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Classical - Makagonov Variation [E90]
The non-forcing nature of the Makagonov has made it very popular lately, but with so many games we have seen that it can still get rather theoretical. So we have a mix of lines that are a bit "out of book" as well as some noteworthy novelties.
In general I prefer classical lines for Black where ...e5 is just played as soon as it can be. Other players prefer to remain flexible, but two can play this game. After 6.h3 Na6 7.Bg5 Qe8 White can play 8.g4 even with the centre undefined:
In Ovetchkin - Jakovenko Black aims for a Benoni structure with 8...c5, but White does not have to play d4-d5. Instead White can maintain the tension and can head for an unusual Maroczy structure as he does here.
In Zubarev - Rapport we see Black play in a more classical style with 8...e5 9.d5 and now 9...Kh8 with the idea ...Ng8. This looks solid enough.
A popular way to meet the Makagonov is with 6...e5 7.d5 a5 This is a straightforward way to play. Black reacts as he would in the Petrosian Variation. After 8.g4!? Na6 9.Be3 Bd7 10.Nd2 Black again moved his king with 10...Kh8 in Tomashevsky - Morozevich. Generally I do not like this move unless White has spent a tempo on Rg1, in which case dodging the rook with ...Kh8 makes perfect sense.
In the main line of the Makagonov with 6...e5 7.d5 Nh5, Cheparinov unleashes a piece sacrifice from the Bulgarian laboratory after 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3:
with 11...fxe4!? in Can - Cheparinov. The young Turkish GM holds his nerves and scores an upset.
Next we look at a relative sideline 6...e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3!? which has gained in popularity:
After 8...f5 9.exf5 gxf5 White's 10.Bg2 in Timofeev - Andreikin is hardly critical so we look at 10.Ng5 Nf6 11.g4!? in the notes.
Black can also play 8...Qe8 9.Be2 f5 10.exf5 gxf5 and then there is 11.Ng5!? in Jakovenko - Ding Liren. This move is unusual in this exact position, but the idea is normal. This was only a rapid game, but White's play is worth noting. Black reacted rather poorly, but then in true KID style he managed to bother the opponent enough that he eventually turned the tables.
Classical - 9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]
Next up we have a fashionable line in the resurgent Bayonet. Recently we saw Kramnik essay 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 against Giri and he won quickly:
After 12...c6 Kramnik did not repeat 13.Ba3 but instead went for 13.Bg2!? in Kramnik - Grischuk and he again won quickly.
In Jakovenko - Demchenko we see that Black can avoid a lot of complications with 12...fxe4!?:
White is probably better, but only a little bit. This has been played a few times and looks viable.
Until next month, David
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