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Hello everyone,
This time I decided to mostly concentrate on the Fianchetto variation, which is becoming very popular, and so I've examined some games from the main experts of this variation, Radjabov, Bologan, Inarkiev and Smirin, as promised in the last update. As last month I have recently played a number of tournaments and so I have also included two of my own games. Victor

Download PGN of November '07 KID games

Classical: The Bayonet Attack

Our first game is Lputian, S - Smirin, I, 23rd ECC 2007.

The Armenian GM has chosen a relatively rare line with 10.bxa5, and in the diagram position Smirin played 14...Nb6 and equalized without any great problems. Moreover, he even had chances to fight for a win, but chose a continuation which led to equality and a draw was soon agreed.

Classical with 7...Nh5

In the game Mikhalevski, V - Movsziszian, K, Calvia Open 2007, I faced the rare, but far from innocuous line with 7...Nh5:

In reply I chose a solid response, 8.g3, and obtained an advantage, but then Black managed to equalize and it was only his mistake on move 31 which allowed me to seize the advantage again and lead the game to a win. Although the line is a rare guest in tournament practice, it's not without poison, and White has to play precisely to obtain an advantage.

Classical with 6...Bg4

The game Mikhalevski, V - Mamedov, R, Calvia Open 2007, featured a favourite line of Azeri players with an early ...Bg4.

Here, in this characteristic position for the ...Bg4 line, I launched a direct attack, which eventually turned out to be victorious. Black can improve his play with 15...Nf6, though White retains an extra pawn and a slightly better position anyway. I believe Black's opening strategy doesn't permit him to equalize, though the resulting position requires White to have an understanding of the nuances, and a knowledge of the typical positions.

The Panno variation

Roiz, M - Bologan, V, 23rd ECC 2007, saw an unusual and interesting idea in the following position:

Black played 10...Nxe5 here, instead of the much more popular 10...dxe5, and equalized comfortably. Then, exploiting his opponent's inaccuracies, he seized the initiative and won the game in good positional style. This game may revive 10...Nxe5, but anyway the ball is on White's side of the court.

Fianchetto with 6...c6

Ivanchuk, V - Radjabov, T, 23rd ECC 2007, featured the relatively uncommon line with 7...Qb6:

Ivanchuk answered it with the even rarer continuation 8.Re1 and obtained an advantage, but then erred and eventually lost. Sometimes a strong will to win the game at any cost plays a bad joke on us... Nevertheless, the opening battle was won by White and so Black has to look for improvements, while the rare line with 8.Re1 may find followers.


The game Mamedyarov, S - Fontaine, R, 23rd ECC 2007, saw Black attempt to deviate from the Fianchetto Variation with 4...c6, trying to transpose into the Gruenfeld:

Mamedyarov proved it to be too risky by means of 5.e4!. Soon he launched an attack, which turned out to be too strong to resist.

The Smyslov System

Sargissian, G - Inarkiev, E, 23rd ECC 2007, saw an interesting opening discussion in the main line of the Smyslov system.

In this critical position Black played 12...Na6, which White answered with 13.e4, initiating big complications which eventually led to an equal endgame. An extremely interesting fighting draw, which probably satisfied both players. White needs a good idea in the opening to set more problems for Black in this line, as right now Black is ok.

Anti-Samisch Variation

Our last game in this update is a fantastic fight between two young Czech players, Laznicka, V - Navara, D, Czech Coal Carlsbad 2007.

In the diagram position Black introduced the logical novelty 7...c6, but didn't manage to equalize. White was pressurizing throughout the game, but Navara defended resourcefully and eventually obtained the upper hand, but failed to transform it into something real. A high quality game, in which attack and defense equalized each other... The opening line with early 3...Nc6 deserves further tests.

See you in December!


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.