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This month there was a return of the KID to the top level in the European Championship. There have been many games where GMs over 2600 chose this opening and played for a win with Black.

Download PGN of April ’22 KID games

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Makagonov System 5.h3 Nbd7 6.Be3 a5 7.d5 h5 [E71]

Gharibyan, M - Ivic, V featured the Makagonov system where Black plays an early 5...Nbd7 and 6...e5, deferring ...0-0, and then, in order to stop g2-g4 he goes 7...h5:

This plan is relatively new but it looks very interesting and so far Black scores very well. The next move, 8. b4, was already a novelty. It looked good for White as he took the initiative early with 10. c5, but he left his kingside undeveloped and once Black moved his knight to f4 he was in trouble. Then with an elegant combination Black won this game very quickly.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 [E73]

In Muradli, M - Ivanicevic, I it was another Makagonov System but this time in Karpov's line with 6.Be3 and 8.g4. Black decided to try 9...h5 followed by 10...Nh7:

It’s a rare idea and Ivanicevic then introduced 11..f5 which turned out to be a very bad move as after White opened the g-file and castled queenside he had full control.

Black managed to escape into an endgame a pawn down and after White made a mistake the game was equal and after one more twist it ended in a draw.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.h3 e6 9.Nf3 [E73]

Lalith, B - Erigaisi, A was another interesting line in the Karpov Variation where, after Black goes 6...Nc6, White went 7.d5 but after that, instead of 9.f4 he played more solidly with 9.Nf3:

Then Black followed an interesting line where he trades the bishop with 11...Bxc3 and then with 12...e5 and later 15...f5 he takes over the initiative.

The game was fairly equal most of the time and in the end it was a draw.

Classical, Makagonov Variation 6.h3 c6 7.Bg5 [E90]

Barbot, P - Korobov, A was in a rare line in the Classical and after only a few moves White played 8.e5 which is almost a novelty:

Then he gave the pawn with 10.e6 and simply developed, playing for positional compensation. The game was equal for a long time as Black developed well but he had doubled pawns so it was not simple to use the extra pawn. Later in the endgame Korobov managed to outplay his opponent and won.

Classical Variation 7...Na6 8.Be3 Qe7 [E94]

Yilmaz, M - Saric, I was a Classical with 7...Na6 but very soon it reached a rare position after 8...Qe7 and 9.Qc2:

It looked like White was a bit better after Saric opted for a common plan with 10...c6 and 12...d5 but a bit later he played an important improvement with 14...Nbxd5! and managed to get a good game. After a few more moves the players decided to make a draw in an equal position.

Classical Variation 6.Be3 Na6 7.Nf3 c6 8.0-0 e5 9.Re1 [E94]

Juksta, K - Baklan, V was also a Classical with ...Na6 but this time, after an interesting move order transposition, we reached a more standard line where Black played 8...e5 and after 9 Re1 he went 9...Re8:

Again it was soon a new position and Black found a good idea to trade the knights with 12...Nxe5. After that the game was equal but White went for the wrong plan later and Black took the initiative. Then White simply gave a pawn without reason and later lost the game.

Classical Variation 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 c6 9.d5 c5 [E94]

Game 7 between So, W - Tabatabaei, M was in the old Classical with 6...Nbd7. This turned out to be a great game where Wesley So soon deviated from the main lines with 10.Nd2 and his next move 11.g4 was even a novelty:

However, suddenly he made the strange move 12 Nf3 and Black managed to prepare 13...f5 and open the kingside. Black took the initiative and could have gained a big advantage with 19...h6 but he missed it. After that he found a great combination starting with 22...Nxc4 and had a very strong attack. He should have won the game but he was missing chance after chance and in the end it was just an equal position but with one more blunder White even managed to win.

Classical Variation 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 h6 9.dxe5 [E94]

Can, E - Kozul, Z was also in the same line Classical line with ...Nbd7 but here Black opted for the 8...h6 variation:

After that it was a very interesting game where both players were playing standard plans to take advantage of their strengths, White was pressing in the centre and on the queenside and Black was slowly building his attack on the kingside.

Kozul created a dangerous attacking setup with ...Nf4 and ...Nh5 and the pawn ...h5-h4 and he was waiting for the best time to play ...Ng3+. In the end he managed to execute it and he was winning but, probably in time trouble, he could not find a clear win and, just as in the previous game, Black even managed to lose even though he had a great game and deserved to win.

Till next month, Marian

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