Mikhail Golubev


On 18 February 2009 my second monthly update of the KID section was posted at www.ChessPublishing.com. In the near future, besides the usual journalistic work, I will be involved in covering the King’s Indian Defence at this unique, in its own way, chess openings site. ChessPublishing has a free forum at www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl. (In 1997, when I became familiar with the internet, I tried to find the same kind of chess theory forums, but with very moderate success at that time!). It would be illogical to concentrate on two specific King’s Indian projects simultaneously. So, starting from now I will stop updating mikhail-golubev.livejournal.com, a small blog, devoted to my book UNDERSTANDING THE KING’S INDIAN, published by Gambit Publications in the beginning of 2006. I hope that this blog was (and will remain) helpful for readers, who wish to get more information about this book in which I chronicled my accumulated experience with the opening. The blog certainly helped me to get more reader’s feedback, for which I am very grateful. Note that my main homepage remains www.geocities.com/mikhail_golubev

For the record, below is a list of my King’s Indian-related publications in English (not including other languages, or Informator-style) from the period January 2006 - February 2009 that are not available online.

Yuferov-Golubev 1-0 Chess Today #1920 (9 Feb 06)
Topalov-Radjabov 0-1 Chess Today #1935 (24 Feb 06)
Khudyakov-Golubev 0-1 Chess Today #1988 (18 Apr 06)
Tishin-Golubev 0-1 Chess Today #2046 (15 Jun 06)
Beliavsky-Golubev 1-0 Chess Today #2067 (06 Jul 06)
Navara-S.Novikov 0-1 Chess Today #2098 (06 Aug 06)
Ivanchuk-Radjabov 1-0 Chess Today #2255 (10 Jan 07)
Kramnik-Radjabov 0,5-0,5 Chess Today #2272 (27 Jan 07)
Ponomariov-Topalov 0-1 Chess Today #2279 (03 Feb 07)
Berkvens-Inarkiev 1-0 Chess Today #2526 (08 Oct 07)
Shimanov-Chuprov 0-1 Chess Today #2718 (17 Apr 08)
Ivanchuk-Cheparinov 1-0 Chess Today #2743 (12 May 08)
Korobov-Yevseev 0-1 Chess Today #2790 (28 Jun 08)
Kasimdzhanov-Cheparinov 1-0 Chess Today #2973 (28 Dec 08)
Vovk-Golubev 0.5-0.5 Chess Today #2984 (08 Jan 09)
Fridman-Prusikin 0-1 Chess Today #3021 (14 Feb 09)
Opening for White According to Kramnik. Volume 1b (Review) Chess Today #2208 (24 Nov 06)
Beating the King's Indian and Gruenfeld by IM Taylor (Review) Chess Today #2289 (13 Feb 07)
My Best Games in the King's Indian, DVD by GM Shirov (Review) Chess Today #2347 (12 Apr 07)
Beat the KID by GM Markos (Review) Chess Today #2986 (10 Jan 09)
Bayonet Attack - Pieces move back! (Article) Chess Today #2894 (10 Oct 08)
Korchnoi-Smirin 1-0 British Chess Magazine, August 2007
Carlsen-Ivanchuk 1-0 British Chess Magazine, August 2008
Bayonet Attack with 10.g3 (Survey) New in Chess Yearbook 90 (2009)

Korchnoi-Golubev 1-0 Chess Today #2766 (04 June 08) can be found here

Some of the games, annotated in Chess Today, were re-published in this blog with permission from the CT editor, GM Baburin. Please find them in the previous postings, below.

Mikhail Golubev

Game Annotations by FM Andrey Terekhov

Terekhov,Andrey (2322) - Raykhman,Alexander (2262) [E68]

