Back to the King's Indian Defense

12/1/2006 – It has been a while since our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos delt with this most entertaining of openings. He will rectify the omission over the next few weeks, starting on Saturday (to make up for Monday’s postponed show) and on this upcoming Monday. Details.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

It has been a while since we’ve had a look at one of the most entertaining openings in chess, the King’s Indian Defense, and I plan on rectifying the omission over the next few weeks. Making up for Monday’s postponed show, this Saturday at 5 p.m. (four hours earlier than usual!) and then on Monday at the usual time, we’ll look at a classic White success story, from the brilliant 10th game of the 1966 world championship match between Tigran Petrosian and Boris Spassky. Petrosian was known for his penchant for exchange sacrifices and his deep, prophylactic approach to positional play, and while we’ll see not one but two exchange sacs in this game, Petrosian’s play here was that of the wily attacking provocateur!

Petrosian essayed the Fianchetto System against Spassky’s King’s Indian, who responded with Panno’s idea of …Nc6 followed by …a6, meeting d5 with …Na5 and an eventual …b5. The system is tactically lively but strategically dubious, as Black’s knight is sometimes stranded on the edge of the board, isolated from the action and unable to reach good squares in a timely fashion. In our game, Spassky went for kingside play to compensate for the offside knight, but Petrosian found a psychologically brilliant reply that led to over-the-board brilliance in the game’s concluding stage.

Those interested in the King’s Indian Defense, chess psychology and beautiful chess will all find something to whet their interest, so please join me this weekend!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.



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