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Unsurprisingly this King's Indian update is rather dominated by some of the young guns who make good and regular use of the opening; not just Radjabov, but also Areshchenko, Efimenko and Gawain Jones. Between them they have discovered some fascinating new concepts and played some great games of late.

Download PGN of November '08 KID games

The Fianchetto: Gallagher Variation

One of Black's sharpest responses to 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nf3 Bg7 4 g3 0-0 5 Bg2 is 5...d6 6 0-0 Nbd7 7 Nc3 e5 8 e4 exd4 9 Nxd4 Re8 10 h3 a6!? as pioneered by Joe Gallagher:

In Krensing - Jones White opts for the sharp and unusual 11 Re1 Rb8 12 f4!?. Jones responds by remaining true to the aggressive spirit of the Gallagher Variation with 12...c5 13 Nc2 Nf8!?, but this isn't Black's only decent response. Later Black employs a double-piece sacrifice in the style of Tal and wins in some style after White fails to find the right defence. Do enjoy!

Theory prefers the prophylactic 12 Rb1, which we turn our attention to in Pantsulaia - Jones and here too Black appears to be holding his own in the ensuing complex struggle.

The Sämisch: Panno Variation

Quite a crafty positional choice for White is 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f3 0-0 6 Be3 Nc6 7 Nge2 a6 8 Qd2 Rb8 9 Rc1!? Bd7 10 Nd1!, preparing to meet ...b5 with c5. This has posed some problems and Black is yet to demonstrate a wholly convincing solution:

In Khenkin - Efimenko the Ukrainian remains true to his counter-prophylactic idea of 10...a5!?, but White's novelty 11 Nc3! may well give him a small pull.

The Sämisch: 6 Be3 e5

Led by Wang Yue White has started to make some progress of late against the critical pawn sacrifice 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f3 0-0 6 Be3 c5. Of course, Black doesn't have to play either this or the Panno, and some players still prefer the more classical 6...e5. After 7 d5 c6 8 Bd3 we've previously covered some games with Smirin's favourite 8...cxd5 9 cxd5 Nh5, but this isn't Black's only approach and he prefers Kasparov's older, now semi-forgotten idea of 8...b5!? in Lehtivaara - Areshchenko:

A fascinating, unbalanced struggle results in which the grandmaster was perhaps a little fortunate (assuming the game score is correct!) to obtain the advantage, although he did at least do so with a neat tactical idea.

The Makagonov System

No lesser player than Morozevich employed 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 h3 at the Olympiad, but he didn't appear to have anything prepared for the topical and critical 6...e5 7 d5 Nh5!:

Indeed, Black soon obtain the upper hand with a little tactic in Morozevich - Jones in which the Russian superstar was a little fortunate to escape with a draw.

The Petrosian Variation

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Be2 e5 7 d5 hasn't been too popular of late, but remains a decent positional try, especially to avoid preparation. In Vaganian - Vachier Lagrave Black responds with the old 7...a5 8 Bg5 h6 9 Bh4 g5 10 Bg3 Nh5:

However, I'm not convinced that this variation has yet been fully resurrected in view of the established and critical 11 h4!.

The Classical: Bayonet Attack

A game which caught the headlines in Dresden was Van Wely-Radjabov. There the Dutchman finally won a game against his perennial protagonist in the Bayonet, which we must examine. It began 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Nf3 0-0 6 Be2 e5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 d5 Ne7 9 b4 Nh5 10 g3 before Van Wely later introduced the novelty 20 fxe4:

This does improve over an earlier Van Wely effort, but still appears no more than rather unclear from what I can see.

That's all for this month. I'll be back in a fortnight or so with more developments in critical lines of the ever-fascinating Classical Variation.

Until then, Richard

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.