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This month it's Tomashevsky vs. The World and we also look at a big upset in a battle of past and present ChessPub columnists.

Download PGN of March '15 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation - early ...c5 [E60]

In the tricky line 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.Bg2 Qa5+ 6.Nc3 Ne4 7.Qd3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc5 9.Qd1 Nc6 10.e3 Ne6 11.0-0:

no one ever seems to consider 11...Ncxd4 despite the fact that it simply takes a pawn! Probably it is too risky, but in Pert - So Black manages to get away with it.

Averbakh Variation 6...Na6 [E73]

In the main line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 g6 4.e4 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 7.Qd2 e5 8.d5 Nc5 I was surprised to see 9.b4 in Chirila - Sanchez Jerez, as I thought it was 'bad':

However, White is a strong player and he won very easily so I wondered what his idea was... After 9...Ncxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Bxd8 Nxd2 12.Bxc7 rather than the game's 12...e4, it is probably better to play 12...Ne4! when I think Black is doing well.

Sämisch System - Panno 6...Nc6 [E84]

Jones - Watson made me do a double-take. Two ChessPub columnists go toe to toe and the basically retired (from playing) IM John Watson takes down super-GM Gawain Jones despite the fact that he was Black and facing a 350+ rating disadvantage. Watson wrote a book on the Samisch Panno, but 9.Rc1 was hardly played then. Also note that Jones is a big expert on both sides of the line.

The opening went 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.Nd1 Re8 11.Nf2 b5:

Here Gawain played 12.cxb5 which is probably not very dangerous. This was clearly not Gawain's best day, but it was still a fantastic achievement by John Watson.

Classical-Makagonov 6.h3 [E90]

One of several fashionable lines of the Makagonov is 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 f5 9.exf5 gxf5 10.Nh4:

In the Tbilisi Grand Prix Tomashevsky went for this no less than three times. Tomashevsky - Radjabov went 10...Nf6 11.Bg5 Na6 12.Bd3 h6 13.Be3 Nh7 14.Qh5!? (14.f4 was Tomashevsky-Giri which is in the notes) but Black looks okay here.

In Tomashevsky - Kasimdzhanov Black did not wait for a possible improvement, and instead went for 10...Nf4. However after 11.Bd2! (a move I had casually mentioned before, not appreciating how annoying it may be) Black quickly drifted into a worse position.

Mar del Plata - Bayonet 9.b4 [E97]

6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.Ba3 b6 11.bxa5 Rxa5 12.Bb4 Ra8 13.a4 is a fairly common line which we have not looked at on ChessPub in a very long time:

Here 13...Re8 looks odd, but the idea is to prepare a possible ...c5 and perhaps ...Bf8. See Babula - Najer.

6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.b5 fxg3 14.hxg3 Nh5 is a sideline that Stets has used successfully before. This game shows a pretty convincing answer involving a two-pawn sacrifice, 15.Kf2! h6 16.Ne6 Bxe6 17.dxe6 Qc8 and now Iturrizaga - Stets saw 18.c5!:

White has an initiative that seems to last forever.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

One of the long main lines is 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.a4 a5 14.Nd3 b6 15.b4 axb4 16.Nxb4 Nf6 17.Nc6 Nxc6 18.dxc6 Qe8 19.Nd5 Rf7:

Now Perez Ponsa-Stets sees 20.Qb3 (more common is the immediate 20.a5) 20...Be6 21.a5! bxa5 22.Qb7 and now Black felt compelled to take a strategic risk with 22...Bxd5 23.cxd5 g4 to get some play.

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.