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Unfortunately Eric is still busy with his duties for the French Federation, but despite a certain game from the recent Tal Memorial I've managed to resist covering the Trompowsky this month and have even given the London some coverage.

Download PGN of June '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Veresov 3...Bf5 [D01]

Last month we saw Nakamura employing the Veresov in the Thessaloniki Grand Prix and he went 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bg5 as many as three times in the blitz tournament which preceded the Tal Memorial: Caruana appeared unprepared, Kramnik went for a solid line but didn't quite fully equalise, and in Nakamura - Mamedyarov 3...Bf5 4 Bxf6 exf6 5 e3 c6 6 Bd3 Bxd3 7 Qxd3 was seen:

To my eye White's position is both the easier to play and already gives him an edge, and a rapid e3-e4 break left the American no.1 en route to a speedy victory.

The Torre Attack v KID [A48]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d5 6 e3 Nbd7 we've only focussed before on the sharp 7 Bd3, but many Torre adherents prefer the calmer 7 Be2. Following 7...Re8 8 0-0 e5 9 b4 e4 10 Ne1 a reversed French structure arises:

I quite like White's chances if Black goes gung-ho on the kingside, but 10...Nb6!? 11 a4 a5 threw a spanner in the works on the other flank in Korobov - Volokitin.

Torre v Nimzo [D03]

I'm delighted to say that Eric does at least make an appearance this month and has taken a look at a few games from the recent French Team Championship or 'Top 12'. The results can be found in Istratescu - Meier where 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 c3 d5 5 e3 Nbd7 6 Nbd2 Be7 was a slightly passive reaction from the German no.2.

The London System v KID [A48]

It's not without a little trepidation that I give Eric's favourite opening plenty of coverage. We begin with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3, which Kamsky had twice in the World Blitz Championship. After 4...0-0 5 Be2 d6 6 0-0 c5 7 c3 we reach a position which should be well known to subscribers:

Here Eric has give plenty of coverage to Black's main moves, 7...Qb6 and 7...Be6, and 7...cxd4 8 exd4 Nd5 was new to me in Dreev - Zvjaginsev. I'm not totally convinced, though, and the ever-creative Zvjaginsev quickly finds himself in huge trouble.

Anti-Nimzo without ...d5 [A47]

Another important type of London is 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bf4 which Kamsky has also taken a liking to of late. Indeed, he has reached the position after 3...c5 4 e3 b6 5 c3 Bb7 6 h3 Be7 7 Bd3 0-0 8 0-0 cxd4 9 cxd4 Nc6 10 a3! on a few occasions:

Unable to go ...Nb4-d5 Black is a little cramped and after 10...a6 11 Rac1 d5 rapidly put to the sword on the kingside in Kamsky - Gundavaa.

Anti-Nimzo with ...d5 [D02]

We complete our trilogy of the three main types of the London by looking at 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 Bf4 c5 4 e3 Nc6 5 c3 e6 6 Nbd2 Bd6 7 Bg3 0-0 8 Bd3 and then 8...Qc7:

This try might be quite critical, but is probably dubious even if I can imagine it throwing a number of club players. The correct reaction is 9 dxc5!, as we'll see in Markus - Papp.

Other d-Pawn Specials [A46]

I'm not too sure how to classify the Barry-like 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d6 3 Nc3!?, but perhaps it might be known as the anti-Old Indian? In any event the tempo loss 3...d5 is pretty rare and White takes full advantage in Vachier Lagrave-Nataf.

We conclude with another instructive attacking game, Nikolic - Petakov. There Black tries to surprise White with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 b5, but after 3 e4!? White may well have seized the psychological upper hand:

Moreover, this approach is quite dangerous, since after 3...Nxe4 4 Bxb5 it's far from easy for Black to make active use of his extra centre pawn, whereas White has a pleasant space advantage and might build up for a kingside attack at his leisure.

Notes on Carlsen-Kramnik will no doubt appear next month! Richard

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