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Hello everyone,

This autumn was rich in top level events. First we saw the FIDE World Championship in San Luis, then the World Team Championship in Beer-Sheva and finally we're witnessing the FIDE World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk. So it's no great surprise that most of the games I have picked for my recent updates have come from these world-class events.

This time was obviously no exception and so you'll see at 6 out of the 8 games come from the World Cup. Most of the games in this classical event were played in the Classical System (!) but in different lines of this popular variation.


Download PGN of December '05 KID games

Classical: The Bayonet attack

It has become my tradition to start with this system and so enjoy the game Van Wely, L - Stellwagen, D, NED-ch Leeuwarden 2005.

In this important position for the f3-line, Van Wely struck with the very interesting and strong novelty 22.Nxd5! and soon obtained a strong initiative for the sacrificed piece, but then he first allowed counterplay and then made a serious mistake, dropped a piece and lost the game. The idea shown by the Dutch GM in this game has to be seriously analysed by those who want to play this position as Black in the future...

One more strong idea was demonstrated by Van Wely in another branch of the 12.f3 line against Radjabov, this time more successfully:

So, here, in Van Wely, L - Radjabov, T, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005, Loek showed a surprising novelty right after Black's last move, 12...Kh8, he played 13.Ne6! and it turns out that Black has serious problems to solve. Radjabov played rather logically, but found himself in a difficult position and was brilliantly smashed by Van Wely. This idea is another problem for Black in the 12.f3 line.

Our third and last game in the Bayonet attack, Ibraev, N - Mamedyarov, S, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005, instead featured the 12.Bf3 line, where White played the solid 19.Bc5 line in Kramnik's favourite 13.Be3 variation. After 22.Bc5 a well-known endgame arose on the board:

As I already mentioned a number of times Black shouldn't experience serious problems here, but if you're trying to win as Black then difficulties may arise. That's exactly what happened in this game, as Mamedyarov played too aggressively and was duly punished. The game doesn't change the evaluation at all, although I believe it's more precise to start with 22...Rxe6 instead of 22...b6.

The Mainline.

Khalifman, A - Inarkiev, E, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005 saw a rare line with 13...a6:

After losing his second match in the WCC Khalifman gave an interview in which he said that fate was against him in this tournament since already in the first round he received such a strong opponent as Ernesto Inarkiev. This game fully proves this assertion. The young Russian outplayed his experienced opponent and only luck saved the latter from being eliminated in the first round. This rare opening idea certainly deserves further tests.

The Orthodox with 7...Na6

It's curious that a similar position was reached in two consecutive days. First we'll see Beliavsky, A - Jobava, B, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005.

The diagram position arose after White's 18.Qxe2. Black played 18...Nb8 and thanks to Beliavsky's inaccurate play won the game, though by 19.b5 the latter could have created serious problems.

Now let's have a look at the position after move 17 in our next game Bacrot, E - Kempinski, R, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005:

Try to spot the difference!

Here Black played 17...f5 18.Rfc1 bc? and after 19.b5! his position collapsed. Bacrot showed his overwhelming superiority in this game. The final position deserves a separate diagram:


Probably the number of KI fans willing to play this line without ...h6 will be significantly reduced after this game! I also believe that Black's opening idea in both games is dubious.

The Gligoric system

The game Popov - Djukic, EU-Cup 21th Saint Vincent 2005 saw the 9.Bc1 line of the Gligoric system. White played inaccurately and after the mistake 20.Nb4? the diagram position arose:

I hope you'll not have any problem finding the decisive attacking idea... The game showed that White has to look for the advantage with 11.h3 instead of 11.0-0.

A side line with 5.h4

Kazhgaleev, M - Radjabov, T, WCC Khanty Mansiysk 2005 is a good example of how to refute dubious opening ideas.

Already in the early part of the game Black took the initiative and created a strong attack. The diagram position could arise in one of the numerous variations you'll find in my annotations, now try to find a brilliant move which decides the game...

The current game is an additional proof of the truth: don't attack before completing development!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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.