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This month we see several games from the elite Gashimov Memorial, plus the usual selection of important novelties from around the World.

Download PGN of May '14 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation - Panno 7...Bf5 [E62]

We have not seen a lot of the 'Lesser Simagin Variation', with 7...Bf5, where Black wants to trade light-squared bishops by means of ...Qd7 followed by ...Bh3:

After the critical 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c6 10.b4 Nxc4 11.Nxc4 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bxa1 13.Bh6 Bg7 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 White has two knights against a rook and two centre pawns. The position is probably about equal but it's highly unbalanced, see Stella - Vocaturo.

Hungarian Variation 5.Nge2 [E70]

The World Champion takes a tumble when facing our favourite weapon! In Carlsen - Radjabov he tried the Hungarian Variation 5.Nge2 to which Black responded classically with 5...0-0 6.Ng3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Be2 Na6 9.h4 h5 10.Bg5 Qe8 11.Qd2 Nc5:

After 12.0-0-0 (?!) Black equalized immediately. Later Carlsen gave up an exchange, but overestimated his compensation, and Black showed excellent technique to take home the full point. Instead, 12.f3 with the idea 0-0-0, Nf1 and an eventual g4 is critical but untested.

Averbakh Variation 6...c5, 7...b5!? [E74]

A sharp way of meeting the Averbakh is in Benko style with 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 b5!? 8.cxb5 a6:

In Johansen - Nisipeanu Black went on to win after 9.a4 Qa5 10.Bd2 axb5 but he was clearly in trouble for a while. I think 10...Qb4 is a better try.

Sämisch Gambit Accepted 6...c5 7.dxc5 dxc5, 10...b6 [E81]

Subscribers know that the Sämisch Gambit accepted 6...c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6 has seen its ups and downs. After 10.Nge2 the modern try is 10...b6 and Black seem to be holding his own theoretically:

11.Ba3 Ba6 12.Nb5 Rd7!? was the continuation in Gundavaa - Ganguly (instead of last month's 12...Bb7!?). This is also fine but Black got a little too ambitious.

Classical - Gligoric Variation 7...Ng4 [E92]

In the main line Gligoric with 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Nd2 we usually see Black play 11...Nh6 or the riskier 11...h5. However, in Caruana - Radjabov we see a third option 11...f5:

After 12.Bxg4 fxg4 13.Bg5! h6 14.Be3 I think White's position is easier to play.

7...exd4 Glek's line with 9...Nc6 [E94]

A topical line in the 7...exd4 Classical is 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 Nc6 10.Be3 Nh5 11.Nc2!?:

After 11...Be5 12.Nd5 Ne7 White played 13.Bg5! in Bacrot - Guseinov. This is a strong novelty, as it is difficult to find any decent improvements for Black over the next few moves.

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

Games keep turning up in the risky line 9.b4 Ne8. Following 10.Nd2 f5 11.c5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.Nc4 g5 14.Ba3 Ng6 15.b5 dxc5 16.Bxc5 Rf7:

White would probably be advised to play 17.a4 to reach the main lines with 14.a4. Instead 17.Qb3 g4 18.d6?! quickly led to trouble for the first player in Bruno - Vocaturo, but through tough defence he managed to hold the draw, and in fact he was even much better at some point.

Bacrot is the leading champion of the "new move order" 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 h6!? which avoids some unusual possibilities, apparently at no cost to the second player. In Wojtaszek - Bacrot White decided to test Black's memory following 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.dxe6 c6 15.Bb2 fxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Rxe4 d5 18.cxd5 cxd5 19.Rxe5 Bxe5 20.Bxe5 Qb6 21.Bb2 Rad8! 22.Qd2 Qxe6 23.Qd4!?:

This position may give Black some practical difficulties, but Bacrot was up to the task.

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.