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Eric's busy staring at the city walls and refining his London System or whatever one does in Carcassonne, so I've taken a look at some recent games which caught the eye in my favourite d-pawn systems.

Download PGN of September '12 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...e6 3 e4 c5 [A45]

A lively line for Black is 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 e4 c5!?. I find it amazing that 4 Bxf6?! Qxf6 5 c3 d5 6 e5 Qd8 7 f4 can favour White, especially as Black hasn't had to go ...h6 to win the bishop-pair:

However, that most unorthodox of grandmasters, Konstantin Chernyshov, disagrees and White's psychological gamble saw Black try for too much with 7...g5?! in Chernyshov - Bae, where White triumphed in a sharp struggle.

Tromp 2...e6 3 e4 h6 [A45]

Neither am I all that impressed with 3...h6 4 Bxf6 Qxf6 5 Nf3 d6 6 Nc3 Nd7 7 Qd2 for White, but somehow in practice this still catches some players out. After 7...c6?! 8 0-0-0 e5 9 dxe5 dxe5?...

...I hope you've already realised what White played in Rozentalis - Nithander.

Tromp 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 [A45]

I'm much happier with developments in Vitiugov - Ding Liren where 2...Ne4 3 Bf4 d5 4 e3 c5 5 Bd3 was seen. Eric is likely right that Black should now go back to f6 with his knight, whereas 5...cxd4 6 exd4 Nc6 7 Bxe4! dxe4 8 Ne2 Bg4 9 Nbc3 e6 doesn't quite appear to cut the mustard unless White now castles.

He does much better to simplify and take a small edge by capturing on e4, either immediately or after 10 h3 Bh5.

The Colle-Zukertort [A46]

Or should I say the Queen's Indian? Well, no, let's keep it in this section for the position after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 c5 4 Bd3 b6 5 0-0 Bb7 6 c4 comes about somewhat more often these days from this move order than a 4 e3 Queen's Indian one. Antoaneta Stefanova has championed White's cause of late and we'll see several of her efforts in the notes to Stefanova - Khurtsidze. There Black goes in for 6...Be7 7 Nc3 cxd4 8 exd4 d5 9 cxd5 Nxd5 10 Ne5 0-0 11 Qg4!? (an important moment; it might, indeed, be better to allow Black the option of ...f5 with tempo than that of 11 Qh5 g6!?) 11...Nf6 12 Qh4 Ne4 13 Qh3 Qxd4 14 Bf4!:

This is, of course, a critical and controversial pawn sacrifice. Perhaps Black is OK if very well prepared, but the Georgian IM immediately comes unstuck and perishes in spectacular fashion in our main game.

The Torre Attack ...g6 [A48]

One would not normally associate 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d5 6 e3 Nbd7 with an exciting game, but that was before the sharp idea of 7 Bd3 Re8 8 0-0 e5 9 e4! came under the spotlight:

Bauer and Yusupov have tried this of late, as we've seen before, and I wasn't particularly impressed by Black's preparation in Sebenik - Gupta, although he quickly obtained a huge advantage when White missed a trick against a loose knight on g5 (LPDO as John Nunn would say!).

Barry Attack [D00]

After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bf4 Bg7 moving the queen to d2 has been the hip move in recent years, but 5 e3 0-0 6 Be2 still has its adherents:

We round up a number of lines in Okhotnik - Lubbers where 6...c6 7 Ne5 Nbd7 (7...Nfd7!) 8 h4! gives White his dream, attacking scenario, although Black shouldn't yet be worse as shown by Alina L'Ami in the notes.

Black's main move remains 6...c5 when 7 dxc5 never leads anywhere in Megaranto - Morovic Fernandez, so it's probably a good thing that most club players prefer 7 Ne5!

Au revoir, Richard

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