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This was going to be a column devoted to 'D00', which includes the popular Trompowsky response 2...d5, but a couple of other ECO codes also got a look in. Watch out for a crushing early exchange sacrifice from Bacrot and another devastating victory for Jobava with his favourite 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4!?.

Download PGN of November '14 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 e3 c5, 5...Nc6!? [D00]

We begin with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 d5 and then the trendy 3 e3 c5 4 Bxf6 gxf6 5 dxc5, where 5...Nc6!? continues to thwart white players in their quest for a small edge:

Last month we saw Vitiugov get nowhere against it and neither did White in Sandipan - Potkin.

The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 e3 c5, 5 Nc3 (Veresov) [D01]

Another way of trying to make this line work is via the Veresov transposition, 5 Nc3. Then 5...Nc6 6 dxc5 e6 7 Qh5 is typically direct and Veresovian, but Black seems fine here, whether he goes 7...Bxc5 8 0-0-0 f5 or tries the new idea 7...b6!?:

This pawn sacrifice is, of course, well known in similar positions and gave Black full compensation in Gonda - Filippov.

The Tromp 2...d5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 [D00]

Returning to the third move, 3 Bxf6 was for a long time White's main try, but 3...gxf6, and if 4 c4 dxc4 is one good response. Now 5 e3 is indicated. I used to believe 5 e4?! to be too ambitious on account of 5...Nc6 and 5...b5!? 6 a4 c6 7 axb5 cxb5 8 Nc3 a6! 9 Nxb5 axb5 10 Rxa8 Bb7 might be even more of a problem:

Such an exchange sacrifice is a French speciality - Romain Edouard make excellent use of one to score a key victory over Jon Ludvig Hammer in the crunch match of the 4NCL - and here the only surprise was that Black didn't go on to win in Schneider - Bacrot.

The Jobava-Prié Attack 4 e3 Bb4 [D00]

This remains popular and being played by Jobava. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 we look at three main moves this month: 3...c5, 3...g6 and 3...e6. The solid latter can lead to 4 e3 Bb4 5 Bd3 c5 6 dxc5, as in Jobava - Shalamberidze:

Jobava's opponents like to develop with 6...Nbd7, but exchanging on c3 is more challenging from what I can see.

The Barry Attack 6...c5 [D00]

Mark Hebden hasn't entirely abandoned his old favourite for the Trompowsky and we'll see a few of his recent games in the notes to Blatny - Schmidt. There the old main tabiya is reached, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bf4 Bg7 5 e3 0-0 6 Be2 c5, whereupon 7 dxc5 is a Blatny favourite:

Black has no difficulty equalising after 7...Nbd7, but 7...Qa5 8 Nd2! gave White a spot of pressure in the game.

The London System Anti-Nimzo ...d5 [D02]

This is yet another opening to have attracted 2600+ exponents in the last ten years or so, including Kiril Georgiev. The Bulgarian theoretician must have been delighted to see 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 Nf6 3 e3 e6 4 Nf3 c5 5 c3 Nc6 6 Nbd2 Bd6 7 Bg3 Bxg3 8 hxg3 Qd6 9 Bd3 e5!? 10 dxc5! Qxc5 11 e4 in Georgiev - Brunello:

Brunello essays 11...Bg4 and was OK after 12 Nb3 Qd6 13 exd5 Qxd5, but White can improve on this, as we'll see.

The London System Anti-Nimzo without ...d5, 4...Qb6 [A46]

Finally, we have a reminder of the perils of an early exchange of queens on the b-file for the side making the exchange. 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bf4 c5 4 c3 Qb6 is slightly premature (4...cxd4 5 cxd4 Qb6 improves, since then White's queenside is much weaker in the event of 6 Qb3 Qxb3 7 axb3), as 5 Qb3 Qxb3?! 6 axb3 Nc6 7 e3 shows:

White's queenside pawn mass controls a number of key squares and will gradually inch forward. Black manages to entomb the London bishop on h2 in Alonso Roselli-Vehi Bach, but is never able to reduce the pressure on the queenside.

Dare I say that the Torre Attack will return next month? Until then, Richard

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