Improve your openings skill

by Sagar Shah
7/31/2020 – How would you like to learn to play the King's Indian Defence (KID)? How about a 1½-hour lesson by a 2765 rated super-grandmaster, the number 9 in the world? Azerbaijani GM Teimour Radjabov is one of the finest exponents of the KID in the world, and illustrates this interactive lesson with games from his stellar career.

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Teimour Radjabov teaches the King's Indian Defence

Garry Kasparov was one of the biggest exponents of the King's Indian Defence. However, towards the end of the 1990s and the beginning of 2000s he decided to reduce his usage of this opening. One of the main reasons was Vladimir Kramnik, who had devised ways for White to fight against the King’s Indian. The big Vlad had earned himself the sobriquet of a KID slayer. Just when Kasparov had slowed down and it seemed as if the King's Indian would run out of fashion, a youngster from the same town as the birth place of Garry, Baku, was quickly rising up the ladder. Teimour Radjabov was a prodigious talent from Azerbaijan and in the year 2000 decided to make this very opening his main weapon against 1.d4.

From 2000 to 2020, in the last 20 years, Radjabov has played the King's Indian Defence in over 200 games, and that too with a lot of success. He has beaten just about every top player in the world with this opening – be it Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov, Gelfand or whoever. Raja (as he likes to call himself) has never given up on this strategically risky opening line. In fact, he also played it twice in Classical games against Big Vlad in 2007 and 2008, and managed to hold two comfortable draws.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that Teimour revived the King's Indian Defence with his meticulous preparation at home and his daredevil approach to the game over the board.

When the ChessBase India YouTube channel reached 400,000 subscribers (in July 2020), it called for some big celebration. That's when we decided to invite Teimour to the stream. We asked Raja if he would be kind enough to share his knowledge and experience of playing King's Indian Defence with the viewers of ChessBase India on a live show. Being a thorough gentleman and a great connoisseur of the game, Teimour readily agreed. That's how this special episode was created.

Bear in mind learning the King's Indian in 90 minutes from Radjabov is like learning the forehand in tennis from Roger Federer, or a free kick in football from David Beckham. Don't miss this 400k special episode on ChessBase India on the King's Indian Defence by Teimour Radjabov, hosted by IM Sagar Shah. 

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Teimour Radjabov

He was born in March 1987, like Garry Kasparov in Baku, Azerbaijan. At the age of 14 Teimour Boris oghlu Radjabov earned the title of grandmaster, which made him the second-youngest grandmaster in history (at the time).

In a stellar chess career the child prodigy went on, in 2003, to beat Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov, and establish himself as a top grandmaster, rising in the ratings to number four in the world (in 2012) with a peak rating of 2793, which made him the fifteenth highest rated player in chess history. In 2011 and 2013 he played in the Candidates Tournament.

Currently Radjabov ranks number nine in the world, rated 2765. You can follow his YouTube channel for more such live shows.

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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