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Fianchetto Variation without Nc3 [E60]
We start things off with a big upset. In Navara - Arsovic both sides use unusual move orders to reach something along the lines of the Yugoslav Variation. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6!? 7.d5 Na5 8.Qc2 is rather rare:
Instead 8.Nfd2 d6 9.Nc3 reaches the main lines of the Yugoslav Variation. Black can suffer in these lines when the a5-knight cannot get back into play, but in this we see a 2700 player having development problems with White against someone nearly 300 points lower rated!
Panno System [E63]
It seems as though each month I comment that the Panno remains popular, and subscribers will recall that there was even a whole update on a tournament in which all games featured this system. This month after 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 we look at 8.Bf4!?:
This is not so scary, but it is something different and it has been seen quite frequently recently, see Kuljasevic - Cheparinov.
Sämisch System - Panno [E83-84]
Israeli GM Ilya Smirin has many pet lines in the King's Indian that are just a little bit off the beaten track. One such line is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 Bd7!?:
In Gupta - Smirin the Indian GM manages to find a line where the difference compared to the main lines turns out to be rather important. In fact, a direct comparison is possible.
In the main line Panno with 8...Rb8, 9.Rc1 remains the most popular move. After 9...Bd7 10.Nd1 b5 11.c5 our own Gawain Jones plays 11...Re8!?:
This is rare in this position, but the idea behind it is not unusual, see Caruana - Jones.
Classical - Makagonov Variation [E90]
In the fashionable Makagonov Variation we will look at 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3!? this month (we have seen a lot of 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 fxe4! over the last couple of years). Now 8...Qe8!? scores well for Black in practice, even though it is not a clear equalizer, 9.Be2 f5 10.exf5 gxf5 11.Nh4 Nf6 12.Qc2 Na6 is a key position:
We start with 13.Bd2. This is a new move here, but this position has been reached before by transposition. Then 13...Nc5!? is a logical and good novelty, see Holt - Robson for a back and forth game between two of America's most promising young players.
White can also play 13.Be3, which transposes to our other game Parligras - Fressinet. After 13...f4 14.gxf4 exf4 15.Bd4 Nb4 16.Qd2 Black improves on a game from last year (that featured a noticeable upset) with 16...f3!?, but I think White still gets the better chances.
9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]
In Berkes - Nyzhnyk, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 the Ukrainian prodigy meets the Bayonet with 9...c6!?:
This move looks like it would be very annoying to face for the unprepared, but Berkes is unperturbed and plays an interesting game.
9.Ne1 Main line [E99]
French Super-GM Etienne Bacrot is again willing to take the black side of one of the most topical variations of the King's Indian. In the long theoretical line 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.c5 g5 14.Rc1 Ng6 15.Nb5 Rf7 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Be1 a6 19.Nc3 a5 20.Bf2 Bf8 21.Nb5 g4 22.Rc6 Bacrot plays the unnatural 22...Bb7 which looks like a computer suggestion, such is the depth of preparation nowadays. In Wagner - Bacrot, however, White immediately errs and Black wins rather easily.
Until next month, David
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