Among the many contributions British chess players make to opening theory, the Trompowsky Attack is one of the most dangerous.
- The Trompowsky Attack takes your opponent out of their preferred defense to 1.d4 by side-stepping the King’s Indian Defense, Nimzo-Indian Defense, and Grunfeld Defense.
- Even if theory says the position is equal, you have drawn your opponent into unfamiliar positions, and that will give you an edge.
- When playing the Trompowsky Attack, be sure to know the crucial moves of a variation, or you could go from having an advantage to being at a disadvantage.
- Former world chess champion Vishy Anand has successfully played the Trompowsky Attack against another former world champion, Anatoly Karpov.
Break the Rules: Play the Trompowsky!
The Trompowsky Attack 2…Ne4
In the Trompowsky Attack, practicality triumphs over principles. The classical chess opening principles get violated several times by both sides in the most popular defense against the Trompowsky Attack.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 c5 4.f3 Qa5+ 5.c3 Nf6
6.d5 Qb6 7.Bc1 e6 8.c4 exd5 9.cxd5 c4 10.e3 Bc5
The black knight has moved three times to get to f6, the black queen has moved twice to reach b6, and the white bishop moved three times to return to its starting square c1. What happened to not moving the same piece multiple times in the opening?
In this position, the white king will aid the defense of the e3-pawn by moving to f2.
If you are wondering how much of an edge you get by placing your opponent in an unfamiliar position, take a look at this miniature. Despite being rated 2086 Elo black blundered a bishop and lost in sixteen moves!
The Trompwsky Attack 2…d5
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 d5 3.Bxf6 exf6
Before going any further, it is only fair to warn you that if you enjoy playing with the bishop pair, then the Trompowsky Attack is not for you. This chess opening is possibly the least suitable for people who like bishops.
White intends to prevent black from entering Slav or Queen’s Gambit Declined positions by giving up the bishop pair. In return, for obtaining the bishop pair, black must accept a structural weakness.
4.e3 Bd6 5.c4 dxc4 6.Bxc4 0-0 7.Nc3 f5 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.Qc2 c6 10.0-0 Nf6
In this variation, black set a trap for white with 9…c6. Accepting the pawn with 10.Qxf5 is met with the powerful 10…Ne5! winning material.
Defending Against the Trompowsky
One of Black’s best defenses against the Trompowsky Attack is 2…c5.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c5
Against the natural 3.Bxf6 recapture with the e-pawn and look to attack the undefended b2 pawn with …Qb6. Developing the queen to b6 also places additional pressure on the d4-pawn.
3.Bxf6 exf6 4.e3 Qb6 5.b3 d5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be2 Be6
Black is doing fine in this position and can play against the weak dark squares on the queenside. In fact, this was a vital part of Murray Chandler’s victory strategy against Bjorn Thorfinnsson.
The Trompowsky Attack is a chess opening rich in tactical play. Here the traditional opening principles are cast aside for active piece play and drawing your opponent into unfamiliar territory.
Despite going against classical chess opening principles, the Trompowsky is an excellent opening for white. Unfortunately, the importance of knowing your opening theory and playing with imbalances makes it a challenging chess opening for beginners.
The Trompowsky Attack: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Trompowsky Attack?
The Trompowsky Attack is a chess opening where White plays 1.d4 and meets 1…Nf6 with 2.Bg5. This move avoids the Nimzo-Indian, King’s Indian, Benoni, and Grunfeld Defense.
Is the Trompowsky Attack good?
Yes, the Trompowsky Attack is a good chess opening for white.
How to play against the Trompowsky Attack?
A solid response to the Trompowsky Attack is playing 2…c5 and meeting 3.Bxf6 with 3…exf6. Apart from being a good response, 2…c5 cuts down the amount of theory you have to learn.