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Recent weeks have seen a few strong team tournaments and we feature games from the European Club Cup, while one or two from the ongoing European Team Championship have squeezed into the notes. Look out too for yet more attacking magic from Nisipeanu.

Download PGN of November '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 [A45]

Having annotated a fair few Tromps of late, I decided to return to the opening in Palliser - Zhigalko where 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 was met by 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 d5 e6 7 e4 exd5 8 exd5 d6 9 Qd2 Be7 10 c4:

In this tabiya Black must decide what to do about the queens, but whether he exchanges or goes to d8 White seems to enjoy the more pleasant game.

A somewhat less common option is 3...d6, but this move might suit those with experience of the Pirc and Philidor. White responded with the creative 4 Qd3!? Nf6 5 e4 g6 6 Nc3 Bg7 7 Be2 in Van de Griendt-Schaefer:

My team-mate, FM Jan van de Griendt, was in top form at the European Club Cup in Rhodes and goes on to totally demolish his German IM opponent, although I dare say that Black shouldn't be doing so badly at this stage.

The Torre Attack 3...c5 4 e3 h6 [A46]

Via the move order 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 Nd2 h6 4 Bh4 c5 5 e3 Be7 6 c3 b6 7 Ngf3 Bb7 8 Bd3 d6 quite an important position is reached in Predojevic - Berg:

Black has held back on the almost standard exchange on d4 and it's actually not so easy for White to find a move here, as Eric has previously shown. Indeed, Black will find himself very close to full equality after a timely ...Nd5 or ...Nh5, but the Bosnian Grandmaster showed the way to pose him a few problems at the start of a most powerful performance.

The Torre Attack 3...d5 [D03]

Torre players should be happy to see 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 d5 and after 4 e3 c5 5 c3 Be7 6 Nbd2 Nc6 7 Bd3 there are a few ways for Black to play ...h6. However, the move rarely helps him, as we'll see in Nisipeanu - Glawe, where 7...0-0 8 0-0 b6 9 Ne5 Bb7?! 10 f4 was seen:

This is an almost ideal position for White and the Romanian no.1 was quick to increase the pressure on the kingside before setting a tempting trap into which his opponent fell headlong.

The London System v King's Indian [A48]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 d6 going 5 Be2 looks more critical than 5 h3. It does allow 5...Nh5 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 g5, but then there's 8 Nfd2:

Eric quite likes this for White, as I see does Cyrus Lakdawala in his work on the London. So too do I, but not if White follows up as he does in Banawa - Yermolinsky.

The London System Anti-Nimzo [D02]

A completely different sort of London tabiya arises after 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 c5 3 e3 Nf6 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nd2 e6 (5...Bf5 is surely the critical choice, although the passive text may not be so bad) 6 Ngf3 Bd6 7 Bg3 Bxg3 8 hxg3 Qd6 9 Bd3 (9 Bb5!?, fighting for control of e5, is the alternative).

At this point 9...e5 leaves Black pretty close to full equality from what I can see, whereas 9...Bd7?! 10 Qe2 e5 11 dxc5! Qxc5 12 e4 gave White an edge in Sedlak - Hobber.

The Counter King's Fianchetto [A49]

As well as the Torre, Graham Burgess recommends 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2 0-0 5 0-0 d6 6 a4 in his new work, A Cunning Chess Opening Repertoire for White. Whether this position belongs with the King's Indian or in this section isn't so clear, but it's undoubtedly a solid and quite sensible attempt to avoid too much theory for White:

I've taken a look in Slipak - Flores where one of the key positions arises after 6...Nbd7 7 a5 c6 8 Nc3 Qc7 9 e4 e5 10 h3.

That's all for this month. I'll be back just before or possibly even during the London Classic, Richard

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