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This month we look at some unusual lines that have been getting some attention.

Download PGN of March '14 KID games

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Irregular 4.e3 [E61]

We start this month with something that is very unusual, and hard to classify, but fashionable. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 White plays 4.e3 0-0 5.Be2:

This is essentially played as an Anti-Grünfeld, but we have a position that could lead to King's Indian, Grünfeld, Benoni, or Benko positions! See Dreev - Salem.

Fianchetto Variation - Panno 8.b3, 9.Nd5 [E63]

In another unusual line, we see Black go for the "bad" 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.b3 a6 9.Nd5 b5!? in Arkell - Le Roux. This move is obviously thematic but it has a very bad reputation, after 10.Nxf6+ the uncommon recapture 10...exf6!? is the key:

It is not so easy for White to get an edge here, and if he fails to do so, he can easily become worse.

Sämisch Gambit Declined 6...c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 [E81]

A hot line in the Sämisch Gambit Declined is 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.Nd2 exd5 13.cxd5:

Black has played several moves here with mixed success, and in Wang Puchen-Szabo he tries 13...Nh7. This looks like a thematic move, but I think it's a bit sketchy here, and Black has still not solved all of his problems from the diagram position.

Sämisch System - Panno 8...Na5 [E83]

In Baldauf - Kozul Black plays a risky pawn grab 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 a6 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.Qd2 Na5 9.Ng3 b5 10.Bh6! Nxc4!?:

but it seems to be viable with careful play.

Classical Variation - Makagonov 6.h3 [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 fxe4 13.Be3 Na6 14.Nxe4 Nf4!? is a topical sacrifice that is often declined in practice:

but as Cramling - Navara shows, if White wants to go into this line, he (or she) better be prepared to take the piece.

Navara again faces an early h3, but in Simonian - Navara we look at the "Makagonov Exchange" which is very similar to the Classical line but has some details that differ: 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5

Now 9...c6!? is a gambit line that is well known in the normal exchange. Personally I do not care for it much, as I do not believe it really gives Black better winning chances than in other lines, despite the result of this game.

Gligoric 7.Be3 Ng4 [E92]

7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.h3 allows White to sidestep 11...h5, but I think the cost is too high:

See Kanter - Cheparinov for a good example of how to play these structures for Black.

Unusual 9th moves, Eljanov's 9.Qc2!? [E97]

Eljanov again shows faith in his unusual 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Qc2!? which is quite sophisticated, and rather annoying actually:

Again I try to show possible improvements for Black, see Eljanov - Roeder.

Until next month, David

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