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The fianchetto remains fashionable, as do some sidelines. The Bayonet is not as common as it once was because theory exploded in several lines, but there are a couple of appearances this month.

Download PGN of January ’19 KID games

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Fianchetto Panno Variation 6...Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.Bf4 [E63]

The line with 8.Bf4 Rb8 9.Rc1 h6 is a common guest:











Now 10.h3!? has been the fashion lately, but in Wang, S - Chigaev, M White played 10.d5. After 10...e5 11.dxc6 is a bit unusual. It’s something different, but should not be too threatening. For 11.Bd2 Nd4 see Tan Zhongyi -Jones,G Caleta 2016; The most common has been 11.dxe6 Bxe6 12.b3 Re8 which seems ok for Black.


Fianchetto Variation Yugoslav 6...c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.e3 [E65]

The quiet move 8.e3 gained some attention since the World Champion's loss last year:











As mentioned before, 8...Bg4 (!) looks the most thematic to me. After 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Nd7 11.Ne2 Qb6! steps up the pressure on d4. White won in Fridman, D - Tukhaev, A, but I think the notes show that Black is quite comfortable here.


Fianchetto Yugoslav Main Line 6...c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Na5 [E66]

After 6...Nc6 7.d5 Na5 8.Nfd2 c5 9.Nc3 a6 10.Qc2, instead of 10...Rb8, Black can try 10...b5!?:











Now 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Nxb5 was Khismatullin, D - Guseinov, G. Following this 12...Ba6 is the obvious move (although Ding Liren once preferred 12...Qb6!? 13.Nc3 Bf5! 14.e4 Bc8!), and after 13.Nc3 White should be better, but dealing with Benko positions is difficult in fast time controls.



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

In this semi-fashionable line I would now prefer 6...c5, but in Caruana, F - Nakamura, H Black went for 6...e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Nge2 Nd7 when both 10.Ng3 (which I faced a couple of years ago) and 10.Qd2 Ndc5 11.Ng3 lead to a tough position for Black:











Nakamura wiggled out though, as he often does.


‘Lesser Averbach’ 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 [E73]

We have seen 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.cxd5 Bg4 10.0-0 Re8 11.Nd2 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Na6 several times:











Now 13.h3!? looked like a decent try for White in Tran Tuan Minh - Adhiban, B. It's essentially a useful waiting move.



Classical Delayed Exchange 7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 [E97]

his delayed exchange line is admittedly a nuisance. In Cheparinov, I - Yuffa, D the generally well-prepared Black player went for 9...Qxd1:











Other moves are 9...Bg4, which may be the most reliable, and Van Kampen's 9...Nd4 which is the most interesting. After the game's 10.Rfxd1 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nd4 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.cxd5 c6 15.Rac1 cxd5 16.exd5 e4 17.Be3 Nf5!? was a new try, which should be ok... but Black is just grovelling here.


Classical Bayonet Attack 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 Rb8!? [E97]

12...Rb8!? is a rare but interesting move to avoid reams of theory. Black pre-emptively protects the b-pawn:











In Thybo, J - Karthikeyan, M White was caught off guard and improvised with 13.Ba3N but Black quickly took over.


Classical Bayonet Attack 9.b4 a5 10.Ba3 b6 [E97]

The World Champ avoided the sometimes drawish lines that arise after 9...Nh5 and instead went for the positional 9...a5 10.Ba3 b6 11.bxa5 Rxa5 12.Bb4 Ra8 13.a4 and now 13...Ne8 is an old move:











I think White keeps an edge but the champ believes it's complex enough to be playable, at least in rapid. In Pogosyan, S - Carlsen, M White reacted with 14.Nd2, a natural move which is probably not so critical.


Until next month, David

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