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It looks like people want to play more solidly with the cold weather, but there were still a few interesting games in the KID which we can have a look at. There are a few rare lines here and also a few more standard ones, but the interesting point is that it is in the old lines where White actually knows what to do that he is scoring better overall. So, that is maybe why many players recently want to try something fresh for Black.

Download PGN of November ’23 KID games

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Classical Fianchetto Variation 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 [E68]

Saric, I. - Maksimovic, B. was a Fianchetto variation and White went for the line with 10.b3. Usually there is always a long game in these positions but this time it turned out to be a short game. Black went for the quick 12...d5 idea and after that he found a very nice new idea, 15...Qa5:

White was not prepared for this turn of events, where he already had to find a way to get an equal game. He gave up an exchange, thinking he can get good compensation, but with a few strong moves Black quickly won more material and the game

Classical Fianchetto Variation 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.Qc2 Re8 [E68]

Janik, I. - Spragett, K was in the Fianchetto Variation. White went for the line with 8 Qc2 and the game was fairly positional. Black later decided to play 13....a5 which resulted in him getting a passive position.

He didn’t take the chance to gain more active play later and slowly lost the weak d6 pawn. After that White won very easily.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Na6 8 g4 [E71]

Tarlev, K. - Radovanovic, N was a Karpov Variation. Black went for the main ideas, starting his play on the queenside after White went for the g2-g4 lines but then suddenly he mixed it with 13...h5:

In reply White decided to try a piece sacrifice where he was hoping to get a quick attack on the g-file. Black could have instantly prevented this but he missed a nice idea. Later White missed a chance to gain an attack and then Black gave the piece back with a winning attack himself. However, he also made a mistake and White got back into the game. In the end the game was decided by a nice tactic and Black finally managed to win.

Karpov Variation 6.Be3 Na6 7.h3 [E73/90]

Gupta, A. - Shevchenko, K. was in the Karpov variation and Black went for the direct line 9....Nh5:

A few moves later the game was already out of book and White decided to give a piece for a few pawns and go into an endgame. It was about equal until Black missed a chance to gain an edge, and instead blundered and later lost.

Classical Makagonov System 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 f5 [E90]

Akobian, V. Amin, B was in the Makagonov System and Black went for the direct line with a quick 8...f5:

Already after 13 moves there was a new position and with 14....h6 Black forced the game into a position where he had more central pawns but his king was exposed. It was a sharp position but White started to go backwards so Black took the initiative. Later the game went into an equal endgame but suddenly White blundered, allowing a knight fork in one move, and lost.

Classical Variation Makagonov 5.h3 0-0 6.Be3 Nbd7 7.Nf3 e5 [E90]

Nikolov,M. - Basakutsa, S was also in the Makagonov and White went for the line with 10.g4:

After that White castled queenside was trying not to allow a Black pawn on f5 by playing 17 gxf6 and 18 Bd3 but this was actually a bad idea as later Black put his bishop on f5 and White had to hold the diagonal. Black took the initiative but missed some chances and White managed to defend . In the end, though, White missed a tactic and was totally lost but Black probably could not find it as he immediately agreed a draw.

Classical 7...exd4, Glek's line 8...Nc6 9.Be3 Re8 10.f3 Nh5 11.Qd2 Nxd4 [E94]

Vitiugov, N. -Sindarov, I. was in the Classical system with 7...exd4. The game followed one of the main lines where Black trades many minor pieces.

At some point White had a chance to get an edge but he missed it with 19.exf5. After that the pieces kept quickly disappearing and in the end there was an interesting pawn endgame which turned out to be a draw.

Classical Variation 7...h6 8.Re1 Nbd7 [E94]

Gukesh, D. - Theodorou, N was in one of the new lines in the Classical with 7...h6:

The Indian decided to trade by 10 dxe5 and the game developed with both players making standard moves for this pawn structure. White decided to gamble and gave the exchange for some activity but it soon ended. Then Black took over the initiative and he missed a chance to gain a big edge, so after a few more moves there was a repetition and a draw.

Till next month, Marian

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