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This month we follow Gawain Jones around on his adventures, there's a history lesson, and a 2666 GM reaching a lost position with white in just 14 moves...

Download PGN of February ’21 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation early ...c5 5.Nc3 Qa5 6.Bg2 Ne4 [E60]

This line is already a bit risky for Black, despite the good statistics. In Drygalov, S - Belous, V 12.Re1 is quite a good novelty:

adding to the problems Black must solve to keep this line afloat.

Fianchetto, Yugoslav Exchange 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qa4 Nd4 11. Rad1 [E65]

I am always interested to see what Gawain Jones is doing in the King's Indian, and he has stuck to this symmetrical line. I've mentioned many times that it is much more complicated than it would seem, so it suits his style well. In Wadsworth, M - Jones, G both sides follow a long theoretical line where White knew just enough to get himself into trouble:

We also look at Jones' recent game in the 9.Bf4 line, where things looked a bit shakier for Black.

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

The Be3+h3 line remains annoying, but there are fighting options. I was watching the game Meshkovs, N - Vocaturo, D live and followed it keenly.

6...Nc6 is certainly interesting, but White can choose the style of play, and I am not convinced that there is equality anywhere.

Averbakh Variation 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Qd2 [E73]

Flear, G - Jones, G and the old timer wins! (I suppose we shouldn't write that about one of our colleagues!).

The ...Na6 line has been popular for a long time. In this game Black gets quite a good position, but some questions remain. Even though Jones had some initiative out of the opening, White's position remained solid and eventually the veteran turned things around against his esteemed opponent.

Averbakh Variation Mainline 7.Bg5 e6 8.Qd2 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 [E75]

Sarkar, J - Kryakvin, D provides a history lesson.

This line of the Averbakh is 'bad', but it is not as easy as the history books would have us believe. In a fast time control, it's difficult to play with precision to avoid any counterplay. I include the 'history lessons' in the notes.

Sämisch System 6...Nbd7 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 b5 [E81]

We have seen the opening of Grigoryan, K - Garrido Outon, A quite a few times recently:

Here 12.dxe5 is not a good move, and 14.f4 should be losing. This is not something you see too often from a 2666 player. The refutation(s) are not very obvious however, and Black immediately stumbles and misses a chance for a quick upset.

Sämisch Gambit Accepted 6...c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Qxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6 10.Nge2 Nd7 [E81]

In this old line of the Sämisch Gambit Accepted, 10...b6 has taken over from 10...Nd7, but this game, Otawa, Y - Iniyan, P, follows the old line.

In this position 14...Bh6 is much stronger than the much more common 14...g5. In fact, I think that 14.b3 can go into the scrap heap.

Classical Variation 6.Be3 Na6 7.Nf3 e5 8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 [E94]

In Nepomniachtchi, I - Radjabov, T (after 9...Qe8) Nepo's 10.d5 is quite rare here, and (despite White's eventual win) it should probably stay that way.

Black's play is thematic and easy.

Until next month, David

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