Sunday, September 19, 2010

Scott Strattner Reviews "The Kenilworthian"

Scott Strattner discusses The Kenilworthian blog in his inaugural review in a new series of "Chess Weblog Reviews" at Chessville.  I'm always curious what types of articles readers like best, and I've long suspected that my chess opening compilations are most appreciated, which Strattner confirms.  Funny that he doesn't mention any of my own opening analysis (most of which can be accessed via the Articles page of the KCC site).  But he does point to my essay on Chess and Evolutionary Theory, which I was just thinking the other day might have been among my best pieces.  For those interested in learning more about the blog, you can read two self-reviews of sorts in Chess Blogs: Profiles of Chess Blogs and Their Authors and Questionnaire Tag.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Mar del Plata King's Indian (E97)

FM Steve Stoyko's lecture series on the King's Indian Defense begins Thursday, September 9th at the Kenilworth Chess Club.  In anticipation of his talk, I have been spending some time playing over games and thinking about the opening.  Since Steve will probably begin with the  the Mar del Plata variation (E97), I have focused my attention on that line, which begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 and leads to very sharp and complex positions.

The King's Indian Defense has been part of my repertoire since I first started playing, when my repertoire mostly followed Bobby Fischer's.  I was also hooked on the KID by the many fascinating games with the Mar del Plata (such as  Taimanov - Najdorf, Zurich 1953).  It is practically like a trip down memory lane to follow Gligoric's historical introduction in King's Indian Defence: The Mar del Plata Variation and I remember exactly where I was when I first played over some of these classics.  

Though analysis of the Mar del Plata goes very deep, for most amateurs it is sufficient to know ideas and just some critical theory to get started.  I doubt there are too many people who know more than that, especially since KID theory is just so vast.  There are so many great books on the King's Indian, it seems practically an impossible task to list them all.  Many of the best are inevitably "one man's journey" through the King's Indian (by Bologan or Golubev or Gufeld, etc.), and they present a model for how you have to approach the opening.  Among the more useful repertoire books are Joe Gallagher's Play the King's Indian, Graham Burgess's classic The King's Indian for the Attacking Player, and (for reference) Panczyk & Ilczuk's The Classical King's Indian Uncovered.

Here are some useful online resources for those looking to get started or refresh their memories:
  • Robert Bellin and Pietro Ponzetto, Mastering the King's Indian Defence.  If you want, you can download a copy of this great book from ebookee or rapidhsare.  This has got to be one of the best introductions to the King's Indian and expecially to "the Mar del Plata Centre" -- since it focuses on pawn structure and the requirements of the position
  • BabalooMoon.  King's Indian Defence -- Mar del Plata Centre.
    This is a wonderful games collection from, inspired by Bellin and Ponzetto's excellent book (though BabalooMoon forgets to include the great game
    Ftacnik - Nunn, Vienna 1986 which is one of their main examples).  I especially like White's counter-plan of attack on the kingside, which no one has ever tried against me in a game but which I would surely use myself if I played the White side.
  • KingG, The Taimanov 9.Ne1 variation of the KID.
    Another spectacular game collection that includes wonderful historical commentary on the development of this line from White's perspective.
  • Guillermo Rey, King's Indian Defense: An Eternal Balance
    Close consideration of a Kortchnoi victory against the Mar del Plata.
  • Andrew Martin, KID Fireworks -- Part 3.
    Nice discussion of a game with the Bayonet Attack.
  • Jeff Otto, A Patzer's Progress.
    This article inspired me to take up the KID again after long disuse.  I often recommend it to new KID players.
  • Little Fluffy, How to Play against the Bayonet Attack.
    A very useful collection of games from
  • Josembk, Best Games in King's Indian Defense.
    An inspiring games collection for those who want to consider it for Black.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Steve Stoyko to Lecture on the KID

On Thursday, September 9th, FM Steve Stoyko will begin a four-part lecture series on the King's Indian Defense at the Kenilworth Chess Club.  Admission to each lecture is $5.  Some of Steve's previous lectures at the club have been documented on our site:

Steve actually gave a series of lectures on the French Defense but most were posted at the now defunct Geocities site.