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This month we have games from all over the place, including a few from what has become the premier American Open, the U.S. Masters in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is not the biggest event, but it’s the best!

Download PGN of September ’19 KID games

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Seirawan Variation 5.Bd3 d6 6.Nge2 c6 [E70]

The game Swiercz, D - Yip, C could not help but catch my attention. I played in the tournament myself and my neighbor Carissa Yip outplayed the #1 seed, Darius Swierz, who now plays under the U.S. flag. Carissa also became the #1 rated American female player with her tournament performance, just a week or so shy of her 16th birthday. Black almost always plays 6...Nc6 against the Seirawan line, but Carissa has shown a liking for the structure that arises after 6...c6!?:

Then 7.0-0 e5 8.d5 gives a typical structure. White should have a small edge but it is certainly reasonable, as the game shows.

Romanian Variation 5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 [E71]

The system with 5.h3 0-0 6.Bg5 is a somewhat annoying line which I had to face myself recently. Probably 6...c5 is the most logical (I played 6...Na6) 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3 exd5 9.exd5 (9.cxd5 seems more challenging) 9...Nbd7 10.Nf3 Re8+:

In Arab, A - Amin, B White played 11.Be3 which reaches a well-known position that arises after 6.Be3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.exd5 Re8 10.Bd3 Bh6 11.0-0 Bxe3 12.fxe3, but here White is a tempo down! Instead 11.Kf1 is the only way to try to justify White’s play, because after 11...Bh6 12.0-0 Bxe3 13.fxe3 Black has the useful ...Nbd7 for free.

Lesser Averbach 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 c5 [E73]

The Benoni position that arises after 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.cxd5 Bg4 has generally held up quite well for Black. After 10.Nd2 Bxe2 11.Qxe2 Na6 12.0-0 Re8 13.Rfe1 is a new try:

In Saric, I - Rahul, S Black was worse after 13...Nc7 14.a4 a6 15.a5 Rb8 16.Kh1 Nd7 17.Bf4! Waiting with 13...Rb8!? could certainly be considered.

Sämisch Panno 6.Nge2 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 Na5 [E83]

The modern line with 8...Na5 has been rather popular, but it still looks sketchy to me. One of the reasons is that 9.Ng3 b5 10.Bh6 has proven to be dangerous. After 10...Nxc4 11.Bxc4 bxc4:

White played 12.0-0-0!? in Melkumyan, H - Naroditsky, D. An obvious move of course, but it had only been seen once before, and more common is 12.h4. White got a big edge but the game (another one which I witnessed in person) went back and forth before reaching a bizarre Q vs. 2N + 2P where it was hard to figure out who was trying to win!

Classical Makagonov Variation 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Be3 [E90]

After 5.h3 the line with 5...0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Nge2 has given Black trouble, so in Yankelevich, L - Saric, I Black experimented with 5...e5. This is an interesting move order. - Black is trying to avoid 5...0-0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Nge2 Na6 9.g4 Nc5 10.Ng3. After 6.d5 a5 7.Be3 Na6 if White insists on 8.g4, then 8...Nc5 hits the e4-pawn before Ne2-g3 is possible, so White has to resort to 9.Qc2 or 9.f3. And after 8.Nf3 0-0 'the worst is over', and Black can transpose back to a main line Makagonov. Pretty clever! Now after 9.g4 Nd7 10.Rg1 when my first thought after is 10...Kh8 but 10...Ndc5 is better according to Saric (and the silicon beasts):

Now the 11.h4 move is new to It scores well and is the first choice of Stockfish, when it seems that 11...Kh8 is correct! Interestingly, the engine does not like 10...Kh8, but likes it here. Hard to explain!

Makagonov/Petrosian 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 [E92]

In the related line 8.Bg5 Na6 9.Nd2 Qe8 10.Be2 Nd7 11.a3 Black has sometimes gone for 11...h6?! and I've always liked 11...Nb6. In Moreno Trujillo, A - Jones, G Black played the alternative 11...f6 12.Bh4:

Here Black has usually played 12...Nb6, but instead Gawain went for 12...f5!?N This is 'supposed to be bad' because after 13.exf5 gxf5? 14.Bh5 wins an exchange, and 13...Rxf5 14.Nde4 looks better for White. The solution is in the notes, because in the game White played 13.b4! which is a good answer.

Classical Bayonet Attack 9.b4 a5 10.bxa5 Rxa5 11.a4 Nh5!? [E97]

The line 9...a5 10.bxa5 Rxa5 11.a4 Nh5!? is a bit of a ‘mash-up’ that has seen a few outing recently. After 12.Re1 f5 White played 13.Ra3!? in Yuffa, D - Salem, A. After 13...Nf6 both the game’s 14.Bf1 and 14.Bd3!? are possible.

Classical Mar del Plata Main Line 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 g5 [E99]

At the aforementioned Greensboro, North Carolina tournament, I won a game with the White pieces against the King’s Indian, but there is still good news for the fans of the black cause. Despite the work I do here and the experience I have with both colours, choosing a line against the King’s Indian is not always an easy task. In Vigorito, D - Smith, B I went for 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.Nb5 (?!):

Kacheishvili's clever idea which has been used by his wards Krush, Lenderman, and Sarkar. Depite the engine’s enthusiasm and White’s healthy results, I do not think it should really work. In the game Black missed his chance, and then a gross miscalculation followed, likely borne of frustration.

Until next month, David

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