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This month we examine some of the more critical lines of the Jobava-Prié Attack, noting a welcome return to its ranks by the Georgian no.1, while also taking a look at a startling and bold new idea for Black against the venerable London System.

Download PGN of November ’19 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 Bf5 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 I was amazed that Mamedyarov recently tried 3...Nf6?! even if it was only in an online speed game. Instead, our main focus is 3...d5 4 e3 Bf5 5 f3 Nd6!?:

Leading theoretician Lubomir Ftacnik is the latest to play this way as Black, but I’d still rather take the white pieces here, as we’ll see in Roubalik, J - Ftacnik, L.

The Trompowsky: 2...e6 3 Nd2 h6 4 Bh4 c5 5 e4 [A45]

I’m losing track of how many of Zia Rahman’s opponents insert 3...h6 after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 Nd2 rather than cut out his favourite line with 3...c5. After 3...h6, 4 Bh4 c5 5 e4!? continues to look like quite an attractive gambit for White:

Rahman, Z - Minhazuddin, A was not the first clash with 5...cxd4 6 e5 g5 7 Bg3 Nd5 8 h4 gxh4 between the two players, but both recaptures simply leave Black in trouble from what I can see.

The London, Jobava-Prié: 2...g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 e3 Bg7 5 h4 [A45]

Mark Hebden actually used the Jobava-Prié move order 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 g6 4 e3 Bg7 5 h4 0-0 (as we’ll see too, Hebden himself preferred 5...c5!? against another leading advocate of the white cause, Nigel Povah) 6 h5 in Hebden, M - Moreby, J:

I hope I don’t have to remind you which move Black should play here and which one he should avoid!

The Jobava-Prié: 3...a6 [D00]

1 d4 d5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Bf4 was how another Hebden game from the Channel Islands began, after which 3...a6 4 e3 e6 was seen in Hebden, M - Baker, C.

Here Jobava recently played his favourite 5 a3, but that just seems rather slow. I much prefer Hebden’s punchy 5 g4!?.

The Jobava-Prié: 3...e6 [D00]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Bf4 e6 4 e3 a related idea for White is 4...Be7 5 g4!?, which just looks quite dangerous for Black. However, one reason why I’m yet to dabble in the opening as White is 4...Bb4:

This Winawer or Nimzo-like development just seems to offer Black easy play, as it did for a fair while after 5 Nge2 0-0 6 a3 Bd6 7 g3 b6 in Turner, M - Palliser, R.

The London: 2...c5 3 e3 cxd4 4 exd4 Nc6 [D00]

Subscriber Konrad Lutz wrote in to ask what White should do against the so-called Apeldoorn variation, which was promoted in a recent New in Chess Yearbook. That runs 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 c5 3 e3 cxd4 4 exd4 Nc6 5 c3 and now the ambitious-looking 5...f6!?:

What White absolutely must not do is threaten a check with 6 Bd3? as Black is more than happy to call his bluff with 6...e5!, as we’ll see in Koellner, R - Peralta, F. Instead, the critical line appears to be 6 Nf3 g5!? 7 Be3 Bf5 8 c4!?... which awaits a test!

The Colle: 3...c5 4 Nbd2 [D04]

Sergey Karjakin twice dabbled in 1 Nf3 d5 2 d4 Nf6 3 e3 in the sixth leg of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour in Bucharest and after 3...c5 was happy to follow in the footsteps of a great compatriot of his with 4 Nbd2:

4...Nc6 5 dxc5 e6 6 a3 a5! is quite a critical line, as well as one which seems to promise Black equality, as it did in Karjakin, S - So, W.

Will the Simon Williams-inspired mini-renaissance of the Jobava-Prié continue? We’ll find out next month!

Until then, Richard

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