In the Panno, after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.h3 a6 8.0-0 the move 8...Bd7 is popular:
This line is solid and Black avoids the complications of 8...Rb8 9.e4 b5 10.e5. One of Black's main ideas is 9.e4 e5 10.d5 Nd4!:
This pawn sacrifice is the key to Black's concept with 8...Bd7. In Cordova,Emilio - Zhigalko following 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Qxd4 Qc8! White declined the pawn with 13.Qd3!? This should not be terribly dangerous but Black's ambition turned against him.
In the 9...Qa5 variation, Radjabov plays an unusual line followed by a move which was just indicated on ChessPub last month! 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 c6 9.h3 Qa5 (we also take a look at Black's other main line 9...Qb6) 10.Re1 exd4 11.Nxd4 Ne5 12.Bf1 Re8 (12...Be6!? was covered in September) 13.Be3:
13...c5!? This looks odd, but Black is willing to concede d5 to get some squares for his own pieces. 14.Nf3 Nxf3+ 15.Qxf3 and now in Harikrishna - Radjabov Black played 15...Nd7!?.
In a topical line of the Samisch Panno, 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bg7 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 9.Rc1:
we look at what fate can befall Black if he plays too passively in Vitiugov - Ganguly.
Olympiads are fertile ground for producing monumental upsets. Both Carlsen and Toplaov lost multiple games in Khanty-Mansiysk. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 Na6 (I prefer the immediate 6...e5 for reasons explained in the notes) 7.Bg5 c6 8.Be2 e5 9.d5 h6 10.Be3 Nh5 11.dxc6!? gave White some advantage in Bluvshtein - Topalov.
The line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.Bg5 Na6 9.Be2 can be considered either a Makagonov or a Petrosian (I consider it the latter):
Here 9...Qe8 is a good system. After 10.Nd2 Nd7! 11.a3 Zhigalko - Berg sees 11...Nb6, although I think it is more accurate to play 11...f6!
Former ChessPub King's Indian columnist and renowned author Joe Gallagher is not so involved in chess much anymore, but in Harikrishna - Gallagher he holds his own with Black against a very strong GM. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 exd4 (Joe eschews his recommended 7...Na6, which usually heads into the Classical Variation. These days the forcing 7...Ng4 and flexible 7...c6 are the most fashionable continuations.) 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Bf2! d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 (after 12.c5 Black can transpose to the game with 12...Nc6 or try the 12...Nbd7!? we examined last month) 12...Nc6 13.c5 Nh5 14.Qd2 Be5 15.g3:
Now Black tried the unusual 15...Bh3 and gradually outplayed his opponent, only to see the win slip away in a (nontrivial) two pawn up ending.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Nd2 h5 has been often seen of late. In Topalov - Matamoros Franco White continued 12.h3 Nh6 13.f3 (instead of the critical 13.g4) I think Black was more or less ok in this game, but eventually he gets overpowered by his famous opponent.
8...Qe8 remains Black's most popular option against 8.Re1. After the common sequence 9.Bf1 Bg4 10.d5 Nb4 11.Be2 a5 12.a3 Na6 13.Nd2 Bd7 looks fine for Black, and Rama - Miton seems to confirm this, even though I do not think Black played in the most accurate manner.
The Bayonet Attack
Nakamura plays his pet line against one of the world's best yet again! After 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 Ne8 10.b4 f5 11.c5 Nf6 we end up with another exciting game supporting Black's cause, but I still do not trust it!
In the heavyweight battle Kramnik - Nakamura, the former World Champion omits the standard move f2-f3 and plays 12.a4 f4 13.Nc4 g5 14.Ba3. An exciting draw follows, but I think White had several chances to get a little something.
Until next month, David