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Fianchetto Variation - early ...c5 [E60]
In Esen - Kovalenko we look at Kramnik's 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 c5 6.Nc3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Qc7 8.Qd3!?:
I think now that the surprise value is waning we will see that black players should not be too worried here.
Panno 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Re1 [E63]
After 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.h3 a6 9.e4 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.Re1 e6 12.Qc2 b4 13.Ne2 Bb7 14.Nf4 the move 14...Na5! was introduced by GM Hebden:
In Kovalenko - Fier Black plays a late novelty but I think that Hebden's original approach is stronger.
Gallagher System 10...a6 11.Re1 [E68]
In the Gallagher system 6...Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6:
Here 11.Re1 is popular but it seems unnecessary as the e4-pawn does not require additional protection. After 11...Rb8 12.Rb1 Ne5 the natural 13.Bf1?! is justifiably very rare. See why in Vachier Lagrave - Mamedyarov.
Seirawan Variation 6...c5 7.d5, 8.Bg5 [E70]
We have seen before that in the Seirawan system 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nge2 c5 7.d5 e6 White has done very well with 8.Bg5:
In Parligras - Cheparinov we see a rare thrashing of the Bulgarian GM in the King's Indian.
Sämisch System - 6...c5 Gambit Accepted 10...b6 [E81]
If White is going to take the pawn in the Sämisch Gambit 6.Be3 c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6 10.Nge2 he will have to find something against 10...b6 This move is clearly taking over from 10...Nd7 as the main line and in Mchedlishvili - Bacrot Black essentially follows known theory and gets an advantage effortlessly with 11.Ba3 Bb7 12.Rd1 Nd7:
This looks like a pleasant line for Black so the ball is definitely in White's court.
Panno System 8...Na5 [E83]
In Kelires - Zhigalko a 2200 keeps up quite well with a 2600+ GM in the modern line 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Na5 This has become popular but it is no longer such a big surprise:
and after 9.Ng3 b5 10.Bh6 Nxc4 11.Bxc4 bxc4 12.h4 c5 13.d5 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 e6 the novelty 15.dxe6!? gives White chances for an advantage.
Panno System 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.d5!? [E84]
In the heavyweight battle Aronian - Vachier Lagrave White tries something new with 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1 Bd7 10.d5!?:
I do not think this should be a big threat to Black's setup but at last it's something fresh.
Panno System 9.h4 b5 [E84]
We have not seen a big main line 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.h4 in a while, as steering for a strategic game with 9.Rc1 has been so popular. In Batchuluun - Iturrizaga Black goes for 9...b5:
This does not have the best reputations, but I think it is quite playable.
Classical Sämisch 6...e5 Mainline [E89]
In Sasikiran - Gerzhoy we see a good example of why the classical 6...e5 is not so popular against the Sämisch these days. 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2! (We have seen in several games in the archives that Black is not faring so badly in the line 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 9.0-0-0 Nd7, or 9...a6 first) 7...c6 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.d5 cxd5 10.cxd5 a6 11.g4 h5 12.h3 Nh7:
Here 13.Rg1!? is a nice finesse which has caught on lately.
Until next month, David
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