Viktor Bologan: King's Indian: A modern approach

by ChessBase
2/17/2016 – If you want to play for a win against 1.d4 the King's Indian is a good choice. It was (and is) a favorite of world champions Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov and grandmasters such as Bronstein and Alexei Shirov. Viktor Bologan now presents "A Modern Approach" to this popular opening - more than seven hours high-class chess training. Chris Wainscott took a close look.

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Viktor Bologan: King's Indian: A modern approach

Review by Chris Wainscott

Readers of this [ChessIQ] blog know by now that my repertoire often matches up with that of Moldovan GM Viktor Bologan.  Therefore I was very much looking forward to reviewing this DVD which was recently released by ChessBase, far and away the producer of the highest quality DVD’s on the market with the FritzTrainer series.

Not too long ago I decided to start playing the KID again and one thing that immediately struck me is that it’s much harder to play the KID now than it was 300 Elo points ago.  Most likely this is due to the fact that I take my openings far more seriously than I used to.  So I was hoping to receive a high level high end tutorial, and once again ChessBase did not disappoint.

Throughout it’s history the KID has featured in the repertoires of world champions Fischer and Kasparov, along with legendary GM’s such as Bronstein, Gelfand, and Shirov.  As such is has long been considered one of the most serious attempts to play for a win with the Black bits against 1.d4 and therefore is deserving of the coverage that it continues to receive.

The challenge for GM Bologan and the producers when putting together a DVD on this opening is that you can’t cover an opening this well analyzed in any real depth.  This video clocks in at over seven hours and still really just scratches the surface.

Before getting in to the review itself first let me mention that the level of this DVD, as listed on the ChessBase website is “Tournament Player; Professional” and they aren’t kidding.  While I think that tournament players of all levels will be able to get something out of this DVD, the truth is that the stronger the player the more the more that will be gained.  This is not a beginning level DVD that explains concepts in depth like Logical Chess: Move by Move.  It is a high level primer on one of the hardest openings to play.

So what is covered? Quite a lot.  Like most books/DVD’s it begins with an overview of some rarely played sidelines and then goes on to cover mainlines in ascending order of popularity.  So lines like the Makagonov, Four Pawns Attack, Averbach, Saemisch, Fianchetto, Exchange, Petrosian, and the various Mar del Plata systems (9.b4, 9.Nd2, and 9.Ne1) are covered.

As I said above these lines are not covered in any great depth since the truth is that there are so many of them.  However, the coverage is enough to give the viewer a very good starting point for each of the lines shown.

In addition to the videos themselves there is a database of 198 “model games” which are given to familiarize the student with the plans and structures inherent in the various lines of the KID.  18 of the 198 are annotated, but that’s not overly relevant as the viewer will get a sizeable benefit by just flipping through the games quickly on their computer.

The DVD also ends with 10 interactive test positions in which GM Bologan gives a brief explanation of the position and then the viewer is able to play a move on the board and is told whether they got the answer correct or not.  Correct moves then come with another brief explanation by GM Bologan.  Certain incorrect, but interesting (or even partially correct) moves sometimes come with an explanation as well.

Here is one of the test positions:

While this DVD was crafted in order to allow a student to learn the opening from the Black side there is also value to be had in looking at it from the White side.  Granted, certain lesser played sidelines for Black aren’t covered (for obvious reasons) but that’s not a big deal.

GM Bologan does an excellent job of giving coverage to most of the major lines.  For example, take this position, reached after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.f3 f5 11.Be3 f4 12.Bf2 g5:

Here the two main continuations are 13.a4 a5 and 13.Rc1 Ng6, although there are other lines such as 13.b4; and 13.Nd3.  GM Bologan devotes 15 minutes to the first continuation and 16 minutes to the second.  So again, while the material is not covered in extreme depth the coverage is such that you will be left with an excellent overview of each system and will easily be able to dig deeper into the lines by pulling up as many games in ChessBase as you like.

Overall anyone who is seriously thinking about playing the KID either as White or Black will benefit from this video, though as mentioned above the higher the rating the larger the benefit.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

First published February 1st, 2016, on ChessIQ. Republished with kind permission by the author.

Sample Video:

Interview with Viktor Bologan

Video: Pascal Simon

Viktor Bologan:
King's Indian: A Modern Approach

• Video running time: 7 hours 14 min (English)
• With interactive training including video feedback
• Database with more than 50 instructive games, extensive analysis of the theory shown on this DVD
• Including CB 12 Reader


€25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
$27.14 (without VAT)

This DVD can be purchased as a hard copy or it can be downloaded directly from the Internet, that way sparing you the few days needed for it to arrive by post.

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