Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Chess: Understanding the Trompowsky Opening Part I

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Line



What's the game plan for White?

* 2 Bg5 gains White an early initiative by
threatening Black with double pawns
through 3 Bxf6.

* In the variation where Black plays an
early Nf6-e4, after moving the bishop away
from the attack, White usually kicks the
e4 knight back with f2-f3.

For White, the Trompowsky is ideal because
it leads to reasonable middlegame positions
without requiring detailed opening knowledge.
Also, White can choose to play positionally
or tactically.


What's the game plan for Black?



* Black needs to decide whether to allow
the trade on f6 or move his knight away
to e4.

* It is logical for Black to pinpoint the
only potential drawback of the early Bg5
(the unprotected b2 pawn) with c7-c5
followed by Qb6.

* Black can also adopt a more solid plan
by playing d7-d5.

From Black's perspective, the Trompowsky
offers the solid set-ups with d7-d5 or
the more inspired c7-c5, Qb6 line.


1 d4



Staking a claim in the center (c5/e5) and affording
the c1 bishop a diagonal along which to develop.

1... Nf6



Exerting influence over the central d5 and e4 squares.

2 Bg5



At this juncture, Black can opt to allow Bxf6 or
prevent it by playing 2... Ne4. The latter makes
for a sharper game.

2... Ne4



2 ... e6
2 ... g6
2 ... d6
2 ... c6
2 ... b6
2 ... h6
2 ... b5


Other favored moves are:

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5



a) 2 ... c5



Now White is ready to take on f6.

3 Bxf6



3 Nc3
3 dxc5
3 e3
3 Nf3


The gambit variation with 3 d5 Qb6 4 Nc3 Qxb2
5 Bd2 Qb6 6 e4 d6 7 f4 is worthy of attention.
Black expends three moves hunting the b2 pawn,
and, in return, White gets an active position
with initiative. Now Black needs to be on the
defensive for a while, if he's to hold on to
the extra pawn:



Back to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 c5 3 Bxf6



3 ... gxf6



3 ... exf6
3 ... Qa5+


4 d5



4 dxc5
4 c3
4 e3
4 e4
4 Nc3


4 ... Qb6



4 ... d6
4 ... f5


After the normal developing moves 4... Bg7 5 c3 d6
6 e3 f5 7 Ne2 Nd7 8 Nf4 White gets a pleasant
position with a clear target on the kingside.

5 Qc1



5 Nd2
5 e3
5 b3


5 ... f5



5 ... Bh6
5 ... e6
5 ... Bg7
5 ... Na6


6 g3



6 c4
6 e3
6 c3
6 Nf3
6 Na3


6 ... Bg7



6 ... e6
6 ... d6
6 ... c4
6 ... Na6


7 c3 d6



7 ... h5
7 ... Na6
7 ... Qd6
7 ... e6
7 ... e5


8 Nd2



8 Bg2
8 Bh3
8 e3
8 Na3


8 ... Nd7



8 ... Qc7
8 ... O-O
8 ... e6


9 Nh3



9 Bg2
9 Nc4
9 Qc2


9 ... Nf6



9 ... O-O
9 ... e5


10 Bg2



10 ... 0-0



10 ... Bd7
10 ... Qa6
10 ... e6


11 0-0 e6



11 ... e5
11 ... Qc7
11 ... Qa6


If Black does not initiate any tension then White's
plan is to arrange for e2-e4 with Qc2, Nf4
and Rfe1 etc.

12 Nf4.



12 dxe6
12 c4


Or

1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5



b) 2 ... d5



3 Bxf6



3 Nc3
3 Nf3
3 e3
3 Nd2
3 c3


3 ... exf6



3 ... gxf6

4 e3



4 Nd2
4 Nf3


4 ... Bd6



4 ... c6
4 ... Be6
4 ... Be7
4 ... Bf5
4 ... f5
4 ... c5
4 ... Nd7
4 ... Nc6


5 g3



5 c4
5 Bd3
5 Nf3
5 Nd2
5 Qh5
5 Qf3


5 ... c6



5 ... O-O
5 ... Be6
5 ... Bf5


6 Bg2



6 Nd2
6 Bd3
6 Kd2


6 ... f5



6 ... Qb6
6 ... Bf5
6 ... O-O


7 Ne2



7 Nd2
7 Nf3


While Black gets the bishop pair, he also has to deal
with the doubled f-pawns. Usually, White's plan is to
prepare c2-c4 and make a play on the queenside.