Munich op 28th 2008 (6), 16.10.2008

[FM Andrey Terekhov]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.0–0 e5 8.e4 a6 9.h3 exd4 10.Nxd4 Re8 11.Be3 Rb8 12.b3 c5 13.Nde2 b5?! [Better is 13...Qe7!?] 14.Qxd6 b4 15.Na4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxa1!? [16...Rxe4 - Informator 82/494] 17.Rxa1 Rxe4 18.Nxc5 Re8! [18...Rb6?! 19.Qd2 Qf6 20.Rd1 Nxc5 21.Bxc5 Rbe6 22.Nf4 Re8 23.Bxb4 with an initiative; 18...Rxe3? 19.fxe3 Qe8 Informator - 88/(468) 20.e4! Rb6 21.Qc7 Rf6 22.Rd1 +/-] 19.Rd1 Qa5?? [19...Qe7 20.Qxe7 (20.Qc7!? Nxc5 21.Qxb8 Qe4! 22.Qf4 (22.Rd4 Qf3 23.Nf4 Rxe3 24.Rd8+ Kg7 25.fxe3 Qxg3+ 26.Kf1 Bxh3+ 27.Nxh3 Qxh3+ 28.Ke2 Qg2+ 29.Kd1 Qf1+ 30.Kc2 Qf5+ 31.Kb2 Qf2+=) 22...Bxh3 23.Qxe4 Nxe4 24.Nf4 Bg4 25.Rd3 +/=) 20...Rxe7 21.Nf4 Nxc5 (21...Nf6? 22.Rd6! +/-) 22.Bxc5 Re8! Terekhov (22...Rd7? 23.Nd5 Kg7 24.Bd4+ f6 25.Bxf6+ Kf7 26.Be5 Rb6 27.Rd4 +/- A.Kiss 2435 - M.Tratar, Austria 1996) 23.Nd5 (23.Bd6 Rb7 24.c5 (24.Nd5 Re2 - 23.Nd5 Re2 24.Bd6 Rb7) 24...Bd7 25.Nd5 Re6 26.Ne7+ Kg7 27.c6 Bxc6 28.Nxc6 Rb6 29.Be5+ f6 30.Rd7+ Kf8 31.Bd6+ Ke8 32.Rd8+ Kf7 33.Rd7+ Ke8=) 23...Re2! 24.Bxb4 (24.Bd6 Rb7 25.c5 (25.Ne7+ Rbxe7 26.Bxe7 Rxe7 27.Rd8+ Kg7 28.Rxc8 Re2 29.c5 Rxa2=) 25...Be6! 26.c6 Bxd5 27.cxb7 (M.G. 27.Rxd5!? Rb6 28.Rc5 Re8) 27...Bxb7 28.Bxb4 Rxa2 29.Rd8+ Kg7 30.Bc3+ Kh6 31.Rd7 Bc8 32.Rxf7 Bxh3=) 24...Be6 25.Nf6+ Kg7 26.Bc3 Rc8 27.a4 +/=] 20.Nxd7 Bxd7 21.Qxd7+- Qxa2 [21...Rbd8 22.Rd5! Qxa2 23.Qxd8 Rxd8 24.Rxd8+ Kg7 25.Nd4+-] 22.Qd3 a5 23.Nf4 Red8 24.Nd5 a4 25.Qd4 a3 [25...Rxd5 26.cxd5 Qxb3 27.Rc1! a3 28.Qe5 Rf8 29.Bd4+-] 26.Ne7+ [26.Ne7+ Kf8 27.Bh6+ Ke8 28.Qh8+ Kxe7 29.Qe5#] 1–0
Mikhail Golubev

FROM CHESS TODAY - 2931 (16th November 2008)

Van Wely,Loek (2618) - Radjabov,Teimour (2752) E97

38th Olympiad Dresden GER (3.5), 15.11.2008

Mikhail Golubev (www.chesstoday.net)
The first 23 moves of this game between leaders of the Dutch and Azerbaijani teams were known to me, but while looking at the rest of the game I did not understand much.

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.b4 Nh5 10.g3

From 2005-2007 there were four (!) Van Wely vs Radjabov games in the variation 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 Kh8 13.Ne6 Bxe6 14.dxe6. Now Van Wely returns to 10.g3, the old line, which he has played often in the past.

10...f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.f3 f4!? 13.b5

There are other options, for example 13.Kg2 which Van Wely preferred in the 1990s.


After 13...fxg3 14.hxg3 Nh5, the novelty 15.Kf2!? N was introduced in Van Wely-Dyachkov, Russian ChT Dagomys 2008 (1-0, 26). Instead, 14...h6 should transpose to our main game. In several games Black tried 13...Ne8 14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 Qc8 16.Nd5 Qxe6 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Qd5+ Kh8 19.Qxb7 Nf6.

14.Ne6 Bxe6 15.dxe6 fxg3 16.hxg3 Qc8! 17.Nd5! Qxe6 18.Nxc7 Qh3 19.Rf2

Avoiding the draw 19.Nxa8 Qxg3+ = as in Pacmann-Taimanov, Havana Capablanca mem 1967 and other games.


Instead, 19...Rac8 20.Rh2! Qxg3+ (20...Qd7 21.Nd5 Nexd5 22.cxd5 Nh5 23.Kg2! +/= followed by Be3) 21.Rg2 Qh3 (21...Qh4? 22.Ne6 Rf7 D.Hamilton-Marcinkiewicz, ICCF corr. 1988 23.Rh2! Qg3+ 24.Kh1 Nh5 25.Be3 +/- Van Wely, Informator 79) 22.Qxd6! Rf7 23.c5 was Van Wely-Golubev, Romanian ChT Sovata 2000. Relatively best here is 23...Nf5! 24.exf5 Rfxc7 but now I see that perhaps White is better after 25.Be3! Qxf5 26.Rf1!?. 19...Rad8 20.Rg2 Qd7 21.Nd5 Nexd5 22.cxd5 Qc7 23.Be3 +/= is one of lines from my book 'Understanding the King's Indian' where I discussed this line. (See CT-1972 for more).

20.fxe4 N

A novelty, which has already been discussed in several publications. Black had a fully playable position after 20.Rh2 Qd7 21.Nxa8 Nxg3! 22.Bxh6 Bxh6 23.Rxh6 Kg7 24.Rh2 Nef5! in Van Wely-Degraeve, Mondariz Zonal 2000.

20...Rxf2 21.Kxf2 Rf8+ 22.Ke3!

22.Ke1 gives Black an additional possibility of 22...Qh1+!? 23.Kd2 Qxe4 and now 24.Qg1 (Shipov, KasparovChess.com, 2000), is quite complex.

22...Qxg3+ 23.Kd2

A crazy line, indeed. Black's minor pieces are relatively passive, which gives hope for White to consolidate his advantages.


After 23...Nf5?! 24.exf5 e4 25.Qb3! (Shipov) 25...Qxb3 26.axb3 Bxa1 27.fxg6 Black has problems in the endgame.


