Part 2 on the Trompowsky

Thu, 2014-06-19 11:09 -- IM Max Illingworth
[Event "AUS Masters IM"]
[Site "Melbourne AUS"]
[Date "2013.12.21"]
[Round "8.3"]
[White "Zelesco, Karl"]
[Black "Stojic, D."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2145"]
[BlackElo "2246"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "47"]
[EventDate "2013.12.14"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "AUS"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2013.12.23"]

{The following game illustrates some of the problems Black can face when he
goes pawn grabbing with a quick ...c5 and ...Qb6.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bf4
c5 4. d5 (4. f3 Nf6 5. dxc5 Qa5+ 6. Nc3 Qxc5 7. e4 d6 8. Qd2 {would be a
pretty good version of a Sicilian for White as Black has wasted time with his
queen, but as mentioned before Black should play 4...Qa5! to provoke c3.}) 4...
Qb6 5. Nd2 Nf6 {Dusan doesn't want to test Karl's preparation, but he runs
into something worse, and} (5... Qxb2 6. Nxe4 Qb4+ 7. Qd2 Qxe4 8. e3 d6 $1 {in
my opinion won't give White full compensation as long as Black is accurate.})
6. e4 Qxb2 (6... Nxe4 7. Nxe4 Qb4+ 8. Qd2 Qxe4+ 9. Ne2 {is a much better
version of the above line.}) 7. Rb1 Qc3 8. Bd3 {White's massive lead in
development already gives him a clear advantage.} d6 9. Rb5 Nfd7 {Preparing f6
as a retreat hatch for the queen.} 10. Ngf3 a6 11. Rb3 Qa5 12. O-O b5 {Black
can't get away with this queenside expansion, but otherwise} (12... g6 13. Nc4
Qd8 14. Qa1 Rg8 15. a4 {gives White total domination of the position.}) 13. c4
b4 14. e5 {Once the centre opens up, the Black king is toast.} dxe5 15. Nxe5
Nxe5 16. Bxe5 Nd7 17. Nf3 (17. Bb2 {first was apparently even better, to
ensure the f8-bishop never bolts from its stable.}) 17... Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Qc7 19.
Re1 e6 {Black hopes to play ...Bd6 and castle, but he can't stop a whole
kingdom with a lone queen.} 20. Be4 Rb8 21. dxe6 Bxe6 22. Bc6+ Ke7 23. Bd5 Rb6
24. Qf3 {Black resigned as Bxe6 and Qf7 is threatened.} 1-0 
[Event "RUS-chT"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2005.04.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Chernyshov, Konstantin"]
[Black "Grischuk, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2531"]
[BlackElo "2724"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "131"]
[EventDate "2005.04.19"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2005.08.01"]

{Now let's see an opening bombshell that even the current world number 5 (at
least on live ratings at the time of writing!) was unable to contain. As far
as I know this is the first game with 9.Bc7!!.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 (2... c5 {
is the one move left to cover, but let's wrap up 2...Ne4 and then ...c5 first
as it's probably the one line where you absolutely have to know your theory,
unless you go for the endgame line.}) 3. Bf4 c5 4. f3 Qa5+ 5. c3 Nf6 6. d5 ({
After} 6. Nd2 cxd4 7. Nb3 {, Black isn't forced to go into the endgame line
with 7...Qb6, but can also play} Qf5 8. Bxb8 Rxb8 9. Qxd4 b6 10. e4 Qf4 11. Nh3
Qc7 12. e5 Ng8 {as in e.g. Short-Ivanchuk, Havana 2010, although} 13. Ng5 $1 f6
14. exf6 gxf6 15. Ne4 {is something I would be fairly happy with as White -
his development is worth more than the bishop pair and Black's central pawns.})
