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I fear you've had to wait a while for this update, but hope it will have been worth it! White scores an unbeaten '+3', while we get to see both Gata Kamsky and Dave Smerdon in action.

Download PGN of May ’16 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3, Chernyshov's 9 Bc7 [A45]

It's always good to see the Aussie GM taking the odd day off from bashing the Sicilian to wheel out 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5. Anti-Sicilian readers won't be surprised to hear that Smerdon was ready with a sharp idea which has been strangely neglected of late, namely 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 d5 Qb6 7 e4!? Qxb2 8 Nd2 Qxc3 9 Bc7:

Of course, this position is hardly new to us, but it has been well out of the limelight for a few years now, and not just because Black more and more prefers 3...d5 or even 2...d5. Here 9...Na6?! was new for the site, but Dave was quick to deal it a crushing blow in Smerdon - Womacka.

The Trompowsky 2...e6 3 e4 [A45]

A more solid tabiya from Black's perspective is the one which arises after 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d6 6 Bd3 g6 7 Ne2 Bg7 8 f4 e5 9 0-0 Qe7 10 Nd2 (10 f5!? is not without venom) 10...0-0 11 Nf3:

Black should be OK here, particularly if he plumps for a quick ...c5, but Laznicka is happy to take the white side and recently showed that 11...Nd7 12 Qd2 exd4 13 cxd4 c5 14 Rae1! is not so easy for Black to counter in Laznicka - Mchedlishvili.

The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 e3 e6 [D03]

We slowly drift away from Trompowsky waters in the coverage of Ju Wenjun-Chu Ruotong where 2...d5 3 e3 e6 is seen, along with the latest developments from Saint Louis after the critical 3...c5 4 Bxf6 gxf6. After the former move, 4 Bd3 Be7 5 Nd2 c5 6 c3 Nbd7 7 f4!? was an attempt to obtain a souped-up Torre:

This isn't too important a line theoretically, but I've included this game as the line is quite common at club level and the game rather instructive.

The London System - Anti-Queen's Indian 3 Bf4 c5 4 e3 b6 [A47]

It could hardly be an update these days without much mention of the fashionable London. We begin with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bf4 c5 4 e3 b6 when, believe it or not, White is already at something of a cross-roads:

Here Kamsky's recent choice of 5 Nbd2!? looks both sneaky and decent, and if 5...Bb7?! 6 Nc4. However, in Dragun - Miton White prefers 5 Bd3 and a Hedgehog-type position arises in which Black knows what he's doing and draws pretty easily.

The London System v KID with ...g6 [A48]

A different type of London is Kamsky's favourite 2...g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 c3 d6 5 h3 0-0 6 e3:

An ever-growing trend for Black is a a double fianchetto, as with 6...Nbd7 7 Be2 b6. We'll consider all such approaches in the notes to Kamsky - Shankland where Black plays as above and then meets 8 a4 with 8...a5. This solid approach works out well, despite a white knight landing on b5, but others have done well enough too with an ...a6 response.

Instead, 6...c5 7 dxc5 dxc5 8 Qxd8 Rxd8 is surely asking for trouble against such a good technician as Kamsky, but Black comes well enough prepared in Kamsky - Sjugirov and quickly liquidates to an easily drawable pawn-down rook endgame.

The London System - Anti-Nimzo 8 Bd3 [D02]

Finally, we come to the 1 d4 d5 type of London, looking at both the strange recent trend for 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 e3 c5 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Nbd2 Qb6?! and a certain tabiya, namely that which arises after 2...e6 3 e3 c5 4 c3 Bd6 5 Bg3 Nc6 6 Nf3 Nf6 7 Nbd2 0-0 8 Bd3:

This position has been covered in 20 main games already on ChessPub! Here 8...b6 is both topical and critical, whereas 8...cxd4 9 exd4 Ne7 was likely a little too defensive in Palliser - Rooney.

Until next month, Richard

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