Not dangerous for Black is 24.Qb3?! Qg2 25.Qd3 (or 25.Qe3 h5! Gallagher, 'Play the King's Indian') 25...Nf5! (even stronger than Van Wely's suggestion 25...h5 with the idea of 26.Bb2?! Bh6+ 27.Kd1 h4 -/+) 26.exf5 e4 - Gallagher.


The first really new move. Van Wely himself provided the following line in Informator 79: 24...g5 25.Qb3 Qg2 26.Qe3 Ng6 27.Ba3 (a possible improvement is 27.Bb2, or maybe to take on g7 earlier - MG) 27...Nf4 28.Re1 g4 29.Nxg7 Rf3 30.Qxa7 Rd3+ 31.Kc2 Qxe4 32.Bxd3 Qxd3+ 33.Kb2 Qd2+ 34.Kb3 Qxe1 35.Ne8 Qb1+ = . Here Loek stops, but the line can be continued with 36.Ka4 Qc2+ 37.Ka5 Qxa2 38.Qe3 Qxc4 39.Nxd6, is not White somewhat better here?


Not 25.Nxd6?? Bh6+ 26.Kc2 Bxc1 27.Rxc1 Qe3 -/+.

25...Kxg7 26.Qb3 Qg2 27.Qe3 Ng8! 28.c5! dxc5

After 28...Nf6?! White plays 29.cxd6! Nxe4+ 30.Kd3 +/- with a big advantage: 30...Rf6 (or 30...Nxd6?! 31.Qxe5+ Kf7 32.Qxd6 Rxe2 33.Qf4+, developing the bishop then) 31.Bb2 Rxd6+ 32.Kc4 Kh7 33.Rg1 Nd2+ 34.Kb4 and so on.

29.Bb2 Qh2?!

Possibly critical is 29...Nf6! 30.Re1! (not 30.Bxe5? Rxe2+ 31.Qxe2 Qg5+ -/+) and now 30...Ng4!? (rather than 30...Nxe4+ 31.Kd3!? c4+ 32.Kxc4) 31.Qd3 deserves serious investigation.

30.Re1 Nf6 31.Kd1 b6?!

A much better chance was 31...Ng4 32.Qxc5 Qf4 33.Qe7+ (33.Qc7+ Kf6! 34.Qd6+ Kg7 35.Qd7+ transposes) 33...Kh8 34.Qd8+ Kg7 35.Qd7+ Kh6!? (35...Kh8? 36.Qc8+; 35...Kf6 36.Bc3! is complex, but better for White) 36.Bc1 Ne3+ 37.Bxe3 Qxe3 and here, at least, not dangerous for Black is 38.Bxh5?! (there are several alternatives: 38.Qd2!?; 38.Qd8!?; 38.Qd5!?) because of 38...Qc3! 39.Be2 Qa1+ 40.Kd2 Qb2+ 41.Ke3 Rh2 42.Qd3 Qxa2 =.

32.Bc3 +/- 32...Kh7

It is already hard to suggest anything for Black: 32...Qf4 33.Qxf4 Rxf4 34.Bxe5 Rxe4 35.Bf3!? Rxe1+ 36.Kxe1, winning the a7 pawn soon; or 32...Ng4? 33.Bxg4 hxg4 34.Bxe5+ Qxe5 35.Qxf2.

33.Qg5 Nxe4

After 33...Qg2 34.Qxg2 Rxg2 35.Bxe5 Nxe4 Black should not survive: 36.Bf3!? Rd2+ 37.Kc1 Ng5 38.Bf4 Rf2 39.Bxg5 Rxf3 40.Re7+ Kg8 41.Rxa7, etc.

34.Qe7+! Kh6 35.Bxe5! Rf7 36.Qe8!

Stronger than 36.Qxf7 Qxe5 37.Bd3 +/-.


A slight practical chance was 36...Rf4!?.

37.Kc2! +-

But not 37.Qxd7? Qxe5 and Black is doing well.

37...Rd2+ 38.Kb1!

Not 38.Kc1? Qf2 39.Rf1 Rc2+ 40.Kb1 Nd2+ 41.Kxc2 Nxf1 and the fight continues.

38...Qf2 39.Rf1! Rxe2

If 39...Qxe2? 40.Qf8+ Kg5 41.Qf4#.


This does not spoil the win, but 40.Rxf2 was simpler, indeed, as there is no mate after 40...Nc3+ 41.Ka1 Rxa2+ 42.Rxa2.

40...Kg5 41.Rxf2 Rxf2

The rest is not especially interesting.

42.Bb8 Rf5 43.Bxa7 c4 44.Bxb6 Rxb5+ 45.Kc2 Rxb6 46.Qe5+ Kh6 47.Qxe4 g5 48.a4 Rf6 49.a5 g4 50.Kc3 Kg5 51.Qe5+ Kg6 52.Qe4+ Kg5 53.Qb7 g3 54.a6 1-0

Mikhail Golubev

Two more Odessa games

Reshetkov,Kirill (2138) - GM Golubev,Mikhail (2480) [E94]
4th Geller Memorial Open-A Odessa UKR (4), 12.09.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.h3 h6 11.Bh4 Nf6 12.dxe5 dxe5 13.Nd5 Nxe4 14.Be7 c6 15.Bxf8 Qxf8 16.Ne3 f5 17.a3 Nac5 18.Qc2 f4 19.Ng4 Bf5 20.Nh4 Ne6 21.Rad1 Rd8 22.Rxd8 Qxd8 23.Nxf5 gxf5 24.Bd3 Nd4 25.Qd1 Qg5 26.Nh2 Nc5 27.b4 Nxd3 28.Qxd3 e4 29.Qd2 e3 30.fxe3 fxe3 31.Qd3 Qg3! 32.Rxf5 Qd6! 33.Qe4 Ne2+ 0-1

