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This month we look at some fashionable lines, and we also see some games where strong players pay the price for not being familiar with analysis from!

Download PGN of December '11 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation Panno System [E63]

In the 8.b3 line of the Panno 6...Nc6 7.0-0 Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 e6 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 the natural 11.Bb2 is seen in Papin - Jones:

This leads to typical King's Indian positions where both sides have chances. Don't miss my colleague's positional queen sacrifice!

Seirawan Variation [E70]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.Nb5 Re8 11.Re1 Ng4?! (11...a6! is better) 12.h3 a6 13.hxg4 axb5 14.cxb5 Qh4 is a mysterious line:

Bacrot is the second world class player to go into a position that I consider to be close to losing for Black. Their opponents did not play the refutation, even though it has been known for a while. 15.g3 is played in Aleksandrov - Bacrot but 15.Bf4! is the problem. What am I missing?

Sämisch System - 6...c5 Gambit [E81]

We have seen that 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Qa5 8.Nc1 leads to a Maroczy type position that is a bit of a nuisance for Black. Caruana - Rodshtein provides another example that shows that Black has to take this line seriously.

Panno [E84]

In Morozevich - Illescas Cordoba I look at the latest trends in the Sämisch Panno, 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Rb8:

Now 9.Rb1 is an annoying move to meet. Here Black plays routinely, ends up in a bad position which was already indicated on ChessPub, and loses without much of a fight. I also look at the latest in the 9.Nc1 and 9.Rc1 lines.

Makagonov System [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 is a line we have looked at many times. After 12...fxe4! 13.Nxe4 Bf5 White errs with 14.Rf1?! in Stocek - Stellwagen. This is another case of a strong player not being familiar with analysis from ChessPub! The Dutch Grandmaster blows his experienced 2600 opponent off the board.

Classical - 7...Nbd7 [E94]

The modern treatment with 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Be3 Re8 9.d5 Nh5 10.g3 Bf8 has scored pretty well for Black:

In Kovalenko - Kokarev White introduces a new plan with 11.Kh1!? and shows that White may play on the kingside himself.

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

The game Anand - Nakamura is not so important theoretically, but its sporting significance requires it to be presented. After 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Ne8 10.c5 f5 11.Nd2 Nf6 Anand plays Kramnik's recent preference 12.a4!? and secures a huge advantage, but the American manages to outplay the World Champion anyway.

Smirin still believes in his favourite line 9.b4 a5 10.Ba3 b6 11.bxa5 Nh5 despite the frequent difficulties he has run into:

In Eljanov - Smirin we look at 12.Re1 (recently we also examined 12.Nb5!?) 12...f5 13.Bb4! which looks like the critical continuation. Probably this line remains playable for Black, but Smirin has simply been outplayed in a few games.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

In Lenderman - Haast we look at a relatively new idea which has been used successfully by several American players, 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.Nb5!?:

This looks like a mix of ideas, but it can prove to be surprisingly effective. I look at a variety of White crushes, and also provide a possible antidote.

Next month I hope to address some subscriber questions, so if you have anything you'd like to see covered here, now is the time! 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.