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The sequel to October's London system against the classical King's Indian ... at last !
With my best wishes, I hope it was worth waiting till 2011 ;)

Download PGN of January '11 d-Pawn Specials games

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London System v KID [A48]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Be2 d6 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.h3 b6! 8.c4?! (An inaccuracy in this particular order of moves) 8...Bb7 9.Nc3 Ne4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Nd2 Bb7 12.Bf3 Qc8!:

The point of Black's excellent preparation. White had been concentrating on the thrust ...e7-e5 and the consecutive reduction of his London bishop's activity. Black, however, had another asset up his sleeve: play on the queenside by ...c7-c5 and/or ...b7-b5 thanks to his now open Bg7!

And this was exactly what made White give way in Game 1.

8.a4!? provides a providential link to Reich-Wohl of the previous update and Richard's excellent substitution for the last 2 months, 8...a5! 9.Na3 In comparison with having this knight 'normally' on d2, this continuation is, in my opinion, what makes this white set-up worthy a try. As White cannot compete against the coming ...e7-e5, his queen's knight heads directly for the squares c4 and b5 accordingly, with the move c2-c3 in reserve. As a result the black queen did not stand so comfortably on e7 with c7 hanging in Game 2 and White managed to create play on the queenside using the lever b2-b4.

When Black quickly plays ...b7-b6, even prior to ...g7-g6, the different order of moves induces White to play c2-c4 to develop his queen's knight to c3 and get a swifter control over the e4 square. In this way, he does not have to bother about the lateral attack ...c7-c5 anymore as this would call for the advance of his d-pawn closing Black's second developed piece.

This means that in the key position of game 1, he may have his queen on c2 instead of a pawn on h3 therefore preventing Black from playing an annoying ...Nf6-e4.

So Black played 9...a6 in Game 3, preparing ...c7-c5, and after White's advance of the d-pawn the undermining ...b7-b5. As in the previous game, this called for 10.a4! also because, as in the previous game, there was no black knight to go to b4, in return calling for 10...a5 and only now 11.h3. Although Black eventually managed to play e7-e5 after 11...Qe8, this time lost allowed White to obtain interesting prospects down the d-line after the exchange on e5.

The concern behind having privileged central control rather than the preservation of the London bishop is revealed by the thematic manoeuvre beginning with 9...Nh5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4, and prior to taking the opponent's black squared bishop, Black, observing classical precepts, opens a boulevard for his by 11...c5 12.d5

Indeed, if Black refrains from doing this (for instance in case of 11...g5 12.Nd2 attacking the Nh5) he will always be confronted by the recurrent opposing resource Bf3, gaining time against his Bb7 and leading to the impossibility for him to break the d4 bolt. Following 12...Ndf6 13.Nd2 g5 14.Bxh5!? Nxh5 15.Qd1 Nf6 16.Bg3:

White obtained interesting attacking prospects against the weakened opposing castle in Game 4 thanks to his space and better development.

The pure KID move order leading to this position is represented by 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.Be2 d6 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.c4?! b6?! 8.Nc3 Bb7 9.Qc2 Nh5 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.d5 But why did Black not go for the bishop immediately in the previous game with 12...g5?:

Game 5 (clearly inspired by Game 1 two days before...) delivered the answer: 13.Bxg5!! with the idea 13...hxg5 14.Nxg5 Nhf6 15.f4 and a very difficult attack to counter this time, (as you can check with your engines...) linked to the possibility Rf3-g3 or Rf3-h3 only made possible by the closure of the Bb7! Just as after the intermediate 13...Bxc3 14.bxc3 hxg5 15.Nxg5 Nhf6 16.f4:

The second phase of last year's French Top league was the scene of an interesting debate on the opening... Indeed, one day after the previous game one of my pupils faced what had been the super GM's intention in game1, 7...Nh5!? pointing at the drawback of having omitted the precautionary h2-h3, but having saved time by keeping the Bc8 on its original diagonal, 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Nd2 Nf4!? (Weakening the key d4 point) 11.exf4 gxh4:

in Game 6 White defended his pawn the wrong way with 12.Nf3? putting his knight on the opposing e-pawn's route, and then following 12...e5 he blew open his centre, therefore favouring the enemy bishops and making the weakening of Black's kingside less perceptible. 12.Nb3 e5 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.d5 is correct, leading to an interestingly new position...

Instead, however, 7...e5!!, totally ignored by the engines at this stage, makes it somewhat irrelevant as after the point 8.dxe5 Ne4!:

There seems to be no way for White to take advantage of this exposed knight. Following 9.exd6 Bxb2 White did not get enough compensation for the exchange in Game 7 because of the impossibility to continue 10.Nbd2? due to 10...Nc3-+

Opening the g7-bishop's diagonal with 7...Ne4!? is also interesting after 7.h3 (a lesser evil, then, in comparison with 7.c4?!) Without the protection of Black's light squared bishop on the long diagonal however, this authorizes White to harass the knight by 8.Qd3. In Game 8 Black protected him with 8...Ndf6, when, instead of 9.Rfd1 c5!, White should have pursued with 9.Nbd2, not fearing 9...Bf5 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qa3:

And after having sent his queen into play, freed the d1 square for a rook and prevented Black's liberating ...e7-e5, I believe he stands slightly better.

8...f5 is the other term of the alternative after which 9.Rfd1! is correct, this time preventing Black's ...e7-e5, who should then continue in Dutch style by 9...e6, as 9...c5?! actually proved a dubious reaction in Game 9 after 10.Nbd2 Ndf6 11. Qb3+ Kh8 12.Ng5!, favourably lifting Black's control over the e4 square.

See you soon, Eric

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