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This month we have a bloodbath, with all decisive games from a variety of tournaments around the world. Don’t miss Hou Yifan’s queen sacrifice!

Download PGN of February ’16 KID games

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Smyslov Variation 5...c5 6.e3 cxd4 7.exd4 d5! [E61]

In the Smyslov, 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Bg5 Black has to pay attention to the move order. I think 5...c5 is the best, because after 6.e3 (6.d5 is more critical) 6...cxd4 7.exd4 d5!:











Black quickly gets a good position. Now Alvarez Marquez. J - Gharamian, T saw the harmless 8.Be2. We get a kind of Tarrasch QGD reversed, which could also arise from a Grunfeld. Normally White would have castled here rather than have the committal Bg5. Instead 8.Bxf6 is the only critical move, but Black has a pleasant choice between 8...Bxf6 and the much less common is 8...exf6!?


‘London System’ with c4 and Bf4; 9...e6 [E61]

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.Bf4 Bb7 4.e3 g6 5.h3 Bg7 6.Be2 d6 7.c4 Nbd7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.0-0 e6 is an alternative to the main move 9...Ne4 which we have seen several times.











Black remains quite flexible and often plays ...Qe7 and ...e5. After 10.Qc2 Nh5!? 11.Bh2 f5 the position is unclear. In Ider, B - Hou Yifan. Black outplayed her opponent with a nice positional queen sacrifice.


Fianchetto Variation - 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 Bf5 [E62]

6...Nc6 7.0-0 Bf5 I have not looked at this too much. I always thought that White had various ways to secure a small advantage:











In Xiong, J - Van Foreest, J White plays 8.d5 Na5 9.Nh4!? A rare but interesting possibility which gives decent chances of an edge.


Fianchetto Panno Variation - 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.h3 a6 9.e4 b5 10.d5 [E63]

In the modern line 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.h3 a6 9.e4 b5 10.d5 b4 11.Ne2 Na5 the move 12.Nfd4 is a bit unusual:











Here I suggested 12...c5! back in 2013, but Garriga Cazorla, P - Fier, A is the first time it's been played (and quite successfully!) over the board.


Yugoslav Gambit 8...Nxc6 9.Nxc6 bxc6 Rb8 [E65]

In the gambit line 5...c5 6.0-0 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc3 d6 if White does not want to grab the pawn, it is better to avoid it with 9.Nc2 because after 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qa4 is hardly the best way to proceed. Following 10...Bd7! 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Qxc6 Rc8:











Black quickly grabbed the initiative in Rajesh, V - Lalith, B.


Fianchetto Classical Mainline 8.e4 exd4 [E68]

6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Nc5 is a slightly uncommon move order that gives White an interesting alternative to the main lines. In Ju Wenjun - Maze, S White opted for 10.f3!? This protects the e-pawn while covering g4 - which is a main point of the usual 10.h3.



‘Lesser Averbach’/Karpov Variation 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 [E73]

5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.g5 Nd7 10.h4 has similarities to the Makagonov system. White has gone h2-h4 in one go, but his bishop is committed to e2:











After 10...Ndc5 11.h5 c6 12.hxg6?! looked premature in Flear, G - Hawkins, J.



Sämisch System - 6...c5 7.Nge2 Qa5 8.Nc1 [E81]

5.Be3 d6 6.f3 c5 7.Nge2 Qa5 8.Nc1 cxd4 9.Nb3 Qc7!? is very rare:











Black just goes into a Maroczy, when it's hard to say if having the queen on c7 is of any use. It is more 'active' than it would be on d8, but perhaps also more exposed. It seems that White does not have any way to really take advantage of the queen's placement. Following 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Be2 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Be6 13.b3 Nd7 14.0-0 Rfc8 15.Kh1 Bxd4 16.Qxd4 Qc5 17.Qd2 Nf6 Black has a fairly normal position in Bok, B - Jones, G

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Until next month, David

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Don't hesitate to share your thoughts and suggestions with me. Any queries or comments to the KID Forum, or to me directly at david@ChessPublishing.com (subscribers only) would be most welcome.