ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
This month White faced more problems in the Sämisch. We also see an unusual idea from one of the world’s best juniors, culminating in a very rare case of Black castling queenside in the King’s Indian! The only other game I can recall with this happening was a classic: Spassky, B - Fischer, R S.Stefan/Beograd (m/16), 1992 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 d6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Qa5 9.Bd3 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Kf1 f5 13.Rc1 Qf6 14.h4 g4 15.Bd3 f4 16.Ne2 fxg3 17.Nxg3 Rf8 18.Rc2 Nd7 19.Qxg4 Ne5 20.Qe4 Bd7 21.Kg1 0-0-0!

Download PGN of January ’20 KID games

>> Previous Update >>

Fianchetto 5...c5 Benko Gambit structure [E60]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.d5 b5 8.cxb5 a6 9.bxa6:

We have looked at this kind of deferred Benko a few times. In the heavyweight battle Ding Liren - Vachier Lagrave, M the French GM went for 9...Bf5 10.Nc3 (instead 10.Nfd2 is quite critical) allowing 10...Ne4. After 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.Nd2 (12.Bh3!?) 12...Bxg2 13.Kxg2 we have a typical position where Black still needs to prove his compensation.

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

The line with 6... c6 7.0-0 Bf5 remains a rather popular sideline. After looking at Swiercz, D - Dragun, K it seems that if White does not try to refute it outright, it's not so exciting for Black. 8.b3 is more tranquil than some other tries, but White can still aspire to a small edge.8...Ne4 9.Bb2 Nxc3 10.Bxc3 Be4 11.e3 scores very well despite its docile appearance. Black comes up with a reasonable novelty on the 12th move, but soon falls behind.

Panno 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.b3 Rb8 9.d5 [E63]

This line has been a bit of a headache for Black. It has gained in popularity in no small part due to Avrukh's GM Rep 2A. Jones took it head on three times vs Howell in this match. 9...Na5 10.Bg5 c5 11.dxc6 and now 11...bxc6:

I had thought that this was close to unplayable, but Jones went for it twice and won both times! I don't think we can credit the opening however... 12.c5! dxc5 13.Rc1 and now 13...Bf5 was Gawain's new try. Developing a piece does look more logical than 13...Qxd1 14.Rfxd1 which activates White's other rook. Howell did not achieve much in the first game, but on his next try he was better prepared. So, Howell, D - Jones, G still does not seem to solve all of Black’s problems in this line.

Irregular 5.h3 [E71]

The game Batsiashvili, N - Praggnanandhaa, R is irregular in more than one way. After 5.h3 Black’s move order with 5...e5 6.d5 a5 7.Be3 Na6 is not so unusual, but after 8.g4 Nd7 aims for a different setup than those that arise after the usual 8...Nc5. Then 9.Nge2 Bf6!? is an original idea. Black wants to go ...Bg5, and he will. The real surprise is when Black plays 19...0-0-0!? Castling queenside is normal for White in the King’s Indian, but not for Black!

Karpov Variation 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 [E73]

6...e5 7.d5 Na6 8.g4 Nc5 9.f3 when 9...h5!? is most combative response to White’s tricky system. After 10.g5 Nh7 we have a question of move orders.

In Aravindh, C - Shimanov, A White plays the natural 11.Qd2 This move leads to a different structure than the alternative 11.h4 when Black still has to show something here. 11...f6 12.gxf6 Bxf6 13.Bf2 Be7 14.Kd2! Rf4 15.Qe1 a5 16.Kc2! 11...f6 12.h4 fxg5 13.hxg5 The g5-pawn cramps Black - that is, unless he takes it. 13...Rf4! 14.Bxf4 exf4 White can choose between the game’s 15.Nh3 and 15.Qxf4 but Black's position looks easier to play.

Averbakh Variation 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Qd2 exd5 9.exd5 Qb6 [E75]

In the line with 10.Nf3 Bf5 11.Nh4! is critical. Black is fine - as long as you remember the lines. In Krutti, V - Yuffa, D White plays the more quiet 11.Rc1 but Black reacted well with 11...Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.b3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Re8+ 15.Be2 and now 15...a5!is the key idea.

Sämisch System - Byrne Variation 6...c6 [E81]

I have always found this flexible Byrne system to be mysterious. When I used to play the Sämisch with White, I was a bit afraid of it because there was no clear way to react. We have a couple of games this month. In both of them, White played an early Nge2, which as mentioned before has clear downsides. In Narciso Dublan, M - Bernadskiy, V White played 7.Nge2 a6 8.c5 This approach is common, but I am not convinced. After 8...Nbd7 I am suspicious of the structural change initiated with 9.cxd6 because 9...exd6 10.Ng3 b5 11.Be2 c5 12.0-0 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Bb7 gave Black has a very dynamic position.

The game Sulskis, S - Seeman, T reached the following position:

This setup has been a real challenge for White's Nge2 move order because we have seen 8.Qd2 b5! Has done very well for Black. After 8.Ng3 c6 we are in a Byrne setup where White has committed his knight to g3 rather early. In this game White persisted with 9.c5 but this time he met 9...b5 with 10.cxb6. Black was fine until he lost the thread, but he still managed to win a back-and-forth game.

Until next month, David

>> Previous Update >>

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.