The final episode of Mike McNaughton's epic tale
Black plays 2… g6
This move is, perhaps, not the most common you are likely to encounter if you play the Tromp as White. It can easily transpose into the Byrne Variation against the Pirc, or something like it.
The move does not prevent 3. Bxf6 by White and then the position will not be unlike the more common 2… g6 3. Bxf6.
I’m going to give you a short game which was played in Cork, Ireland, in 2005. The winner was called David Smith. I’ve known two players with that name; one used to play top board for Cleveland and the other played for Capenhurst in the Chester League. Both were pretty decent players (certainly better than yours truly). In this game Black played g6 but the same position could have been reached by a different move order.
White: Oisin Benson; Black: David Smith.
Well, you don’t need to be a county player to work that one out. But I’ll give the answer later down the page anyway. One has to say that White did not play well, but I hope I have demonstrated, if nothing else, that Black does not need to fear the doubled pawns.
To reinforce the point, I will give a game played by our own Adam Hunt as Black against Richard Palliser, who has written a book on the Trompovsky and should, therefore, know his onions. But Richard did not get far in this game.
White: Richard Palliser; Black: Adam Hunt.
Well, Black didn’t have too much trouble holding an expert. In our next game, Adam produces an overwhelming attack on the Q-side, though one must admit White’s play could have been better.
White: Eric Lawson; Black: Adam Hunt.
Well, your name doesn’t have to be Garry Kasparov to work out that White is in a mess; but would YOU have sacrificed your Queen here as White? Whether you would have done or not, White did - and of course after that it was all over and I don’t think much purpose would be served by going through White’s death agonies. But this game does, I think, illustrate one thing; namely the strength of Black’s KB.
I said I’d give you the killer move from the game Benson – Smith, which isn’t hard to work out; Black played Nh3+ and White has a choice of two grisly ways of being executed. He chose 19. gxh3 Bxf3 and White had to sacrifice the Queen to avoid mate.
But, as I remarked in the introduction, the most popular reply to 2… g6 at master level isn’t 3. Bxf6; it’s 3. Nf3.
Typically, White will play moves like Nbd2, c3, e4, Bc4 and Qe2 and Re1. White ought to get quite a reasonable position out of this, but Black’s game is quite playable.
I will give a rather drastic miniature which will show that Black needs to be careful. The following game was played in the World u12 Championship in 2005. White was Saeed Mohammad and his opponent was Mike Jiang.
To conclude I will give you a cute little game between two players I haven’t heard of called Olcayoz and Duman. White was the higher-rated player but he got really turned over here.
So there you have it; I hope you have derived something from this survey of the Trompovsky. I wonder whether anyone will play it against me next season??
Now there’s a challenge.