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We've a wide range of d-Pawn Specials to consider this month, with only really the Veresov missing out. Look out especially for Koneru's fine technique, a cracking Trompowsky Attack from our Flank Openings columnist and a GM playing the BDG - yes, you did hear that correctly!

Download PGN of October '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...e6 3 e4 h6 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 White finds himself at a major crossroads. 5 Nc3 allows Black to choose between 5...Bb4 and 5...d6 6 Qd2 c6, but here 6...a6 isn't so hot as we'll see in Belikov - Golubov. Richard Pert has long preferred 5 c3 and advocates it in his Playing the Trompowsky. Following 5...d6 6 Bd3 g6 7 Ne2 Bg7 8 0-0 Qe7 9 f4 e5 quite an important position is reached:

As shown by both Pert and Fier - Rozum, 10 f5!? may well see White regaining the upper hand in this particular sub-variation.

The Colle-Zukertort [D05 & E14]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d5 3 e3 doesn't always have a great press, since here Black can go 3...Bg4 and 3...g6, but even at GM level Black sometimes goes 3...e6. After 4 Bd3 Be7 5 Nbd2 Nbd7 6 b3 b6 7 Bb2 Bb7 8 0-0 0-0 quite a symmetrical position arose in Koneru - Kosteniuk, except that White's king's bishop was the more actively placed:

Unfortunately for the Colle-Zukertort player, 9 Ne5 doesn't lead very far after 9...Ne4, but it's not so easy for Black to equalise after 9 c4 and, indeed, Kosteniuk never manages to.

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

It's rare for Black to meet 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 with both ...c5 and ...g5, but 3...c5 4 e3 h6 5 Bh4 Nc6 6 c3 g5!? 7 Bg3 Nh5 8 Nbd2 Nxg3 9 hxg3 cxd4 10 exd4 Bg7 was seen in Stojanovski - Galkin:

This certainly unbalances the position, but the Torre player should be happy enough after 11 Bb5!? or the game's 11 Bd3. White may bring a knight to g3 or advance on the queenside, and in the game the Russian Grandmaster almost sailed a little close to an overpressing wind.

The Torre Attack 3...c5 4 e3 cxd4 [A46]

A somewhat more common defence is 4...cxd4 5 exd4 b6 6 Bd3 Bb7 7 0-0 Be7:

Here 8 Nbd2 is, of course, the standard approach, but Yusupov used to employ 8 c4!? and has recently returned to it. I suggested that White might try it in The Torre Attack: Move by Move and we'll take a look in Yusupov - Knoedler. Play can resemble certain lines of the Tartakower QGD and it's not so easy for Black to equalise if he isn't familiar with that opening.

The London System - Anti-Nimzo 3...d5 4 e3 Bd6 [D02]

Rewinding to July and we find Gata Kamsky twice going 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bf4 in the Beijing Grand Prix. After 3...d5 4 e3 Bd6 5 Bg3 0-0 Black is very solid, but once again White can try to pose some problems with his c-pawn, in the shape of 6 c4:

However, after 6...c5 7 cxd5 Nxd5 the position resembled a slightly strange sort of Semi-Tarrasch in Kamsky - Ivanchuk, where White was initially outplayed before doing some outplaying.

The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit - Bogoljubow's Defence 5...g6 [D00]

One rarely sees a Grandmaster go 1 d4 Nf6 2 f3 and then 2...d5 3 e4 dxe4 4 Nc3 exf3 5 Nxf3:

And yet this happened in Miladinovic - Van Hoolandt where 5...g6 6 Bc4 Bg7 7 0-0 0-0 8 h3?! was surely too slow. However, Black quickly became too defensive and was outplayed in impressive fashion.

That's all for this month. Will we see another Grandmaster BDG game next month I wonder? Richard

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