GM Lutsko,Igor (2399) - GM Golubev,Mikhail (2480) [E71]
4th Geller Memorial Open-A Odessa UKR (8), 17.09.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.h3 0-0 6.Be3 Na6 7.Bd3 Qe8 8.Nge2 e5 9.d5 Nh5 10.Qd2 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.Bg5 e4 13.Bc2 Nb4 14.g3 f4! 15.Bxf4 Nxf4 16.Nxf4 e3 17.fxe3 Bxc3 18.Qxc3 Nxc2+ 19.Qxc2 Qxe3+ 20.Kd1 Qxg3 21.Ne2 Qe5 22.Qc3 Qxc3 23.Nxc3 Rf2 24.Rg1+ Kh8 25.Ne4 Rxb2 26.Rc1 Bf5 27.Ng5 Rf8 0-1

Mikhail Golubev

From CHESS TODAY-2870 (16th September 2008)

GM Drozdovskij,Yuri (2587) - GM Golubev,Mikhail (2480) [E68]

4th Geller Memorial Open-A Odessa UKR (6), 15.09.2008

Mikhail Golubev (www.chesstoday.net)


Yesterday I lost a game in the Odessa tournament, but at least there is something to annotate, and this is the most important thing. 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 0-0 5.g3 d6 6.Bg2 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 c6 9.Be3!?

An old, but interesting line. Black has only one principled reply.

9...Ng4 10.Bg5 Qb6

Bronstein's 10...f6 is not sufficient for equality, perhaps.

11.h3 exd4

After 11...Ngf6 White may consider 12.c5 Qxb2 13.Na4 but the simpler 12.Qd2 and also 12.Rb1 both contend for the advantage.

12.Na4 Qa6 13.hxg4 b5 14.Be7

Instead, 14.Nxd4 bxa4 15.Nxc6 Qxc6 16.e5 Qxc4 17.Bxa8 Nxe5 was OK for Black is Botvinnik-Smyslov, Moscow (m/14) 1954. One more option is 14.e5.


After 14...bxa4 15.Bxd6 (15.Bxf8 Nxf8 16.Nxd4 Bxg4! 17.Qxg4 Bxd4 with compensation, Smejkal & Stohl, ECO) 15...Re8!? transposes to the main line.

15.Bxd6 bxa4 16.c5!?

Yuri of late always finds a way to surprise me in the King's Indian. At the Pivdenny Bank Rapid Cup he played 16.e5 (as in Yusupov-Kasparov, Linares 1992). I forgot the theory and quickly lost after 16...Bb7? 17.Qxd4 c5 18.Qf4 +/-. Yesterday I expected the possibility of that line being repeated, but 16.c5 came to my mind only during the game. And of course he played it.

16...a3 N

It was hard to decide between many options. A little existing theory, that I found after the game, is 16...Rxe4 17.Re1 (17.Ng5 is parried by 17...Re5!) 17...Rxe1+ 18.Qxe1 Nf8 19.Ne5! +/= Ornstein-Degerman, SWE-ch Borlange 1992 (unclear is 19.Qe8 Qb7 20.Ne5 Be6 21.Qxc6 Qxb2 22.Rd1 Rc8 23.Qxa4 - Smejkal & Stohl, ECO). And also 16...Qa5? 17.Nxd4 +/- Degerman-M.Jonsson, SWE-ch Haparanda 1994. After 16...Nf6 White can play 17.Ne5 (or 17.e5 Nxg4 18.Qxd4). 16...d3!? may transpose to the game after 17.e5 a3 18.bxa3 though there are other lines as well.

17.bxa3 d3 18.e5!?

Other options were 18.Qb3 and 18.Rb1.


As I understood from Yuri after the game, he was in his preparation up until now, but he looked at 18...Qxa3.


Not 19.Bxe5?! Bxe5 20.Qe1 (if 20.Re1?? Bxg4-+) 20...f6.

19...Bxe5 20.Re1

After 20.Qe1 f6 Black is OK.


After 20...f6 21.Bxe5 White is better: 21...fxe5 22.Re3! +/-, Drozdovskij (22.Be4, which I disliked, is possible too).

21.Qxg4 Bxa1 22.Rxa1 d2 23.Rd1 Re1+ 24.Kh2

This was the position, which I intended to play when I made my 16th move. As it happened I failed to calculate it precisely even when it appeared on the board.


After 24...h5?! 25.Qf3 Rxd1 (if 25...Qa5, then White, crucially, has 26.Qxc6! +- Rxd1 27.Qxa8+ Kh7 28.Be5) 26.Qxd1 Qd3 27.Bxc6 +/- Black has an extra tempo ...h5, in comparison to the game though is not a big deal and hardly changes the assessment. While 24...Rxd1?! 25.Qxd1 Qd3 26.Bxc6! +/- directly transposes to the game. 24...Qa5?! 25.Bxc6 +/- clearly favours White, too.


