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There’s plenty of crisp attacking chess to enjoy this month, while we also examine both some critical and some less explored lines of the Trompowsky, Torre and London.

Download PGN of June ’18 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bh4 [A45]

Reading Mikhail Shereshevsky’s new compendium work reminded me of his liking of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bh4. Some may feel that the line remains a decent surprise weapon, others that most black players now know to go 3...c5 4 f3 g5 5 fxe4 gxh4 6 e3 Bh6:

Of late White has pinned his hopes on 7 Qd3 here, which is by no means so ridiculous, as we’ll see in a fairly recent correspondence encounter, Stratta, R - Dos Santos, M.

The Trompowsky 2..c5 3 d5 Qb6 [A45]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 d5 Qb6 4 Nc3 is normally the prelude to the Vaganian Gambit, but in Erigaisi, A - Lalith, B, Black had second thoughts and tried 4...h6 5 Bd2 d6 6 e4 e5:

This was not such a good idea, however, and with 7 dxe6! White opened the position ahead of scoring a crushing win against his higher-rated countryman.

The Trompowsky 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d6 [A45]

Meeting 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 with 2...e6 remains pretty popular at all levels. These days play often develops 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d6 when 6 Bd3 e5 7 Ne2 g6 8 0-0 Bg7 9 f4 Qe7 brings about something of a tabiya:

White can simply develop with 10 Nd2, but there’s also the bold and critical 10 f5!?, which was calmly and fairly successfully countered by 10...0-0 in Miton, K - Olszewski, M.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 e4 d6 6 Nc3 [A46]

The Trompowsky-Torre hybrid line 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 Nf3 has caught the eye of Baadur Jobava of late. 5...d6 6 Nc3 Nd7 7 Qd2 c6 8 0-0-0 e5 brings about quite a famous position:

Many games have seen White win quickly win 9 dxe5 dxe5? 10 Nb5!, but 9...Nxe5 isn’t so bad for Black. As such, White tried 9 Kb1!? in Jobava, B - Hauchard, A, and won, if not without the aid of some bluff and fortune.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 d5 5 c3 [D03]

Once again, in Tan Zhongyi - Ju Wenjun from the women’s world championship match, play began via a 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 move order ahead of 2...d5 3 Nd2 Nbd7 4 Ngf3 h6 5 Bh4 c5 6 e3 e6 7 c3 Be7 8 Bd3 entering Torre waters:

This position is far from unknown, of course, both with and without ...h6 and Bh4 inserted. Here 8...Qc7 has been quite rare and is not particularly impressive, as we’ll see.

The London System 1...d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 e3 Bf5 [D02]

After 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 e3 Bf5 4 c4 e6 White might well go 5 Nc3 or 5 Qb3, but Hikaru Nakamura was obviously keen on a theoretical duel, as he allowed 5 Nf3 Bxb1 6 Rxb1!? (rather than the 6 Qxb1 of Carlsen-So from Wijk this year) 6...Bb4+:

This does, of course, force 7 Ke2 when I suspect Black’s best is 7...Bd6 or at least capturing on c4 didn’t turn out well in Nakamura, H - Giri, A.

The London System: 1...d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 e3 e6 4 Nf3 Bd6 [D02]

We conclude our coverage this month with another encounter from the rapid at Leuven, Grischuk, A - Aronian, L. There 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 d5 3 e3 e6 4 Nd2 Bd6 5 Ngf3!? Bxf4 6 exf4 was tried:

White has been saddled with doubled pawns, but his grip on e5 has been intensified and, as the game showed, his position can quickly become the easier to handle.

Will games from the rapid at Paris feature next month?

Until then, Richard

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