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Hello everyone! First of all a big thanks to Mihaela Sandu for covering for me last month. After completing this month's update, I noticed that the only White wins were when I was playing Black, and the game that was played on the board next to me...

Download PGN of July '15 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation - 4...c5 [E60]

This game Ippolito - Zhou Jianchao is not so theoretically important, but it does show how Black should handle 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.Bg2 cxd4 6.Nxd4 0-0 7.Nc3 Qc7 8.Ncb5:

This is rather unusual, but it was played by Carlsen (in a blindfold game) and more recently by Nyzhnyk. Black has to calculate well as his queen will get bounced around a bit.

Fianchetto Panno Variation 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 [E63]

After 7...Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 the solid 9...e6 was an interesting choice from McShane:

Really I think this is the most natural move, and Mihaela also looked at it last month. 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Bb2 Qe7 12.Qd2 e5 13.d5 Nd8 saw White vary with 14.b4. See Shen - McShane.

Yugoslav Exchange 9.Be3 Qa5 10.Qb3 [E65]

6.Nc3 c5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxc5 is always going to be annoying to the ambitious black player:

In Nyzhnyk - Zapata, I happened to be sitting next to Nyzhnyk during this game (see Avrukh-Vigorito) and I was amazed to see how quickly he played. He must have used 20 minutes for the whole game. 8...dxc5 9.Be3 Qa5 10.Qb3 Qb4 11.Na4!? gives White decent chances of an edge.

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

In Avrukh - Vigorito I get squeezed by a big name in the chess world in a no-name system: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3:

This system is, of course, reasonable. 6...e5 7.d5 Na6 8.g4 Nc5 9.f3 a5 10.h4 and now I played 10...Bd7 In my book I gave 10...h5. Now 11.Nh3 was new, but normal enough. Black should be ok but he must be exact.

Classical 6...Bg4!? [E91]

6...Bg4 is a rather tricky system which I have played several times myself. 7.Be3 Nfd7 8.Rc1 e5 9.d5 a5 10.a3 Na6 11.Rb1 f5:

Now 12.h3?! is a mistake which I made myself once, even though I had prepared for this system. 12.b4! is better. See Quintiliano Pinto - Bachmann.

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

In the heavyweight battle Gelfand - Nakamura following 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 fxe4 13.Ncxe4 the American's 13...h6 was a small novelty which forces White to make an immediate decision:

14.Ne6!? Ambitious, but after this game White may prefer 14.Nxf6+.

We have seen the solid system 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.Ba3 axb4 11.Bxb4 Nd7 a few times before. After 12.a4 Bh6 13.a5 f5 14.Bd3 Nf6 15.c5 fxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Bf5 White often maintains the tension with 18.Re1, but in Zontakh - Ulko White played the immediate 18.cxd6, which is probably less accurate.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

After 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.f3 f5 11.Be3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.Rc1 Rf6 I have always been suspicious of 13...Rf6, but it can give Black decent practical chances:

Now 14.Nd3 Rh6 15.Be1 already seems like a little bit of a hesitation which allows Black to switch to more conventional attacking ideas with 15...Nf6 16.c5 a6 17.b4 Rg6! See Damljanovic - Popovic.

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.