• Last updated on 8/16/12, 6:42 AM.

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The Trompowsky Attack (ECO A45) begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5. White avoids the immense amount of heavily analyzed theory associated with the various Indian Defenses (Nimzo-Indian, Bogo-Indian, Queens-Indian, Dzindzi-Indian, King's Indian Defenses) and intends to chop on f6 inflicting double pawns on Black's pawn structure. It is not a deadly threat, Black can allow it or avoid it if he prefers.



It is named after Brazillian Champion Octavio Trompowsky, who played it consistently during the 1920s and 30s. It is known by two other names as well: Ruth-Opovcensky Attack and "The Zot".


It is still played from time to time at the top levels of chess. Two grandmasters who have played it very often are Julian Hodgsen and Antoaneta Stefanova. Nigel Short employed it against Vassily Ivanchuck in the Capablanca Memorial in 2010. Other top professionals who used it recently in standard time control FIDE rated games (2010-11) include: Lazaro Bruzon Batista, Dmitry Andreikin, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov, Alexander Morozevich and Nikita Vitiugov. Given that the Trompowsky is still seen within top-flight professional chess, as well as considering the super-gms who have used it, it can be fairly characterized as a surprise weapon well suited to those with an imaginative, creative approach to the game. It may even be a bit underrated.


Published books about the opening include:

Gallagher, Joe. (1998). The Tromposky. Chess Press 

Wells, Peter. (2004). Winning With The Trompowsky. Sterling

Davies, Nigel. (2005). The Trompowsky. Everyman Chess.

Palliser, RIchard. (2009). Starting Out: The Trompowsky Attack. Everyman Chess.


Below are a few well known and interesting representative games.




  • 4 years ago · Quote · #1


    0 reads?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #2


    exactly what i wanted to say !!!

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #3


    it now has 4 reads, so why does it still say Zero?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #4


    What's the best defense for black against the Trompowsky?Undecided


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #5


    The Qb attack is the only opening I play as white, except in very rare cases when black chooses to open with a pawn that blocks my bishop from landing on g5. Sometimes black opens with Nf6 first instead of c5 first. in both cases white usually trades the B for the N and white recaptures with either the gpawn or epawn.

    The GMs usually take with the g pawn, leaving an open file for the R against the Ks castling square so white's king has to stay uncastled and fight from the center, while the battle takes place on the outer edges of the board; like most of the above illustrations,


    and the FMs usually take with the epawn, leaving both kings castling kingside and all the fight takes place on the Q's side. It is not that taking with the gpawn is better just because the GM's do it. The GMs usually take the more dangerous route because they are more skilled to do it and it is full of tricks and traps for both sides. Taking with the epawn is not worse just because the FM's usually don't choose it as often. It is much slower and consistent and the fight is more positional. So the best defense for black depends on your prefered playing style. Tight Control, or Trap Filled Disorder. Also, more careful players open their defense as black with d5 instead of e5. Much like the sicillian, attacking with c5 prys open white's center and Q's side quickly. If you are good at the sicilian your best defense might be c5 and then quickly taking white's d4 pawn with your cpawn. Then transpose white away from his Qb attack turning it back into a sicilian. Otherwise white will advance his dpawn to d5 and then take control of the center. imobilizing blacks back rank. If you don't like the sicilian, then your best defense is to play your dpawn to d5 as soon as possible to slow things down. 


    As white, I feel uncomfortable with the many vulnerabilities caused by black recapturing with the gpawn, but black has most of his pieces stuck on the back rank while mine are already out in the open figting. If you chose to recapture with the gpawn, your best defense is to turn it into an offense and get your pieces off the back rank as soon as possible.


    If you choose to recapture with your epawn, again, get your pieces off the back rank quickly, but your best goal is to use your extra pawn that is on your K's side and use it to disrupt the white K's teritory, while simultaneously building up a good positional structure on the b,c,and d files, because white's worst nightmare is black's dark squared B, joined with the Q attacking white's castled K from the b file.


    White's goal is to promote a pawn on the c8 square with his light squared B supporting it. As white, I almost always succede at landing a pawn on c8, and almost always still have my light squared B when I win ; ) and I almost always win against equaly strengthed players, and often win against stronger players .


