Complete Repertoire against King's Indian Defense
GM Boris Avrukh
Introduction And Free Preview
How to play against the King's Indian is a question that every 1.d4 player faces. The world-renowned theoretician and author GM Boris Avrukh provides you with an answer. His antidote is based on the set-up with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 d6 6.Be3.
This is a very interesting move order that has not been particularly popular until the Russian Champion Grandmaster Alexander Riazantsev has started to employ it actively. White's two bishops’ moves resemble the Averbach Variation with Be2 and Bg5, but one of the key ideas of this variation is the possibility of the kingside assault by means of advancing g and h-pawns.
In his new opening database for Modern Chess, Avrukh presents some of the ideas he found while working as the second to former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
Almost in every line of the King's Indian, Black can attack White's center with either e7-e5 or c7-c5 which leads to Benoni type of structures.
In Chapter 1, Avrukh demonstrates you why he thinks that after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 d6 6.Be3 c5 White should play 7.d5, instead of 7.dxc5 which has been tried by GM Riazantsev himself.
Playing in the spirit of the Volga Gambit with 7...b5 is best answered by 8.cxb5 a6 9.a4!
The author explains the ideas behind 9.a4! in the following way: This is a typical idea in such positions. In Benko type of positions, Black sacrifices a pawn to open the b-file for his major pieces. The pressure along the b-file is very well supported by the g7-bishop. With his last move, White is trying to establish a firm control over the b5-square. In this way, he prevents Black from putting pressure along the b-file.
To a typical Benoni position leads 7...e6 8.Nf3 exd5 9.cxd5
At this point, Black reaches another crossroad as he can choose between 9...Re8, 9...Bg4 and 9...b5. In his analyses, Avrukh demonstrates that White gets comfortable positions against all of those moves. Furthermore, in the annotations to this position, the author explains the subtleties of the Benoni type of structures.
Chapter 2 deals with some of the most important sidelines after 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 such as 6...a6, 6...c6, and 6...Nc6. Despite the fact that these options cannot equalize, White should be very precise. In his analysis, the author demonstrates that White retains a pleasant edge in every single line.
Black's main move after 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 is 6...e5
Here White plays 7.d5. We have reached a critical position of the whole line. By saving on Nf3, White retained the possibility to advance his kingside pawns. For example, after the typical move 7...a5, White plays 8.g4.
This move is one of the main points of White's set-up. It is important to point out that White's idea is not to create a mating attack on the kingside - 8.g4 is a prophylactic move! Later on, White intends to continue gaining space on the kingside by means of h2-h4-h5. In this way, he will prevent Black from taking active actions on the kingside. After restricting Black's kingside play, White can start gradually preparing his queenside strategy.
Also after 7...c6 we play 8.g4. After the moves 8...cxd5 9.cxd5 Qa5
Black starts active operations on the queenside. However, if White knows how to neutralize Black’s temporary activity he will be better in the long run.
One of the key positions of the whole line arises after 7...Na6 (Black can also begin with 7...Nbd7) 8.g4 Nc5 9.f3.
Here Black has a choice between 9...a5 and 9...h5. Chapter 3 deals with 9...a5 as well as the already mentioned 7...a5 and 7...c6.
In chapter 4, Avrukh covers the other move 9...h5 and explains in a lot of detail the ins and outs of the highly imbalanced structure that arises after 10.g5 Nh7 11.h4 f6 12.gxf6 Bxf6
We have reached one of the most important positions in the entire line. Here are some of the explanations Avrukh provides us with: Black's minor pieces are no longer limited in their actions. Black also intends to build strong pressure against the h4-pawn. On the other hand, in this structure, White has the semi-open g-file at his disposal. Later on, after transferring his king to the queenside, White can put pressure on the g6-pawn. At this point, we should point out something very important. Theoretically speaking, White should play on the queenside as the d5-pawn gives him the space advantage. On the other hand, since White's king will be there Black can create some queenside play by means of c7-c6 and a7-a5-a4. In the long-term, however, especially in the endgame, White will win the game on the queenside.
A lot of Black players play Nf6, g6, Bg7, d6, 0-0, Nbd7 followed by e5 pretty much against any of White’s move orders. However, in Avrukh’s Antidote against the KID White has an important resource because after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 Nbd7 we can play 7.g4!?
The usual 7...e5 8.d5 Nc5 9.f3 transposes to the previous chapters. The rare 7...c5 8.g5 Ne8 9.Nf3 is covered in chapter 5.
After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 Na6 Avrukh recommends entering the Gligoric Variation with 7.Nf3 as in this case 7.g4 can be met by 7...c5 8.d5 e6 9.g5 Nh5! White’s play was too aggressive as he started to push his kingside pawns while the situation in the center had not been determined yet.
