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The end of the year was quite busy with many events and a lot of games to choose from. My preference is normally toward classical or rapid games even if some big names have played the KID in blitz events. There has been some nice attacks and combinations and it sometime feels that Black can still win a game simply by following the main ideas. As White has a bigger choice of lines this may actually make things more tricky for him and later, after the first 10-15 moves, many players often mix their plans.

Download PGN of January ’23 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation, Classical 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 a6 [E68]

L'Ami E - Kevlishvili, R it was in the Fianchetto Variation and Black opted for the risky Gallagher-style line with 9...a6 and 11...c5 where he is initially active but has a backward d-pawn:

Then Black played 14....Be6 instead of 14...Re8 and a few moves later White managed to prepare f4-f5 and Black was in trouble. White first won a pawn and then took full control over the whole board leading to an easy win.

Makagonov System 6.Be3 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.f4 [E71]

Suleymanli, A - Yakubboev, N was in the trendy line of the Makagonov/Karpov System with 6....Nc6 where Black invites pressure by moving his knight around the centre. White got a space advantage and after 14.Nd4 Black was already in trouble because of the weak c6 square:

A few moves later White was already in full control and won easily. It seems like this line is tricky for Black.

Karpov System 6.Be3 Nc6 7.d5 Ne5 8.f4 Neg4 9.Bd2 Nh6 [E73]

Agmanov, Z - Adhiban, B was in a slightly similar line but in the Averbakh. Here the knight is going all the way to h6 but White has to lose a move as his bishop is attacked, so this gives Black time to attack the centre. In this game Black tried a new move, 12...fxe6:

Then the game was a bit different from the normal KID lines and White tried to play some active moves with his bishops. However, it turned out that he left his king in the centre too long and Black could take the initiative. After various twists and turns there were some tactics where both players missed some things and in the end Black managed to win.

Woodward, A - Aryan, C was in the same Lesser Averbakh/Karpov line as the last game. This time White went 12 0-0 which allows Black to push 12...b5:

After 15 Rc1 Black could not find anything better then to force a draw with perpetual check. I haven’t seen many games where its possible in the KID so I wanted to share it.

Karpov System 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8.g4 [E73]

Vignesh, N - Gupta, A was in the Karpov variation. After White goes 12 Qd2 Black normally reacts a couple of moves later (in the following position) with the standard 13...Rf4:

Instead, Gupta just decided to develop. However, a position which looks more or less normal to a human eye is almost lost for Black according to the engines! A few moves later Black was allowed to finally go 20...Rf4 and he got counterplay. Later White opened the game and was punished by the pair of bishops. In the end a very elegant mating net decided the game for Black.

Classical Variation 6.Bd3 [E90]

The next game saw Hikaru Nakamura, but this time on the White side against Amin, and he tried the rare 6 Bd3 line in the classical:

Soon there was a novelty, 11 Nh4, after which the game was unclear. First Black went for 13 ....f5 and White did not trade the pawns. It left Black with a choice to trade or block. He went for 14...f4 and missed the chance to gain an edge. Later, with 16...f3 he sacrificed a pawn for a strong outpost. Probably Black should not touch the king side but he went 18....h5 and slowly White took control. After a long fight White won in the endgame, see Nakamura, - Amin, B.

Classical Variation 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 [E94]

Pantzar, M - Livaic, L was in the 6...Na6 Classical system. White played a bit passively and first he allowed an easy 12...f5 and then went 13.a3 which was met by the standard ...a4 after which Black is already better.

Later Black just started to roll his pawns against the white king and got a mating attack with a nice combination, and even if he missed the mate he still won easily after that.

Classical, Bayonet Attack 9...a5 11.bxa5 Rxa5 11.a4 c5 [E97]

The final game was between Brunello, S - Amin, B, and this time it was in the main line Bayonet attack. The game was following one of the critical lines and after 16 Ng5 Black strangely went 16...h6:

A few moves later White enjoyed a strong attack and a big advantage. Then he started to miss chance after chance and in the end, after many twists, Black finally won.

Till next month, Marian

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