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This month we examine critical lines as well as some theoretical oddities.

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Unusual Lines [E60]

I believe that Anand - Gelfand is the shortest ever decisive game in a World Championship match. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 is the Anti-Grunfeld but if Black avoids ...d5 it technically becomes a King's Indian. After 3...c5 4.d5 d6 5.e4 Bg7 Anand plays 6.Ne2!?:

In the Benoni structure, this is very logical, as White often must deal with a logjam of his kingside pieces, which would both like to use the e2-square. As the world knows, Gelfand made a miscalculation and lost quickly.

Fianchetto Variation 7...Qb6 [E62]

Black has many funny little lines he can play against the Fianchetto variation. One of them is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.g3 0-0 6.Bg2 c6 7.0-0 Qb6 This is an unusual, but hardly rare, system:

In Grandelius - Berg we see the suffering that Black can be in for if he is unable to create counterplay.

Sämisch System - Panno [E83]

Once again we see the unusual 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Na5!? and again Black is successful! In Goganov - Levin White plays 9.Nc1 Nd7 10.b4 which I had mentioned before. Despite White's gain of time, Black's play seems easy and thematic. This peculiar line certainly deserves more tests.

Classical - Gligoric Variation 7...exd4 [E92]

In Onischuk - Shulman two Gligoric experts face off. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 Onischuk avoids the critical 10.Bf2 (for which we look at recent games in the notes) and plays 10.Qd2:

He only gets a symbolic advantage but this is easily neutralized by Shulman who perhaps unwittingly plays a good novelty as late as move 22.

Classical - 7...Na6 [E94]

In the main line of the 7...Na6 system with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Na6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 the move 10.h3 is not very common. In Sokolov - Sarrau White meets the thematic idea 10...h6 11.Bh4 exd4 12.Nxd4 Nf6 13.Bf3 Nh7 with 14.g4!? This has been played a few times by Sipke Ernst, but the idea was new to me. White diffuses ...Ng5 by giving his bishop on f3 a retreat. The move creates obvious weaknesses however, and the play may become very sharp.

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

French Super-GM Etienne Bacrot has become a top King's Indian practitioner while flying under the radar. In Van Wely - Bacrot he introduces a new idea in a line that was thought to be losing for Black. 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.b5 13...fxg3 14.hxg3 h6 15.Ne6 Bxe6 16.dxe6 Qc8 17.Nd5 Qxe6 18.Nxc7 Qh3 19.Rf2 Rac8 20.Rh2 Qxg3+ 21.Rg2 Qh3 22.Qxd6 Rf7 23.c5:

And now 23...Nf5! There are a lot of different possibilities and I think Van Wely could have still generated some pressure. When he misses his chance, Bacrot takes over, but a few inaccuracies let the win slip.

9.Ne1 Mainline [E99]

One of the most topical lines in the King's Indian over the last few years has been 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bd2 Nf6 13.Rc1 g5 14.c5 Ng6 15.Nb5 Rf7 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6:

In Meier - Feller Black meets the slightly uncommon 18.Bb4 Ne8 19.Rc6 Bf8 20.a4 with 20...a6!? This is a reasonable novelty, but Black then follows it up incorrectly. He still gets some chances but then one mistake costs the game.

Another line that has seen some interest in the Asian Continental 2012 is 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.g4. After 13...h5 (I still consider 13...fxg3 to be more logical) 14.h3 Rf6 15.Nd3 Rh6:

In So - Wan Yunguo White plays 16.c5! (16.Kg2 was seen in Ponomariov-Nakamura, Saint Louis 2011). So had played this before and only drawn, but here he comes armed with a new concept.

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.