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February 2003

Welcome to the February Update!

Hi everyone,

Over the last couple of weeks the eyes of the chess world have been firmly focused on Linares, a tournament so prestigious that it is often referred to as the 'Wimbledon of chess.' King's Indian hopes rested mainly on the young shoulders of Teimur Radjabov, especially after his 4 games with the opening in the recent Wijk aan Zee tournament.


And this time? Well, nothing I am afraid. But it is not his fault. His six Blacks produced 4 French Openings (in one of which he became the first player to defeat Kasparov at Linares since 1997) and 2 Sicilians, i.e. he had to face 1 e4 in every game. Maybe this very fact should be seen as a triumph for the King's Indian as the world's best players were too afraid to take it on! That's a joke in case you are wondering about my sanity but we are certainly in the middle of a 1 e4 epidemic!

To download the February '03 KI games directly in PGN form, click here: Download Games

So what have I managed to rustle up for you this month? Well, to make a change from the endless Bayonets, half of the material deals with the Fianchetto Variation.

Game 1 and Game 2 examine the Panno Variation (6...Nc6) and two others tackle 8...a6 in the Classical (6...Nbd7) variation.

This latter variation is what I, myself, have been playing recently and I have taken the opportunity to include a personal favourite, Rogozenko - Gallagher, even though it is a few years old now.

It is not entirely coincidental that the Fianchetto takes centre stage this month as I have just received the new book on the variation by Lasha Janjgava. I don't like it and I elaborate on this topic within the Huebner - Polzin game, and on the Reviews page.

Of course we cannot escape 9 b4 entirely but this month, in response to a request, I am taking a look at the old line with 9...Nh5 10 g3.

The details are to be found in the Van Wely-Degraeve game.

In Huerta - Arizmendi we take a look at 6...Na6 in the Four Pawns, and in particular at a line which was supposed to be inferior for White (7 Be2 e5 8 fxe5 dxe5 9 Nxe5) but has recently been causing Black a few problems.

In this position, 13 Nxf7! refutes an old suggestion of mine but Black players shouldn't panic as there are other ways to handle this line.

There is also the 5 Bg5 of Game 5, and the 7...Na6 versus the Classical in Game 6.


Joe Gallagher

Any queries or comments to the KID Forum, or to me directly at would be most welcome.