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Down with the KID

THE King’s Indian is rarely played at the very top level. Hikaru Nakamura and Teimour Radjabov remain devoted to it, but even they use it relatively sparingly. As you go down the rating list, the popularity of the opening increases. The rising star Alireza Firouzja defeated Grischuk with the King’s Indian in the Lindores Abbey Preliminaries online at Chess24.

Some players have specialised in ‘crushing the K.I.D’; Vladimir Kramnik scored highly with the Bayonet Attack, and it was noticeable that this was White’s choice in three of the King’s Indian games played online in the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour.

Anton Korobov stood worse, but he had his chances later on, as a typical King’s Indian mess appeared.

A. Giri – A Korobov
Mr Dodgy Invitational 2020
King’s Indian Classical,
Bayonet Attack

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0–0 6.Be2 e5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.a4 (The old line was 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 or if 11…Nf4 12.Bxf4 exf4 13.Rc1) 11…Nf6 12.a5 h6 13.Ra3 f4 (If 13…g5 14.exf5 Nxf5 15.Bd3 g4 16.Nd2 White dominates e4; 13…a6 14.c5?! fxe4 is fine for Black, so might be an improvement) 14.h4!? (White voluntarily weakens on the flank Black intends to attack. This inhibits g6–g5 but is rarely seen in this structure and quite risky. See board left) 14…Rf7 15.c5 Bf8 16.c6 (Now the tables turn. Black’s edifice collapses after 16.b5 Rg7 17.b6) 16…Rg7 17.b5 g5 18.hxg5 hxg5 19.Nh2 bxc6 20.dxc6 g4 21.g3 Be6? (Black is better after 21…f3! 22.Bc4+ Kh8 planning Rh7 and Qe8. If 23.b6 axb6 24.axb6 Rxa3 25.Bxa3 Nxc6) 22…exf4 23.Bxf4 Nh5 24.Bg3 Nxg3 25.fxg3 d5!? 26.exd5 (After 26.Bxg4! Qd6 27.Kg2! Qxa3 28.Bxe6+ Kh8 29.Qd4 White is winning, but in time trouble this cannot have been apparent)

Black had a chance to save the game here, can you find it?
26…Nxd5? 27.Bc4 Bf7 28.Bxd5 Bxa3 29.Nxg4 Qg5 30.Ne4! Bc5+ 31.Kg2 Bxd5 32.Ngf6+ Qxf6 33.Qxd5+ Qf7 34.Nf6+ 1–0

Play through the full game below:

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Malcolm Pein

Malcolm Pein

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