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This month we look at a variety of topical lines and consider a great loss to the chess world.

Download PGN of August '13 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation Panno [E63]

This month White enjoys sacrificing (or counter-sacrificing) pawns in the Panno.

After 7.Nc3 a6 8.h3 Bd7 9.e4 e5 10.d5 Nd4! 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Qxd4 Qc8 13.h4 Ng4 is a well-known pawn sacrifice with a good reputation:

In Duzhakov - Zhigalko White uses an obscure line involving a counter-sacrifice to quickly put pressure on his esteemed opponent.

In Salem - Ding Liren White plays a rare pawn sacrifice that may have Black rethinking the line 7.Nc3 a6 8.Re1 Rb8 9.Rb1 Na5. White tries the very rare 10.Qa4 b6 11.e4!?:

After the further 11...Bd7 12.Qd1 Nxc4 13.b3 Na5 14.e5 Ne8 15.Bf4 White clearly has compensation for the pawn, probably more than enough, and he scored a notable upset in a one-sided game.

Sämisch System - 6...c5 [E81]

As I prepare this month's column we learned that Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov's life was cut tragically short at the young age of 28. A great loss for the chess world. He was a very sharp player who favoured the Grünfeld.

In Parligras - Kurnosov we see that he did not ignore certain King's Indian theory. After 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.f4 he played Grischuk's bomb, 12...Nxc4!?:

and following 13.Bxc4 b5! 14.Bxb5 exd5 White now varied from Svidler-Grischuk, London 2013, with 15.exd5, but Black still has enough play.

Sämisch Panno Mainline 9.Rc1 [E84]

Recently I heard from a subscriber concerning some early b2-b3 stuff in the 9.Rc1 line of the Panno that was recommended in Schandorff's 1.d4 repertoire book. I do not think Black should be unduly worried about such an approach, simply because most of these lines look like a slight theoretical edge for White. Black scores pretty well in practice anyway, so it's most important to be familiar with the ideas and a few certain theoretical positions. The following diagram position arises after 9...Bd7:

10.b3!? Ok, this is a useful waiting move, but I do not see the big point. White will take on b5, I guess. 10.Nd1 is the thematic move, to meet ...b5 with c5, discussed in the notes. See Khairullin - Demchenko.

Classical - Makagonov 6.h3 [E90]

In the 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Be3 line of the Makagonov White wins with an unusual strategic idea in Ding Liren - Al Modiahki.

What should White play here? After 13.Qxh5 f5 Black has counterplay, so White played 13.g4! clamping down.

7...Na6 [E94]

Khenkin - Wang Hao looks at another c4-c5 idea for White. It's amazing that a 2750 player falls prey to this after 8.Re1 c6 9.Be3!? (This is rather unusual. 9.Bf1 is the main move) 9...Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 h5?! 12.h3 Nh6 13.c5! when Black is already close to being busted.

Unusual 9th moves 9.Qc2!? [E97]

White has another quick success with Eljanov's mysterious 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Qc2!? in Bukavshin - Balashov. In the notes I try to find some ideas for Black.

9.Ne1 Mainline [E99]

It's been awhile since we looked at 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.g4!?:

It is still not clear the best way for Black to play, but I think 13...fxg3 14.hxg3 Ng6 followed a quick ...h5 is the way to go. See Perez Ponsa - Baryshpolets.

Until next month, David

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Don't hesitate to share your thoughts and suggestions with me. Any queries or comments to the KID Forum, or to me directly at (subscribers only) would be most welcome.