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Black scores quite well this month in some scrappy games ... and has the Sämisch Variation been refuted?

Download PGN of November ’19 KID games

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Fianchetto Variation, Early ...c5 5.dxc5 [E60]

In Avrukh’s line with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 c5 5.dxc5 Gawain Jones repeats his invention 5...Qa5+ 6.Nc3 Qxc5 7.Qa4 Ng4! 8.Nh3 Bxc3+!:

This still looks completely fine, even though White had certain chances in Martinovic, S - Jones, G. White should investigate ways around this line.

Fianchetto Variation, Yugoslav Exchange 8.dxc5 dxc5 9.Bf4 [E65]

We have looked at this line several times:

In Khademalsharieh, S - Nihal, S Black went for 9...Nh5. This is a solid response which has not been properly covered here before. After 10.Be3 Black played 10...Qa5 and won after 11.Qc1. This is a typical move, but instead 11.Nd2! is critical. Black should prefer one of the alternatives, or which 10...b6 looks very solid.

Sämisch System 6.Be3 a6!? [E81]

This little move is quite clever. So clever that white players have been getting tossed around. In Atalik, E - Demchenko, A White played the natural 7.Nge2, but maybe this move is a mistake! After 7...Nbd7 8.Qd2 b5! 9.cxb5 axb5 10.Nxb5 c6 we reach a position that is still not well-known, apparently:

Black has scored around 75% from here! 11.Na3 (I also check the alternative 11.Nbc3) 11...e5 12.Nc3 d5! Black is already better. After the further mistakes 13.dxe5? Nxe5 14.0-0-0? White loses quickly.

White avoids this mess in Bhambure, S - Fedorov, A by playing 7.Qd2 before committing the g1-knight. After 7...Nbd7 8.Nh3 c5 the reply 9.d5 looks wrong to me. Black gets an easy Benko with 9...b5 10.cxb5 Qa5 as we have seen before. Instead 9.Nf2 is more critical. Then 9...cxd4 10.Bxd4 gives us rather an unusual piece configuration for White in a Maroczy structure, but it's still a Maroczy... so White should seek his chances here.

Classical Variation, Gligoric 7.Be3 exd4 [E92]

Black has been doing pretty well in the main line with 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Bf2 d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5:

 he has several options here. In Chekletsov, I - Iljiushenok, I we look at the relatively modern 13...Bf8 14.Bb5 Bd7 15.Bxc6 bxc6 16.b4 and then 16...Qc7 is new, but similar to previous patterns.

I also address last month’s 13...Nh5 14.Qd2 Be5 15.g3 Ng7 16.Rfd1 Bf5. On the forum some chap called 'GMTonyKosten' posed the human question, what happens on 17.Nxf5 (which I did not consider) 17...Nxf5 18.Nxd5 grabbing a pawn, so we add this to our files.

Classical Variation 9.Bg5 Nh5 10.Re1 [E97]

A few months ago Boris Gelfand played the unusual 9.Bg5 Nh5 10.Re1!? and won quickly after 10...h6 11.Bd2:

when Smirin went for 11...f5. In Thybo, J - Christiansen, J Black went for the alternative 11...Nf4 and won after 12.Bf1 g5 13.h3 Neg6 14.Nh2 Ne7 (offering a repetition?!) but White was better after 15.g3! Although Black was successful this time, he was worse from the opening, and Smirin's 11...f5 still looks better, despite his quick defeat.

Classical Bayonet 9.b4 a5 [E97]

10.bxa5 Rxa5 11.a4 c5 12.Bd2 Ra6 is a solid, but slightly passive line for Black. After White's sixteenth move in Wojtaszek, R - Demchenko, A, one could think that White had just played Ra1-a3:

But that is not how the rook got there!

Classical Mainline 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 [E99]

In the main line with 13.c5 g5 14.Rc1 Ng6 recent years have seen White focus on 15.Nb5, but in Yermolinsky, A - Theodorou, N White returns to the old line with 15.cxd6 cxd6 16.Nb5 Rf7 17.Qc2 Ne8 18.a4 h5 19.Nf2:

Black’s position remains robust after both the game’s 19..Bd7 as well as 19...Bf8. The usual back and forth tussle ensues, but Black is going for the king, so White’s mistakes prove more costly.

Until next month, David

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