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There have been many big tournaments recently, and this month we have all decisive games, with Black winning half.

Download PGN of November '11 KID games

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Sämisch - Panno [E84]

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 White has focused on 9.Rc1 in the Sämisch Panno lately, but the relatively quiet 9.Nc1 has also been tried lately by strong players. 9...e5 10.d5 Nd4 11.N1e2:

Compared to 11.Nb3, Here Black has the extra option 11...c5 12.dxc6 Nxc6! as the e2-knight jams up White's development. Instead, in Wang Hao-Ding Liren Black plays 11...Nxe2 12.Bxe2 Nh5 13.0-0-0 f5 which should be satisfactory too, but after a couple of careless moves White takes over the initiative on the queenside with the help of a thematic offer of the exchange.

Sämisch - Classical [E87]

After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 the classical move 8...f5 has not been covered before on ChessPub. 9.0-0-0 a6 is a Cheparinov specialty. In Battaglini - Cheparinov White played well, but he was eventually overpowered by his opponent.

Makagonov Variation [E90]

The Makagonov Variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 remains very popular. Now if Black wants to avoid the complicated theoretical variations stemming from 7...Nh5, he does have a decent alternative with 7...Na6!?:

After 8.Bg5 Qe8! we look at 9.Nd2 in Hracek - Saric, while in Alexandrov - Del Rio de Angelis White prefers the more critical 9.g4 (by transposition). Black should achieve satisfactory play in these lines, but he always must be careful to not allow the a6-knight to become locked out of play.

Classical - Gligoric Variation [E92]

We look at a couple of trendy lines in the Gligoric this month. In Halkias - Jones we see 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh6 11.c5, which is attracting some attention again:

After 11 g4 12.Nh4 Nc6 13.cxd6 cxd6 14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Bc4+ Kh8 White plays 16.0-0 rather than exchanging queens. My fellow ChessPub columnist plays well and wins rather smoothly, but the Greek GM was unrecognizable.

Another fashionable line of the Gligoric is Sasikiran's 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Bf2 d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5 Re5!? In Shulman - Feller White varies from last month's Onischuk-Bacrot, and gradually reaches a winning, although tricky, position before a terrible blunder throws it all away.

9.b4 Bayonet [E97]

The Bayonet is not seen so much these days as the main lines are very sharp and most things have been worked out. Kramnik has repeatedly shown that there is still fertile ground, however. After 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 he uncorks 12.Bf3!?:

This is very rare. In Kramnik - Giri, Black is unable to solve the fresh problems and gets blown away.

9.Ne1 Main line [E99]

After 9.Ne1 I was never a big fan of the move 9...Ne8. White has more than one tempting possibility here, but the system with f3 and g4 is an effective answer to 9...Ne8 because after 10.f3 f5 11.g4 compared to 9...Nd7, Black loses his main theoretical option 11...Kh8. Instead 11...Nf6 transposes back to known channels. In Spraggett - Smirin Following 12.Nd3 Kh8 13.Be3 c6 14.Kh1 Black plays 14...a6. Black has his chances to reach a rather sterile position, but when he plays to maintain the tension, he loses control of the kingside.

Until next month, David

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