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This month there are some nice games between good players. In the biggest event where they are fighting for the candidates, the Fide Grand Prix, there are not many games in the KID but it is interesting to see Nakamura playing as White against his favourite opening. He won so many great games in the past with the black pieces and now he has shown that he can do it with White, too.
Overall, I don’t think Black had any problems after the opening in all of the games.

Download PGN of February ’22 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation 6...c6 7.0-0 Bf5 [E62]

Janik, I - Sahidi, S was in the Fianchetto system where Black plays 7...Bf5, and in reply White went for the aggressive 8.Ng5 and later e4.

Black managed to get a good game and then traded queens. It seemed that he was fine but only for a few moves as he quickly managed to get a losing position after a few mistakes.

Fianchetto Variation 6...c6 7.Nc3 Qb6 [E62]

Wojtaszek, R - Rapport, R was also in the Fianchetto line with 6...c6, but this time with 7...Qb6, planning ...Qa6, which scores well for Black.

Black was following the main plan but he took a slightly less popular divergence with 10...bxc4 and then 11...Bb7. Still he managed to push ...d5 in time and then he traded a lot of pieces. The endgame was equal for a long time until White blundered and lost.

Classical Fianchetto 8.e4 Re8 9.h3 b6 [E68]

Konopka, M - Plischki, S was also in the Classical Fianchetto Variation and Black played a rare idea with 9...b6:

This line is actually gaining some popularity recently and the idea is to take later with ...exd4 and develop with 12...Bb7 and 13...Nc5. He followed his plan and developed his pieces. White should have play b4 but he made some bad moves and very quickly he was already worse. Black took over the initiative with ...c5 and later ...b5 and won the game convincingly.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.f4 [E73]

Obregon Rivero, J - Sandoval Mercado, C showed a rare line in the Lesser Averbakh or Karpov System. After 6...Nc6 the black knight quickly went from b8 to h6 as it was chased by the white pawns:

This has actually been played before but Black should prefer 10...c6 to 10...e6 which he played. This is also not bad if he finds some accurate moves to follow up. Later, he managed to get a good game but went for the wrong plan. They were some twists and turns but in the end Black blundered and lost.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8.h4 [E73]

Nakamura, H - Grischuk, A. was the same line with 6 Be3 but here there was a more standard approach with 6...e5. White went for the line with 8.h4 followed by 10.h5 and 12.h6:

This has all been played before up until the point White deviated with 17.g4. Black could probably try 17...Bxg4 but he preferred to play more naturally and got a slightly worse position. Then he missed the chance to improve his bishop. Later White found a nice idea to put pressure on f6 and after the blunder 35...fxg5 White won with a nice combination.

Classical Variation, Makagonov System 6...e5 7.d5 a5 8.Be3 Na6 9.g4 [E90]

Blackburne, J -Jones, G was played in the 4NCL , it was a Classical Makagonov System. White played the line with 9.g4 but then he avoided 10.a3 and his 10. Rg1 allowed 10...Ndc5 after which Black is already fine:

This line is not good for White as he can only close the center and wait. Jones prepared both 13...f5 and 16...b5 and gained an advantage which he converted easily.

Classical Petrosian 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.Nd2 Bd7 [E92]

In the game Veskovi, G - Supi, L we have a Petrosian System and Black opted for a spectacular line which was found and tried for the first time by Kasparov in the 90s, where after 12...Nfxe4!? he gives his queen for two minor pieces:

White knew the best move 15.Nb1 but afterwards he played a strange novelty 18 Qe3 and Black got a very nice game. Later, Black was improving with every move and was soon totally winning, but after a few small mistakes White managed to survive.

Classical Variation ...Nbd7 8.Be3 c6 9.h3 [E94]

Kusa, J - Kriebel, T. was in the old Classical system with ...Nbd7. White went for 10.Qc2 but then he took on d4 with 11.Bxd4 which gives Black a good game:

Then for a long time it was equal but in the endgame Black outplayed his opponent. However, in the end he missed the winning idea and it was only a draw.

Till next month, Marian

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