An Interesting Idea in the King’s Indian Defense: Gallagher’s Gambit

I’ve heard it said that if black is willing to give up a pawn in the opening than he should have no problems. Last night, while going over some instructive games in John Watson’s eye-opening manual entitled “Chess Strategy in Action,” I came across the following idea. In a chapter entitled “Surrendering the Center,” Watson demonstrates how black breaks classical chess rules by giving up the center, as well as a center pawn in exchange for incredibly fast piece coordination and development. The plan involves black exchanging off his e pawn for white’s d pawn, and later blasting away at white’s position with a gambit. Gallagher’s idea is to exchange on d4 in the following diagram, then following up with Re8, a6, Rb8, b5, c5 and hitting white’s center with everything he’s got.

Naturally, this leaves the d6 pawn weak, but black plans on gaining a tempo off the queen if she captures it with the rook lift to b6, then doubling rooks by shifting it along the third rank to e6. This attacking scheme is so straightforward that any King’s Indian Defense player should have it in his back pocket for the next time he faces the ubiquitous fianchetto variation.

In the following game, Watson declares that black is winning easily after move 23. A quick glance at the position demonstrates just how much activity he got in return for his d-pawn.