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This month we look at both old and new ideas from my friends and neighbours!

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Fianchetto Variation 4...Bf5!? 5.g3 Bg2 6.Bg2 Ne4 [E62]

1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5!? is often used by Grandmasters against lower rated players. Now 5.g3 is the commonest move, but Black scores well. After 5...Bg7 6.Bg2 Ne4 7.Nxe4 Bxe4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3:

9...d5!? gives the game a bit of a Grunfeld flavour, and 10.Qc1 did not lead to much in Fang Yuxiang - Sethuraman, S, but I think Black is equalizing pretty easily in any case.

Fianchetto Kavalek Variation 7...Qa5 8.e4 Bg4 [E62]

6...c6 7.0-0 Qa5 8.e4 Bg4 is popular and relatively easy to understand conceptually. White should be able to count on an edge, though, because of the bishop pair. After 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Nfd7 Black will go for ...c5 and try to pester White's pawns (c4, d4, b2).

It's a nice idea, but I don't think it works. ChessPub alumni Andrew Martin recommended it in his King’s Indian book from the late 1980's. Of course the book is now dated, but it's a classic and I recommend that students of the KID pick up a copy if they can.

11.Rb1!? c5 12.e5!? is uncommon and has scored poorly. But it is probably still good! See Khismatullin, D - Zabotin, A.

Fianchetto Kasparov Variation 7...Nbd7 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qb6 10.c5 [E69]

The sharp 6...Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qb6 is very good theoretically, but it's complicated and Black often has to run around with his queen a lot. Now 10.c5 is the critical line:

After 10...dxc5 11.dxe5 Ne8 12.Qc2 Nc7 13.Be3!? is rare in this position but has arisen several times from a different move order. In Muthaiah, A - Amonatov, F Black is much higher rated but has to be careful throughout the game.

Averbakh Variation 6...Na6 7.f4 c6 8.Qd2 Nc7 9.Bf3 [E73]

We have seen 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 7.f4 c6 8.Qd2 Nc7 9.Bf3 a few times:

Now, in Flear, G - Naiditsch, A Black played 9...h6 Preparation or inspiration? I would guess preparation, but it's risky and Flear responds very well. The game is complicated, however, and eventually the higher rated player prevails.

Classical - Makagonov 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nd7 10.a3 is one of Jakavenko’s pet lines, but Black seems to be doing ok. After 10...Nb6 11.Rg1 Bd7 12.Nd2 Nc5!:

Black finds a possible improvement on one of my suggestions and quickly grabs the initiative in Jakovenko, D - Pavlidis, A.

Makagonov 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 [E90]

A long line we have looked at before goes 6.h3 Na6 7.Bg5 Qe8 8.Be2 e5 9.d5 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.Nh4 Nf6 13.Qc2 Nb4 14.Qd2 a5 15.a3 Na6 16.Qc2 Nc5 17.Be3 with a critical position that can be reached in various ways:

I have suggested that Black should simply avoid this line, but in Bai Jinshi - Adhiban, B the Indian GM has other ideas. He successfully goes for 17...f4 which we have seen before, but I am still sceptical.

Gligoric Variation 7...exd4 with 13...Re5 [E92]

6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Bf2 d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5 Re5 is Sasikiran’s idea, and it is holding up well. After 14.Bb5 Bd7 15.Qd2 Qf8 is a typical move, eyeing the c5-pawn and clearing the way for the a8-rook. Black had no problems in Sarana, A - Kovalev, Vl, but he also found it difficult to play for a win.

Classical 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3 Ng4 [E97]

If White does not want to go deep into the Mar del Plata, he can play 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3. After 8...Ng4 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bc1 f5 11.Bg5 Qe8:

12.d5!? I never worried about this move, but it has to be taken seriously. In Lenderman, A - Yip, C two of my friends do battle. Carissa Yip in only 14 years old and lives just a few minutes away from me. The critical position arises after 12...Ne7 13.Nd2 when matters are not so simple for Black.

Until next month, David

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