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This month we look at topical lines in the Fianchetto and Makagonov, as well as some tricky sidelines that cold be useful to add to one’s repertoire.

Download PGN of April ’19 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation 5...c5 6.Nc3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Qc7 [E60]

Although we have looked at many games in the line with 7...Qc7 we have not checked it in a while. 8.b3 d5 9.Ndb5 Qa5 10.Bd2 dxc4 11.bxc4 Qd8 12.0-0 a6 13.Na3 Nc6 has proven more reliable than 13...Bf5. After 14.Rb1:

14...Be6 looked like a complete answer theoretically in Zhongyi, T - Abdumalik, Z.

Fianchetto Yugoslav Exchange 8.dxc5 dxc5 [E65]

The 7...c5 line has been popular, and in Hammer, J - Sebenik, M the game started with the move order 1.c4 c5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.0-0 Nf6 7.d4 0-0. We see that Black’s setup can be a reliable defence to the English Opening. After 8.dxc5 dxc5 we have games in both main lines. 9.Bf4 Be6 10.Ne5 Na5 11.Nd3!? is uncommon nowadays:

Black played 11...Bxc4?! which led to some problems, but old games show the viability of 11...Nh5!

In Christiansen, J - Chigaev, M we look at the alternative 9.Be3, when Black responded with 9...Be6 maintaining the symmetry. After 10.Qa4 Nd4 11.Rac1 has been considered to be critical, but 11.Rad1 line is one of the most theoretical in the 8.dxc5 line. 11...Bd7 12.Qa3 Nc2 13.Qxc5 b6 14.Qg5 h6 15.Qf4 g5 16.Qe5 reaches a critical position where it’s time to check the theory.

Sämisch System - 6.Bg5 a6 [E81]

In the Sämisch, 6.Bg5 has always been is a popular sideline. Now 6...c5 is the most common, but 6...a6!? is an interesting counter which was played several times but none other than Garry Kasparov:

Generally, a Benko Gambit position arises where White should have some theoretical edge, but it is still quite a practical weapon for Black. Check out Hoffman, A - Roselli Mailhe, B.

Classical Makagonov 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3 exd5 9.exd5 Re8+ 10.Be3 [E90]

The modern idea with 10...Rxe3+ certainly has practical value - it certainly is not going away just yet. 11.fxe3 Qe7 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Qd2 Nh5!? was a decent idea in Thybo, J - Berkes, F.

Makagonov 6...e5 7.d5 Na6 7.Be3 Nh5 8.g3 f5 [E90]

In Golubka, P - Smirin, I we reach a critical line of the Makagonov after 10.exf5 gxf5 11.Ng5:

11...Qe8 12.Be2 Nf6 13.Qd2 Nc5 14.0-0-0 has all been seen before. !4...h6 is the most common, but Smirin is always creative and he slid the pawn on the other side with 14...a6!?

Classical 6...c5 7.0-0 Re8!? [E91]

Often 6...c5 would lead to a Benoni or Maroczy Bind, but White does not have to oblige. After 7.0-0 Re8!? is a weird move, but not without its points, including a sly trap. 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4?! fell into it in Sarana, A - Naroditsky, D. 10...cxd4 11.Nxd4:

Now 11...Bxd4! 12.Qxd4 e5! is an unusual trick.

Classical 6...Nbd7 8.Be3 c6 [E94]

The line with 8...c6 is is not a bad way to play against a lower rated player. After 9.d5 c5 10.Ne1 Ne8 11.g4 is critical, but Johansson, L - Hua, N saw 11.Nd3. Even if White has an edge, with a board full of pieces in a strategically complex position, Black will get his chances.

Until next month, David

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