Learn the Anti-Bayonet Attack in 60 minutes

by Albert Silver
9/3/2015 – The King’s Indian Defense is one of the most intriguing and feared defenses for Black, and among the most direct methods of countering it is the so-called Bayonet Attack, with White striking immediately with 9.b4, hoping to neutralize Black’s ambitions before they can start. Mikhail Marin instructs Black how to deal with it showing the key theory and plans.

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The Bayonet Attack is unquestionable one of White’s most aggressive and direct approaches, and Black has tried a variety of counters over the years. Romanian grandmaster Mikhail Marin proposes to help you navigate the treacherous waters in this quick one-hour course. Spread over seven videos the Romanian trainer and player prepares the black player to deal with White’s aggression with confidence.

Part of the problem with an opening as rich in theory as the King’s Indian is that while it is not hard to acquire all the main lines, it is another story truly understanding how to deal with the positions that ensue.

Marin does not propose a magic bullet with some miracle sideline no one has heard of (a fairly ridiculous idea when you think about it), but which lines to play, and the myriad plans and maneuvers both sides will need to contend with and when.

Black has two main moves to reply. After Black’s main move 9...Nh5 the position opens, leading to many forced lines. Instead, the Romanian grandmaster suggests 9...a5 as the preferred antidote with sound positions in which the focus is on strategy not on tactics.

The grandmaster appreciates that his listeners are not fellow colleagues, and does not hesitate to impart the occasional didactic touch that often seem to clear up the haze in a position that can leave one more than a bit uncertain.

An example in case, in the above position, the author acknowledges that both Black’s and White’s knights are sustaining their own pawns, and both have their e- and f-pawns advanced to the center, so the quick question is: what is the key factor to unravel it? As a rule, it comes down to who is better developed, and in this case it is White whose pieces can swing to either side more easily.


An introduction by the author

It is this combination of timely strategic pointers, and well-chosen theory and plans that help make this quick course work as well as it does. If you were looking for a set of tools to fight this line, this 60-minute course should do the trick. Bear in mind that although the video material does indeed last about one hour, you will probably be watching some of the videos more than once to get the most out of them.

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix 9/3/2015 02:55

Another problem of media vs value, is that I receive the impression that more GM's are turning to making videos because someone discovered the price points are different from books and they are much less work. The following below is the cleaned up transcript of the clip. Besides all my notes last time, this time I want to remark that This is "five minutes worth of text". It is a page or so depending on the layout. (Gambit Publications uses large sizes!) So 5 * 12 = 60. 10 Euros is about $11, aka "comparable". So is a 15 page monograph worth $10-ish? Full Chess books are about $25!


Hello, I am Grandmaster Mihail Marin ...

Quite ironically, my last DVD was also dedicated to the King's Indian, but from White's point of view. And of course this position was one of the main Tabiyas. In my DVD I recommended Nd2, which used to be the main fashion by the time I more or less gave up the King's Indian as Black, since Nd2 looked very inquiring for White, and even now I'm not sure how Black should play to keep approximate equality.

Ne1 is the other main move; actually it used to be more popular than Nd2. Both moves prepare one way or another, the queenside attack based on (pawn to) c5 and maybe (pawn to) b4, and they also prevent ...Nh5, which is supposed to be active for Black. But you know in these lines, there is a very hard strategic and tactical struggle in which each player plays on his wing. It's almost made for those wishing to avoid concrete computer preparation because it's more about long term plans and strategic vision.

But there is a problem for Black - this move (9) b4, the so-called Bayonet Attack. It's very fashionable nowadays, and one of the reasons Kasparov gave up the King's Indian. He lost two games against Kramnik, one in normal chess and one in rapid or blitz. And the move has practicallty two main drawbacks if we take it abstractly.

One is that it allows 9... Nh5, which Nd2 and Ne1 are preventing, and this is how the main line goes nowadays. But there is a problem with Ng5; Black will have to play ...f5 soon, and after Ng5, Ne6 and combined with (pawn to) c5 or sometimes (pawn to) b5 to open up the long diagonal for the Bishop (on e2), leads to some sort of play which is suited to computer analysis. It sometimes look more like a Gruenfeld, and it's something you don't really want when you play the King's Indian. You want the structure to be stable somehow in the center and to develop your own plan at your own pace.

So my purpose with this DVD, is to provide Black with a repertoire where concrete lines are not so important, not so relevant. It's more about knowing certain plans for regrouping, and the move I am analyzing here is 9..a5, which actually tries to take advantage of the drawback on the opposite wing, with White's last move, before he usually prepares Rb1 and (pawn to) b4 or (Pawn to) a3.

So it's clear at least by now White cannot keep control over the c5 square. So he has a main choice between
10. bxa5 and 10. Ba3. These are, practically, the only moves that make sense. So we'll try to examine them one by one.
TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix 9/3/2015 02:16

Dear Chessbase and GM Marin,
As sales teams (author and presenting shop), you have to understand parts of the old Marshall McLuhan idea that "the medium is (at least part of) the message".

So in a book, you get a known crisp clear presentation of the material and depending on the layout, you can put discussions all at once "in the text" or sometimes you can even split it into "Main Text and Footnotes".

But some mood decided that DVD's were an interesting instructive choice, because the presenter can use much longer discussions than you often see in books.

But there is also a problem: If a DVD is going to be presented to an audience, the language has to be competent for that audience. In this intro, GM Marin admits his inexperience ... but it shows. In print, no one would ever find the following acceptable:

But uh there is a a problem us with this move b4. It is uh one of the uh reason why uh Garry Kasparov uh decided to uh give up the uh King's Indian.

The problem is that a transcript of the exact same material comes out much cleaner! So the video becomes value *subtracted*. And at least from my point, it feels ... lazy. It's one thing when someone tries to get a live report up for a review of a round. But for a DVD to be purchased as part of a long term chess repertoire collection, sometimes it feels like the authors want "cheap money" to just "record it once and hit the store".

Of course GM Marin *knows* his English quite well. But he made no effort to record the clip shown above more than twice and it shows.

An interesting case example is, "are smiling faces really driving sales!?". Because *Text To Speech Software* could nail the exact same presentation! (Given the Author's properly formatted submitted text and interlaced with special timing software for the board.)

The gold standard is the book. The lines and comments are there for better or worse, for all time. You can throw it in your bag. You can annotate the margins Fermat style "This line has a mistake but the game by Nakamura is too long to fit into this margin. Go see Sinquefield 2015".

DVD's sorta leave you lost after a while when you can't easily go back into the DVD anywhere else but home so that's the downside of DVD's in general. But when the presenter does a poor job as well, it becomes nearly unusable!