This seems to be the main move. After 25.Bf4 Black has counter-play: 25...Rxd1 26.Qxd1 Rd8 and 27.Bg5 is answered by 27...f6! with the idea of 28.Bxf6?? Rf8.


Panic! I saw that 25...Rae8? 26.Bxe8 Qd5 loses to 27.Bxf7+! Kxf7 28.Qd7+ Kg8 29.Qd8+ Kf7 30.Qf8+ Ke6 31.Qe7+ Kf5 32.Rxe1 +-. I also rightly abandoned 25...Qc2?. There White wins by 26.Bxa8! (26.Rxd2 Qxd2 27.Bxa8 Qxf2+ +/-, which is quite bad for Black which I saw clearly. 26.Ba4?! complicates matters after 26...Qd3! 27.Bb3 Rae8 28.Qf4 Qxb3! 29.axb3 Rxd1 30.Qd4 Rh1+, post-mortem; even worse is 26.Bf3?? h5) 26...Qxd1 27.Qc8+ Kg7 and here I did not see the exact win for White, but it exists and involves g4 at some stage: even the immediate 28.g4 +- works. Alas, after my intended move 25...Rd8! I really did not see how to meet 26.Qf3. The right idea 26...Qd4!, threatening with ...Rxd1, Qxf2+ was proposed by Drozdovskij in the post-mortem (Otherwise: 26...Qxf3? 27.Bxf3 Rxd1 28.Bxd1 Re8 is always bad because of 29.c6! +-. 26...Rxd6? 27.cxd6 Qxd6 28.Bd5! +-; 26...Qc2? 27.Bd5! +-). Now, the most unpleasant is, possibly, 27.Bd5!? (other options: 27.Kg2 h5!? 28.Rxd2 Qxd2 29.Bd5, inclear; 27.Kh3, inclear) 27...Rxd1! 28.Qxf7+ Kh8 29.Be7! Rh1+! 30.Bxh1 d1Q 31.Bf6+ Qxf6 32.Qxf6+ Kg8 +/= but perhaps Black can hold this: 33.Bg2 Qd4 34.Qe6+ Kf8 35.c6 Re8, etc. In any case, it was a way to continue!

26.Qxd1?! +/-

Yuri even did not bother to calculate the forced win after 26.Bxa8! +- Re1 (or 26...Rh1+ 27.Bxh1 d1Q 28.Qc8+ Kg7 29.Qf8+ Kf6 30.Qe7+ Kg7 31.Qe5+, etc.) 27.Qc8+ Kg7 28.Qf8+ Kf6 29.Qd8+ Kf5 30.Qd7+! Kf6 31.Be7+. Anyway, after the text Black's position is objectively bad. I was also in the 'eternal' time trouble (a few remaining minutes + 30 seconds per move).


26...Rc8 +/- hardly changes much.

27.Kg2 h5 28.Bf3 Qc3?!

28...Qxa3! with the idea of 29.Qxd2 Qxc5 was a slight chance.


Or 29.Qe2 +-, I had no idea how to meet it.

29...Qc1 30.Qd4

I had some hope if 30.Bd1 Qb1 31.Qa5 Rxd6 32.cxd6 Qxd1 but even here White wins nicely with 33.Qd5!! +-.

30...Rc8 31.Be7! +-

Stronger than 31.Qf6?! d1Q 32.Bxd1 Qxd1 33.Be5 Qd5+ 34.Kh2 Kf8 35.Qh8+ Ke7 36.Qxc8 Qxe5.

31...Rb8 32.Bf6! Kh7 33.Qd7 Qc4 34.Bd5 Qf1+ 35.Kxf1 d1Q+ 36.Kg2 Rf8 37.c6 1-0


Chess Today is copyright 2000-2008 by Alexander Baburin. Posting CT articles on the Web is strictly prohibited without express written permission.

Mikhail Golubev

Introduction to my 2006 book



The title of this book leaves no doubts that its topic is the King's Indian Defence - one of the most popular and controversial openings in modern chess. The author has used this opening with Black for more than 25 years. How I got started was slightly unusual. When I was 8 or 9, I played a training game with a friend from my chess club, Dima Novokhatko. After 1 c4 I noticed a certain weakening of the a1-h8 diagonal, and answered with 1...g6. The result of this game is not preserved in my memory, but probably it was positive enough, because I immediately started to seek information about 'my' opening and found that it was well-known as Staroindiskaya zashchita (the Russian name for the KI).

According to common classification, everything that begins with the moves 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 is called the 'King's Indian Defence', with the exception of cases when Black later continues ...d5, which is the Grünfeld Defence.

While the other KI lines (most importantly, the Fianchetto Variation with early g3) are covered in this book, most of material is devoted to the 'real' King's Indian lines which begin from 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6. Note that 4...0-0!?, which once brought a brilliant victory to Bobby Fischer in a famous game against Letelier, alas, does not have much independent significance, because Black will normally play ...d6 soon enough in any case.

It is obvious that White, in accordance with opening principles, has occupied the centre with pawns and enjoys a territorial advantage. So, we should discuss what Black is doing, and why.

First, of all, he has developed his pieces in such a way that they cannot be profitably attacked (e4-e5 is out of the question for the moment), and at the same time they occupy active positions. The weakening of the a1-h8 diago­nal, mentioned above, is not a joke but a real factor which, as Black hopes, could somehow compensate him for White's territorial achievements.

