Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Robert Stokes
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Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Robert Stokes » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:07 pm

A good player in my club regularly uses the King's Indian defence as black against my d4 opening as white and he always wins. In order to have a better chance of getting at least a draw, I have been studying the opening. I went to a website that illustrated the opening with four games from top GM players but it didn't cover the point below.

Two of these games (Piket v Kasparov 1989 and Ftacnik v Cvitan 1997) started with exactly the same first five moves.
1 d4, Nf3 2 Nf3, g7 3 c4, Bg7 4 Nc3, 0-0 5 e4, d6. (The same position could have been achieved with a slightly different move order.) Now in both games the next moves were 6 Be2, e5 7 0-0 Nc6

My question is why after black's 6th move e5 did white not play 7 dxe5, dxe5 8 Qxd8, Rxd8 9 Nxe5 and so get a pawn up. I can't find any way for black to be sure of recovering the lost pawn. Obviously because top player's don't do it there must be something wrong with the idea but please can someone explain what it is.

Robert

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Robert Stokes wrote: My question is why after black's 6th move e5 did white not play 7 dxe5, dxe5 8 Qxd8, Rxd8 9 Nxe5 and so get a pawn up. I can't find any way for black to be sure of recovering the lost pawn.
You just play the typical tactic 9. .. Nxe4. So 10. Nxe4 Bxe5 and you've got the pawn back.
The idea of 10. Nxf7 just loses after 10. .. Bxc3+

I wouldn't like to say that White can never win the e5 pawn, but opportunities to do so and gain an advantage are few and far between. Exchanging on e5 and then trading queens is a plausible if boring idea.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:29 pm

Robert Stokes wrote:... he always wins. In order to have a better chance of getting at least a draw, I have been studying the opening.
This is unlikely to work. If he's always beating you it's because he's better at chess than you, not because he knows the King's Indian better than you.

Don't let that stop you carrying on/having fun, though.

Robert Stokes
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Robert Stokes » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:57 pm

Thank you Roger. It's so easy to see now that you've pointed it out. I feel a bit foolish for not being able to work it out myself.

"...he's better at chess than you..." True Jonathon, but you could have let me down a bit more gently.

Thanks anyway,
Robert

Michele Clack
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Michele Clack » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:37 am

This is unlikely to work. If he's always beating you it's because he's better at chess than you, not because he knows the King's Indian better than you.
Isn't that a bit simplistic not to say defeatist? I can't believe that all players are equally good/bad at every aspect of chess. Surely it's perfectly possible that Robert's opponent is particularly good at the opening phase of the game. If that's the case then if Robert can come out of the opening level after gaining a deeper understanding of that particular opening then he will have a chance of at least half a point. In any case if Robert gets that far and is outplayed from then on he will hopefully learn something from this opponent from seeing how he played the middlegame.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:27 am

Hi Robert,

I agree with Michelle.

Best of luck with your opponent. I do have a tip which my son uses. Not sure how useful it is. Take a look at what the top GMs play against your opponent's version of the KID. It will give you some ideas and play something different each time if you can. It means that he has to think at the board and you are in control of when.

As long as you are striving to improve, you will. Even if it is by small increments.

All the best, Krishna
Last edited by Krishna Shiatis on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:32 am

Krishna Shiatis wrote: I do have a tip which my son uses. Not sure how useful it is. Take a look at what the top GMs play against his version of the KID.
I think he may first have to download or find the website of a chess database. Being "better at chess" is at least in part just knowing what moves are most frequently played in typical positions.

Krishna Shiatis
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:37 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Krishna Shiatis wrote: I do have a tip which my son uses. Not sure how useful it is. Take a look at what the top GMs play against his version of the KID.
I think he may first have to download or find the website of a chess database. Being "better at chess" is at least in part just knowing what moves are most frequently played in typical positions.
Agreed! Also very useful. From what Robert wrote, I had thought he had access.

I can recommend a website called chessgames.com. It is free and you can play through lots of GM games.

Matthew Turner
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Matthew Turner » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:54 am

Robert,
If you wish to avoid losing then it might be quite sensible to take the pawn on e5
eg 7. dxe5 dxe5 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Bg5

Now Black has two main options 9....Re8 10. Nd5 Nxd5 11. cxd5 which is quite safe for White

Or, 9.....c6 10. Nxe5 Re8 11. 0-0-0!

Black is OK at the top level, but at club level Black needs to prove that they can get their pawn back.

Good luck.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:53 am

Matthew Turner wrote: Or, 9.....c6 10. Nxe5 Re8 11. 0-0-0!

Black is OK at the top level, but at club level Black needs to prove that they can get their pawn back.
There's a selection of hidden tactics. The 0-0-0 line works because after 11. .. Rxe5, there's 12. Rd8 check. Playing 12. .. Ne8 allows 13. Rxc8 regaining the piece, whilst 12. .. Re8 allows 13. Bxf6 also regaining the piece.

By contrast if Black tries 9. .. Na6 defending the c7 square, the Bishop on c8 no longer hangs after Rd8+, so Re8 becomes a genuine threat to the e5 Knight. White can try 10. Nd5 which 9. ..c6 prevents and Black is then forced into the ugly 10. .. Rd6. The engine doesn't think White has any advantage after 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nxf6+ Rxf6 even with the silly looking Rook on f6.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:52 pm

michele clack wrote:... a bit simplistic not to say defeatist?
No, it's a realistic appraisal of the significance of the opening on the results of club players games. Coming out of the opening equal rather than slightly worse is most unlikely to affect the final result. We're too weak and make too many mistakes in the middle and endgames for small changes in the assessment after the opening to make much difference.

Coming out of the opening not dead lost would probably help - but that's not something you need to study the King's Indian for. General opening principles will be more than enough.



But, as I say, none of that is any reason not to continue.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: Coming out of the opening not dead lost would probably help - but that's not something you need to study the King's Indian for.
Knowing the odd tactic can be useful. For example in the sequence 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 0-0, you can play 6. .. e5 against almost any move that isn't 6. Bg5

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:16 pm

Well, I'd say that when it comes to the main lines of the KID, it's not necessarily a case of one player being stronger chesswise than the other. It's comparable to the Sicilian Dragon and the Semi-Slav Botvinnik Variation. Heaps of razor sharp theory where many wins are scored only by dint of knowing the latest wrinkle.

My advice, Robert, would be to throw your opponent onto his own devices (after all, he's not a GM by the sounds of it!). Many KID club players have difficulties in coming up with a proper plan against the Averbakh Variation (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bg5 or 5.Be2 O-O 6.Bg5) or the Fianchetto Variation (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.g3), where the Black standard idea of storming down White's kingside doesn't work.

Robert Stokes
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Robert Stokes » Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:31 pm

Thank you for all the helpful and encouraging replies.

Robert

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Another question about the King's Indian defence.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:33 am

I think it's important to pick openings that suit your style of play. By that, I mean that lead to a position that you think "I like that" or "I know what to do from here". Too many times inexperienced players learn the moves of an opening, only to realise that once they are 'out of book' they don't like their position and / or have no idea what to do with it.

So when you are looking at an opening (in a book or a database) ask yourself if you would like to play on from there. If not, it's time to look for a different opening.

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