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Black scored very well this month. We have some fresh ideas in both old systems and newer, fashionable lines.

Download PGN of March ’20 KID games

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London System 3.Bf4 Bg7 4.e3 0-0 5.h3 d6 6.Be2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.c4 [E61]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bf4 I never thought the London was very effective against the King's Indian. 3...Bg7 4.e3 0-0 5.h3 d6 6.Be2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.c4 Nbd7 9.Nc3 Ne4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4:

White often plays 11.Nd2 Bb7 12.Bf3 when 12...Qc8 13.Bxb7 Qxb7 14.Qf3 c6! is good, with a nice, flexible position for Black. In Kaliksteyn, A - Yoo, C White tried 11.Qd2 e5 12.Bh2 Qe7 instead, when the young IM quickly showed his tactical prowess.

Fischer Variation - 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 [E62]

White almost always plays 8.dxe5 or 8.d5 here, but in Ftacnik, L - Van Foreest, J White tried 8.e3:

An unusual move, but it cannot be that bad. Oddly enough this was the second time Van Foreest faced it. After 8...Bf5 9.b3 a5 10.a3 Re8 11.Bb2 exd4 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.exd4 and now 13...Rb8 was probably played simply to vary from 13...c6 which was seen Abasov, N - Van Foreest, J Prague 2020.

Karpov System 4.e4 d6 5.h3 with 6.Be3 [E71]

After 5.h3 Nbd7 The trend continues -Black delays castling to restrict White's options. 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nc5 8.Qc2 and now the provocative 8...Nh5!? was tried in Mosesov, D - Fedorov, A. After 9.b4 Nd7 White has gained time, but it's a lot of pawn moves. He has to watch for ...a5. Soon White went on an ill-advised adventure to win material when he should be focused on developing.

Sämisch System 6.Be3 a6!? [E81]

We have seen that 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.Qd2 b5 is likely here to stay, as Black has done so well:

After 9.cxb5 axb5 10.Nxb5 c6 11.Nbc3 e5 Belous, M - Fedorov, A is a rare survival by White - although he was much worse after 12.dxe5?! Nxe5 13.Nd4 d5 14.exd5 Nxd5 which is already very good for Black. 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Nb3 Be6 and the pressure continued in the endgame.

In Flom, G - Smirin, I we take a look at White declining the gambit with 9.Bh6 and we look at a few other moves as well. 9...b4 10.Nd1 e5 11.h4 and now 11...Bxh6! was well timed and Black soon gained the upper hand.

Sämisch System Classical System with 6...e5 [E89]

When I see 6.Nge2 e5 (or 6.Be3 e5) played, I am always curious if there is a chance for a revival. Although Black escaped in Nikolov, M - Antonio, V, he did not bring any new ideas to the table... the game continued 7.Be3 c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5 cxd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.g4 h5 12.g5 Nh7 13.Nc1! f6 14.gxf6 Bxf6:

Here 15.Rg1 brought White a clear edge, but it still may not be best. Instead 15.Be2! has been tested in correspondence play where White has a tremendous score. After 15...Bh4+ 16.Kd1 rather than the game’s 16...g5, the real question is what is happening after 16...Rxf3N. This must be the best practical try.

Classical Variation Petrosian System 7.d5 a5 [E92]

I have played the Petrosian main line for both colours and always believe it led to equal, but very interesting games. After 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Na6 10.Nd2 Bd7 11.a3 Qe8 I have seen all kind of stuff here, but 12.g4 is a very unusual move!

In Anton Guijarro, D - Firouzja, A Black reacted with 12...a4. Often Black waits for Ra1-b1 before bothering with this. Soon White had a big advantage, but a couple of inaccuracies cost him the win in both the game, and ultimately, in the tournament!

Classical Variation Petrosian System 6...Nbd7 7.Be3 e5 8.d5 [E93]

After 6...Nbd7 7.Be3 e5 8.d5!? is basically another Petrosian setup. I think this line is favourable for White, and I have played it myself. There is a devilish trap in one line too. 8...Ng4 9.Bd2!? f5 10.h3? is the wrong move order!

Black found the refutation in Joie, S - Fier, A, which includes a fine detail that could have occurred a couple of moves later.

Until next month, David

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