The most vulnerable square in White's cen­tre is d4, which can be defended by pieces only. And, not surprisingly, two main basic ideas for Black are related to attacking the d4-pawn (after castling) by ...e5 or ...c5, which lead to two different classes of positions. After either ...e5 or ...c5, White has the choice between keeping the d4-pawn in its place (in this case the support of minor pieces is required), exchanging this pawn for Black's pawn on e5 (c5), or moving the pawn forward by d5, stepping into the opponent's side of the board and increasing White's territorial advantage.

In the book we shall deal with all these types of structures (also including lines where Black delays the assault on White's centre). Black's methods of counterplay will be illustrated separately in each of the opening lines, and general observations will always be made when possible.

There should be no doubt that the King's Indian is not only a highly provocative opening (White is invited to occupy the centre) but also not an easy one to play with the black side. "It's a difficult opening, positionally it's very difficult," wrote the most successful King's Indian player ever, Garry Kasparov, answering a ques­tion from a visitor at his Website. The stakes are higher than in other openings and, basically, White gets some objective advantage from the very beginning. (Well, I can try to describe the word 'advantage' as a situation where the opposite site would be satisfied with a draw of­fer.)

How valuable is White's objective advantage in the King's Indian? The correct answer to this question is beyond our knowledge. There are grandmasters (even those who often use the King's Indian as Black), who have the opinion that with perfect play White should win. For my part, I firmly believe that Black, if he plays perfectly, should not lose. Some players, on the other hand, simply do not worry about such abstract theoretical questions.

A more practical question is: what does Black get in return for voluntarily giving his opponent an obvious (even if slight) opening ad­vantage? In fact, he gets quite a lot. By playing the King's Indian, Black, as a rule, avoids early simplifications, which allows him to keep the position complicated (due, not least, to such a banal factor as the number of pieces remaining on the board!).

So, the King's Indian is a perfect opening choice for players who aim to 'outcalculate' the Opponent in a complicated struggle. The spirit of the King's Indian was best described in my memory by one of its regular practitioners, Croatian GM Cvitan. "I want to be dangerous", he said during the post-mortem analysis of one of his games.

Yes, Black's main strategy in the King's In­dian is: to be dangerous, to keep the game as complicated as possible, and
to deny his Oppo­nent the type of clear technical superiority that makes his position easy to handle in practice. Very importantly in the King's Indian (and this is atypical for most other openings) even in the case that Black makes a mistake and obtains an (objectively) bad position, he often, due the complexity of the Situation on the board, preserves reasonable practical chances not only for a draw, but also for a win.

It is not therefore surprising that a list of reg­ular King's Indian practitioners (say, those who have more than a hundred KI games as Black in ChessBase's Mega Database 2005) features most of the brightest and most ambitious chess fighters of the 20th Century, including four world Champions - Kasparov, Fischer, Tal and (maybe some will be surprised by this) Petrosian. Also: Shirov, J.Polgar, Geller, Stein, Bronstein, Najdorf, Gligoric, Gelfand, Nunn, Uhlmann, Smirin and many other great
players. There are also young stars of the present day who may not have played as many KI games due to their age, but who use the opening regularly. It is enough to name Radjabov and Volokitin.

Here I should perhaps say a few words about the book's legitimacy (as I hold the view that opening books should be written by opening experts). I had some doubts when I started this work. Although according to the statistics I am among the 30 most active GM practitioners of the KI (168 games as Black in Mega 2005), it would seem strange to place my name along-side the illustrious players mentioned above, who are the great KI experts.

If most of the present King's Indian gurus (or Kasparov alone) were to reveal their secrets, I would possibly prefer to write not a book but a short article. In reality, however, the top players rarely show all what they know. They need their analysis for their practice. Here I have an advantage, because my career as a professional player at this moment is over (chess journalism, especially the work for Chess Today, which requires daily attention, occupies me more and more). So, I do not have any reason to hide anything - with exception of joint analysis with other players, which it would be improper to re­veal without the agreement of the other party.

But also in this respect, I face fewer problems than most other grandmasters would face. In 2000, I helped the then very young Ruslan Ponomariov to include the King's Indian in his repertoire. His results (especially from the open­ing point of view) were quite good, but eventually Ruslan decided that the King's Indian did not fully suit his chess taste, and he stopped using it. He did not object to the inclusion of our analysis in this book.

Earlier, in 1996, thanks to efforts of Anatoly Karpov's coach IM Mikhail Podgaets who lives in Odessa, I was invited to a Karpov & Pod­gaets training session to help them prepare for the Karpov-Kamsky match. There our King's Indian analysis was limited in a very narrow direction, in a line that is not critical for current opening theory. I did not use our analysis of that specific line in this book, and have not indicated which line it was, but have provided an honest assessment around the place where today's official theory ends.

This book on the King's Indian is my third writing attempt, after Easy Guide to the Dragon and The Sicilian Sozin. All three books were bom in my cooperation with Gambit Publications (in the case of the Dragon in association with Everyman). Gambit's editor Graham Burgess, to whom I am endlessly grateful for his patience (alas, I seem unable to complete a major work within the agreed schedule) certainly has enough material to write a book entitled "Understanding Mikhail Golubev". I only can say in my defence that I would never have started any of these projects if in the beginning I had not been over-optimistic and unable to imagine the real amount of work required.

