The Trompowsky Attack is a chess opening that starts with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5. Named after Brazilian player Octavio Trompowsky, it is a relatively rare opening at the top level of chess but can be a surprising and effective weapon for club-level players.
The idea behind the Trompowsky is to disrupt Black’s development and put pressure on their e5 square, which is often a key square in many openings. By playing Bg5 early on, White pins the knight on f6 and makes it difficult for Black to play moves like d6 or e6 without giving up control of the e5 square.
After 2…e6, White can play 3.e4, attacking the knight on f6 and gaining space in the center. If Black moves the knight, White can follow up with dxe5, opening up the position and potentially gaining a tempo by attacking the bishop on f8.
Alternatively, if Black chooses to play 2…d5, White can continue with 3.e3, developing their bishop to e2 and preparing to castle kingside. The position becomes a sort of reversed Queen’s Pawn Game, with White having gained a tempo by delaying the move Nf3.
One potential downside of the Trompowsky is that it can be difficult to maintain the initiative if Black responds accurately. For example, after 2…d5, Black can follow up with moves like c5 and Nc6, putting pressure on White’s center and potentially gaining control of the e5 square. It’s important for White to be flexible and willing to switch to a different plan if the Trompowsky doesn’t lead to a favorable position.
Despite its relative rarity at the top level of chess, the Trompowsky has been played by some strong players over the years, including Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura. It’s also a favorite of chess streamers and content creators, who enjoy playing offbeat and unconventional openings.
Overall, the Trompowsky Attack can be a fun and effective surprise weapon for club-level players, as long as they are willing to be flexible and adapt to their opponent’s responses. It’s not a one-size-fits-all opening, but it can be a great way to catch your opponent off guard and play for a win from the opening moves.