Complete Repertoire against Veresov, Trompowsky, and London
The Trompovsky Attack and especially the London System have become quite popular openings in recent years. This should not come as a surprise. In our computer age, when most of the forced lines lead to a drawn outcome, top chess players began to look for ways to play for a win in less studied and forced openings. Veresov Attack is also an interesting try to reach fresh and unexplored positions. It can be quite dangerous if you are not prepared. GM Pavel Eljanov proposes a universal way to deal with these openings. In his concept, the main idea is to fight for the center as well as to limit the activity of White's bishops through exchanges or the threat of exchanges (and we know that the threat is often stronger than its execution).
The repertoire is based on solid positional grounds and the author is trying to offer similar setups against all three openings.
Veresov Attack - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3
After this move, we reach the so-called Veresov-Richter attack. It has some similarities with the London System and the Trompowsky but it is less sound. Sometimes the knight on c3 is placed even worse than on b1.
Chapter 1 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5
This is one of the two possible setups in Veresov - Richter Attack. The move 3.Bf4 is analyzed in Chapter 2.
It is considered to be quite harmless, and GM Eljanov proves that convincingly.
It is important to start with 3...h6 to define White's bishop's placement immediately. White is again on a crossroad
4.Bxf6 is the most logical try
Black should continue with 4...exf6 and we will reach a structure typical for Trompowsky. Black's plan is simple - put the pawn on c6 and then carefully prepare f6-f5 with the idea to transfer the knight to e4. Black's bishop is usually coming to d6. White's only sensible plan in this structure is to break the center with c4 and it becomes evident that the knight on c3 is misplaced.
The alternative is 4.Bh4
The main drawback of this move is that the bishop can't protect the queenside anymore.
Black should continue 4...Nbd7 followed by c7-c5. According to the author, White is the one who is fighting for equality in this line.
Chapter 2 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bf4
This is a mix between the London System and the Trompowsky Attack.
The author suggests the calm setup with 3...e6.
White's main idea is to continue 4.Nb5 (otherwise, Black will follow with ...Bb4) 4...Na6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nf3 0-0
This is the main position for the line with 3.Bf4.
The author analyzes 7.h4, 7.h3, 7.Bd3, 7.Be2 but Black's position seems to be fine everywhere.
Trompowsky Attack - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5
The Trompovsky attack is also quite popular at a high level. The main apologists of this opening are the highly talented Russian grandmasters Artemyev and Andreikin, as well as Alexander Moiseenko, who has played this opening since his childhood.
The author suggests the system with 2...e6
Chapter 3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.e4 h6 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.c3
The author suggests two different plans here — the most popular one with 5...d6 followed by e6-e5 and also the rare move 5...c5.
It seems that Black is OK in both lines and the reader can choose which variation suits better to his style.
Chapter 4 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.e4 h6 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.Nc3
In this position, Black should continue with 5...Bb4.
At this point, White has a choice. According to GM Eljanov the old mainline 6.Qd2 is completely harmless, because after 6...d5 7.e5 Qd8 8.a3 Be7! we reach a fantastic version of French Defense for Black where White is fighting for equality.
More critical is 6.Qd3 where the author analyzed both 6...d6 and 6...d5.
The conclusion is that Black is fine in this line, but needs to be very precise.
Chapter 5 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.Nd2
This is considered to be the most flexible move. White delays the development of his kingside knight for some time in order to have the option of playing f2-f4 first.
Here the move order is important. If Black wants to start with 3...c5, then it's better to not include 3...h6 4.Bh4.
The main line continues 3...c5 4.e3 d5 5.c3 h6 6.Bh4 Nbd7!
White generally has two main ideas:
1) build an outpost on e5 and support it with f4
2) break in the center with e3-e4 at the right moment.
In his analysis, Eljanov proves that Black has enough resources to counter both ideas.
Chapter 6 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.Nf3
In this line, it seems that the inclusion of 3...h6 4.Bh4 restricts White's options.
White usually develops his pieces in the same way as in the London System.
The author is offering the well-known concept for Black: ...c7-c5, ...d7-d5, ...Nbd7, ...Bd6, ...0-0 followed by ...b7-b6 and ...Bb7.
Black is not experiencing any problems in this line, but you need to go carefully through the analysis.
London System - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 (or 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4)
London System is extremely popular opening at any level nowadays mainly because of the efforts of Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik. Plenty of new ideas were found and the amount of theory grows every day. The author is providing us with a solid and modern opening repertoire covering all the trend lines. In addition to the theory chapters, you will find a particular chapter which explains the move orders and the main ideas.
Chapter 7 - Move Orders and Ideas
The London System is a highly transpositional opening. Different move orders often change the positional ideas and provide additional options for both sides. Sometimes, it is very difficult to spot the difference between two apparently similar move orders. Subtle move orders, solid positional justification, and rich positions make the London popular even at the highest level. In this chapter, GM Eljanov tries to provide a clear explanation of the different move orders and the positional ideas behind them.
Chapter 8 - White delays Nf3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Nd2 Bd6 5.Bg3
This is the main continuation which fits into the spirit of the London System. White opens the way of the f2-pawn and keeps firm control of the important e5-square. His general strategy is to develop a kingside initiative which is based on the strong e5-knight. Later on, via different move orders, White usually plays Ngf3 - Ne5, Bd3, c2-c3, 0-0, and f2-f4, thus obtaining a Stonewall structure with a dark-squared bishop being on g3, instead of c1. When White delays the move Ne5, he usually wants to play Bd3, Qe2, and e3-e4.
GM Eljanov is offering a relatively new concept for Black here. His main line continues 5...0-0 6.Bd3 (6.Nf3 is also analyzed) 6...c5 7.c3 Qc7!?
This is a new concept which is advocated by the World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Black is already planning to take the advantage in the center by playing e6-e5 on the next move.
The author analyzed several different setups for White, but it seems that against all of them Black is fine. This is probably the most critical chapter in the database, so the reader should study it in depth.
Chapter 9 - The plan without Bg3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Nd2 Bd6 5.Nd2
By delaying the move Bg3, White tries to win a tempo for the purposes of the development. At the same time, he is inviting Black to enter the so-called Rubinstein structure which arises after ...Bxf4. Such a structure is far from being one-sided. White has good control of the e5-square and can put pressure on the e-file. On the other hand, Black enjoys a better pawn structure as well as a space advantage on the queenside.
Black's most precise reaction to this plan is to postpone the move c7-c5 for a while. Black needs to start with 6...b6! preparing the exchange of the light-squared bishops.
Chapter 10 - White goes for c2-c4 after exchanging the bishops on d6 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bxd6!?
This line became relatively popular thanks to grandmaster Tamir Nabaty.
The main line continues 5...Qxd6 6.c4 0-0 (6...c5 is analyzed as well) 7.Nc3 dxc4! 8.Bxc4 c5
White can try different setups here as 9.Nb5, 9.0-0 or 9.dxc5, but the margin of safety in Black's position is huge.
Chapter 11 - White goes for c2-c4 with a the bishop being on g3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Nf3 Bd6 5.Bg3 0-0 6.c4
This move is rather popular nowadays, as Magnus Carlsen played it.
The author suggests continuing 6...c5 and after 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Nc3 c4!N
We have a structure which is typical for the Ragozin Variation. White's bishop can't come to the b1-h7 diagonal and Black has a simple plan - to push his queenside majority.
As always, the database ends with 15 interactive test positions