King's Indian Defence

King's Indian Defence

] has recommended the flexible 7...Na6 which has similar ideas to 7...a5.
* 7.Be3 This line is often known as the Gligoric System after the world class Yugoslav grandmaster and King's Indian expert Svetozar Gligorić. Recently, other strong players such as Korchnoi, Karpov, and Kasparov have played this line, although not all the time. Statistically, with 7.Be3 ChessBase reports from over 3000 games a 62 percent won. With over 400 games in the line 7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 White scores a massive 75 percent. Against 7...Ng4 White score 58 percent. The main idea that exists behind this move is to avoid the theoretical lines that arise after 7.0-0 Nc6. This move allows White to neither exchange on e5 nor block the centre with d5. If played correctly White plans to achieve 7.Be3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2! getting his pieces to the best squares. Black most often responds with 7...Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 but other moves are also seen. Such as:
** 7...Na6 8.0-0 transposing into The Modern.
** 7...h6!? is a favourite of John Nunn. The main line runs 8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bc1 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Ne1 f5 12.Bxg4 fxg4 Black will now play ...g6-g5 and Ng6-f4 while White presses on queenside. Although lead by John Nunn, many find White with the advantage.
** 7...exd4 counterplay often exists with a quick ...c7-c6 and ...d6-d5. For example, 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Qd2(10.Bf2!?) 10...d5 11.exd5 cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5 and 13...e3!? [First seen in the famous Karpov-Kasparov, New York 1990 (11th game of the world championship match).]
* In the Exchange Variation (7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8), White exchanges queens and tries to prove that he has a small advantage in the queenless middlegame. The line is also often played by White players hoping for an early draw, but there is still a lot of play left in the position. Typically, white tries to exploit d6 with moves like b4, c5, Nf3-d2-c4-d6, etc., while Black will counter with an attempt to exploit d4. In practice, it is much easier to exploit d4. Statistically from the MegaBase 2002 collection of over 2 million games from international tournaments, after 7.dxe5 White has scored 49 percent in just over 3000 games (down from the average 54 percent) with a very high 53 percent of games drawn. [ChessBase (MegaBase 2002)]

ämisch Variation

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The Sämisch Variation, Black has sacrificed a pawn for temporary advantages

* The Sämisch Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3. It is named after Friedrich Sämisch, who developed the system in the 1920s. This often leads to very sharp play with the players castling on opposite wings and attacking each other's kings, as in the Bagirov-Gufeld game given below. Black has a variety of pawn breaks, such as ...e5, ...c5 and ...b5 (prepared by ...c6 and/or ...a6). Sometimes play transposes to the Modern Benoni when Black plays ...c5. World champions Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, and Garry Kasparov have all played this variation. This popular 5.f3 defends the e4 pawn to create a secure centre and enables White to begin an attack kingside with Be3, Qd2, Bh6, g2-g4 and h2-h4. It allows placement of a bishop on e3 without worrying about Ng4. Its main drawback is that it deprives White's king's knight of its most natural square. Black can strike for the centre as previously mentioned or Black can delay with 6...Nc6, 7...a6 and 8...Rb8 so that Black can launch b7-b5 at any time. Today, sacrificing a pawn with 6...c5 has been the most fashionable reply for black.
** 5...0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6 Black has plenty of temporary advantages for the pawn he has sacrificed, yet if these advantages aren't exploited the game may turn in White's favour.
*** The King's Indian bishop has an open long diagonal.
*** Black has a lead in development, with four pieces in play.
*** White's development has been hindered with the pawn placement on f3.
*** White has a hole on d4 as well as other good targets for Black's knights.
** 5...0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 is the Panno Variation of the Sämisch. Black prepares to respond appropriately depending on White's choice of plan. If White plays 0-0-0 and goes for a kingside attack, then 7...a6 prepares for a counterattack against White's castled position. If instead White plays more cautiously, then Black challenges White's centre.
** 5...0-0 6.Be3 e5 has had much trouble equalizing to White playing 7.d5 and being well prepared for ...f7-f5 with the knight not being on f3.

