Monday, April 14, 2014

The Kavalek System vs the King's Indian Fianchetto Variation (E62)

The Kavalek System against the King's Indian Fianchetto Variation (E62) begins 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.g3 O-O 6.Bg2 c6 7.O-O Qa5.  Developed in the 1960s by the Czech-born American GM Lubomir Kavalek, the line offers a very flexible response to the positionally challenging white Fianchetto.  Black begins with 6...c6, blocking the fianchettoed Bishop's diagonal and opening a line for the queen to go to the active square a5, from whence it might start an attack on the queenside pawns with Qb4, support an ...e5 break, or even threaten to swing over to the kingside with Qh5 (where it can support Bh3 and possibly an attack with Ng4 as well -- which can be quite effective against unprepared opponents).

As I was assembling this bibliography, GM Eugene Perelshteyn began a series of videos on the line at which should continue in the coming weeks and will make an excellent introduction to the line for those with a membership.  I also recommend playing through some games with the line at 365Chess, ChessTempo, Chess-DB, and

I have been inspired by GM Perelshteyn's recommendations in the King's Indian, which follow much of Dzindzichashvili's repertoire and focus on classic but lesser-known variations that tend to offer Black lots of options and ideas.  Other articles in my expanding King's Indian repertoire for Black include the Byrne Variation vs. the Saemisch, the Classical King's Indian with 6...Na6, and the Old Main Line King's Indian with 7...exd4.  A future article will cover meeting the Four Pawns Attack with Na6.


The King's Indian Defense: Beating the Fianchetto System - Part 2 by Eugene Perelshteyn, (April 18, 2014)
A 17-minute online video that features a Shabalov - Perelshteyn game with the Kavalek.

A 22-minute online video on an early ...c6 against the Fianchetto System, featuring the game Uesugi-Perelshteyn, Virginia Open 2009.  Members only.

Modernized: The King's Indian Defense by Dejan Bojkov, Metropolitan Chess Publishing (2014): 273-306.  I was alerted to this additional resource by a reader and ordered it from USCF Sales.  I like Bojkov's past work a lot (on the KID with Na6 and the Pirc), and the Table of Contents and Sample was very promising.  The book itself did not disappoint.  I love the repertoire, which typically involves an early Black ...c6 advance, including in the Classical with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6, which is a fascinating line.  The coverage of the Fianchetto System focuses on the Kavalek, but typically with an early ...e5 advance and ...exd4 exchange, making it resemble Bojkov's Classical line too, as seen in Laznicka - Vachier-Lagrave, Sestao 2010 and Harikrishna - Radjabov, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010

Wojo's Weapons: Winning With White, Volume II by Jonathan Hilton and Dean Ippolito, Boston: Mongoose Press (2013): 250-267.  See the Table of Contents online.  Recommends meeting Black's "premature flank attack" with "a counterstrike in the center" with 8.e4, after which it advocates Ippolito's pet line 8...Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3!? which most sources say is weaker than 10.Bxf3 because the d4 pawn is left unguarded -- but the IM has had success nonetheless.  The book offers excellent coverage of this line for amateur players as White, because the games generally feature the sort of mistakes by Black that amateur players will often see over the board.  Featured games include Pigusov - Zaichik, Moscow 1987; Lechtynsky - Kranzl, Linz 1993; Wojtkiewicz - Huss, Germany 1998Wojtkiewicz - de Guzman, Los Angeles 2004; Ippolito - Gross, New York 1995; Ippolito - Smith, Foxwood 2000.  An interesting game (not mentioned in the book) is Ippolito - Becera Rivero, Foxwoods 2008, where Black equalized easily with ...e5.

"An Interesting System for Black Against KID g3" by Eugene Perelshteyn, (November 29, 2013).  A 16-minute video offering an overview of the Kavalek system in the King's Indian Defense vs White's g3 based on GM Perelshteyn's analysis, with no specific games cited.  By subscription only.

A Modern Way to Play the King's Indian by Dejan Bojkov, ChessBase DVD (2011).
A really excellent video, which focuses on using the "modern" Na6 (against the Classical, Four Pawn Attack, and h3 lines, for example) and some less usual alternatives -- including   the Kavalek System against the Fianchetto Variation.  Thanks to a reader for reminding me about this resource, which I had mentioned in my previous bibliography on the Classical King's Indian with 6...Na6 but forgot to include here.

"King's Indian for Black: Part III" by David Vigorito, (April 10, 2006)
A 22:40 online video on the King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation (ECO: E62) that offers a useful overview of the Kavalek system with ...c6 and ....Qa5.  By subscription only.

King's Indian Battle Plans by Andrew Martin, Thinker's Press (2004): 148-151.  I like this book because it contains a wide variety of ideas and approaches, unlike normal "repertoire" books with their mono-cultures -- which makes it a good place to discover lines you might not have seen, such as the Kavalek System.  Features the games Ljubojevic - Hausrath, Enschede 2002; Loginov - Khairullin, Samara 2002; and Marin - Hillarp Persson, Goteborg 1999.

g2-g3 w obronie królewsko-indyjskiej, część 2Jerzy Konikowski, Wydawnictwo Szachowe Penelopa, (1999) OR Königsindisch mit g2-g3, band 2, Jerzy Konikowski, Dreier (1999).