The key difference between this book and the two previous ones is in the size of the topic under consideration. The King's Indian database which I used (Mega 2005 games, joined with all other available material) consisted of more than 255,000 games (Kasparov was, perhaps, quite correct, when he stated that the KI "is not fresh any more"!), which makes it impossible to provide any complete, scientific coverage of the opening.

So, this book has a different concept. The coverage of all lines is based on my own games, while I have also provided additional theoretical material - enough to enable the reader to use the work as a repertoire book at the very least. I considered it important to offer a choice of different lines for Black wherever it was possible and appropriate. I believe that the best approach to playing the King's Indian is a flexible one -I would not like the situation when someone, knowing that his opponent owns my book, would be able to predict his opponent's first 20 moves. And, let's be completely honest, if I were able to construct a straightforward, perfect opening repertoire for Black (in the King's In­dian or in any other opening), containing not even the slightest potential problem, I would have preferred to sell this repertoire to one of the participants in the San Luis world championship.(Well, this is a purely hypothetical idea - chess is alive, and White will always find ways to set new, unexplored problems for Black.)

I should say a little more about the selection of the main games for this book. It was not such a difficult task, because I had some clear criteria: quality, theoretical importance, instructiveness, and a balance in the number of games for each of the different lines. The additional theo­retical material, as a rule, is placed not in introductions to chapters, but inside games (hence, some of games are a bit overloaded with notes - but the opposite approach would have had its own drawbacks).

References to many games, played by me and by other players, can be found inside the notes to the main games. In some cases I considered it appropriate to refer to blitz games, in those cases where I felt that the moves objectively deserved to be mentioned. I apologize to any chess purists who object to this. (I also apologize for cases where the moves are given without references to the actual games, which can be found in databases.) My attitude to the games that I lost was simple: I always included such games when they deserved it. Of the main games, you will find 25 games that were won by me, with 15 draws and 16 losses. So, to some extent these are selected games of myself and my opponents.

The notes to all games are new. Certainly, during the work I used my old notes from chess periodicals (New in Chess, Informator, Chess Today, etc.), but the differences and contradictions between the old and new notes are not analysed - it would be just a waste of space. Understandably, the notes to the older games were sometimes changed in more dramatic ways - before 1998 I did not make serious use of chess engines to help with analysis.

(On a separate note, I should mention that in 2001 ChessBase published a collection of surveys on the Classical King's Indian with "Glek/Golubev" in the annotator's field. In fact, I was responsible only for the E98-E99 part, i.e. the main line with 9 Ne1.)

On the whole, I have written this book as a practical player rather than a theoretician. Primarily, I worked with all the material I have accumulated over the years from my own games and from work on my repertoire - and only then started to add supplementary material. The book can be considered as a personal introduction to the world of the King's Indian. I am sure that it will be useful for players who are interested in this opening, but the usefulness will vary from player to player. There is no question that 'black' King's Indian players are my target audience and I am not even sure what to say to white players to encourage them to pay attention to my work. There is plenty of material here to help them to combat the KI with greater success... Perhaps I should say 'Please, never buy this book and allow us, the black KI play­ers, to improve our statistics a bit!'.

The so-called Anti-King's Indians (i.e. lines where White does not play c4) are outside this book's scope. However, I feel that I should explain the point of the move-order 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 d6 (instead of the usual 2...g6), which I use very often. In the past I experienced some problems dealing with the seemingly innocuous line 2...g6 3 Bg5 (intending 4 Nbd2, 5 e4 and 6 c3). Therefore I started to use 2...d6 as an antidote. Krivoshei-Golubev, Ukrainian jr Cht (Dnepropetrovsk) 1988 continued 3 Bg5 Nbd7 4 Nbd2 e5 5 c3 Be7! 6 e4 0-0 7 Be2 h6! 8 Bh4 exd4! 9 Bxf6 (9 cxd4? Nxe4! and Black wins the pawn) 9...Bxf6 10 Nxd4 Nb6 11 0-0 d5 12 Bf3 c5 13 Ne2 d4 14 cxd4 cxd4 15 Nf4 d3 16 Nb3 Bxb2 17 Rb1 Bf6 18 Qxd3 Qxd3 19 Nxd3 Nc4. Black has a pleasant position with two bishops, and went on to win. Of course, the 2...d6 move-order has its own nuances and drawbacks. Thus, 3 g3 can be answered by 3..Nbd7!?, planning ...e5, ...c6 and ...e4. On the other hand, 3 Nc3 forces Black to choose between the Philidor (3...Nbd7 4 e4 e5), the Pirc (3...g6 4 e4) and lines with an early ...Bg4, which may not be to the taste of all KI players. I shall not enter into deeper details here, but will add that the 1 Nf3 d6 move-order (instead of 1...Nf6, the most normal move for KI players) is linked with the same idea (2 d4 Nf6) and, more importantly, allows Black to use lines with an early ...f5 if White opts for the English set-up with d3. Black should also be ready to meet 2 e4. Then 2...c5 is the Sicilian.

I am planning to launch a weblog devoted to the book. Reviews and letters from readers can be discussed there. Please, check the news at my webpage www.geocities.com/mikhail_golubev, where my contact data is available as well.

And finally: good luck in your King's Indian adventures!