6... Qb6 (6... e6 7. e4 exd5 8. exd5 d6 {has scored well for Black, but
objectively White's space should give him a pull; he can either play for an
endgame with 9.Qd2 and 10.c4 or opt for} 9. Na3 {to make use of the c4 square
for the knight.}) (6... d6 7. e4 g6 {is the sort of thing you could expect to
face at the club level, but} 8. Nd2 Bg7 9. Nc4 Qd8 10. a4 {is a good version
of the Benoni structure as Black's only real breaks (...e6 and ...b5) are well
contained.}) 7. e4 Qxb2 8. Nd2 Qxc3 9. Bc7 {This double pawn sacrifice and
this incredible follow up is White's amazing idea, trying to trap the Black
queen or otherwise increase his lead in development by attacking it. The
engines are pretty hopeless in these positions (though to be fair an
unprepared human would also struggle). Anyway, this position has been analysed
in great detail, with the conclusion that Black draws if he plays perfectly,
but otherwise can just lose or be much worse. That's perfect for a practical
player like us.} g6 (9... d6 10. Ne2 Qe3 11. Nc4 Qh6 {has since emerged as the
main line, since compared to the game, the bishop is stuck on c7 unless White
plays Ba5 (which is slower than Bf4).}) 10. Rc1 Qe3+ 11. Ne2 {White threatens
Bf4 and then when the queen moves to a3, Nc4 and Nc3 to trap the queen.} Na6 {
This runs into trouble, but even after the superior} (11... d6 12. Nc4 Qh6 13.
Rb1 {White has very good compensation.}) 12. Nc4 Qh6 13. Bf4 Qg7 14. Qa4 (14.
d6 {was also pretty strong, but Chernyshov wants to stop Black developing
while getting a piece out himself.}) 14... g5 15. Be5 g4 {Black aims for some
counterplay, but it's hard to see it working against White's coordinated squad.
} 16. f4 Qg6 17. Ng3 Rg8 18. Ne3 {Actually, White's development advantage is
so huge now that he is just winning, and for that reason I've refrained from
commenting any further. If Black doesn't give up a piece as he did in the game,
he'll probably get mated instead with Bxa6, Rxc5 and Rc7.} Nb4 19. a3 Nc6 20.
dxc6 dxc6 21. Be2 Nd7 22. O-O Nxe5 23. fxe5 Bh6 24. Qb3 Be6 25. Qc3 b6 26. Rcd1
Bxe3+ 27. Qxe3 Qg5 28. Qc3 Rd8 29. Nf5 h5 30. a4 h4 31. a5 Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Bxf5
33. Qd3 Kf8 34. exf5 Qf4 35. Qd8+ Kg7 36. Qxe7 Qxf5 37. Qxh4 Re8 38. Rf1 Qxe5
39. Qxg4+ Kf8 40. Bc4 Re7 41. Rf4 Qe1+ 42. Bf1 Qe5 43. g3 Re6 44. Qh4 b5 45.
Qd8+ Kg7 46. Qd7 Rf6 47. Rg4+ Kh6 48. Qd2+ Kh7 49. Bd3+ Kh8 50. Re4 Qd5 51. Qc3
Qd6 52. Rf4 Kg7 53. Kf2 c4 54. Be4 c5 55. Ke3 Qd4+ 56. Qxd4 cxd4+ 57. Kxd4 Ra6
58. Bd5 f6 59. Rg4+ Kh8 60. Kc5 Rxa5 61. Kb4 Ra1 62. Kxb5 c3 63. Rc4 Rc1 64.
Kb4 Rc2 65. h4 a5+ 66. Kb3 1-0
[Event "Gibraltar Masters"]
[Site "Gibraltar"]
[Date "2006.01.29"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Wells, Peter K"]
[Black "Shirov, Alexei"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2501"]
[BlackElo "2709"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "25"]
[EventDate "2006.01.24"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2006.03.10"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 {We'll conclude our coverage by examining the immediate ...
c5, which can also become quite sharp as we'll see in this game!} 3. Bxf6 (3.
dxc5 {(or exchanging on f6 and then dxc5) is a Miladinovic specialty, but I'm
not particularly convinced by it.} e6 {is a very simple and good reply.}) (3.