The Fianchetto King's Indian by Colin McNab, International Chess Enterprises / Batsford (1996): 168-186.  Offers very balanced and thorough coverage of the Kavalek with extensive notes on a few main games.  Main games include Yusupov - Piket, Groningen 1992; Akopian - Sokolov, Leon 1995; Dorfman - Piket, Lvov 1988; and Ilincic - Damljanovic, Novi Sad 1995.

"King's Indian Defence, Fianchetto Variation" by Leon Pliester, with notes by Pia Cramling, New in Chess Yearbook #37 (1995): 158-163.  Focuses on the line 8.h3 Be6 9.d5 cxd5 10.Nd4, when Black can sacrifice the Exchange, as in the featured game Portisch - Cramling, Prague 1995, by 10...dxc4!? 11.Nxe6 fxe6 12.Bxb7 Nbd7 13.Bxa8 Rxa8 with excellent compensation, as Cramling's notes support.  Other games include Saidy - Dzindzichashvili, New York Open 1989; Casafus - Cramling, Buenos Aires 1994; Kuzmin - Vukic, Biel open 1988; Granda Zuniga - Stanec, Moscow ol 1994; Akopian - Sokolov, Leon 1995; Schulze - Barle, Bern 1992; Agdestein - Plachetka, Malmo open 1986; Vagainian - Cvitan, Sarajevo 1987; Georgiev - Ermenkov, Sofia 1984; Tatai - Vukic, Lugano open 1984; Pigusov - Barlov, Sochi 1985; Nikolic - Vukic, Yugoslavia 1985; Jasnikowski - Yuferov, Mikolajki tt 1991; Fominikh - Tseitlin, Rimavska Sobota 1991; Raupp - Kvamme, Correspondence 1990; Schone - Muse, Bad Neuenahr 1991; Ornstein - Johansson, Helsingborg 1991; Navarovsky - Muse, Budapest 1993; Vlatkovic - Ristic, Igalo tt 1994; Dorfman - Piket, Lvov 1988; and Cekro - Claesen, Geel 1995.

"King's Indian Defence, Fianchetto Variation" by Rustem Dautov, New in Chess Yearbook #36 (1995): 162-166.  Focuses on the main line 7...Qa5 8.e4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 when Dautov recommends White pursue 10.Bxf3 Nfd7 11.Rb1! as in his featured game Dautov - Har Zvi, Altensteig 1994.  He also offers an excellent overview of the critical 8.e4 line, which many authors suggest is White's best try for advantage.  Games include Salov - Piket, Brussels 1992; Djuric - Barlov, New York Open 1988; Djuric - Kozul, Bled / Rogaska Slatina 1991; Anderton - Snape, Corr. 1993; Vukic - Stohl, Austria 1992; Kharitonov - Forthoffer, Leningrad Open 1991; Lengyel - Honfi, Kecskemet 1968; Goldin - Dzindzichashvili, Philadelphia It 1992; Smejkal - Muse, German Bundesliga 1992; Hulak - Rogic, Slavonski Brod 1995; Kindermann - Maus, Hamburg 1991; Pigusov - Piket, Dordrecht 1988; Razuvaev - Soltis, New York Open 1989; Dizdar - Kozul, Slavonski Brod 1995; Pigusov - Kozul, Beograd GMA 1988; Yusupov - Piket, Groningen 1992; Tukmakov - Romero Holmes, Las Palmas 1992; Vaganian - Lechtynsky, German Bundesliga 1992; Tukmakov - Kamsky, Groningen PCA 1993; Antic - Sibarevic, Banja Vrucica 1991; Stern - Van den Brink, Pumerend 1993; and Goldin - Har Zvi, Rishon-le-Zion 1995.

Winning with the King's Indian: An Aggressive Repertoire for Black by Andrew Martin, Caissa Books (1989): 50-61.  This book was an early influence on my King's Indian repertoire, but I was surprised at how few of its recommendations I follow any more.  However, it recommends the Kavalek System against the White fianchetto, featuring the games Shamkovich - Jansa, Esbjerg 1982 and Ahmylovskaya - Nenad Ristic, Tbilisi 1987. 

