ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Much to enjoy in this update, which takes in a fascinating early piece sacrifice by Black in the Trompowsky, some well-played and less well-played attacks from White, and concludes with a typical wild Shirov encounter, albeit one where he was the side for once facing a huge attack.

Download PGN of October ’21 d-Pawn Specials games

>> Previous Update >>

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 f3 Nf6 [A45]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5 4 d5 we’ll take a look at two lines within Djordevic, V - Shipov, S. 4...Qa5+ 5 c3 Nf6 6 e4 e6 continues to attract some interest and 7 e4 exd5 8 e5!? Nh5 9 Bc1 c4!? 10 g4 saw Trompowsky legend Igor Miladinovic winning a piece at the Serbian Team Championship.

However, after 10...d6!? 11 gxh5 dxe5, as proposed by Stockfish, it’s not too hard to like Black’s compensation.

Our main game actually saw 4...Nf6 5 dxc5! Qa5+ 6 Nc3 Qxc5 7 e4 d6 8 Qd2 Nc6:

Now 9 0-0-0 just looks like a decent version of an Open Sicilian for White to me, and if 9...g6?! 10 Nb5! Qb6 11 e5!, and Black’s queen also ran into trouble later on in Djordevic-Shipov, where White preferred 9 Nge2 g6 10 g4.

The Trompowsky: 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 [A45]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 is quite a solid choice, especially if followed up by 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 Nf6, avoiding any issues on e4. We’ve analysed the London-like 6 c3 Nc6 7 Nd2 on a few occasions:

However, we’ve never considered 7...a6!?, which it seems that Black may have time for, as we’ll see in Koellner, R - Romanov, E.

The Trompowsky: 2...c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Qc1 f5 [A45]

We stick with the recent praxis of young German FM Ruben Koellner in Koeller, R - Vivas Zamora, F, where Black goes in for the unbalanced 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Qc1 f5. A highly critical line was then debated, namely 6 c4 Bh6 7 e3 f4 8 exf4 Bxf4 9 Qxf4 Qxb2 10 Ne2 Qxa1 11 Nec3:

Black should be OK here after 11...d6, but not after 11...Rg8? 12 d6!, which quickly left him in serious trouble in the game.

The Trompowsky: 2...c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Nd2 [A45]

From what I can see, we’ve never properly analysed a gambit alternative to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 d5 Qb6 5 Qc1, namely 5 Nd2!?. Trompowsky legends Hort, Hodgson and Gallagher have dabbled in it, but the move has never fully taken off. However, maybe meeting 5...Qxb2 not with 6 e3, but 6 e4!? will see the gambit gaining more traction:

White provokes 6...f5 and after 7 Rb1 Qg7 8 Ngf3 develops rapidly, as we’ll see in Arnaudov, P - Handke, F.

The Torre Attack v KID: 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 e4 Nbd7 [A48]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 e4 d6 6 c3 Nbd7 White has a few options for his light-squared bishop: e2, d3 and c4. The last of those was tried in Nicholson, J - Round, J, where Black fell into the sort of trouble which can easily occur to a creative club player in these lines. 7 Bc4 h6 8 Bh4 c5!? was very ambitious and countered critically with 9 e5!:

Here Black needed to find 9...Nh5!, not 9...dxe5? 10 dxe5 Ng4 which ran slap, bang into 11 e6!.

The Torre Attack v KID: 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 e4 c5 [A48]

The main line after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 d6 5 c3 0-0 6 e4 remains 6...c5 7 dxc5 dxc5 8 Bc4. Here 8...h6 has been fairly rare, but is far from ridiculous when White might try 9 Be3!? Qc7 10 h3:

However, Black’s set-up appears a solid yet flexible one, whether he opts for 10...Nc6 or the 10...Nbd7 of Skoberne, J - Zamar Kodelja, J.

The London System v KID: 2...g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 d6 5 Be2 [A48]

Alexei Shirov has been in fine form at the FIDE Grand Swiss, due partly to it being held in his native Riga and possibly also some first round fortune. There he met 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 d6 5 Be2 with the critical 5...Nh5!? 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 g5:

We’ve tended to focus on 8 Nfd2 here, but, of course, 8 Bg3 is far from ridiculous and Black soon found himself rather overextended on the kingside in Henriquez Villagra, C - Shirov, A.

Let’s hope for some more inspirational attacking play next time!

Until then, Richard

>> Previous Update >>