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It's been a while since my last update but I'm back now in what may be my most 'natural' position. I've played Flank Openings during most of my 30 plus year career and authored books and DVDs on these systems.
In this comeback appearance I want to show you a couple of things that cropped up in my games in the Staunton Memorial tournament in London last month.

Download PGN of September '09 Flank Openings games

King's Indian Attack: Black takes on e4

In my game with Victor Korchnoi Black's 6th move came as quite a surprise but the maestro explained his reasoning after the game: "In 1962 I almost did Leonid Stein in the same pawn structure. The games of Stein and Geller all showed that 'White is better', but ... White is not better!"

I've had my suspicions for some time that these 'exchange King's Indian' positions are well playable despite the apparent hole on d5, so it was interesting to hear it confirmed by Korchnoi. So, have a look at Davies - Korchnoi.

And besides this game I present one on which the propaganda about these positions was based (Stein - Zinn) plus the Stein - Korchnoi game in which Black very nearly won.

English Opening: 1.c4 e5 2.g3 c6 3.d4 e4 [A20]

The second subject of the month is the line that came up in my game against Alexander Chernaiev, 1.c4 e5 2.g3 c6 3.d4 e4:

This has been quite popular of late and Cherniaev seemed much better prepared than me for this game. My 5.f3 is very interesting and created some problems for Black, certainly over the board. He should have played 9...Nc2 when I'm not sure it's that great for White, see Davies - Cherniaev.

After the game Alexander told me about the game Gelfand - Karjakin which was a rare opening disaster for Gelfand. Analysing this line together with some previous analysis by John Watson I have to say that it looks fine for Black. Indeed, Gelfand changed sides a few days after the Karjakin game and played this line against Ivanchuk!

I thought it worth including some more history on this line with the game Korchnoi - Bacrot. With 6...Nc6 being all the rage in this line it's easy to forget that there is an alternative. 6...Ne7 looks playable in conjunction with my suggestion of 11...Qd7.

In Ivanchuk - Gelfand we see Black equalise rather efficiently against the sharp 4.d5!?:

Whilst Damljanovic - Vasilevich features another rare move in 4.Qb3, presumably to avoid 4.Nc3 Bb4.

It all looks very interesting from Black's point of view and I recommend that you give it a whirl!

That's all for me for now. See you next month, Nigel


Please remember to point out and send your games to me. Drop me a line at the Flank Openings Forum, or subscribers can write directly to