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This month we have topical lines, rare lines, and a couple of queen sacrifices!

Download PGN of November ’16 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation - Panno 8.Bf4 a6 9.Rc1 h6 [E63]

6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.Bf4 a6 9.Rc1 h6 10.h3!? is a topical response, shadowing Black's play:

After 10...g5 11.Be3 g4 12.hxg4 Nxg4 13.Bf4 Nxd4 14.Nxd4 e5 15.e3! White gets a structural advantage at the cost of the bishop pair. Black should be able to hold the balance, but he has to be careful. See Sarana, A - Fier, A.

Yugoslav Gambit 8...Nxc6 9.Nxc6 bxc6 Rb8 [E65]

1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 0-0 8.0-0 d6 We looked at this gambit last month as well. 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Bxc6 Rb8 11.Bg2 Qa5 12.Qc2 This is White's highest scoring move, but modern engines pave the way for Black:

Now 12...Bf5! is well known, although 13.e4 Be6 14.Nd5 is a rare move. The engines think it's ok, but equal. In Antoniewski, R - Papp, Ga Black quickly grabbed the initiative with a tempting queen sacrifice.

Simagin/Yugoslav Variation 7...Bg4 8.d5 [E62]

6...Nc6 7.0-0 Bg4!? 8.d5 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 is a Yugoslav line where Black's bishop has ended up on g4. Black will lose some time, but it still seems ok. In Ivanisevic, I - Bekker Jensen, S a typical position was reached after 10.Qc2 a6 11.h3 Bd7 12.b3 b5 13.Bb2 Rb8. White may have some little theoretical edge, but it’s complicated and Black outplayed his higher rated opponent.

Averbakh Variation 6...Na6 7.f4 [E73]

5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Na6 developed into a main line in the 1990's. After 7.f4 the positions that arise tend to be rather unusual. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to the player, I suppose. Gareev, T - Kavutskiy, K continued 7...c6 8.Bf3:

This is unusual, but hardly bad. 8...Nc7 9.Nge2 Both sides have odd piece developments for a King's Indian. White has a lot of space, however, so the 'burden of proof' is on Black.

‘Lesser Averbach’/Karpov Variation 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 [E73]

In Sokolov, I - Van Foreest, J we look at the this 'no-name' variation 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3:

Ok, I know it has been named here and there (Karpov, Lesser Averbach), but nothing has really stuck and it's clearly not a main line (yet). In this match Sokolov played it three times, scoring 3-0. 6...e5 This should be ok, but perhaps it plays into White's hands a little bit. Later Van Foreest tried 6...Nc6, while it appears that 6...c5! may well be the best move. 7.d5 a5 In the next game Van Foreest played 7...Na6. It is hard to say if White is really getting any advantage, but the veteran managed to outplay his opponent.

Sämisch System - 6...c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Gambit [E81]

We have seen the critical line 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.f4 many times on our site:

In Akkozov, B - Vakhidov, J Black played the old move 12...Neg4. It is probably playable, but certainly looks more fun for White. On the contrary, Grischuk's 12...Nxc4! is more fun for Black. After 13.Bxg4 Nxg4 14.Qxg4 exd5 15.f5 d4 16.Nd5 dxe3 17.Nfxe3 Black played an unfortunate novelty 17...Kh7?! Correspondence games have shown that Black should hold with best play, but here White scored an upset simply by 'following the script'.

Classical - Makagonov 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Nfd7 A more common move order would begin with 8...Na6 9.Bg5 (setups with 9.Be3 are more popular now) 9...Qe8 10.Be2 Nd7 11.Rg1 Ndc5 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.Be2 Nc5 11.Rg1 Nba6 12.h4:

In Black Bacrot, E - Harika, D played 12...Bd7 and was mercilessly squeezed. In my book I preferred 12...Kh8 hoping to get in ...f5 quickly, in which case ...Bd7 may not be necessary.

7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxe5 [E97]

We have seen that 7.0-0 Nc6 8.dxe5 is not completely harmless. After 8...dxe5 9.Bg5 Bg4 looks like a clear road to equality, although it's not anything that Black can try to win:

It seems like amongst the big guys (Grischuk and Radjabov), the solution to White's system is well-known. See Riazantsev, A - Grischuk, A for the answers.

Until next month, David

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