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The Veresov takes a back seat this month, but as usual there are plenty of different types of d-Pawn Specials for us to get our teeth into. Unfortunately for White, though, the Barry Attack is beginning to look a little less special these days.

Download PGN of September '13 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 [D00]

One associates the Greek Grandmaster Vasilios Kotronias with 1 e4, but recently he tried 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 in a couple of games, possibly inspired by his fellow Quality Chess author Richard Pert's Playing the Trompowsky. Kotronias - Stathopoulos continued 2...d5 3 Bxf6 gxf6 4 c4 e5 which must be quite critical, overly ambitious though it looks:

Indeed, after 5 Nc3 White seems to be able to maintain sufficient control and Black's kingside holes land up costing him the game.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 and 3...c5, 4 e3 [A46]

Last month we saw Dmitry Andreikin floor Sergey Karjakin with the Torre and this time it was Peter Svidler's turn to suffer. Andreikin - Svidler began with a Trompowsky move order, but after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 e6 3 Nd2 h6 4 Bh4 c5 5 e3 Be7 6 c3 b6 7 Ngf3 play had clearly transposed to Torre waters:

Here 99% of players would fianchetto ahead of setting up a Hedgehog-like set-up. Svidler, however, preferred an extended fianchetto, but never fully equalised after 7...Ba6 8 Bxf6 Bxf6 9 Bxa6 Nxa6 10 Ne4.

The Colle-Zukertort v Queen's Indian set-up [A47]

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 e3 b6 4 Bd3 Bb7 5 0-0 c5 6 b3 Be7 7 Bb2 0-0 8 Nbd2 cxd4 9 exd4 reaches something of a tabiya for the Colle-Zukertort against Queen's Indian lines:

As Black I would keep my fianchettoed bishop unblocked and develop with 9...d6 and ...Nbd7, but 9...Nc6 is also quite popular. A young talent who was cruelly eliminated from the World Cup faced this in Cori - Filippov where Black was put to the sword on the kingside in a manner which can but warm the heart of all Colle players.

The Colle-Zukertort with ...d5 [D05]

Another tabiya can be reached after 5...d5 6 b3 Bd6 7 Bb2 0-0 8 Ne5 c5 9 Nd2 Nc6 10 f4 Rc8 11 a3, amongst other move orders:

Here Black is advised to bolster his kingside defences with 11...Ne7, but not 11..cxd4 12 exd4 Ne7, since then 13 Qe2 (or 13 Qf3) gives White useful control of e4, after which Black was soon on the defensive in Tomescu - Parligras.

The London System v KID 6...Nfd7!? [A48]

Quite a critical test of the move order 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 d6 5 h3 0-0 6 Be2 is 6...Nfd7!?, but after 7 0-0 e5 8 Bh2 Nc6 9 c4 f5 10 Nc3 it's not so easy for Black to equalise, as Eric has shown before:

White follows up forcefully in Lenderman - Hunt and appeared to gain a plus before slightly losing his way.

The Vorotnikov-Kogan-Hebden Attack 5 Qd2 [D00]

Last month we noted that the critical test of 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Bf4 Bg7 5 Qd2 0-0 6 Bh6 Bxh6 7 Qxh6 c5 is 8 dxc5 whereupon 8...d4 9 0-0-0 Ng4 10 Qf4 reaches quite an important position:

Matters are hardly clear after 10...Qa5, but a young IM came up with 10...e5!? 11 Nxe5 Nxe5 12 Qxe5 Nc6 13 Qg3 Qa5 in Hebden - Fernandez, where Black scored something of an upset en route to winning the recent e2e4 event in Coventry. To make matters even worse for Mr Barry, Mark Hebden, White doesn't seem to have more than a draw here.

The Barry Attack v ...c5 [D00]

If 5 Qd2 isn't working then what about 5 e3 you might wonder. Unfortunately for White here too 5...0-0 6 Be2 c5 7 Ne5 Nc6 8 0-0 cxd4 9 exd4 Qb6 10 Nxc6 Qxc6 11 Bb5 Qb6 12 a4 is likely about level:

However, Eric himself recently won a nice grind against the Dembo-endorsed 12...Qa5, as we'll see in the notes to Wang - Molner.

If Hebden does resurrect 5 Qd2 in a game, we'll most certainly cover it next month. Until then, Richard

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