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This month, before the holidays, it looks like most players prefer to play quieter openings and there are not so many games in the KID. However, we still managed to find some interesting games. In some of them White made the old mistake of leaving the KID bishop without an opponent and was punished in style. In others Black didn’t take advantage of the chance to improve it to a better diagonal and struggled.
You should never underestimate this bishop even when it is blocked by the e5 pawn at the beginning of the game.

Download PGN of December ’22 KID games

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Makagonov System 5.h3 e5 6.d5 a5 7.Be3 [E71]

Van Foreest, L - Schevhenko, K was in the Makagonov System, and by using the move order with delayed castles Black managed to avoid some of the main lines and then offered a pawn with 11....Nf4 in order to open the long diagonal for his bishop:

White took it and then opened the game even more. Black gained the initiative and after a few small mutual mistakes he got a strong attack. The game was decided with a blunder from White in an already bad position.

Averbakh System 5.Be2 0-0 6.h4 [E61]

Grachev, B - Goganov, A started like the Averbakh System, but after only 8 moves the game was in totally new territory as Black met 8. h5 with the risky 8...gxh5. Then he took the pawn with 9....Nxc4:

White gained the initiative, and later the Black king was a bit exposed so White managed to create an attack and later won material and, soon, the game.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8 h4 [E71]

Lupulescu, C - Storeliu, G was another offshoot of the Averbakh System where White went for the rare line 10.Bxc5:

It is interesting that White has won all the games in this position in the database even if it looks like an innocent move. Black decided to seek active counterplay with 15...b5 but soon went for a completely wrong idea and White got a big edge. After a few more mistakes White quickly won the game creating mating threads by advancing his central pawns.

Classical Variation 7...h6 [E94]

Tsvetkov, A - Sargsyan, S featured the Classical system with the early 7...h6:

However. It turned out that this allowed White to quickly move into an equal endgame without risk. After the novelty 14. Bg5 Black had to start trading pieces and was soon held to a draw by repetition. This is the risk when you face lower-rated opponents with Black.

Classical Variation, Petrosian System 7...Na6 8.h3 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 10.Nf3 Nh5 [E93]

Doric, D - Stevic, H was in a sub-variation of the Petrosian System. White opted for 11.0-0, allowing 11...Nf4:

White didn't capture, and so Black took advantage to get the pair of bishops and a comfortable game. Later, Black opened the game and soon put pressure on the the white king with 18...g4, opening files. The attack was unstoppable, White could not defend on the h- file and lost.

Classical Variation, Petrosian System 7...Nbd7 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 [E93]

Dvirnyy, D - Niemann, H followed one of the main lines where both sides were developing and improving.

Then, instead of going for 16...Be3+, the natural idea in this line, Black decided to play slowly. Later, also in a pretty standard situation, he went 20... Na6 instead of 20...Na4. After that he got a passive game and White soon started to increase the advantage, but Niemann escaped with a timely draw offer.

Classical Variation, Petrosian System 7...Na6 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh5 [E93]

Giannoulakis, L - Aryan, C was in the Petrosian System where Black went for the line with an early 9...g5:

Later White went passive with 13.f3 and Black had a comfortable game with the pair of bishops.

Then White opened the game with 19.f4 and was soon in trouble, Black's bishops were too strong, Black won material and later converted the endgame

Classical Variation 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 Qe7 [E94]

The last game between Ivanchuk, V - Yakubboev, N was a Classical System with 8...Qe7 where Ivanchuk went for the rare line 9.Nd2:

Black is totally fine here and has many options to develop. In the game he went for an ambitious plan to conquer all the dark squares by pushing 14....h4 but it turned out that he was struggling to hold them. White broke with 19. Nd5 and got a serious advantage. Later he missed a chance to keep it and allowed Black to slowly improve. In the end the game was drawn.

Till next month, Marian

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