After 7.Nf3 e5 8.0-0
Black has a wide range of choices. Before start dealing with all the theoretical subtleties of this line, Avrukh delves into the "philosophy" of the position. His explanation is highly instructive:
As a rule, when you have a space advantage, you should keep the tension as you keep your opponent's pieces busy with the defense of the most important points in this way. In this structure, White usually tries to provoke Black to play exd4. In this case, thanks to the c4 and e4-pawns, White enjoys a lasting space advantage. Black has great difficulties to create counterplay. On the other hand, Black tries to provoke White to clarify the situation in the center by playing d4-d5 or dxe5. If White goes for d4-d5, we have a typical KID structure in which the plans of both sides are clear - White plays on the queenside while Black is trying to create counterplay on the kingside. Furthermore, the advance d4-d5 allows Black to bring his a6-knight into play through Nc5. The structure arising after dxe5 is also playable for Black. His main idea is to make use of the weak d4-square (usually he does it by transferring one of the knights to the e6-square). Of course, White can gain space on the queenside by playing a2-a3 followed by b2-b4 and c4-c5. In such a case, the position remains balanced.
Chapter 6 deals with 8...c6 with which Black takes control over the important d5-square and enables his queen to enter the game either via a5 or b6. Here Avrukh suggests the interesting 9.Re1!?
Instead of the mainline with 9.d5, we wait for Black to clarify the situation in the center and make a useful move. In his analysis, Avrukh demonstrates that Black fails to find an effective way to put pressure on White's center. White's prospects are better in all the lines.
Chapter 7 covers some possible sidelines for Black with 8...exd4, 8...h6, and 8...Qe7.
Even though these moves are not as popular it is very important to study them as they cover typical pawn structures of this variations. The verbal explanation will allow you to deepen your knowledge of the typical plans and ideas for both sides in the King’s Indian.
In chapter 8, Avrukh explains the structure that arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 Na6 7.Nf3 e5 8.0-0 Qe8 9.dxe5 dxe5
Here is what he has to say about the position:
We have reached one of the most thematic King's Indian structures. First of all, we should pay attention to the way in which Black is going to arrange his queenside pawns. He has two main possibilities:
1) play c7-c6 and try to transfer one of the knights to the weak d4-square
2) play b7-b6 and try to put pressure on e4 by means of Bb7 followed by Nc5.
If Black plays c7-c6, White's main plan consists of gaining as much space as possible on the queenside. The ideal queenside structure is reached after a2-a3 followed by b2-b4 and c4-c5. Later on, White tries to make use of the open d-file and the weak d6-square. For instance, the maneuver Nf3-d2-c4-d6 is a thematic idea in the position. Given the fact that Black's queen is on e8 (instead of e7), in some positions, White can even try Qd6. On the other hand, as I have already pointed out, Black tries to transfer one of his knights to d4. There are many possible routes for Black's knights in this structure. For instance, the maneuvers Na6-c5 (c7) - e6 - d4 and Nf6-h5-f4 (g7) - e6 - d4 are always an option. With a White pawn on c5, Black is advised to destroy his opponent's space advantage with b7-b6. Also, it is important to remember that the exchange of the dark-squared bishops is in Black's favor. Additionally, I would like to mention that Black often plays Bg4 followed by Bxf3 to further weaken the d4-square.
Now. let's discuss the structure arising after Black's b7-b6. Obviously, Black intends to put pressure on the e4-pawn by playing Bb7 and Nc5. As always in such positions, White will gain space on the queenside and fight for the open d-file. When the move b7-b6 is played, however, White has the extra option to install a knight on d5. If Black decides to exchange this knight, White will recapture with the c-pawn, creating strong pressure against the c7-pawn. Another option for Black is to play c7-c5. In this way, he stops White's queenside expansion and prepares the maneuver Nf6-h5-f4-e6-d4. In this case, however, it turns out that the control over the d-file and the knight on d5 are much more effective than Black's time-consuming plan.
Black’s most popular choice after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 Na6 7.Nf3 e5 8.0-0 is 8….Ng4. After 9.Bg5 f6 we play 10.Bc1!
When it works, we always prefer the c1 square for the bishop in this structure. From this square, the bishop participates in the game without the danger of being trapped. Here Black has a choice between 10...c6, 10...Nh6, 10...f5, 10...Kh8, and 10...Qe8. All of them are dealt with in chapter 9.
In chapter 10 Avrukh shares his analysis for GM Vladimir Kramnik with you. After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Be3 Na6 7.Nf3 e5 8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 we play the amazing move 10.Re1
By creating an opposition along the e-file, White maintains the tension in the center. One of the ideas is to answer 10...exd4 with 11.Nd5!?
For all the details, please see below.