3...Bf5 [D00]

The latest advocate to the ranks of 1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 is the American no.1, who was fortunate enough to be able to employ 3...c5 4 e3 a6?! (4...cxd4! 5 exd4 a6 is indicated) 5 dxc5! Nc6 6 a3 in Nakamura - Fressinet.

However, it was unsurprisingly Jobava who mainly used the variation in Dubai, including twice getting to play the ultra-modern 3...Bf5 4 f3 e6 5 g4!? Bg6 6 h4:

I can't believe that Black can be worse here, but he was brutally outplayed in Jobava - Mamedyarov.

Now will the Jobava-Prié Attack be seen at all levels in the Olympiad? Until next month, Richard

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