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This month we look at several theoretically important games from the super-strong European Championship.

Download PGN of April '11 KID games

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Fianchetto - Panno Variation [E63]

In the Panno, the variation with 8.Qd3 remains very popular. After 8...Bf5!? 9.e4 Bg4 10.Be3 Nd7 the retreat 11.Ne1 was Avrukh's suggestion:

Black has not done so well with conventional ideas, so in M.Maslik - Y.Vovk Black tries 11...f5!? which is a rare, but enterprising choice.

Yugoslav Variation [E66]

In E.L'Ami - R.Rapport the young Grandmaster plays an instructive game when faced with White's dubious 11th move.

This is the main position of the Yugoslav. The normal lines begin with 11.b3 b5 12.Bb2 (or 12.Rb1), but 11.a4?! is positionally dubious. White's correct plan is to make the a5-knight passive. The text move prevents ...b5, but it weakens b3 and thus c4, and assures the a5-knight of being relevant for a long time to come.

Seirawan Variation 5.Bd3 [E70]

The 5.Bd3 variation is not without venom, but Black should not really fear it if he knows some theory. In A.Moiseenko - L.McShane a typical (and theoretical) position arises after 12.f3:

The position is fairly balanced, but Black should know some typical plans for both sides.

Sämisch System - 6...c5 Gambit [E81]

The Sämisch Gambit keeps taking hits. In I.Khairullin - J.Gallagher White answers some questions I asked in previous updates in a theoretical line with the most testing 10.Nge2:

Black has to be well prepared in this gambit and cannot just rely on knowing typical ideas.

Makagonov Variation [E90]

The Makagonov continues to be a popular line for white players looking to avoid the well researched theoretical paths. In A.Riazantsev - N.Mamedov White plays an uncommon line and then follows up with a very dangerous pawn sacrifice: 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 (Much more common are 8.Be3 and especially 8.Bg5.) 8...Na6 9.Be3 h5?! 10.Be2!, a novelty.

Gligoric Variation [E92]

There has been a trend in the Gligoric for Black to push his h-pawn. One example is seen in L.Fressinet - V.Kotronias after 7.Be3 c6 8.d5 Na6 9.0-0 Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 c5 12.Ne1 h5!?:

Later Black puts his knight on f7 and bishop on h6.

Classical Variation 7...Nbd7 [E94]

In the popular line 8.Be3 Re8 9.d5 Nh5 10.g3 Bf8, V.Zakhartsov - E.Levin shows a nasty little trap:

White to move and win!

Classical Variation 7...Nc6 - Bayonet Attack [E97]

The Bayonet was the main line of the King's Indian for many years, but Black has solved every theoretical problem that White has thrown his way. After 9...Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.b5 fxg3 14.hxg3 h6 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.dxe6 Qc8 17.Nd5 Qxe6 18.Nxc7 Qh3 19.Rf2 Nxe4:

20.Rh2 (Instead 20.fxe4 Rxf2 21.Kxf2 Rf8+ 22.Ke3 Qxg3+ 23.Kd2 Rf2 24.Ne8 was met with the 'novelty of the year' 24...Qf3!! in Van Wely-Stellwagen, Amsterdam 2009) 20...Qd7 21.fxe4!? was tried in Shen Yang - Ju Wenjun. This amounts to a pawn sacrifice, but it's not such a bad idea.

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 (subscribers only) would be most welcome.