d5 {is another option, but to play this you should be prepared to go into the
Zelesco-Stojic line with} Ne4 4. Bf4 {.}) 3... gxf6 4. d5 Qb6 {This is the
whole point of ...Qb6 - to attack the b2-pawn, which was left undefended by
our 2.Bg5.} 5. Qc1 f5 {Black usually plays this move as he'll need it at some
point to free the unopposed dark-squared bishop and control the central light
squares.} 6. c4 {This is the sharpest line, but probably also the best move 
(at least according to theory hound Loek Van Wely).} (6. c3 Bg7 7. g3 {was
Wells's recommendation in his 'Winning with the Trompowsky' book, and will be
considered in the next game. Yes, authors don't have to play the moves they
recommend in their books (they'd be very predictable if they did). But first I
want to show a nice opening trap for those of you who like crazily sharp lines.
}) 6... Bh6 (6... Bg7 7. Nc3 d6 8. e3 Nd7 {is the main line, when White will
try and keep his grip on the centre with a later Nge2-f4, while Black will aim
to dismantle it, probably from the flanks.}) 7. e3 f4 8. exf4 Bxf4 9. Qxf4 Qxb2
10. Ne2 Qxa1 11. Nec3 {The queen is stuck on a1, but it appears that Black can
escape...} Qb2 $2 {After this natural move Black is already lost.} (11... d6
12. Qd2 Rg8 $1 13. g3 a6 {with the idea of ...b5 saves the queen, but the
resulting position is just extremely unclear. Anyway, I think 12...Rg8 is a
move the opponent won't play unless they have done their homework.}) 12. d6 Qc2
{This loses more quickly, but} (12... Nc6 13. Bd3 exd6 14. O-O Ne5 15. Re1 f6
16. Re2 {traps the queen and wins, as in one of the many White wins after 12.
d6.}) 13. Qe3 {It might seem a bit early to resign, but} (13. Qe3 e6 14. Bd3
Qb2 15. O-O Nc6 16. Qh6 {followed by Qf6 or Nb5-c7 is going to be crushing -
Black is unable to develop the queenside in time.}) 1-0 
[Event "Tata Steel-A 74th"]
[Site "Wijk aan Zee"]
[Date "2012.01.21"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Van Wely, Loek"]
[Black "Giri, Anish"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A45"]
[WhiteElo "2692"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[Annotator "Illingworth,Max"]
[PlyCount "132"]
[EventDate "2012.01.14"]
[EventRounds "13"]
[EventCountry "NED"]
[EventCategory "21"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2012.03.16"]

{This final game is not as swashbuckling as the previous ones, but it's a
model example of White's 'restricting' approach in this system. That White won
was only due to inaccurate play in the endgame as he was clearly better from
around move 15.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 c5 ({A King's Indian diehard might opt for} 
2... g6 {against you, but after} 3. Bxf6 exf6 {the Black structure is quite
passive, and you only need to remember the following setup to get a small edge:
} 4. e3 ({You can start with} 4. c4 {if you don't like allowing ...d5.}) 4...
Bg7 5. g3 O-O 6. Bg2 d6 (6... d5 7. Ne2 c6 8. O-O f5 9. b3 Nd7 10. c4 Nf6 11.
Nbc3 {is a better version of the 2...d5 3.Bxf6 lines as Black's bishop is
misplaced on g7.}) 7. Ne2 f5 8. O-O Nd7 9. c4 Nf6 10. Nbc3 c6 11. b4 Re8 12.
