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This month a lot of the important theory is behind the scenes, so make sure to check the notes!

Download PGN of January ’18 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 [E62]

The topical 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 Be6 is met with 10.Qc1!? in Jumabayev, R - Onischuk, V:

This is Avrukh's suggestion in his new GM Repertoire 1.d4 2A. Hot off the press. After 10...Qc8 11.Rd1 Nd7 So far this has been the most common response. Here 12.Nd5 allows the effective counter. 12...e4! So White should stick with 12.b3, as proposed by the Israeli GM.

Panno 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.e4 [E63]

8.e4 is a Mamedyarov favourite. It looks naive, but it's a bit underestimated. After 8...Bg4 9.Be3 Nd7 10.Qd2 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 e5 12.d5 Nd4 13.Bg2 c5 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.f4 Rb8 16.Rf2 (?!) is a typical move which the Azeri has played before. I think that the immediate 16.f5! is stronger. See Mamedyarov, S - Amin, B. Even though Black had an easy time in this game, I think that White's setup should not be underestimated.

Classical Fianchetto - 7...Nbd7 8.e4 exd4 [E68]

I find the line with 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 Nc5 11.Re1 Bd7 to be kind of mysterious. Black avoids ...c6 and just puts his pieces on simple squares, not fearing b4 or knight hops:

Now 12.Kh2 is recommended by both Avrukh (in both versions of GM Rep 2) and Pert (in his ChessBase DVD). In Yan Liu - Yu Yangyi Black plays the rare 12...h5, which seems playable enough.

Sämisch Gambit - 6...c5 7.dxc5 [E81]

6.Be3 c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6 10.Be3!? is a bit of a sneaky move order to avoid the 10...b6 line. In Eichstaedt, M - Kollars, D Black played 10...b6 11.Rc1 Nd7 when White's sneaky move order has worked, but now he errs immediately with 12.b3? Still, the 2100 player missed his chance to hold against the GM. I think Black can do better on his 10th move however.

Sämisch 6.Nge2 a6 7.Be3 Nbd7 [E81]

The position arising after 6.Nge2 a6 7.Be3 Nbd7 8.Qd2 has occurred hundreds of times, but now comes something new. In Sachdev, T - Dann, M Black plays the surprising 8...b5!:

I actually noticed this idea several months ago but I had trouble believing it. After 9.cxb5 axb5 10.Nxb5 c6 11.Nbc3 e5 It is hard to believe that this works, as Black's queenside has 'vanished' in what looks like a normal position. However, the centre is not stable, and White is behind in development.

White keeps her cool and is eventually she is just winning, but then tragedy strikes.

Sämisch Panno - 9.Rb1 [E84]

I used to like the line 9.Rb1 for White. Here I gave 9...Bd7 in my book, but I am having some second thoughts. Maybe Black does not need to bother with this and just go for 9...b5!? In Grigoryan, K - Nouri, H Black stuck to the main line, but after 10.b4 b5 11.cxb5 axb5 12.d5 Ne5 13.Nd4:

We reach a critical position. Black is hard pressed to avoid losing a pawn, so it's a question of whether he can generate enough counterplay. 13...Nc4? is the move many would play if not familiar with the line.

Classical Bayonet Attack 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 13.dxc6!? [E97]

13.dxc6!? is Wojtaszek's annoying line. After 13...bxc6 14.exf5 gxf5 15.b5 d5? Is basically losing in Shmeliov, D - Schmakel, S. In the notes we update what Black should be doing.

Classical Bayonet Attack 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 [E97]

Just recently Gelfand played 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 Nf4 11.Bxf4 exf4 12.Rc1 a5 13.cxd6 cxd6 14.bxa5!?:

Here I had thought 14...Qxa5 was bad, but it is hard to imagine Yuffa overlooking this line in his preparation. After 15.Nb5! Rd8 16.Rc2!? Black essentially blundered in Gelfand, B - Yuffa, D, but perhaps he was ok after all.

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 (subscribers only) would be most welcome.