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The horror! Black scored 0/8 this month!! I suppose subscribers also consist of 1.d4 players, and it was not all the fault of our opening. Sometimes there will be statistical anomalies. There are a lot of topical lines being fought here, and white players were just better prepared this month!

Download PGN of November ’17 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation, Uhlmann's line 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 [E62]

6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 Nxe5!? is slightly unusual, but this move got a workout this month:

Now White played 9.Nxe5 (another direction is 9.b3!?) 9...dxe5 10.Qxd8 Rxd8 11.Bg5 White has the typical ideas Bxf6 and Nd5. See Jones, G - Theodorou, N.

Classical Fianchetto - 7...Nbd7 8.e4 exd4 [E68]

8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 Nc5 11.Re1 Bd7 is a flexible system for Black. After 12.Bf4 h6 13.Qc2 is the most popular move, but it 'drops a pawn' and I think Black has a chance to immediately break his chains here:

In Navara, D - Markus, R Black played 13...Qc8 which gave White an easy time. Certainly 13...Nfxe4 is the critical move, so I take a good look at this resource in the notes.

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

Rodshtein, M - Kovalev, V is a good example of the strategic dangers that can befall Black in this seemingly quiet line. After 6...e5 7.d5 Na6 8.g4 Nc5 9.f3 a5 10.h4 appears to simply favour White:

He may attack the kingside, but at the very least it is hard for Black to do anything on 'his' side of the board. After 10...h5 11.g5 Nh7 is not a great square for the knight, but at least it is out of the way of Black's other pieces, and it controls the g5-square.

Sämisch System - 6...c5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Ng3 h5 [E81]

We just looked at the critical 10.Be2 h4 11.Nf1 e6 12.Bg5 last month. After 12...h3 13.Ne3 hxg2 14.Nxg2 the new 14...exd5?! led to big problems in Matlakov, M - Can, E. The line is still young and even strong GM's can get caught out. All the more reason to subscribe to!

Panno - 9.h4 h5 [E84]

In the old main line of the Panno with 9.h4, the main move is 9...h5, but I have tended to prefer 9...b5 and 9...e5. After 10.Nc1 e5 11.d5 Ne7?! is a common mistake - below master level! But when a 2650 GM plays it, we must take notice.

Nevertheless, I do not think this is good, and Tabatabaei, M - Demchenko, A just provides further evidence for this accepted opinion.

Classical - Makagonov 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 [E90]

6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nd7 10.a3 is a modern tabiya:

In Bluebaum, M - Piorun, K, Black played 10...Nac5. The alternative is 10...Nb6 which I tend to prefer, perhaps for aesthetic reasons. 11.Rg1 a4 12.Nd2 c6 13.Qc2 scores 90%+ for White! Black may have to investigate some alternatives, but I am not terribly optimistic.

7.0-0 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 [E94]

7.0-0 exd4 is not very common, but it is tricky and I imagine that a lot of white players do not spend too much time on the details. 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Kh1 Nbd7 11.Bg5 is one main theoretical continuation. After 11...Qb6 we soon reached this position in Goganov, A - Mogranzini, R:

Can you guess what White played here?

Mar del Plata 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 Mainline [E99]

In the main line, the older 13.Nd3 is still very important. 13...Ng6 14.c5 Nf6 15.Rc1 Rf7 16.Kh1 and here 16..h5 was played by Nakamura, but Black may prefer 16...Bf8! because after 17.Nb5! g4 18.cxd6 cxd6 19.Nxa7! White seems to be doing well:

See Batchuluun, T- Bykov, O.

We will see brighter days 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.