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Attacking chess is to the fore this month as we see a couple of devastating attacks from our favourite lines, as well as plenty of recent developments in the Torre and London.

Download PGN of September ’17 d-Pawn Specials games

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The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 e3 Bg4 [D00]

We begin, however, with 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 d5, considering developments after 3 Nd2 and especially 3 e3. Against the latter, the main line very much remains 3...c5, but 3...Bg4!? 4 f3 Bd7 already took the play into virgin territory in Artemiev, V - Dubov, D:

It goes without saying that more tests are required here, but it does seem that Black may well be fine and it was certainly Dubov who was slightly the more comfortable coming out of the opening.

The Trompowsky 2...d5 3 Nd2 e6 [D00]

Instead, 3 Nd2 e6 4 e3 Be7 5 Bd3 b6 heads towards Torre waters:

White doesn’t have to transpose straight away, but even after 6 f4 will do well to avoid a direct transposition to the world of ‘D03’. We explore in Gareev, T - Becerra Rivero, J, where Black equalises with an important plan: ...Ne4 before ...c5.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 d5 [D03]

We’re certainly securely in the world of ‘D03’ in Carlsen, M - Xiong, J, despite the game beginning with a typically crafty Carlsen move order, 1 Nf3 c5 2 c3 Nf6 3 d4 e6 4 Bg5 (a Hebden Torre) 4...d5 5 e3 h6 6 Bh4 Nc6 7 Nbd2:

Black has a few choices here, as we’ve seen over the years, and 7...Bd6 is likely best, whereas the rare 7...a6 didn’t entirely cut the mustard in the game. To Xiong’s credit, though, he battled back well from a difficult opening in what was a pretty exciting game.

The Torre Attack 2...e6 3 Bg5 c5 4 e3 Be7 5 Nbd2 cxd4 6 exd4 b6 [A46]

One of Black’s main defences to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 e6 3 Bg5 remains a queenside fianchetto, or Hedgehog-type defence if you prefer. That can arise after, for instance, 3...c5 4 e3 Be7 5 Nbd2 cxd4 6 exd4 b6 7 Bd3 Bb7 8 Bd3 d6:

White might just castle short, but menacing aggression with 9 Bxf6!? Bxf6 10 Qe2 is not just a route one plan, or one to be sniffed out. Indeed, the black king landed up coming under a huge attack in Miladinovic, I - Popov, S.

The Torre Attack v KID 2...g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 e3 [A48]

Following up 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 with an early e2-e3 remains a fairly popular way to just play chess, but that doesn’t mean that it promises Black an easy game. There’s a few developments to consider, largely involving Kramnik, but we focus especially on 3...Bg7 4 c3 d6 5 Nbd2 0-0 6 e3 Nbd7 7 Bd3 h6 8 Bh4 e5 9 0-0 Qe8 10 e4:

This has become something of a mini-tabiya for the line. Black’s best is likely 10...Nb6 or 10...Nh5, but not then the undynamic 11 Re1 Bf6?! of Indjic, A - Arsovic, G.

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

The main line, however, remains 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bg5 Bg7 4 Nbd2 0-0 5 c3 d6 6 e4 c5 7 dxc5 dxc5 when 8 Be2 continues to gain adherents at the expense of 8 Bc4. After 8...Nc6 9 0-0 Qc7 10 Qc2 it might at first seem that not much is happening:

However, White has the strong plan of Nc4-e3-d5 and Black has to be a little careful to equalise, which he wasn’t in Georgiev, K - Chatalbashev, B.

The London System 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Bf4 e6 4 e3 c5 5 c3 Nc6 6 Nbd2 Bd6 [D02]

Amidst the recent slew of London games, one extremely rare idea caught my eye, 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4 e6 3 e3 d5 4 Nf3 c5 5 c3 Nc6 6 Nbd2 Bd6 7 Bg3 0-0 8 Bd3 and now not 8...b6, but 8...a5!?:

Whether this will catch on remains to be seen, but it led to a decent enough version of the 8...b6 lines and French-type position for Black after the by-no-means-forced 9 a4 in Naroditsky, D - Negi, P.

No doubt there will be more Londons under the microscope next month! Until then, Richard

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