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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Is the KID a tactician's opening only? (Read 4086 times)
Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #19 - 01/15/19 at 19:48:20
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I cannot see how it is artificial. So fars I have not seen someone with a style like Karpow or Petrosjan saying that they would play KID regularly since it fits their style so well.

The 6. a4 and 6. Ae2 lines are not the main lines of the Najdorf. White can choose this of course, but I seriouslie doubt that a safe, slow positional player would enjoy facing 6. Ag5 or 6. Ae3...at least a sane one  Cheesy
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #18 - 01/15/19 at 09:46:37
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I must say that I find this discussin a bit artificial. LT's last example illustrates this nicely (but he is certainly not the only guildy one) as 6.a4, 6.Be2 and 6.g3 against the Najdorf are very positional indeed. Not to mention that the tactics in the Najdorf are dominantly defensive in nature, not attacking.
On a more profound level we should wonder how tactical the KID sacs really are. That ...Nxe4 sac by Kasparov on the previous page is more about correctly evaluating the resulting position that about accuarate calculation. In extremis we can maintain that all tactics have a positional component as sound tactics by definition are directed against a weakness in the position of the opponent.
So if I take the OP's question as "Is the KID an opening for a pure tactician (aka coffehouse chessplayer)?" I'd say no. The Classical Dutch (except the Stonewall) offers a better opportunity), exactly because it tends to be positionally much simpler. At the other hand the KID obviously increases the chances to get dynamic play compared to the QGD (with 3...Nf6) , even when the Tartakower is a bit underestimated in this respect. When the question is which defense gives more chances to start a kingside attack, the Lasker Defense of the QGD or the KID I call it an open door.
  

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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #17 - 01/15/19 at 02:59:03
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If it serves as any example, I stopped playing KID when I starting become more positional. With or without Mar del Plata, playing the KID as if it were the Nimzo, like a slow Hübner variation, only leads to tears as White inflicts positional torture of epic proportions.

To me it is similar to asking if one can be lacking tactically and play the Najdorf as if it were the Ruy López Chigorin.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #16 - 01/15/19 at 02:40:19
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ErictheRed wrote on 01/14/19 at 04:07:12:
I think that a lot of club players do themselves an enormous disservice by picking up the King's Indian early on in their career because they think that they can be an incredibly dynamic player like Kasparov.  Or perhaps even worse, because they view it as a "system" opening where they can play the same 7-10 moves against anything, when they really would be much better suited for something else.  The same thing happens with other openings, of course: the Sicilian Dragon comes to mind.  There's nothing wrong with studying an opening and playing it for a while as part of your chess development, but if you're trying to build a repertoire around your own strengths and weaknesses, you need to be honest about what they are.  If you aren't strong in highly messy, murky complications, and if you aren't good at understanding when you need to create them, then you shouldn't play the King's Indian more than occasionally.
You just described my experience. But I don't consider my youth entirely misspent. I did learn a few things, such as:
  • That I am not in fact a dynamic player like Kasparov.
  • How to sometimes get an advantage with white against the KID.
  • How to handle certain openings which have possibilities of reaching KID-like play, e.g. the KIA, Closed Sicilian, Leningrad Dutch.
  • Enough KID theory to still play it occasionally, particularly if I can move-order white out of their usual variation, or if I notice they don't play their usual variation very well.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #15 - 01/14/19 at 04:07:12
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/01/19 at 02:42:59:
Not 100% convincing, but we get the impression that there is more than one way to play the King's Indian.


There are certainly multiple ways to play the King's Indian, but I still maintain that if White chooses to obtain an enormous spatial advantage, Black must resort to complications or extreme dynamism to hold the balance.  It's not like the Queen's Gambit Declined where Black is often only nominally worse with one manageable problem.

I think that a lot of club players do themselves an enormous disservice by picking up the King's Indian early on in their career because they think that they can be an incredibly dynamic player like Kasparov.  Or perhaps even worse, because they view it as a "system" opening where they can play the same 7-10 moves against anything, when they really would be much better suited for something else.  The same thing happens with other openings, of course: the Sicilian Dragon comes to mind.  There's nothing wrong with studying an opening and playing it for a while as part of your chess development, but if you're trying to build a repertoire around your own strengths and weaknesses, you need to be honest about what they are.  If you aren't strong in highly messy, murky complications, and if you aren't good at understanding when you need to create them, then you shouldn't play the King's Indian more than occasionally.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #14 - 01/01/19 at 02:42:59
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nocteus wrote on 12/28/18 at 11:07:24:
Hi, when I look at the KID's history i see only great attackers like Kasparov, Geller, Bronstein, Stein, Smirin, Radjabov,...
You forgot Tal! There were also some universal players: Fischer, Gligoric, and Najdorf for instance. Smyslov and Petrosian were more positional players and not known for the King's Indian, but they would play it sometimes. Larsen didn't like it at all but would still play it occasionally.