King's Indian Defence, g3 Systems by Efim Geller, Batsford (1980): 112-116.  Following a discussion of an interesting Byrne-like system with 7...a6 planning 8...b5, Geller examines Kavalek's 7...Qa5, discussing the three main lines 8.d5, 8.e4, and 8.h3. Game references include Ivkov - Bronstein, Zagreb 1965; Furman - Tukmakov, Baku 1972; Ivkov - Larsen, Zagreb 1965; Gufeld - Lerner, Vilnius 1972; Lengyel - Honfi, Kecskemet 1968; Botvinnik - Larsen, Monte Carlo 1968; Quinteros - Panno, Mar del Plata 1969; Pachman - Tseshkovsky, Manila 1976; Cherepkov - Polugaevsky, USSR Ch 1969; Sokolov - Ivanovic, Yugoslavia 1971; Antoshin - Tsheshkovsky, Sochi 1974; Barcza - Trapl, Decin 1975; Janosevic - Vukic, Yugoslavia 1975;  Csom - Ostojic, Sao Paulo 1973; Pfleger - Kavalek, Monstilla 1974; Smejkal - Torre, Leningrad 1973; Vukic - Martinovic; Janosevic - Vukic, Sarajevo 1971; Ivkov - Kavalek, Amsterdam 1968; Portisch - Kavalek, Skopje ol 1972; Quinteros - Torre, Olot 1973; Marovic - Micheli, Madonna di Campiglio 1974; Smejkal - Tal, Leningrad 1973; Liebert - Balashov, Leipzig 1973; and Portisch - Torre, Manilla 1974.

King's Indian Defence 2: White Fianchetto Variations by Lajos Portisch, Oscar Panno, Lubosh Kavalek, David Bronstein, Ulf Andersson, and John Grefe, RHM Press (1979): 15-32.  Surprisingly, the section on the Kavalek Variation is written by John Grefe and not Kavalek.  Grefe represents the main line as 7...Qa5 8.h3 e5 9.e4 exd4 10.Nxd4 Qc5 following games of Vaganian, but this line is no longer current.  Game references include Panno - Cuartas, Bogota 1977; Padevski - Milicevic, Kragujevac 1977; Brown - Soltis, US Open 1978; Kirov - Ermenkov, Albena 1977; Rohde - Soltis, New York 1977; Hulak - Vukic, Vinkovci 1977; Webb - Fedorowicz, Hastings 1977/1978; Poutiainen - Ostojic, Stockholm 1976/1977; Keene - Korchnoi, Beersheva 1978; Csom - Mariotti, European Club Ch 1979; Kapelan - Quinteros, Vrsac 1977; Bleiman - Birnboim, Israeli Championship 1978; Tukmakov - Petrushin, USSR 1977; Ostojic - Valenti, Rome 1977; Watson - Soltis, New York 1977; Lein - Soltis, New York 1977; Rind - Haik, London 1978; Schmidt - Krnic, Belgrade 1977; A. Petrosian - Tukmakov, USSR 1st League Ch 1977; Tatai - Vaganian, Rome 1977; Csom - Vaganian, Buenos Aires Ol 1978; Whiteley - Littlewood, British Ch 1978; Ribli - Vaganian, Leningrad 1977; A. Petrosian - Vaganian, USSR Ch 1977; and Romanishin - Karner, Tallinn 1977.   

"Other Fianchetto Systems" by Raymond Keene,  Chapter 5 from The King's Indian Defence by Leonard Barden, William Hartston, and Raymond Keene, B.T. Batsford Limited (1973): 95-100.  Keene describes the Kavalek Variation as "a scheme for Black involving an early ...c6, retardation of ....e5, and reliance on piece activity."  In general, he finds that White still has a slight pull in the best lines.  Cited games include Naranja - Petrosian, Havana 1966; Rukavina - Vukic, Sarajevo 1971; Savon - Kavalek, Sarajevo 1967; Grdinic - Nemet, Vrnjacka Banja 1966; Cherepkov - Polugaevsky, USSR Ch 1969; Botvinnik - Larsen, Monaco 1968; Lengyel - Honfi, Kecakemet 1968; Kozma - Ostojic, Monaco 1968; Lengyel - Smyslov, Polanica Zdroj 1966; Ivkov - Bronstein, Zagreb 1965; Bilek - Kavalek, The Hague 1966; Filip - Larsen, Zagreb 1965; Kozma - Bronstein, Debrecen 1967; Brond - Quinteros, Mar del Plata 1971; Ivkov - Larsen, Zagreb 1965; Kozma - Honfi, Monaco 1968; Ivkov - Yepez, Caracas 1970; Marovic - Bertok, Zagreb 1965; Smejkal - Wright, Hastings 1968-1969; Smejkal - Jacobsen, Raach 1969; Vaganian - Vukic, USSR-Yugoslavia 1971; Zhidkov - Litvinov, USSR 1971; Kushnir - Zatulovskaya, Match (9) 1971; Karpov - Wittman, Mayaguez 1971; Janosevic - Vukic, Sarajevo 1971; Podgayets - Litvinov, USSR 1971; Podgayets - Vukic, Sombor 1970; Ivkov - Kavalek, Amsterdam 1968; Quinteros - Poch, Mar del Plata 1970; and Donner - Kavalek, Amsterdam 1968.

As always, I welcome additions and suggestions from readers.  I was surprised not to find many YouTube videos on this line and suspect that there are more out there.  And there are likely some older articles and books worth mentioning.


Anonymous said...

Bojkov's new book Modernized: The King's Indian Defence relies on the Kavalek, as does his DVD.

Michael Goeller said...

Thanks for these great additions, which I have added to the bibliography above. I like Bojkov's work a lot and look forward to his new book, which includes coverage of a very interesting line against the Classical.