Back to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4



3 Bf4



3 h4
3 Bc1

3 Bh4 c5 4 f3 g5 5 fxe4 gxh4 6 e3 Bh6 7 Kf2 cxd4
8 exd4 Qb6 9 Nc3 e6 10 Nf3 Nc6 11 Nb5 O-O
12 c4 d6 13 Nxd6 e5 14 Qb3 exd4 15 Qxb6 Be3+
16 Ke1 axb6 17 Nxh4.
3 Bh4 d5 4 f3 Nd6 5 Nc3 Nf5 6 Bf2 c5 7 dxc5 d4
8 Ne4 Nc6 9 g4 9 ... Ne3 10 Bxe3 dxe3 11 Qxd8+ Nxd8
12 O-O-O g6 13 g5.
3 Bh4 g5 4 f3 c5 5 fxe4 gxh4 6 e3 Bh6 7 Kf2 cxd4
8 exd4 Qb6 9 Nc3 e6 10 Nf3 Nc6 11 Nb5 O-O 12 c4 d6
13 Nxd6 e5 14 Qb3 exd4 15 Qxb6 Be3+ 16 Ke1 axb6
17 Nxh4.

3... c5



3 ... d6
3 ... Nc6
3 ... e6


Following the more conservative 3... d5



White can solidly proceed with:

4 e3



4 f3
4 Nd2
4 Nf3


4 ... Bf5



4 ... c5
4 ... e6
4 ... c6
4 ... g6
4 ... Nd7


5 f3



Kicking the knight back.

5 Nd2
5 Bd3
5 Nf3


5 ... Nf6



5 ... Nd6

6 c4



6 g4
6 Bd3
6 Ne2


6 ... c6



6 ... e6
6 ... c5
6 ... Bxb1
6 ... Nc6


7 Nc3 e6



7 ... Qb6
7 ... Nbd7


8 Qb3



Taking advantage of the early Bc8-f5 move to attack
the b7 pawn.

8 g4
8 cxd5


8 ... Qb6



8 ... b6
8 ... Qd7 leads to 9 g4 Bg6 10 h4 h6 11 c5 Be7
12 Nb5! cxb5 13 Bxb8.

9 c5 Qxb3



10 axb3



And White is slightly better. He will follow up with
the b4-b5 pawn advance, and, because of the pin on
the a-file, Black will have a difficult time halting
the charge.

Back to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bg5 Ne4 3 Bf4 c5



4 f3



4 d5
4 dxc5
4 e3
4 c3
4 Nd2


4 ... Qa5+



Or, 4 ... Nf6 5 dxc5 Qa5+ 6 Qd2 Qxc5 7 e4 and White
is okay. Black squandered two moves with his Queen
just to regain the pawn. In the initial stages of the
game, it is advisable to delay bringing out her
ladyship.

4 ... Nd6

5 c3



5 Nd2

5 ... Nf6



5 ... Nd6

6 Nd2



6 dxc5
The more belligerent 6 d5 gives Black enough
counterplay via 6 ... Qb6. Now, White is forced
to retreat with 7 Bc1 because after 7 Qd2 Black
has the tactical decoy 7 ... Nxd5! 8 Qxd5 Qxb2,
trapping the a1 rook.

6 ... cxd4



6 ... Qb5
6 ... Nd5


7 Nb3



7 Nc4

7 ... Qb6



7 ... Qd8
7 ... Qh5


Black could not keep his extra pawn by playing
7 ... Qf5 because of the interposing move 8 Bxb8,
as 8 ... Rxb8 9 Qxd4 b6 10 e4 Qf4 11 Nh3 Qc7
12 e5 Ng8 13 0-0-0 gives White the initiative.
After Black retreats 7 ... Qd8, White will
follow up with 8 cxd4 d5 9 e3 e6 10 g4 Nc6
11 Rc1 Bb4+ 12 Kf2 0-0 13 Bb5 Bd7 14 Ne2.

8 Qxd4



8 cxd4

8 ... Nc6



Provoking the exchange of Queens on b6. After the
more natural 8 ... Qxd4 9 cxd4 9 ... d5 10 e3 e6
11 g4, White has an edge in space and somewhat
better development.

8 ... Qd8

9 Qxb6 axb6



10 Nd4



10 Be3
10 a3
10 a4
10 e4
10 Bg5
10 e3


10 ... e5



10 ... Ra5
10 ... Nd5


After 10 ... Nxd4 11 cxd4 d5 12 e3 White is also
slightly better due to the differences in pawn
structure.

11 Nxc6 exf4



11 ... dxc6

12 Nd4



With a balanced position.

By ChessCoach@care2.com



















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