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This month we have games from the Tata Steel tournament and the Gibraltar Open.

Download PGN of February '11 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation [E63]

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.g3 0-0 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.h3 a6 8.0-0 the move 8...Bd7:

is a popular way of avoiding the complications of 8...b5 9.e5 which we have looked at recently. After 9.e4 e5 10.Be3 exd4 11.Nxd4 Qc8!? is very rare. Following 12.Kh2 Ne5 13.Qe2 Black played 13...c5! in Gregor - Bejtovic, a typical idea reminiscent of the Gallagher Variation where Black accepts a weakness on d6 but intends a quick ...b5 with good counterplay.

In one of the main lines of the Panno, Grischuk played an obscure line which I had looked into myself. He later played an exchange sacrifice that I had not considered, however, but although it may be good enough for a difficult draw, his fortress did not hold up against a determined Wang Hao. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.b3 Rb8 9.Nd5:

Black played 9...Bg4!? In Wang Hao - Grischuk, which is an interesting move that I feel has been neglected. The most common answers are 9...e6 and 9...Nh5!? The game continued 10.Bb2 Nxd5 11.cxd5 Nb4 12.e4 f5 13.h3 fxe4 14.hxg4 exf3 15.Bxf3 Qe8 16.g5 Rxf3!?. This must have been preparation but I am not sure if I buy it.

Sämisch Variation [E81-9]

In Ponomariov - Grischuk we look at a line that was seen in Ponomariov-Carlsen back in June. While Carlsen never really equalized in the opening (although he won), Grischuk basically solved his opening problems (... and of course lost). 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.Be3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5!? is the line in question, 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.Nd2 exd5 13.cxd5 a6 14.a4 Bd7 and now 15.a5!? is a new move:

The Sämisch Panno 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nc6 8.Nge2 Rb8 9.Nc1 (currently the positional 9.Rc1 is very popular, while; a more dangerous version of the game occurs after 9.h4 h5 10.Nc1) is not considered so critical. After 9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.Nb3 Nxb3 12.axb3 Black plays the slightly unusual, but logical move 12...Nh5!? in So - Nijboer.

Makagonov Variation [E90]

In the critical 7...Nh5 line of Makagonov Variation, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2:

The old 12...f4 just seems bad, while 12...Qf7 (which I examined last month) gets all of the attention. However, I think Black's best is 12...fxe4, See Meskovs - Fernandez Romero.

Gligoric Variation [E92]

The Gligoric is a dangerous weapon, but 9.Bc1 really gives White nothing due to the pawn sacrifice seen in Jovanic - Jankovic, 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bc1 Nc6 10.d5 Nd4!:

Instead the natural 10...Ne7 11.h3 Nh6 12.h4 is good for White. Following 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Nb5 f5 13.0-0 Ne5 14.exf5 d3! Black gets the bishop pair and very active pieces for the pawn.

Classical Variation 7...Na6 [E94]

For those who do not like the main line with 7...Nc6, the 7...Na6 variation remains a viable choice. In Hammer - Fressinet we look at White's most ambitious line in the popular 8.Re1 Qe8 variation. This method of play may give some hopes for an advantage, but mistakes are costly, 9.Bf1 Bg4 10.d5 Nb4 11.a3 (This is very ambitious. White will gain time and space, but his kingside is irreparably weakened.) 11...Bxf3 12.gxf3 Na6 13.b4 Nb8!?:

A new move. Black immediately prepares to reroute his knight back into play.

7...Nbd7 [E96]

Everyone knows that Ivanchuk plays everything, and here he digs out an old line in the Classical King's Indian. After 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 c6 8.Re1 Nbd7 he gets a good game with surprising ease, but I still think this line is difficult to handle for lesser mortals. See Mikhalevski - Ivanchuk.

Until next month, David

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