Qd3 Qe7 13. b5 {and White has a nice queenside initiative, with the f2-e3-d4
chain nicely complementing the g2-bishop (much like the pawns on dark squares
do in our main game).}) 3. Bxf6 gxf6 4. d5 Qb6 5. Qc1 f5 6. g3 Bg7 7. c3 {At
least for me, bluntening the g7-bishop's scope makes a lot of strategic sense.}
Qf6 {In my view this creative queen manoeuvre doesn't advance Black's cause.} (
7... d6 8. Bg2 Nd7 {is the main line, when White should play in a similar
fashion to the game with} 9. Nh3 {, enforcing the knight on the f4
semi-outpost to stop Black achieving a good pawn break. The engines will tell
you that the Pavlovian response} h5 10. Nd2 h4 {favours Black, but Wells
points out in his book that} 11. Nc4 Qa6 12. Ne3 Nf6 13. Qc2 {will favour
White as the f5-pawn is coming under fire and he lacks a good break as} e6 14.
dxe6 fxe6 15. g4 $1 {levers open the position to White's favour.}) 8. e3 Na6 {
I agree with Van Wely's assertion that the Black knight belongs on e5, but
White's plan will not be too different from the game.} 9. Ne2 Nc7 10. Nf4 {
With the positional threat of Nh5, trading off Black's bishop pair.} Bh6 11. c4
d6 {Black's position is sufficiently strategically risky that breaking out with
} (11... b5 $5 {was probably a good idea.}) 12. Nc3 Bd7 13. Be2 a6 14. a4 b6 (
14... Bxf4 15. exf4 {would be a really nice structure for White - the d5-pawn
fixes the centre and the e7-pawn as a target, and after} e6 16. dxe6 fxe6 17.
Bh5+ {it is the d6-pawn that becomes weak.}) 15. Nh5 Qg6 16. Bf3 (16. O-O {was
clearly better for White, who has a total grip on the position. Eventually he
will play a b4 or e4 break.}) 16... Rb8 (16... O-O 17. O-O b5 {provides strong
counterplay that would have been avoided had the bishop stayed on e2.}) 17. Ne2
{Black was a bit too slow and now White resumes order.} Rf8 (17... e5 18. dxe6
fxe6 19. Nhf4 Qf6 20. Qd2 {is a very loose structure, as we've seen before; if}
e5 21. Nd5 Nxd5 22. Bxd5 {the d5-square is a real boon for White.}) 18. Qd2 a5
19. O-O Kd8 {These sorts of moves emphasise just how difficult Black's
position in. I have to admit, when I looked at this whole variation for Black
I could never find a particularly good plan for him.} 20. Rfe1 Ne8 21. Nef4 Qg8
{Another ugly move, but sometimes you have to play ugly moves to survive.} 22.
e4 {Now this break comes with great effect as Black has no harmony in his
position.} Qh8 23. Qe2 Rb7 24. e5 Qxe5 25. Qxe5 dxe5 26. Rxe5 Nd6 27. b3 {I
think this endgame should be close to winning for White, but the analysis of
it isn't relevant for the opening phase, which was clearly a huge success for
White.} Rg8 28. Rae1 Bf8 29. R5e3 Rb8 30. h4 Kc7 31. Bd1 Re8 32. Bc2 Kd8 33.
R3e2 Rg4 34. Kh2 Rg8 35. f3 Kc7 36. Nd3 Rg6 37. Ne5 Rh6 38. Nxd7 Kxd7 39. g4 e6
40. Re5 Be7 41. Kh3 Bd8 42. R1e2 Rf8 43. Bd3 fxg4+ 44. fxg4 exd5 45. Rxd5 Kc7
46. Bf5 Rg8 47. Re3 Rf8 48. Ree5 Rg8 49. Bc2 Rf8 50. Bd1 Re8 51. Rxe8 Nxe8 52.
g5 Rd6 53. Rxd6 Kxd6 54. Bc2 f6 55. g6 hxg6 56. Bxg6 Nc7 57. Bf5 Ne6 58. Bxe6
Kxe6 59. Ng7+ Ke5 60. Kg4 f5+ 61. Nxf5 Bxh4 62. Nxh4 Kd4 63. Kf3 Kc3 64. Ke3
Kxb3 65. Kd3 Kxa4 66. Kc3 b5 {If you've decided from reading my article that
you want to play the Trompowsky yourself, I would highly recommend checking
out Julian Hodgson's games; the 'Tromp' was his main White opening as an
active player and he defeated a lot of strong GMs with it.} 1/2-1/2