    So to sum up the answer for you:

    the best defense for black against the trompowski, is dependent on your prefered style,

    if disorganized tactics: attack the center form both of your outside flanks, play your cpawn to c5 like the sicilian and recapture whites B with your gpawn, and get your pieces off the back rank quickly and don't castle.


    BUT if you are better with positional play, defend with your dpawn at d5 and recapture white's B with your epawn. castle K'side, and use your dark B, Q pair to attack FROM the Q'side while preventing white from promoting a pawn at c8, and try to knock off white's light squared B when you get a good shot.

    and don't issue a challenge to me now that i have given you my secrets

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #6


    Yes you are right, my responses are sometimes lengthy, I do tend to be a talkative person. However, a question was asked and I answered it. Partially because my main goal for almost a year has been studying the trompowski, and by posting my "essay" as you call it, here, then I am more likely to get feedback that will help me learn too.

    As far as making a broad generalization, I am not the one making that generalization. I am repeating what I have heard from GMs. I have spent hundreds of dollars worth of personal classes from Grandmasters rated 2400 to 2600 (FIDE, not and have read books on it and have checkmated FIDE titled players with the trompowski. It was those titled players who instructed me that white's goal is promoting on the c8 square supported by the K's bishop.

    But that is not a generalization, that is specifically only in the line where Black recaptures the B with the e pawn. It does not apply to the other lines. I am sorry if I misscommunicated it to suggest that it was white's main goal in ALL of the lines, in which case you would be correct that it would be a generalization, but I thought it was clear in my essay that it is only in that one specific line where e4 recaptures the B.

    Also, I thought I made it clear that the best reply for black "DEPENDS ON PREFERENCE." Again, that is not a generalization, but reiterates what you said, that there are many playable continuations. All can be good, but my study of past databases show the highest success rate for black vs. white vs. draws leads to the specific goals I mentioned.

    There is no need for me to open my own forum on the trompowsky when this one is already started. Especially since "chessopedia" is not a lesson from one person that is intended to ask questions to only that one author of the post, but it is a reference site for all of us to teach eachother and learn from eachother.

    I see that your specific rating on is higher than mine, however That does not change the fact that what I shared did not come from me, but from the GMs that have been instructing me. In every way, win or loss is based on the individual's ability to calculate the clearest, and is not based on the on the general goal of the opening, but knowing the general goal of the opening helps weaker players like me to focus on the position's weakest square in order to gain the most advantage possible. GMs have told me that c8 is black's weakest square in this specific variation of this opening. so far they have been right.

    I hope that as things go along I will be able to learn much from you too. If I heard you correctly, it sounds like you prefer counterattacking the B with Ne4. Is that right, As white black very rarely ever uses that move, therefore I have little practice in it. Perhaps you can teach me some stuff about how white should respond to that specific counterattack from black, as I said, it doesn't happen to me often therefore I don't know a lot about it and I would appreciate your thoughts on it : ) 

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #7


    Sorry for a late answer.

    Thanks for all these explanations, it's very helpfulSmile

    Well, I have never studied seriously the Trompowsky, I just know that black can continue with Ne4 then c5, but I looked on the Game Explorer, I didn't know which was the best for black.

    When I analyzed the first game above, (according to Fritz) it looks like White should not let the Rook to be taken. It turns out that instead of playing 13...exd6, Black must play Rg8 and has a slightly better position.

    Is it really good to give the Rook on a1 even if it gives White a huge attack?

    I prefer open games than closed, positionnal positions so I think the line with c5 is better for me.Wink

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8


    What does white threaten again? Anyway remember that rook for knight/bishop is exchange. (some people don't know) This may help.

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9


    Chessking46 wrote:

    0 reads?

    Yes 0 reads? But have you guys looked and studied these games whole? One by one move?

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #10


    kingrook1 wrote:

    Chessking46 wrote:

    0 reads?

    Yes 0 reads? But have you guys looked and studied these games whole? One by one move?

    Quote this again and gain and again and again and again and again and again and again and etc.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #11


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