Thrilling play in the Classical King’s Indian

Usually at this time (Monday evening, 11 PM) I’m about to finish my games at the Marshall Chess Club in the Fide Monday tournament that I regularly play in. And if it’s a second round, like it was today, more often than not, history shows that it’s a sour loss as I’m paired against a higher-rated opponent. Neither of this happened today- I’ve been at home for almost 2 hours already, and I won my game. What’s a bit funny about it is that I played an opening that before the round I actually had not wanted to play- King’s Indian Defense.  It is one of my main responses to 1.d4 but I had other plans for tonight; with the opening move order used by my opponent however, I decided to transpose to the KID.Gligoric People who know me well are aware that I am addicted to this opening- it’s risky to play it and can require a lot of memorization in some lines, but all attempts to drag me away from it have been futile; I fell in love with this opening many years ago and a cause of big part of that is the book by Serbian grandmaster Svetozar Gligoric ” King’s Indian Defence- Mar del Plata variation”, about the line he first played in 1953,which has become a mainstay in the chess opening theory ever since- a lot of very strong players (including World Champions Tal, Fischer, Kasparov among many others) and amateurs alike have used it as a non-compromise weapon. So this is what it happened to be the opening in my game tonight, and I was actually a bit anxious seeing my opponent play his opening moves very fast, automatically…so I wondered-  how much more of this sharp theory he had memorized than me? Somewhere around moves 13-14 I had to make sure I remembered the move order, but he kept playing without thinking ! We reached the position after 20.Nf2 and I knew it had to be OK for me, despite being down a pawn, but I needed to continue the game in the right direction, because it’s a complicated position and I’m down a pawn against a higher-rated opponent who seems to have seen and memorized this position.LuxRudowski1 I could develop the bishop with Bd7, but I decided it was more important to continue my kingside attack, so I chose 20..Ng6, which would help to advance the h-pawn and bring my knights closer to the holes near his king. White of course has his own play on the queenside , which may be very dangerous for me. Because it’s a race on the opposite sides of the board, slowing down may be fatal- it’s too early after such a complicated game to formulate an exact verdict, but it seems to me that his move 21.Kh1 is just that slowing factor that gives me some valuable tempi in my kingside attack. Well, you can check for yourself how it ended- no heavy commentary from me this time as the game finished just few hours ago- obviously White didn’t play the best defensive moves (28.Nxf4 looks pretty suicidal for example), but still I’m glad that I was able to get the right plan going in a complicated position, complete with an accurate calculation. Perhaps King’s Indian Defense could become your exciting chess adventure, too.

Simon