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Hi everyone,
I will be taking over the King's Indian section from GM Glenn Flear from now on.
Games in the KID rarely disappoint, and this month there are many interesting battles, as usual. At any level up to 2600 it seems that the opening is safe for Black. Even I have started to play it again! ;)

Download PGN of December ’21 KID games

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Fianchetto, Uhlmann Variation 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5 Nb8 [E62]

In Maze, S - Setyaki, A Black decided to follow an idea of Carlsen's with 9...Nb8 but a bit later White played 11.Ne1 instead of Mamedyarov's 11 Be3.

Black got a good game after 12...Nfd7 and soon launched 16...f5 and even 17...f4. On his next move White missed a nice intermezzo and lost the game.

Fianchetto Classical Main line 8 e4 c6 9 h3 Qb6 10 c5 [E69]

Another Fianchetto, this time in the main line, was Nicolic, V - Cheparinov, I.

In the very deep theoretical line after 10 c5 there was a funny story as Ivan Cheparinov was effectively fighting against himself - his opponent followed another game of his right up until move 21, but where that time Ivan was actually playing the white pieces!

Ivan showed that he understands the position better as he won with both colors.

Makagonov System 5...Nbd7 6 Be3 e5 7 d5 [E71]

In Tsolakidou, S - Theodorou, N White went for the 5 h3 line, hoping to follow up with g4, but the young Greek Theodorou has an interesting idea, which he recently tested in many games with a good score, this is 7...h5, simply preventing g4:

Sometimes in this line he has the plan of ...Bh6, but in this game after 8 Qd2 he managed to get nice play with 8...Nc5 and 9...h4.

Karpov System 5 h3 0-0 6 Be3 Nc6 7 d5 [E71]

Zakhartsov, V - Nitin, S was in the same line but this time Black went 6...Nc6 before playing ...e7-e5. So White decided to chase the knight all the way back to d7 by pushing his pawns and gaining space. It was all theory until 11 exd5:

This turned out to be not so good but White should be still safe. Somehow, only 3 moves later, Black had a winning position.

Sämisch System, Byrne Variation 5...a6 6 Be3 Nbd7 7 Qd2 0-0 [E81]

In Grigoryan, K - Cabrera, A, which was played just few days ago in Spain, White went for a Sämisch. It was a rare line where Black plays ...a6 and ...c6 and White first develops his queenside:

That helped him to push 9 e5! gaining space, and he quickly increased his advantage.

Classical Petrosian 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Be3 [E92]

In Soumya, S - Nihal, S there was a long theoretical dispute in the closed Classical Petrosian line with 7 d5 answered by 7...a5. Then White went 9 Be3 instead of 9 Bh4.

In this line White allows Black to start his counterplay and even invites pressure with ...f4 and ...e4. After move 20 Black introduced a new move, 21...Kh8, which caused him some problems later - h7 is a better square for the king, covering g6.

Classical Variation ...Nbd7 8 Qc2 c6 9 d5 [E94]

Van Foreest, L - Setyaki, A featured the line with ...Nbd7, by transposition, and then after 9...c5 the center was closed:

Here White played a new move, 10.Kh1, and started preparing to meet ...f7-f5. He did this well and then slowly gained a big advantage.

Classical, Mar del Plata 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.b4 [E99]

In Thybo, J - Jones, G we have the orthodox line with 9 Ne1. Gawain Jones was following one of the main lines with Black and introduced the new move 16...Kh8:

and then he quickly pushed ...g5-g4. It was a very entertaining game with extreme swings in a complicated position, where he managed to win in the end.

Till next month, Marian

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