Mikhail Golubev

Odessa, December 2005

Mikhail Golubev

KID on the defensive

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Re8 9.h4 h5 10.0–0–0 b5 11.Nd5 bxc4 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.g4 hxg4 14.h5 g5 15.Bxg5 e5 16.Bxf6 Qxf6 17.fxg4 exd4 18.g5 Qf3 19.g6! Bg4!?
White has a clear advantage after 19...fxg6 20.Nxd4! (Lautier-Piket, Cannes 1990). While after 19...Qxh1 20.gxf7+! Kxf7 21.Qf4+ Black, at best, loses a queen for insufficent compensation: 21...Ke7 22.Ng3 Qh2 (in order to have 23...Kd7 after 23.Qg5+) 23.Nf5+ Bxf5 24.Qxh2 Be6.
19...Bg4!? was suggested by myself in my book, and later tried unsuccessfully against Lautier in The Odessa 2006 Pivdenny Bank rapid. The game was a disaster for Black, indeed. After looking at this position again afterwards, I realised that from the beginning I had underestimated the danger of Black's king position. Even with best play White's chances are better.

Curious but hardly promising an advantage is 20.Nxd4 Qxd1+ 21.Qxd1 Bxd1 22.Bxc4 with some crazy play: 22...Kg7!? and 23.Rg1!? can be answered by 23...Bg4!! (not 23...Rxe4?! 24.h6+! Kf6 25.g7! and White is better!) 24.Nxc6 (Black's basic idea was 24.Rxg4 Ne5!) 24...Rxe4 25.Bd5 Rae8 26.Bxe4 Rxe4 and Black is OK.
The most critical, possibly, is 20.gxf7+! Kxf7 21.Rg1! Ne5! (really a sad necessity... White's very strong threat was 22.Nxd4! Qxd1+ 23.Qxd1 Bxd1 24.Bxc4+, while bad for Black is 21...Bxh5 22.Rg3! with the idea of 22...Qxe4 23.Bg2! Qxe2 24.Rf1+ or 21...c3 22.bxc3 and again there is no solution, for example 22...Ne5 is refuted by 23.Rg3 Qxe4 24.cxd4! or 21...d3? 22.Nc3 threatening 23.Bg2, 24.Rfd1) 22.Qxd4 with an important position, where White is somewhat better. His main idea is Nc3, which can be prepared by Kb1. Possibly, Black's best is 22...Qf6 (there are other options such as 22...Re6 but they fail to impress; note that the following forced line favours White 22...Nd3+?! 23.Kb1 Rxe4 24.Qd5+ Re6 25.Qxc4 Ne5 26.Qxc7+ Re7 27.Qc1! Rc8 28.Nc3 with the idea of 28...Qxd1? 29.Bc4+!) and now White has a choice. 23.Kb1!? (after 23.Nc3!? Bxd1 24.Bxc4+ Nxc4 25.Qxc4+ Qe6 Black possibly holds; still it is hard to be sure... curious is 26.Nd5!? Qxe4 27.Qxc7+ Ke6 28.Rg6+ Kxd5 and somehow Black survives: after 29.Qxd6+ Kc4 30.b3+ he has 30...Bxb3 31.axb3+ Kxb3) 23...Rab8 (activating a rook, at least) 24.Nc3!? (there are calmer possibilities such as 24.Rc1 where Black may try 24...c5!? 25.Qc3 Rb4 and 24.Ka1!? ) 24...Bxd1 25.Bxc4+ Nxc4 26.Qxc4+ Qe6 27.Qxc7+! Qe7 28.Qc4+ Qe6 and again it may seem that Black should hold, but there are no guarantees.

Just a losing move. In some other lines such as 20.Re1 this capture could have been playable, but not here when White is ready for Bg2.
After 20...Ne5!? White maybe has nothing better than 21.gxf7+ . Which is good enough, indeed, and transposes to a line with 20.gxf7+ after 21...Kxf7.
Another possibility is 20...fxg6!? 21.hxg6 (or 21.Re1 c3!? 22.bxc3 and now 22...Bxh5! but not 22...gxh5?! 23.Nxd4 Nxd4 where White successfully attacks by 24.Bc4+! Ne6 25.Rgf1 Qg3 26.Qg5+ Kh8 27.Qh6+ Kg8 and here 28.Re3! Qe5 29.Rf6 Re7 30.Rg3!; in the line 21.Qh6?! Ne5! 22.Rg3 Qf8 Black should be fine) 21...Kg7 (after 21...c3 22.bxc3 Rab8 23.Nxd4! Black has problems) 22.Re1 d3! (probably best, though there are other serious moves) 23.Bg2 (after 23.Rg3 Qxe4 24.Bg2 Qf5 Black is doing well) 23...Qf2! (provoking White's next; less precise is the immediate 23...Qxe2?! ) 24.Rgf1! Qxe2! (favours White 24...Qxg2 25.Rf7+! Kxg6 26.Nf4+ Kxf7 27.Qxg2) 25.Rxe2 dxe2 with reasonable compensation for the queen.

21.gxf7+ Kxf7 22.Bg2 Rxe2
Now everything loses for Black. For example, 22...Qxe2 23.Qxe2 Rxe2 24.Bxc6 and after 24...Rg8 White has 25.Bd5+.

23.Bxf3 Rxd2 24.Bd5+ Ke7 25.Rxd2 c3 26.bxc3 dxc3 27.Rh2 Bf5 28.Bxc6 Rb8 29.Re2+
1–0 Lautier-Golubev, Odessa rapid 2006.

(The game can be viewed at www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1424066).