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This month we have more topical lines in the Fianchetto System.

Download PGN of April '16 KID games

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Smyslov System 5.Bg5 [E61]

In Sachdev - Jones, the British Grandmaster plays an interesting move order against the Smyslov. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 There does not seem to be any real downside to playing this before castling. After 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Nh5 8.e3 c5 9.d5 Qa5 10.Qc2:

Jones preferred 10...a6, while Black has another plan that I quite like starting with 10...Nd7 11.Be2 Nb6!?

Fianchetto Variation - Uhlmann's 7...e5 [E62]

6...Nc6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nb8!? is a funny retreat we saw last month. In Chandra - Popilski White plays 9.e4 a5 10.a3!? which is an interesting finesse known from the Petrosian Variation. The point is that 10...Na6 can be met with 11.b4, while after 10...Nbd7 Black's position is a little less flexible.

Panno 7...Rb8 8.d5 [E62]

Mamedyarov - Jones is a strange game that looked pretty easy for Black. 6...Nc6 7.0-0 Rb8 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c6!? There is nothing wrong with the normal 9...c5, but Jones has played this before:

10.b4 Nxc4 11.Nxc4 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bxa1 leads to an unusual material balance, but Black never looked worse.

Panno 8.Bf4 [E63]

Another topical 8.Bf4 Panno, with 6...Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.Bf4 Rb8 9.Rc1 h6 10.h3!? is examined in Hammer - Cuenca Jimenez. After 10...g5 11.Bd2 I previously stated that I expected that this move would receive more tests, and it has! Following 11...e5 12.d5 Ne7 13.e4 b5:

Black has a typical Panno with full board complexity.

Classical - Main line 9...Qa5 [E69]

Banusz - Bosiocic has a lot of mistakes, but I found the opening play to be of interest. Following 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qa5 10.Re1 exd4 11.Nxd4 Ne5 12.Bf1 Re8 13.Be3 Be6 14.Nxe6 Rxe6 15.Kg2 Ned7 The first point of note is this modern finesse, Black avoids 15...Rae8 16.c5!?

Sämisch Panno - Smirin's 8...Bd7 [E83]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 a6 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Bd7!? is Smirin's favourite line:

This leads to original play that is quite different from the main lines of the Panno. 9.Nc1 is the most common and it's a safe reaction, but I suspect it is not the most testing. 9...Nh5!? 10.Nb3 a5 11.d5 Ne5 with complex play is covered in Vovk - Smirin.

Classical - Mar del Plata 9.a4 [E97]

The game Lalith - Salem shows that Black players seem to be coming to terms with the line 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.a4. After 9...a5 10.Ne1 Nd7 11.Nd3 f5 12.f3 f4 13.Nb5 is a typical move:

It looks a bit early, but White is going to play aggressively. After 13...Rf6!? to prepare ...c6, White strikes first with 14.c5!? Black is able to hold his own though.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

After 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.a4 often 13...Rf6!? indicates Black's desire to play the simplistic ...Rh6,...Qe8-h5xh2 mate, but in Swayams - Pichot Black has another plan in mind.

After 14.a5 Rh6 15.Nd3 Nf6 16.Be1 Rg6! is a nice switchback to more classical ideas with ...g4. I must say that White's position does not looks so easy to play.

Until next month, David

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