How to conquer the d-pawn openings

by ChessBase
9/12/2007 – Whatever you prefer against 1.d4 you are always in danger of facing some annoying d-pawn opening like 2.Bf4. We all know that there is something wrong here, but who of us is ready to put the white player back in his place, off the top of our heads? Andrew Martin's new DVD shows you the way for no less than 12 Queen's Pawn Openings. Buy his DVD now or read this review with sampler.

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Andrw Martin: Queen’s Pawn Openings

Review by Carsten Hansen (

The back cover blurb tells us: “IM Andrew Martin presents solutions for Black against the following remarkable array of QP Openings: The Trompowski, The Pseudo-Trompowski, The Torre attack, The Colle System and Colle Zuckertort System, The London System, The Stonewall, The Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, The Prie System 2 a3, The Reversed French, 1 d4 Nf6 2 g4 ?!. Move orders with 1 ...d5 and 1...Nf6 with either ...g6 or ...e6 are all covered. You may not agree with all of Martin’s suggestions, but you will certainly get a decent position as Black with chances to play for the win every time! This is just what the club player needs. Video running time: more than 6 hours!”

It’s odd that they misspell Trompowsky and Zukertort here, when they are spelled correctly on the contents page of the DVD itself. Anyway, this sounds like an awful lot of openings to cover, even with more than six hours of screen time available. Still, Martin is an experienced and resourceful presenter, so let’s see how he has divided the material:

  • Intro (1 segment)
  • Stonewall 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Rare Lines 1-3 (3 segments)
  • Blackmar-Diemer-Gambit 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Barry Attack 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Veresov 1-3 (3 segments)
  • Trompowsky 1-4 (4 segments)
  • Pseudo Trompowsky 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Torre Attack 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Torre vs. g6 (1 segment)
  • Reversed French (1 segment)
  • London System 1-5 (5 segments)
  • Colle 1 + 2 (2 segments)
  • Outro (1 segment)

Martin begins by telling us about a presentation he did for Foxy Openings about ten years ago on how Black should meet the assorted Annoying d-pawn Openings. Of course, the terrain that is Queen’s Pawn Openings has changed since then. The Trompowsky has been mapped out more accurately, and new ideas have arisen such as 1 d4 d5 2 Bf4 and 2 a3.

Click here for replay how to beat the Blackmar-Diemer.

Buy it now.

While Martin has updated his coverage with new material, some of his recommendations remain the same. I will not go into detail about the individual lines, but his emphasis is on lines that are relatively easy to memorize and don’t put Black in any kind of danger from being blown away by a new idea or sharp move. Yet, even so, his recommendations against the Pseudo Trompowsky are considerably more dangerous for Black than he lets on, and experienced players would probably prefer to have more details in many of lines, because as Martin himself indicates, White often specializes in these lines and might have prior knowledge of his suggestions.

Nevertheless, the DVD is satisfactory and will undoubtedly find a wide audience. We have all had to deal with these openings at one time or another, and Martin’s recommendations may even make you anticipate encountering them in your own games, when, perhaps for the first time, you will be properly prepared.

My assessment of this DVD: Four out of five stars

Original review at

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