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This month we have a couple of games in the Classical Fianchetto variation and we see that Black does not have to fear ('Fier'!?) the Averbakh Variation.

Download PGN of April '15 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation 8.e4 c6 9.Be3 [E68]

I am always pleased to see an author play what he writes about. Here Kotronias plays 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nc3 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 c6:

and takes down a strong GM with Black after 9.Be3 (9.h3 Qb6 is the critical line in Kotronias's book) 9...Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 in Kovalenko - Kotronias.

Fianchetto Classical Main line - 8...Qa5 [E69]

In Nielsen - Hausrath we see a sacrifice that has been mentioned before. I think Black has real problems here after 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Re1 exd4 11.Nxd4 Re8 12.Be3 Ne5 13.Bf1 Be6 14.Nxe6 Rxe6 15.Kg2 Rae8 16.c5!?:

This rare move (a computer suggestion) seems very dangerous.

Averbakh Variation 6...Nbd7 [E73]

Here we excamine Smirin's pet line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nf3 Rb8:

White's play is rather convincing in Korobov - Smirin. Black may be okay but I doubt this system will find many followers.

6...Na6 7.f4 [E73]

Here we see another critical line in the Averbakh, 6.Bg5 Na6 7.f4 which tends to lead to more obscure play with strange pawn structures when compared to most KID lines. In Fier - Jones Black plays 7...c6 8.Qd2 Nc7 9.Bf3 d5 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.e5 Ne4!:

Without this resource Black would just be worse.

Averbakh Variation 6...c5 [E74]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 h6 8.Bf4 e6 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Qd2 Qb6 11.Nf3 is not so common, but it was recommended recently in a repertoire book by Kornev. After 11...Nc6 12.0-0 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.exd5 Ne4 16.Qc2 there is an interesting 'debate' involving Kornev, myself, and John Watson:

Black played the novelty 16...Nc5!? in Fier - Kotronias. This is a logical move, not bothering with the natural ...Re8. Perhaps White has a tiny theoretical edge, although I do not think Black can complain too much.

Sämisch System - 6...c5 7.Nge2 [E81]

The game Vidit - Perez Ponsa featured the wild line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.f4 Nxc4! 13.Bxc4 b5 14.Bxb5 exd5 15.e5!:

when Black played the novelty 15...d4. I think it is suspicious, but the whole thing is very complicated.

Classical-Makagonov 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 a5 9.Be2 Na6 10.Nh2 Nf6 11.Ng4 Nd7 12.Nh6+ Kh8 13.h4 Ndc5 14.g4 has been trending a bit, but White has yet to win a game. In Ipatov - Bacrot following 14...f5 15.h5:

Bacrot came up with the first novelty in a position where Black has already scored well, 15...f4!?.

Mar del Plata - Korchnoi's 9.a4 [E97]

7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.a4 remains somewhat popular although Black has been holding his own:

Now 9...a5 10.Ne1 Nd7 11.Nd3 f5 12.f3 Kh8 13.Nb5 is new, but it does not change any assessments, see Kozul - Can.

Until next month, David

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