Opening surveys in ChessBase Magazine 130

6/23/2009 – Exchange variations of nearly all openings are quite unpopular with the second players, since White often gets to play for the advantage without any risk. Naturally, in these lines there is a very high demand to obtain an active game with Black. GM Dejan Bojkov shows how this is possible against the King's Indian with 6.h3 and 7.dxe5, which he proved in practice at the Bulgarian Championship when he used this variation to rake in the full point and clinch the title. Here you can see the article (one of a total of 12 opening contributions) in full length. Complete survey of ChessBase Magazine 130. See Bojkov: Kings Indian 9.Bg5 Na6 10.Nd5 Rd6

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Fighting and winning against a drawish line

by Dejan Bojkov

The King's Indian Defence is exceptionally fashionable nowadays. Many more players include it in their repertoires in order to fight for more than a draw with the black pieces. In the recently ended super-tournament in Linares 7 out of 56 games saw the KID and the second player managed to achieve a positive score. Moreover, Black lost none of them. In order to find a safe weapon against this aggressive opening White tries to restrict the possibilities of the second player as early as possible.

In the positional line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5

White recently tried to fight for an opening advantage in a simple way, swapping the queens by 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Bg5

Against this I recommend to you a reciprocal approach - development:

9...Na6 10.Nd5 Rd6 11.Bxf6

(For the rare 11.Nd2 with the idea of gaining the two bishops see the game Urzica,A - Munteanu,A 1-0)


I had to face this position twice at the Bulgarian Individual Championship in Blagoevgrad that ended at the end of February, and I cannot complain about the results. White's general plan is to advance the pawns on the queen's flank to grab space, and try to break the pawn formation of his opponent there with Bxa6. In doing so, he will also be happy to exchange one of the opponent's bishops. He may also try to seal the queen's flank and paralyse the pieces there.

White can push forward the pawns in three ways:

A) The direct approach 12.b4 weakens the long diagonal.

Black needs to challenge the centralized knight immediately with 12…c6 when 13.c5 is a mistake due to 13…Rxd5, see the game Stanec,N - Freitag,M ½-½. Also good for Black is 13.Nxf6+ since the pawn structure favours him, see Skembris,S - Van Wely,L 0-1.

B) The second approach is connected with long castling - 12.0-0-0 -, and only then the pawn advance.

However, the positional exchange sacrifice remains a dangerous weapon here as well, Anastasian,A - Akopian,V 0-1. Also sufficient is the calm approach as in the game Damljanovic,B - Popovic,P ½-½

C) Finally, we reach the main line 12.Rc1.

The rook runs away from the pin and helps the pawns to advance. Against this Black can try 12…b6, a move that was highly praised by the leading specialist for White in the line, GM Grivas - see the game Arnaudov,G - Bojkov,D ½-½.

I believe that even stronger is the modest move 12…Bd8.

The bishop runs away from the exchange and can be very valuable in the coming battle. For the dangers that Black may experience when his queen's flank is broken see Arnaudov,P - Urukalovic,R 1-0. However, Black is doing fine if he manages to keep the pawns intact: Kapnisis,S - Kotronias,V ½-½, Kukov,V - Bojkov,D 0-1.

Conclusion: Currently Black is doing fine in the exchange line of the KID with 6.h3. The exchange of the queens does not promise much, and it is recommendable for the first player to look for more complex play.

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