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Apologies for this slightly late update, but especially for fans of bloodthirsty games, I hope it will be worth waiting for. Do, indeed, enjoy brutal attacks from Harikrishna, Rapport and even Yusupov!

*Attention visitors from the USCF and Chess Life Magazine: due to an oversight the wrong URL for the sample update was published in the magazine. You can find that sample here*

Download PGN of March '15 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 Qb6 5 Nbd2 [A46]

We haven't seen too much of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 Qb6 of late, but this greedy response remains quite critical. After 5 Nbd2 Qxb2 White might even offer a second pawn with 6 Rb1!?:

This was a leading Torre player's choice in Yusupov - Gunnarsson, so deserves a deeper look, and it wasn't long before the black queen had been surrounded.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 h6 4 Bh4 [A46]

The Danish Grandmaster Carsten Hoi has been playing the Torre for longer than I can remember, so if he likes 3...h6 4 Bh4 d6 5 c4!? we should take note:

After 5...g5 6 Bg3 Nh5 7 e3 Bg7 8 Nc3 Black was a tempo up on a line of the Smyslov King's Indian, albeit a line which may favour White, and he was quickly slightly worse in Hoi - Ochsner.

The Torre Attack 2...g6 3 Bg5 [A48]

A different breed of Torre is 2...g6 3 Bg5 whereupon 3...Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 e3 d6 6 Bc4 is a decent way to get a well-prepared opponent thinking:

Moreover, this was the world champion's choice in Carlsen - Bacrot so is likely to spawn imitators.

I tend to view the 2...g6 Torre lines as more positional than the 2...e6 ones, but even after 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 d5 early aggression can occur. In the notes to Harikrishna - Padmini we'll examine the pawn sacrifice 5 c3 c5!?, while the main game went 5 e3 0-0 6 Bd3 c5 7 c3 b6 8 Qe2!?:

Subscribers with good memories will recall Vachier-Lagrave winning a crushing game with this aggressive choice back at the 2013 version of Gibraltar and at the 2015 tournament Harikrishna was more than happy to follow in his footsteps.

Torre Attack with ...e6, ...c5 and ...d5 [D03]

Jumping around in the Torre jungle and via a Trompowsky move order (2 Bg5 d5 3 e3 Nbd7 4 Nf3 c5 5 c3 e6 6 Nbd2 Be7 7 Bd3), we reach one of the 'D03' Torre lines:

As I'm sure subscribers are aware, Black should avoid 7...0-0?! here, but a young Norwegian talent was less well educated in Rapport - Tari White didn't punish him with 8 Ne5!, but still won a striking game with 8 a4!?.

The Colle-Zukertort [D05]

It's not too often that one sees two grandmasters contesting one of the main lines of the Colle-Zukertort, but 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 d5 4 Bd3 c5 5 0-0 Nc6 6 b3 Bd6 7 Bb2 0-0 8 Nbd2 Qe7 9 Ne5 cxd4 10 exd4 was seen in Kovalenko - Vazquez Igarza:

Now one would expect the modern 10...Qc7, but the old choice, 10...Ba3, was preferred when White didn't take but went 11 Qc1!?. I've never really considered this quiet approach, but it also looks like a route to an edge and the Latvian Grandmaster went on to win an instructive hanging pawn game, albeit only after a strange mutual oversight.

Jobava-Prié Attack 3...Bf5 4 f3 e6 5 g4 [D00]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 hasn't been too popular so far in 2015, but it's still wheeled out on occasion by a few grandmasters. Here 3...Bf5 4 f3 e6 5 g4 Bg6 6 h4 h5 7 g5 Nfd7 8 e3 continues to look fairly pleasant for the first player:

We'll take a look and at a couple of other lines in Nabaty - Codenotti.

No Tromps or Londons this month I'm afraid, but I'm sure we'll see plenty of both next month.

Until next month, Richard

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