Game of the Week: Ding vs Nakamura

by Johannes Fischer
7/1/2020 – The quarterfinals of the Chessable Masters were very exciting, with Carlsen knocking out Caruana, Nepomniachtchi beating Artemiev and Giri eliminating Grischuk. Ding Liren won his match against Nakamura and in his "Game of the Week" show Merijn van Delft will study Ding Liren's phenomenal handling of White's side of the King's Indian. | Merijn's show is available at 15.00 UTC (17:00 CEST, 11:00 EDT) on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Game of the Week #419

The King's Indian is a fighting and double-edged opening, and in the main lines Black often trades positional disadvantages for hopes and chances to mate White's king.

Some players, e.g. Vladimir Kramnik and Viktor Kortschnoi, firmly believed in White's positional advantages, others, e.g. Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparov, had faith in Black's attacking chances on the kingside.

At any rate, the sharp position has led to many interesting and spectacular games, and one of the most spectacular wins with the King's Indian was played by Hikaru Nakamura in 2009 when he defeated Alexander Beliavsky with a series of incredible sacrifices.

 

But in his quarterfinal match against Ding Liren at the Chessable Masters Nakamura had problems to make the King's Indian work and could not stop Ding Liren from demonstrating the advantages of White's position in the main lines of the King's Indian.

In his show Merijn van Delft takes a close look at a fascinating King's Indian encounter from the Chessable Quarterfinal match between Ding Liren and Hikaru Nakamura.

But first a warming-up question: What would you play here with White?

 

Merijn will explain in the show!


The live show is free to watch, and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

This week's show

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Winning against King's Indian — The main line

In the classical system of the King's Indian White develops naturally and refrains from chasing ghosts looking for a refutation of Black's set-up. White instead relies on the fact that natural play should yield him a small but lasting advantage.


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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".