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This month we continue our coverage of the Olympiad in Tromso with a look at some important games in various Classical systems.

Download PGN of October '14 KID games

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

After 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 the immediate advance 8.g4:

has, along with 8.Be3 (which will likely transpose), recently been more popular than the main line with 8.Bg5. After the further 8...Na6 9.Be3 Nd7 10.Nd2 Ndc5 11.h4!? the thematic 11...f5! looked like a satisfactory answer in Choukri - Berg.

Likewise 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.g3 has been more popular than 8.Nh2, which leads to more forcing play. On the further 8...a5 9.Be2 Na6 10.Nh2 Nf6 11.Ng4 , and instead of 11...Nc5, Black played 11...Nd7 in Yilmaz - Vocaturo:

This may be playable but it looks difficult for Black to handle.

Gligoric 7...exd4 [E92]

In the Gligoric main line 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Bf2 d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5:

13...Bf8!? is rather unusual but it has been popular lately. Black's pressures the c5-pawn and guards the d6-square, which is often targeted with a Nb5. See Postny - Van Kampen.

Classical 7...exd4 [E94]

We have two games this month in the position arising after 7.0-0 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Kh1:

I must admit that I am a bit obsessed with 10...Nh5?! 11.g4 Nf6 12.Bf4 h5? 13.Nf5 which appeared again in Gelfand - Amonatov. I may keep showing games in this position until Black stops playing this way! Did Amonatov not know about this sacrifice, or did he go into this willingly? In any case, after 13...gxf5 14.gxf5 d5 15.cxd5 cxd5 Gelfand played the known improvement 16.Rg1, when the 'novelty' 16...Kh8 hardly saves Black.

A sounder line for Black is 7.0-0 exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Kh1 Nbd7 This line was recently advocated by Bojkov in Modernized: The King's Indian Defense:

After 11.Bf4 Nh5 12.Bxd6! Qf6 Ragger is well prepared with 13.Nb3! which is not the most common, but very practical, and possibly best. See Ragger - Sadorra.

Mar del Plata 9.a4 [E97]

Suddenly it looks like the funny line 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.a4!? could be a bit of a nuisance. In Berend - Vocaturo Black appears to do everything right with 9...a5 10.Ne1 Nd7 11.Nd3 f5 12.f3 f4:

but he still ends up clearly worse after 13.b3, so I am beginning to wonder...

9.b4 Bayonet Attack [E97]

A few years ago we saw Kramnik play the unusual 9.b4 Nh5 10.c5 Nf4 11.a4 against Nakamura:

Although Kramnik lost the game, he was better out of the opening, so it was a bit surprising the idea had not been repeated. Well, in Gajewski - Bacrot we get an idea why this may be. The French Super-GM played 11...c6! This is a reaction worth keeping in mind when White has played c4-c5 very quickly. Black has not completely committed everything to the kingside, so he can play in the centre. Although the game was a bit choppy, I think this completely neutralizes White's idea, at least from a theoretical perspective.

Subscribers will be well aware that in the main line 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3, the move which is the main line by far, 12...c6:

... may be a mistake! In Mareco - Nedev White repeats Wojtaszek's annoying 13.dxc6!? bxc6 14.exf5 gxf5 17.Be2 and plays a model game.

Until 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.