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Black did well this month with the King’s Indian. We have the usual open tournaments, but also consider the match Grandelius-McShane, where the English GM was confident enough with our favourite opening.

Download PGN of August ’19 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation 5...c5 Benko Gambit structure [E60]

I have always felt that the King’s Indian was a certain ‘Godfather’ to other openings such as the Modern Benoni and Benko Gambit, and transpositions to these structures are common. The ECO classification sometimes depends on the move orders. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 c5 6.d5 b5 7.cxb5 a6 8.bxa6 d6 9.0-0:

Obviously, we have a Benko position, but Black does not have to play 9...Bxa6 transposing into a 'real' Benko. Other moves keep us in a King’s Indian classification (E60). In Yatzenko, A - Ovetchkin, R Black plays 9...Nbd7. This is a good, flexible move. 10.Nc3 Nb6 leaves White with a lot of choice, but Black has avoided certain critical lines of the ‘real’ Benko.

Fianchetto, Uhlmann's line 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 [E62]

The line with 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 Be6 remains popular. 10.Nd2 is one of White's four main tries here. A couple of years ago I suggested that White may turn to this move at some point. In Fier, A - Pichot, A Black played 10...Qc8 11.Nd5 Nd7 12.b4 h6 13.Be3 Re8 14.Rc1 f5!? Which was in fact my suggestion from 2017:

White played a few natural moves but quickly found himself in trouble.

Karpov System 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Be3 [E71]

This system remains fashionable. In Grandelius, N - McShane, L Black eschewed 6...e5, which he played in the previous match game, and went for 6...Na6. This is a flexible choice, although White can play 7.Nf3 to get a 'real' Makagonov. Instead the Swede played 7.g4 e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.f3 c6 10.Qd2 cxd5 11.cxd5 Bd7 12.Nge2:

I am not yet convinced that Black is equalizing in these lines, but it’s complicated. Here 12...h5!? is an interesting possibility. This is a normal idea in the Sämisch, which the structure resembles.

Classical Petrosian Mainline 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 [E92]

In the mainline 8...h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.Nd2 Qe8 11.0-0 Nh7 12.a3 Bd7 13.b3 h5 14.f3 we saw last year that 14...Bf6!? is an interesting counter to try to get White away from normal channels. We have seen that retreating with 15.Bf2 is already a bit of a triumph for Black. In Roselli Mailhe, B - Perez Ponsa, F White instead played 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 but then 16.Qc2?! did not seem very much to the point.

Classical 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 Re8 [E94]

After 9.d5 Nh5 10.g3 Bf8 11.Ne1 Ng7 12.Nd3 Be7 13.Qd2 f5 14.f3:

The main line has always been 14...Nf6 15.c5 fxe4 16.fxe4 Bh3 but White has done well here. In Yankelevich, L - Perez Candelario, M we see the patient 14...a5!? This is less common, but probably a better try for Black.

Classical, Exchange Variation 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Bg5 [E92]

This simplifying variation is a bit annoying, but in Bai Jinshi - Salem, AR Black holds his own, and then some. 9.Bg5 Bg4 10.Qxd8 Nxd8 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Nd5 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Kg7 14.Nxc7 Rc8 15.Nd5 Ne6 is well-known:

White has almost always played 16.Kg2 but achieved little after 16...Nf4+ 17.Nxf4 exf4. Instead, the game's 16.Rfc1!? is a new try. Black reacted well, and even took some risk to try to (successfully) play for the full point.

Classical, Bayonet Attack 9.b4 Nh5 10.a4!? [E97]

Recently I came across some complications I was not familiar with after 10.a4!? (another move order is 10.c5 Nf4 and now11.a4 instead of the usual 11.Bxf4 exf4 12.Rc1) 10...Nf4 11.c5 f5 12.Bc4:

White has scored very well here. In Inarkiev, E - Iljiushenok, I Black played 12...Kh8 which is rather slow. The critical continuation beginning with 12...fxe4 can lead to a position with three minor pieces facing a queen. White looks better there, but anything could happen.

Classical Mainline 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 [E99]

One of White’s main continuations is 13.a4. The theoretical antidote is 13...a5, but in Kiriakov, P - Salem, AR Black goes for the adventurous 13...Rf6!?:

After 14.a5 Rh6 15.Nd3 Nf6 16.Be1 Rg6! is a typical switchback. Instead I believe that 14.Nb5!? is surely critical, but it has not been played since 2010!

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.