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This month we have some unusual ideas for Black in the Fianchetto Variation, and White strikes back in the Bayonet.

Download PGN of March '16 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation - early ...c5 [E60]

Theoretically speaking, the lines with a very early ...c5 are looking very good for Black. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.d5 the Benko-like move 5...b5!? is certainly an interesting option. Black does not even sac a pawn. 6.cxb5 Qa5+ 7.Bd2 Qxb5 8.Nc3 Qb6 9.Bg2 d6 10.0-0 0-0:

Here 11.Re1!? is played in Shengelia - Sutovsky. Mikhalevski suggested this on ChessPub a few years ago.

Uhlmann's 7...e5 [E62]

A surprising new trend I have is 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5:

And now 8...Nb8!? This 'beginner move' is suddenly showing up in the games of strong players. Black loses two tempi to get a position akin to a Petrosian Variation. Following 9.e4 a5 10.Ne1 Na6 Black has a solid setup. The position is easy enough to play for Black, see Naumann - Naiditsch.

Classical Mainline 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 [E69]

6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 Nc5 11.Re1 a5 is a classical approach which we have mentioned here before. In Korobov - Bachmann White plays 12.Qc2 (12.Ndb5 looks critical as well) 12...c6 13.Be3 Qc7 (Black could also play the thematic 13...a4.) 14.Rad1 which looks slightly better for White, but it's complicated as always.

Sämisch Gambit 6...c5 7.Nge2 [E81]

I honestly do not see the appeal of this line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.Nd2 for White:

It all just looks too much fun for Black! That said, after 12...exd5 13.cxd5 h3 14.g3 a6 15.a4 Bd7 16.a5 b5 17.axb6 Qxb6 18.Ra2 Black does have to be rather creative to not get pushed back. 18...Qb4!? looks like the smartest choice. See Kelires - Perez Ponsa.

Classical Variation 6...Bg4 [E91]

In Lei Tingjie - Turov we have another look at an important line of the 6...Bg4. system. After 7.0-0 Nfd7 8.Be3 Nc6 9.d5 Bxf3 10.Bxf3 Na5 11.Be2 Bxc3! 12.bxc3 e5 13.dxe6 is critical. 13...fxe6 14.c5!? is a sharp try, but I think Black is ok.

Bayonet Attack 9.b4 Nh5, Kramnik's 12.Bf3 [E97]

White comes up with some new ideas in the Bayonet this month. An important move in the Kramnik line 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 13.Bg2 is 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 a6! This holds up White's main idea b4-b5. 16.a4 fxe4 17.Ba3 Nf5?! looks misguided and White wins a thematic game in Babula - Rogozenko.

9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 13.Be3 was played in Khalifman - Yuffa:

After 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 the typical 15...fxe4?! does not work out well for Black.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bd2 g5 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.c5 Nf6 15.Nb5 Rf7 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Be1 g4 is topical:

19.fxg4 Nxe4 20.Nb4 a6 21.Nc6!? (last month we saw 21.Bf3 Ng3! in Ragger- Nakamura) is interesting but should not pose problems to Black. See Froewis - Naumann.

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.