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My prediction that Eric would return this month has unfortunately proved a tad optimistic, but in better news the Trompowsky received several outings in the recent European Club Cup. We'd best take a look...

Download PGN of October '12 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...c5 3 Nc3 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 White usually exchanges on f6 or goes 3 d5, but 3 Nc3!? is not without bite and can lead Black into waters where he may not feel too comfortable. A respectable response is 3...cxd4 4 Qxd4 Nc6 5 Qh4 e6 6 e4 Be7 7 0-0-0 d6 8 f4 Qa5 when the position rather resembles a Sicilian:

Perhaps White should begin with 9 Bb5!?, since 9 Nf3 h6 is quite awkward, but in Lindberg - Landa Black prefers 9...Bd7 and never looks too at home after 10 Bb5, although then again neither does the solid grandmaster ever really look like he might lose.

Tromp 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 [A45]

Another grandmaster who appeared a little caught out by the Tromp was Gelfand's no.2, Alexander Huzman. Indeed, one would have expected him to have known something better than 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 Nc6?!. Yes, Black does draw in Laznicka - Huzman, but only once White plays with insufficient energy having netted a clear pawn as early as move 12.

Another tricky sideline is 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 d5 e6 7 e4 exd5 when White rejects the obvious 8 exd5 in favour of 8 e5!?:

This leads to some very irrational positions, related more to the Benko line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 b5 4 cxb5 a6 5 f3 e6 6 e4 exd5 7 e5 Qe7 8 Qe2 than to anything in the Trompowsky. In the entertaining encounter Lindberg - Swinkels Black spurns an early repetition before White sacrifices a whole rook for a dangerous initiative which quickly destroys the underdeveloped black forces.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 [A46]

Hedgehog set-ups, such as with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 h6 5 Bh4 b6 6 Nbd2 Bb7 7 c3 Be7, have long been something of a problem for the aggressive Torre player. Almost always White goes short, but if he's after something different then taking the king the other way deserves attention. Indeed, after 8 Bd3 0-0 (8...cxd4 9 exd4 d6 may be more precise - I'd certainly be less keen to go long before Black has committed his own king), 9 Qe2!? d6 10 Bxf6 Bxf6 11 0-0-0 very much becomes an option:

With his bishop slightly in the way on b7, it's not so easy for Black to get at the white king and meanwhile g4-g5 is on its way. Black tries to counter in the centre in Abdulla - Gurpreet, but never manages to equalise.

The Colle-Zukertort [A46]

Inspired by Stefanova's recent successes, as we covered last month, I gave 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 a punt in Palliser - Edouard. Black responded solidly with 3...b6 4 Bd3 Bb7 5 0-0 Be7 6 c4 0-0 7 Nc3 d5 8 cxd5 exd5 9 b3 Nbd7 10 Bb2 and then went 10...a6, preparing to lose a tempo with his bishop:

Before that piece reached d6 I should, of course, have cut across Black's plans with 11 Ne5, whereas 11 Rc1 led to a slow manoeuvring battle in which I was guilty of too much ambition in the run-up to the time control.

The Anti-Chigorin [D02]

As I realised when writing Starting Out: The Colle, 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 e3!? is quite a tricky little move and one which even non-Colle players should consider:

One important idea is 3...Bg4 4 Bb5, preparing to shred Black's queenside pawns. Here 4...Qd6!? is probably critical, although 4...e6 5 Bxc6+ bxc6 6 c4 Bxf3 7 Qxf3 Nf6 was solid enough for Black in Kurajica - Fercec.

Barry Attack ...c5 [D00]

Quite a critical line of the Barry runs 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bf4 Bg7 5 e3 0-0 6 Be2 c5 7 Ne5 Nc6 8 0-0 cxd4 9 exd4 Qb6 when the modern preference after 10 Nxc6 is for 10...Qxc6!:

After 11 Bb5 Qb6 12 a4 Black should obstruct the a-pawn with 12...Qa5!, whereas 12...a6 13 a5! left the Israel theoretician slightly worse in Noiroux - Postny.

Let's hope that Eric will return in November! Richard

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