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Hello everyone,
As usual there are lots of top games this month, including no less than three recent games from Radjabov, though this time I also decided to add two of my own games. Moreover, the Classical system will be accompanied by the 6...c5 Sämisch. Victor

Download PGN of August '08 KID games

Classical: The Bayonet attack

This system was very popular last month and so I included four games in the current update, two of them by Radjabov.

I don't remember Gelfand played this particular system before, but as usual his preparation was at a good level. The key position in Gelfand, B - Radjabov, T, 2nd FIDE GP Sochi 2008, arose after 15...f4:

Here the Israeli player played a new move, 16.Bg5, but nevertheless, just a move later they transposed to 16.g4 and it was Radjabov who introduced a novelty, 17...h6 instead of 17...h5. It seems that Teymour missed his chance on move 20, as White obtained a slight edge, which he retained despite mutual inaccuracies. Moreover, his advantage after time trouble finished had become decisive, but two consecutive mistakes on the 45th and 47th moves turned the tables. An extremely interesting game, which gives White material for improvements. Right now Black looks to be ok.

The second game is Mikhalevski, V - Melekhina, A, World Open 2008. This time, even though Black played a novelty on move 27, the game transposed to Kramnik, V - Shirov, A, Linares 1998.

The diagram shows the position after White's 31.Bxd5. Here Black played 31...Re5, instead of Shirov's 31...Bc3, which looks more precise. White won a pawn, but soon blundered and allowed an exchange of rooks, which led to an opposite-colour bishop endgame which was easily holdable for Black. Although this line is heavily explored I believe the last word hasn't yet been said. Moreover, the old main line with 20...Rf6 is not Black's only option, who can prefer 20...e4.

Jakovenko, D - Radjabov, T, 2nd FIDE GP Sochi 2008, featured the extremely rare line 10...h6 (instead of 10...f5 as in the two preceding games, or 10...a5):

White played logically and achieved a better position, though his later plan involving the exchange on d4 was probably wrong and allowed Black to fight for an edge. Soon Radjabov reciprocated and eventually the game was drawn. Nevertheless, the line with 10..h6 deserves further practical tests.

In Mikhalevski, V - Smirin, I, World Open 2008, Black played the second main line with 9...a5, instead of 9...Nh5 as in the three other Bayonets in this update. I reacted with 10.bxa5, instead of the more popular 10.Ba3 which I had played before. The idea to play this line came to me after I analyzed Topalov's win over Morozevich in Amber 2008 for ChessPublishing.

In this position, which arose after 13.Rb1, Smirin introduced the logical novelty 13...Nd7, instead of Morozevich's 13...h6. White seemed to have a slight advantage up to 32.Bb2?, which was a serious mistake. Black took hold of the initiative, but an unnecessary sacrifice on move 39 passed the advantage back into White's hands again. However, I returned the favour and, after avoiding a nice trap on the 51st move, Black achieved a draw. A very interesting game, which leaves many questions unanswered.

Classical: Old main line 9.Ne1

The game Volokitin, A - Bologan, V, 9th Karpov Poikovsky 2008, saw the old main line with 9.Ne1.

In the well-known diagram position Black played the extremely rare move 13...c5, but Volokitin was up to the task and obtained a better position with some confident play. Later he even won a pawn, but failed in the technical stage of the game. Despite achieving a draw here I wouldn't recommend that Black repeats this dangerous opening line.

6...c5 Sämisch

Zhou Jianchao-Grigoryan, Lake Sevan 2008, featured a popular mix of the Benoni with the King's Indian. Black played the main line with 12...h5, then Shirov's 16...Qf6 and the diagram position was reached after 18...Bd7:

Here White introduced the novelty 19.Na4, though White was also better after the previously played 19.Ra3. The Chinese player achieved a better position with some concrete play, but then the inaccuracy 27.Rf1?! could have allowed Black back into the game. However, he didn't take his chance and White won convincingly. Black seems to experience problems with Shirov's 16...Qf6. So one needs a good idea here, otherwise the choice of another line is advisable.

In the game Wang Hao-Inarkiev,E, 9th Karpov Poikovsky 2008, Black played 12...Bd7 instead of 12...h5, and the following position was reached after White's 17.b3!:

Black played the novelty 17...Re8, though it couldn't change the evaluation of the position as better for White, which was proved by the Chinese player despite some inaccuracies. If Black wants to play the 12...Bd7 line he has to look for improvements on moves 14 and 15. I can offer 14...Nc4 and 15...axb5.

Finally, the game Wang Yue-Radjabov,T, 2nd FIDE GP Sochi 2008, featured the pawn grab 7.dxc5, which is not considered to be dangerous for Black.

Here Black produced the interesting novelty 12...a5!? and obtained good play, but according to Radjabov he started to overestimate his chances and played too riskily. For example, instead of 19...Rdc8 he should have played 19...Rxd3 with equality. Eventually Wang Yue obtained a better bishop endgame, which he convincingly led to a win. A nice technical win from Wang Yue, which shouldn't frighten Black, though, as Radjabov had an equal position after the opening and only his mistake on the 19th move allowed White to take the initiative.

Enjoy the issue and see you in September, Victor

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.