nocteus wrote on 12/28/18 at 11:07:24:
Can the KID be played strategically (à la Andersson for instance)?
What I mostly found are games (and books) where Black makes huge positional concessions (often giving up on a side) to obtain activity and unclear positions.
I think the popularity of these bridge-burning lines with books is because checkmate sells. And their popularity with masters is because the current engines on consumer hardware can still mis-evaluate them. A player of Kramnik's calibre is not going to follow the computer down the rabbit-hole, but lazy white preparers who lean on the spacebar too much are going to be punished. Of course to score in this way black also needs to be very well prepared. And it's risky. Kasparov had something interesting to say about why he gave up the King's Indian, you can read it here: https://en.chessbase.com/post/three-draws-before-the-final-rest-day . I foresee the day when computers are just too strong, and the Mar del Plata variation will be written off -- not because it is so bad, but because it will be too easy for white to prepare, and the risk/reward becomes too unfavourable for black.

nocteus wrote on 12/28/18 at 11:07:24:
Can you play the KID as black in a more balanced way without necessarily burning all of your bridges, favoring for instance a game of manoeuvre and small nuances with long-term advantages (a bad piece vs a good piece for instance...) ?
Well, first of all, in the blocked oblique pawn structure (e4/d5 vs e5/d6)  the bad piece is the one on g7, so that's worrying. On the other hand, the King's Indian is certainly sound and logical. It is also very useful as a winning try against some overly-cautious whites. Computers are showing more and more openings end up 0.00 with best play, and if you carefully examine some of the old "forgotten" lines there are probably many that could be rehabilitated, at least towards equality.

Just as one example, in Dangerous Weapons they give this strange line:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 O-O 6.Nf3 e5 7.O-O Nbd7 8.Be3 Re8!? 9.d5 Nh5
9...Ng4 is the old move, e.g. Gligoric - Geller, Monaco 1967 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1049259 , and see Barden, Hartston, and Keene (1973) The King's Indian Defence, pg.230-231
10.g3 Bf8! (their exclamation mark) Gelfand - Radjabov, Corus 2008 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1482382

Not 100% convincing, but we get the impression that there is more than one way to play the King's Indian.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #13 - 12/31/18 at 17:50:26
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You're right Stigma, thanks for the clarification.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #12 - 12/31/18 at 17:23:09
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ErictheRed wrote on 12/31/18 at 17:09:45:
I think that the Bishop needs to be on e7 in the Old Indian, otherwise Black gets an inferior version of both the Old and King's Indian.  Richard Palliser's book How to Play Against 1.d4 made a strong case for that, and in my own practice I've found that to be the case. 

This is a bit confused. The bishop doesn't just need to be on e7 in the Old Indian; it is on e7 by definition. If it's not, it simply isn't an Old Indian (unless you're using the Russian naming convention where the King's Indian is called Староиндийская защита meaning "Old Indian Defense").

Palliser's book is on a different defense, the Czech Benoni, which Black can play with the bishop on either e7 or g7. The Old Indian can transpose to a Czech Benoni structure with ...Be7, but they're still considered separate defenses.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #11 - 12/31/18 at 17:09:45
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FreeRepublic wrote on 12/31/18 at 14:41:18:
GM Eugene Pereshtein had a Chess.com series on the KID. He emphasized ...Na6. I no longer have a paid account, but I remember he had a black squared strategy vs. white's fianchetto. It seemed to be a strategical system.

For me, the quintessential King's Indian variation is the Mar Del Plata line. However, I think a good player playing patiently should be able to turn ...Nbd7, ...e5 into a weapon. Even if the books and engines find white to be "better" at some point in the opening, it may not be easy for a human to make progress as white. Heck, black can even play the Old Indian, but I think g6-Bg7 adds a kick.


I think that the Bishop needs to be on e7 in the Old Indian, otherwise Black gets an inferior version of both the Old and King's Indian.  Richard Palliser's book How to Play Against 1.d4 made a strong case for that, and in my own practice I've found that to be the case. 

