on 02/01/09 at 12:02:53:
I have two questions regarding the Torre:
1) In 'Fighting the Anti-King's Indians', what does Dembo recommend for Black? I have searched on the Internet for information, but unfortunately have not found her recommendation.
2) After 2...b6, isn't 3.Bg5 just a little better for White? If 3...Ne4 4.Bf4 White seems to have an improved Trompowsky since Black has committed himself to the slightly inferior ...b6, and if 3...e6 then 4.e4 h6 5.Bf6 Qf6 6.Bd3 or 6.Nc3 seems slightly better for White. Black can play 3...Bb7 as well, but then 4.Nc3/Nbd2 e6 5.e4 will transpose to 3...e6. However, ECO A (2001) claims that each of these variations equalise for Black, and I find this difficult to believe, since normally Black would not play ...b6 at an early stage in either the Trompowsky (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4 3.Bf4 b6?! 4.Nf3) or the Torre (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6 4.Bf6 Qf6 5.e4 and now 5...b6?! seems weaker than 5...d6).
Usually Bh4 (otherwise White may as well play the London, where Black doesn't have the somewhat useful ...h6). However, in several cases Bf6 is also a major option, particularly in the early opening (my 2nd question above being one example).
I was somewhat surprised by that too; I'm used to that ...b6 stuff being considered slightly better for White. Though I'm not sure of the relevance of the Trompovsky comparison, since I assume White would play 4. f3 there (and on 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 b6 3. Bg5 Ne4 he would play 4. Bh4 as far as I know).
Regarding the center-versus-two-bishops thing without ...b6, though, I think equality has probably been the most common view for a long time, perhaps especially with White committed to Nf3 -- though I recall that ECO used to consider it slightly better for White based on a Korchnoi-Karpov game (involving Nf3, Nc3, Qd2 and 0-0-0).
Regarding the Rizzitano book, it might be mentioned that he is dealing with 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6; I'm always reminded of something Edmar Mednis said about 3. Bg5 in that position ("it's a horrible move; after 3...Ne4 White is struggling for equality").