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This month we have some developments in topical openings, and several missed opportunities for major upsets!

Download PGN of August '16 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation, Uhlmann's line 7...e5 [E62]

The trendy 6...Nc6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nb8 gets a stamp of approval in Ding Liren - Grischuk, a game between two of the best players in the world:

After 9.e4 a5 10.Rb1 Na6 11.Re1 is solid but should not put Black off too much.

Again after 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5, the innocuous looking exchange 8.dxe5 has been investigated recently in response to Black's surprising success with 8.d5 Nb8, as we see above in Ding Liren - Grischuk. Following 8...dxe5 (we saw 8...Nxe5 last month) 9.Bg5 Be6:

Previously I gave 10.Qa4 as the best try, but 10.Nd2!? was played in Vidit - Onischuk and it is quite venomous.

Panno 8.e4 [E63]

The game Mamedyarov - Annaberdiyev is a BIG mismatch, but Black plays quite capably, and he even misses a big opportunity at one point. After 6...Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.e4 looks a bit naive, but matters are not so simple following 8...Bg4 9.Be3 Nd7 10.Qd2 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.Bg2 c5 14.dxc6 bxc6:

Black has this beautiful knight, but it is not so simple to come up with a good plan. Nevertheless, Black hangs in there against his famous opponent, and even misses a chance to score a big upset.

Classical - Makagonov 6.h3 [E90]

6.h3 Na6 7.Be3 e5 8.d5 Nh5 9.g3 Qe8 10.Be2 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.Nh4 Nf6 13.Qd2!?:

This line is full of bizarre subtleties. In Rodshtein - Gaehwiler Black played 13...Nc5 14.0-0-0 Na4 15.Nb5 Qd8 16.Qc2 a6! which at least gives the second player counterplay.

After 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nd7 10.a3 Nb6 (I prefer this to 10...Nac5) 11.Rg1 Bd7 White often tries to do without 12.Be2 these days, but it is still quite plausible, of course. Then 12...Nc5 13.Qc2 Kh8 14.h4 Nba4! is a thematic way for Black to get counterplay:

in Arnaudov - Saric. Black wins a miniature, but White had his chances too.

Delayed Exchange 7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxe5 [E97]

The game Enchev - Saric features my favourite new idea this month. After 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 we recently saw Saric get ground down after 9...Qxd1 10.Rfxd1 Bg4. Instead, 9...Nd4 is more interesting:

The game continued 10.Nxe5 Ne6! 11.Bh4 Qxd1 12.Raxd1 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxe5 14.Be7, and here we see the fruit of Saric's homework with 14...Bxb2!? This is a very nice novelty which allows Black to play for a win.

9.b4 a5 Bayonet Attack [E97]

7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.bxa5 c5 11.a4 Rxa5 12.Ra3 Ra6 is a very solid system:

In Bogner - Gallagher Black is never in any real danger and he even has some chances to seize the initiative himself.

9.Ne1 Mainline [E99]

7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.c5!? is a very unusual move order, but we soon reach normal lines, as 13...Nxc5 14.b4 Na6 15.Nd3 h5 16.Rc1 heads back into normal theory. After 16...Ng6 17.Nb5:

Black plays 17...Bd7 which I suggested could use some tests in this line. Well here it is, in Indjic - Oleksienko.

Until next month, David

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