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Hello everyone,
March was a very hectic month for me with two strong tournaments, which explains my late update, sorry. A lot of top games from the strongest tournaments here, but probably the highlight is a comeback from some variations of the old main line with 9.Ne1, in which White succeeded in setting Black serious problems. Victor

Download PGN of March '08 KID games

Classical: The Orthodox system with 7...Nbd7

Surprisingly this time I found no interesting games in the Bayonet attack and so I'll start with the game Gelfand, B - Radjabov, T, Corus Wijk aan Zee 2008, which featured the Orthodox system with 7...Nbd7. It's curious that Radjabov decided to avoid his favourite 7...Nc6.

White has just played the new move 21.Rc3, but it turned out that Black has sufficient counterplay on the kingside, and this eventually brought him victory. Black solved his opening problems easily, so White needs a good idea if he wants to play the line with 9.d5.

The main alternative is 9.Qc2, which occurred in the game Evdokimov, A - Bologan, V, Aeroflot Open 2008.

In the diagram position White introduced the novelty 13.a3 and then with his subsequent strong play managed to create some problems for Black. Bologan played the provocative 23...Qb2 and found himself in trouble, especially after 27...Bxf3?. Fortunately for Black White returned the favour and then erred at least twice more, which allowed Black to take the initiative and bring home the full point. White has to look for an improvement on moves 12-15. According to these two games the line with 7...Nbd7 works fine.

Classical main line with 9.Ne1

The game Rodshtein, M - Bologan, V, Aeroflot Open 2008, was a successful attempt to revive an old line with 11.g4 and 12.h4:

Black managed to maintain the balance for some time, but after a few inaccuracies White started to outplay his experienced opponent and won the game in good solid style. An interesting game, which may wake up interest in this old line.

Another old branch of this line (13.Nd3) occurred in the game Shirov, A - Radjabov, T, Super GM Morelia/Linares 2008.

In the diagram position Shirov presented the strong novelty 16.Nb5!, which seems to set Black serious problems. An easy win for Shirov who brought a well-forgotten line back to life. It's possible that Black has to improve before this novelty as I couldn't find a single chance for Black after it! In view of the result I'm expecting this line to be repeated very soon and so we will probably not have to wait for too long to see Black's new ideas.

The Petrosian System

The game Topalov, V - Mamedyarov, S, Corus A Wijk aan Zee 2008, saw a long theoretical line, which led to the following position:

Here Topalov introduced a strong novelty, 20.Bd3!, but soon erred, first with 23.Qe1?! and then with 25.Ne2?, after which Black could obtain a clear advantage. Instead, Black played solidly and eventually a position of dynamic equality arose. 23. Nf1 instead of 23.Qe1 is worth a test.


The line, which was tested in Jobava, B - Shomoev, A, Aeroflot Open 2008, seems to lead to a forced draw after 13.Bxh3, but instead Jobava tried to play for a win and after 15.Rxh3? (see the diagram) he could have found himself in a trouble after 15...Qf5!:

Instead Black committed two mistakes and lost. Right now it seems that the line with 7...Nh5 is ok for Black.

Fianchetto Variation

The game Bu Xiangzhi-Bologan,V, 6th Gibtelecom 2008, saw a new idea from the Chinese player in a long theoretical line, which looked harmless for Black:

White has just played 22.Re3 and Black failed to see the problem. As a result he lost a pawn, but with tough defense he almost saved the game. Only Black's mistake in the rook endgame allowed White to convert his extra pawn into a win. The game shows that White may only hope for a slight edge in this line, while Black has to be precise to solve his problems. I can add that a practical advantage of this line is that White runs no risks whatsoever. Most likely we'll see this line again in the near future.

The game Grischuk, A - Radjabov, T, 2nd ACP World Rapid Cup 2008, saw an interesting line with the early 4...c5, and the critical position arose after Black's 13...Nc6:

White reacted correctly with 14.Nce2! (instead of Aronian's 14.Rb1, who for some reason decided to deviate from the text), and soon Radjabov found himself under strong pressure and managed to escape with a draw only after White's obvious mistake. Probably Black's play can be improved on move 14.

Enjoy the issue and see you in April, 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.