Averbakh Variation

The Averbakh Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 (named for Yuri Averbakh). This bishop move prevents the immediate 6...e5, which loses a pawn. Black usually repels the bishop with ...h6 giving him the option of a later g5, though in practice this is a weakening move. Also, ...c5 is a useful alternative to ...e5, as it keeps the long diagonal open. White has various ways to develop, such as Qd2, Nf3, f4 or even h4. However, Black obtains good play against all of these development schemes.

Four Pawns Attack

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The Four Pawns Attack
The Four Pawns Attack continues with 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3. This is the most aggressive method for White to choose. If not properly prepared, the Black player can find the game ending quickly. By the 5th move, White has achieved a huge centre as well as threatening e4-e5. The trade off in this position is that Black has developed pieces while White has developed pawns. If Black can open the position up, White can find himself overextended with minimal development to show. General ideas by Black are ...e7-e5 or ...c7-c5. From this 6...c5 is the main line.
* 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5
** 9...Bg4 has been a solid line for Black.
** 9...Re8 can be justified with solid play.
** 9...b5 is known to lead to sharp, dangerous play.
* 6...Na6 is known as the Modern Variation. This is a move anticipating playing ...Nc5 with counterplay. Has worked with success of neutral moves made from White, such as 7.Bd3. On the other hand, 7.e5 is the most aggressive plan that can be taken up by White in this circumstance.

Fianchetto Variation

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Fianchetto Variation
The Fianchetto Variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0, is named for White's development of his light squared bishop to g2, one of the most popular lines at the grandmaster level. This game provides for a completely different theme than other King's Indian matches. Here, Black's normal plan of kingside attack is offset by White's extra defender and the fact that White will no longer wish to block the centre. The most common variations are:
* 6...Nbd7 with 8...exd4. Black intends to claim the centre with ...e7-e5. 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6! With this move we now can see Black's plans. Preparation has been made for 11...Rb8 ...c7-c5 ...b7-b5 sometimes with ...Ne4 first. This has been known as the Gallagher Variation of the Fianchetto Variation.
** 8...c6 and 8...a6 are alternatives.
* 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.d5 Na5. Although many players are taught that knights are not best placed on the rim of the board, here the knight places extra pressure on the queenside, and it may transfer to c5 shortly. Play has continued, literally hundreds of times, with 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2 Rb8 11.b3 b5 12.Bb2 Bh6 13.f4 bxc4 14.bxc4 e5!

Finally, White has other setups, such as Nf3 and h3 and Nge2 (with or without Bd3), but these are currently not as popular at the grandmaster level. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 followed by 6.Ng3 is called the Hungarian Attack.

Famous Games

The moves are shown for one of the most famous King's Indian games, a brilliancy by the late Ukrainian-American grandmaster Eduard Gufeld, who called it his "Mona Lisa":

Vladimir Bagirov-Eduard Gufeld, USSR championship 1973 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6 9.Bh6 b5 10.h4 e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h5 Kh8 13.Nd5 bxc4 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6 Nh5 16.g4 Rxb2 17.gxh5 g5 18.Rg1 g4 19.0-0-0 Rxa2 20.Nef4 exf4 21.Nxf4 Rxf4 22.Qxf4 c3 23.Bc4 Ra3 24.fxg4 Nb4 25.Kb1 Be6 26.Bxe6 Nd3 27.Qf7 Qb8+ 28.Bb3 Rxb3+ 29.Kc2 Nb4+ 30.Kxb3 Nd5+ 31.Kc2 Qb2+ 32.Kd3 Qb5+ 0-1


The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings classifies the King's Indian Defence under the codes E60 through E99.

External links

* [ Vladimir Bagirov-Eduard Gufeld, USSR championship 1973 "The Mona Lisa" at]

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