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This month there were not so many big theoretical developments, but there were several good scrappy tussles.

Download PGN of December '12 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation Panno 7...Rb8!? [E62]

Mark Hebden's KID games are always interesting. His opponents know he will play it, but he still does well, even against strong players. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 Hebden likes 7...Rb8!? which is a well-known and interesting move order trick:

In Baburin - Hebden White goes for the even more unorthodox 8.Bg5 in reply, which should not give White much.

Classical Main line [E69]

In Dizdar - Markus Black plays an unusual move order, which seems to befuddle his opponent, 6...c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Nbd7, and now 10.Re1 exd4 11.Nxd4 Re8 12.Be3 Ne5 13.Bf1 Be6 14.Nxe6 Rxe6 15.Kg2, which is well known:

however, now 15...Ned7!? is an unusual retreat to attack the e4-pawn immediately.

Classical - Makagonov Variation 6...c5 [E90]

6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3 exd5 9.exd5 Re8+ 10.Be3 Bh6 11.0-0 Bxe3 12.fxe3 Nbd7 is a controversial line:

Black potentially can reach a highly desirable strategic formation, if only he can get his pieces where they want to go, which is not easy. In Moiseenko - Lupulescu Black fails to consolidate.

6...e5 [E90]

In Likavsky - Vovk Black uses a rare move order we saw Cheparinov employ, 6...e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3, and now 11...fxe4!? (Black almost always plays 11...Nxh3) 12.Nxe4 Nxh3:

Here 13.Be3?! is an unfortunate reply.

In Navara - Rasik Black follows a prescribed recipe but ends up somewhat worse anyway, 7...Na6 8.Bg5 Qe8 9.g4 Nd7 10.Rg1 Kh8 (I like the way Black handles the opening, holding off on ...h6 and waiting for Rg1 before playing ...Kh8, but I must say that I prefer these plans with ...a5 thrown in.) 11.Be2 f6!? (this looks sensible, but may not hold up to scrutiny) 13.gxf5 gxf5 14.exf5 Ndc5, when 15.Nh4 is thematic, but so is 15.a3!?, which looks very dangerous for Black.

Unusual 9th moves [E97]

After 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 the move 9.Kh1!? is a sensible way for White to get an interesting game without too much theory:

Black should not experience any particular difficulties if he avoids a couple of minor pitfalls. After the further 9...Ne8 10.Ne1 f5 11.exf5 Nxf5 12.Bd3 Nf6 13.Nf3 Nd4 14.Ng5!? is a rare move played in Melkumyan - Zhou, which sees White win a nice strategic game.

Classical - 9.Nd2 [E97]

Following 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 the move 9...c6 is not nearly as popular as 9...a5, 9...c5, or 9...Ne8, but it seems to catch a World Championship challenger off-guard in Gelfand - Dominguez Perez.

9.Ne1 Mainline [E99]

In Mchedlishvili - Ganguly Black plays a risky line and is well rewarded. His novelty on move 17 looks like a subtle improvement on Black's previous speculative play. The key position arises after 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.b4 Rf6 14.c5 Rh6 15.Rc1 Qe8 16.Nb5 Qh5 17.h4:

This has actually all been seen before, but not 17...Nf6! Previously Black had played the more obvious 17...Ng6 which is a mess but White has done well. Ganguly's move has its points.

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.