Again I think that Black is playing chess, so there are going to be positional themes and maneuvering battles at times.  But Black can often find himself completely devoid of counterplay--not just "slightly better for White," but strategically lost--if he doesn't initiate sharp counterplay at the appropriate moment.  That's the kind of sharp opening that the King's Indian is.  If someone isn't cut out for playing that way, they should try something else.
For instance the Semi-Slav is also a very sharp opening, but it's radically different.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #10 - 12/31/18 at 14:41:18
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GM Eugene Pereshtein had a Chess.com series on the KID. He emphasized ...Na6. I no longer have a paid account, but I remember he had a black squared strategy vs. white's fianchetto. It seemed to be a strategical system.

For me, the quintessential King's Indian variation is the Mar Del Plata line. However, I think a good player playing patiently should be able to turn ...Nbd7, ...e5 into a weapon. Even if the books and engines find white to be "better" at some point in the opening, it may not be easy for a human to make progress as white. Heck, black can even play the Old Indian, but I think g6-Bg7 adds a kick.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #9 - 12/30/18 at 06:55:32
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I meant QGD as in Carlsbad structure or Lasker Variation and those related lines, I guess I should have made it more specific  Cheesy

The Mar del Plata is very simply to me close to positionally lost for Black, which is why she has to go insane to mate on the kingside. It is not usually possible to play some Karpowian masterpiece as Black here.

In my opinion opting for other lines than the big main line Mar del Plata feels like +/=. It feels as if Black is indeed safer and the game is calmer, but Black does not get as much counterplay like in Mar del Plata.

Even in the line where Black plays early take on d4 and then Te8, the game is quite tactical with Black trying to bust through with ...d5.

KID reminds me of the Челябинск, the nature of the opening basically obliges Black to be more tactical than other openings. I rarely saw Карпов play KID for example.  Cool
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #8 - 12/29/18 at 18:46:34
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Yeah, I feel as though the King's Indian is an opening where, the positional factors tend to be on White's side, so Black's obliged to make it messy if he wants to avoid being squeezed (in general).
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #7 - 12/29/18 at 18:05:21
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We had some relevant discussion in this thread:

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1391508650/13

In that thread we discuss (among many other things) this game:



I personally disagreed with some older analysis by Bareev and others; of course, nowadays we're aided by strong engines. 

Anyway in regards to the original post, I think that prospective King's Indian players need to ask themselves honestly whether they are prepared to make the kind of sacrifice that Kasparov made in that game. You need to assess whether or not you can do that, whether your senses will allow you to time it correctly, etc.  My opinion is that for most amateurs (not all, of course), the answer is no.
  
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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #6 - 12/29/18 at 15:19:45
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nocteus wrote on 12/29/18 at 13:57:48:
Now I realize, I never quite understood black's plan behind Nbd7 and Na6: some sort of blockade of the center in the spirit of the Czech Benoni?

I don't understand them fully either, but it's not just one plan. Black is keeping several options open: He may still play a Czech Benoni structure, capture on d4, meet a White d4-d5 with ...Nc5, or keep the tension in the centre for a while. White for his part can play d4-d5, exchange on e5, keep the tension or even sometimes break with c4-c5. So both sides need to take many possible pawn structure changes into account in the opening/early middlegame.

nocteus wrote on 12/29/18 at 13:57:48:
To make it more strange, I found this assesment for Andrew Martin on the website:
Quote:
The strategic content of the King's Indian Defence remains undiminished. It's the perfect opening for the player who is prepared to steadily outplay his opponent. The positions reached in all main lines are rich, diverse and interesting. It is the ultimate opening of IDEAS.
https://www.chesspublishing.com/content/repert.htm#stw

People write all kinds of things when they're trying to sell an opening Wink
  

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Re: Is the KID a tactician's opening only?
Reply #5 - 12/29/18 at 13:57:48
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Well you can try to play Semi-Slav, etc. in the QGD. The fact is rich complexes have a nice balance of sharp/solid choices: Sicilian, QGD, Nimzo et alii, Ruy Lopez.
Now I realize, I never quite understood black's plan behind Nbd7 and Na6: some sort of blockade of the center in the spirit of the Czech Benoni?

To make it more strange, I found this assesment for Andrew Martin on the website:
Quote:
The strategic content of the King's Indian Defence remains undiminished. It's the perfect opening for the player who is prepared to steadily outplay his opponent. The positions reached in all main lines are rich, diverse and interesting. It is the ultimate opening of IDEAS.
https://www.chesspublishing.com/content/repert.htm#stw
  
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