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Fianchetto Variation Kavalek System [E62]
In Abramovic - Damljanovic I take a look at a line of the Kavalek system that has not been covered before. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3 c6 7.0-0 Qa5 8.h3 Be6!? 9.Qd3 (other moves are discussed in the notes) 9...Qa6 10.b3 d5!:
The position now resembles a Grünfeld and Black has scored very well here.
Panno Variation 8.b3 [E63]
The Panno continues to be popular. Black is not experiencing any particular problems at the moment. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 a6 8.b3 Rb8 9.Nd5 Nh5 10.Bb2 e6 11.Nc3 b5 White plays 12.Rb1!? in Fridman - Mamedyarov. This is an unusual move that I did not cover in Attacking Chess: The King's Indian Volume 2. White may keep some theoretical advantage, but the position is complicated.
Averbakh Variation 6...Na6 7.f4 [E73]
The Averbakh variation has been seen very infrequently even though there is nothing wrong with it. White must be ready for several different structures however. In the World Cup match between Potkin and Grischuk, the unusual system with 6...Na6 7.f4 was seen twice:
Classical - Makagonov Variation 7...Nh5 [E90]
It seems that there is always something going on in the 'non-theoretical' Makagonov Variation these days. After 6.h3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Nh2 (we also look at 8.g3 in the notes which Semcesen used with success this in an earlier round) 8...Qe8 9.Be2 Nf4 10.Bf3 f5 11.g3 Nxh3 12.Bg2 we reach the key position of the 7...Nh5 line which we have looked at many times before. In Semcesen - Hillarp Persson Black plays 12...fxe4! and gets a good position:
...which quickly falls apart.
Mar Del Plata 9.Ne1 [E99]
The blocking line with 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.g4 has become popular since Ponomariov used it with success:
Beliavsky - Sebenik shows a typical struggle with chances for both sides.
The line with 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 13.Rc1 is always dangerous, but Black has a few different ways to react. The main line is 13...Ng6, but 13...Rf6 is considered relatively respectable. Here White often sacrifices a pawn with 14.c5, but in D.Gurevich - Lee White plays 14.Nd3:
I think this is a dangerous approach if followed up correctly.
Zhu Chen - Ju Wenjun is another game in the topical line 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bd2 g5 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.c5 Nf6 15.Nb5 Rf7 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Be1 (last month we looked at the 18.Bb4!?) and now Black has reverted back to 18...a6 19.Nc3 a5 since 18...g4 19.fxg4 looks good for White. This game is a typical battle where White looks good theoretically... and Black wins beautifully!
Until next month, David
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