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After last month's Tromp-less column, it's time to redress the balance. Moreover, we have a number of all-GM theoretically relevant games in the opening to consider. Nowadays the Trompowsky may be almost mainstream, but it continues to pack a certain punch, as we'll see.

Download PGN of October '14 d-Pawn Specials games

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The London via Tromp 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 [A45/D02]

I'm often getting into trouble with Tony for my ECO classification, but is it our fault that that 'E14' has pinched an important line from the Colle or 'B13' from the London? At least 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 Nf6 6 c3 Nc6 7 Nd2 g6 8 Ngf3 Bg7 9 h3 0-0 10 0-0 Nd7 is 'A45' territory, or so one would think:

Black had been doing well enough here, but then Richard Pert introduced 11 Be2!?, which fellow Trompowsky expert Peter Wells refined further. We have all the details in Wells - Hebden and by losing a tempo with the bishop White actually transposes to a variation of the London!

The London System ...d5 and ...g6 [D02]

Another route to our last diagram is 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 0-0 5 Be2 d5 6 h3 c5 7 c3 Nc6 8 0-0 Nd7 9 Nbd2, saving two on the move order.

This is definite 'D02' territory and here 9...b6 might be more sensible than pushing the e-pawn. That said, White retains definite chances for an edge with 10 Qa4!, as we'll see in an instructive and entertaining if not cutting-edge encounter, Langeweg - Kouatly.

The Trompowsky 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 g5?! [A45]

We enter definite 'A45' waters in Miladinovic - Potpara where Black tries to bridge a wide rating gap with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 g5?!:

This has some shock value, but whether the bishop goes to e5, c1 or even e3 White appears to obtain the upper hand. Miladinovic chooses the first of those and ultimately prevails in an unnecessarily messy encounter.

Tromp - Vaganian Gambit [A45]

Via 2...e6 3 e4 c5 4 d5 Qb6 5 Nc3 Qxb2 6 Bd2 Qb6 7 f4 d6 we reach a key line of the Vaganian Gambit and after 8 Rb1 Qc7 9 Bb5+ Black really has to know his stuff:

Despite his 2600+ rating an Azeri GM fails to block with the knight and was fortunate to survive in Swinkels - Durarbeyli.

Tromp 2...c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 [A45]

2...c5 is always a problem for me, if a nice problem to face: to go 3 d5 or 3 Bxf6? The latter is preferred in Hera - Zhou which provides further evidence that 3...gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Qc1 f5 6 c4 d6 7 Nc3 Nd7 8 e3 Bg7 9 Qc2 is quite pleasant for White. Note too here Bartel's use of 6...Bh6 7 Qc2!?, which seems to have placed another ball in Black's court.

Tromp 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 [A45]

A more topical tabiya arises after 2...e6 3 e4 h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 c3 d5 6 Nd2 c5 7 Ngf3:

Black often develops his knight to c6 here, either immediately or after an exchange on d4, but 7...a6!? is an important alternative and a move which worked out quite well in Sedlak - Ni Hua.

Tromp 2...d5 3 e3 c5 4 Bxf6 gxf6 [D00]

Finally, we switch to 'D00' waters and the modern move order 2...d5 3 e3 c5 4 Bxf6 gxf6 5 dxc5. Mickey Adams has shown that 5...e6 6 Nf3 gives White good chances for an edge, but 5...Nc6!? 6 Nf3 wasn't so effective in Vitiugov - Vachier Lagrave.

Until next month, Richard

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