Monday, July 14, 2014

Makagonov King's Indian with h3

The Classical King's Indian with h3  has gained a wide following, mostly because of its flexibility. It is commonly called the Makagonov System (E71) when White plays 5.h3 and the Krasenkow System when White plays 5.Nf3 followed by 6.h3 (though that was actually Vladimir Makagonov's preferred move order!) -- but I have not made a distinction between the two here as transpositions are common.    It is worth noting that when Martin Breutigam produced his ChessBase CD in 2002, he complained about having a paucity of source material to draw upon.  Times have certainly changed, for it seems that the line is now completely mainstream and much has been written about it.

I think the lines with h3 for White are very worth exploring, with a lot of room for creativity.  In some ways, h3 seems like a "high class waiting move," with White waiting for Black to commit himself before deciding on his plan.  I am most interested in the line from the Black perspective, where I tend to favor an early Na6, which is Black's most flexible rejoinder.  An interesting option against the 5.h3 move order, though, is a Byrne approach with a6, c6, and b5, as seen in the game Suba - Golubev, Predeal 1997, though this idea is not much discussed in the literature.  

You can find many videos with the line on YouTube, most from kingscrusher (as Black) and ChessExplained (typically as White).  Below I offer only a sample of their countless videos with the line, along with those of other players.  Game collections can be found at, 365Chess, Chess.comRed Hot Pawn, and Chess Age.   Selective game collections by DHW and MadBishop are also useful.  

The following materials are listed in reverse chronological order.  As always, I welcome additions and suggestions from readers.

Modernized: The King's Indian by Dejan Bojkov, Metropolitan Chess Publishing (2014): 237-271. See my complete review of this book in an earlier post.  Chapter 5 focuses on what Bojkov calls the "Bagirov Line," with 5.Nf3 and 6.h3, which others call the Krasenkow.  Bojkov recommends lines with Na6 followed by e5.  Sample games include Parligras - Fressinet, Plovdiv 2012; Avrukh - Milov, Gibraltar 2009; and Milanovic - Bojkov, Kraljevo 2011.

"Full Board War!" by David Vigorito, (Feb. 14, 2014). An 18-minute video featuring P. Svidler vs. H. Nakamuraplaying the King's Indian: Makagonov System (E71). By subscription only.

Winning with the King's Indian by GM Simon Williams, OnlineChessLessons (2014).
The video is previewed below -- part of the "crash test chess" series.  Features the Krasenkow variation in the game Korchnoi - Williams 2009, which opened with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 e5 7. d5 a5 8. Bg5 h6 9. Be3 Na6.

King's Indian h3+Bg5 Averbakh Variant-TWIC 958 by Michael Yip, d4ChessNews (2013).  Analyzes the game Kozul - Posedaru, Karpos Open - Skopje 2013 with a nice White victory.

A Strategic Chess Opening Repertoire for White by John Watson, Gambit (2012): 148-177. 

"Aggressive Queen Pawn Games, Part 1" by IM Bill Paschall, (August 27, 2012).  A 27-minute video that discusses the game Alexander Beliavsky vs. Aleksa Strikovich and the King's Indian Defense: Makagonov Variation (E71).  By subscription only.

Dejan Bojkov, A Modern Way to Play the King's Indian ChessBase DVD (2011).  A really excellent video, which does not stop at covering Na6 against the Classical but covers this modern, flexible approach against most lines that White can throw at you, from the Four Pawn Attack to h3 lines.  Among the games discussed are Avrukh - Milov, Gibraltar 2009.

"King's Indian Defence E90, Part 3," by Mikhail Krasenkow, ChessBase Magazine 134 (2009).  Examines the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5.

"King's Indian Defence E90, Part 2," by Mikhail Krasenkow, ChessBase Magazine 133 (2009).  Examines the line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 e5 7.d5.

"King's Indian Defence E90, Part 1," by Mikhail Krasenkow, ChessBase Magazine 132 (2009).  Introduces the Krasenkow Variation, with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3.

"Magnus Madness; Part II; Avoiding Main Lines in China" by David Vigorito, (Oct. 5, 2009).  A 25-minute video presentation on Magnus Carlsen vs. Veselin Topalov (2009)  featuring the King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation, Rare Defenses (E90).

The King's Indian: A Complete Black Repertoire by Victor Bologan Chess Stars (2009).  This is a solid opening repertoire book.  Available online?  Sample games mentioned in the analysis include Bareev - Gelfand, Linares 1994; Guigonis - Degraeve, Montpellier 1997; Dinstuhl - Sieglen, Bad Godesberg 1991; Hansen - Kasparov, Svendborg 1990; Akopian - Hernandez, Linares 1996; Karpov - Golubev, Odessa 2008; Karpov - Kasimdzhanov, Spain 2007; Markus - Kotronias, Vrnjacka Banja 2006; Lutsko - Golubev, Odessa 2008; Gyimesi - Ivanov, Andorra 2001; Jansen - Reinderman, Hilversum 2008; Beliavsky - Kozul, Portoroz 1997Kasparov - Kramnik, Las Palmas 1996; Andreikin - Cabezas, Kallithea 2008; San Segundo - Shirov, Madrid 1997 and others.

Beat the KID: Three Lines against the King's Indian by Jan Markos, Quality Chess (2009).
Excerpt at the Quality Chess site.  Reviewed by Carsten Hansen, Calls the line with 5.Nf3 and 6.h3 the Krasenkow System.  Some games collected at  

"Ideas in the King's Indian for Black, Lines with 5.h3" by IM David Vigorito, (July 16, 2007).  A 22-minute video featuring the Advanced King's Indian (E71).  By subscription only.

Beating the Fianchetto Defences by Efstratios Grivas, Gambit (2006): 139-188.  Reviewed by Carsten Hansen, and see publishers website for info and sample.  Recommends the Krasenkow line with 5.Nf3 and 6.h3.

King's Indian Battle Plans by Andrew Martin, Thinker's Press (2004): 217-229.  A very useful book, which offers a wide range of ideas for Black against each White system.  It features a whole chapter devoted to the Makagonov System, with ten sample games, including Krasenkow - Sutovsky, Pamplona 1998; Barsov - Sutovsky, York 1999; Krasenkow - Smirin, Belgrade 1999; Antic - Velimirovic, Subotica 2000; Gelfand - Gdanski, Belgrade 1999; Babula - Kiik, Istanbul 2000; Epishin - Bischoff, Bundesliga 2002; Barsov - Gallagher, Calcutta 2001; Divljan - Sahovic, Belgrade 2001; and Krasenkow - Antoniewski, Glogow POL 2001.

Offbeat King's Indian by Krzysztoff Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk, Everyman (2004): 70-102. Focuses on the Makogonov System, where White plays 5.h3 and delays deployment of the Ng1, which typically develops by Nge2. The authors cover a wide range of approaches for Black, and in doing so presents a good overview of the Makagonov System for White as well in some fairly balanced coverage.  Games include Nikolaidis - Kotronias, Peristeri 1996; Akopian - Temirbaev, Uzbgorod 1988; Knaak - Piket, Hamburg 1991; Mikhaevski - Timoschenko, Paris 2000; Rogozenko - Ardeleanu, Brasov 1998; Suba - Nunn, Dubai 1986; Yermolinsky - Barcenilla, Chicago 2000; Chernin - Cebalo, Bled 1999; Gyimesi - Ilia Botvinnik, Tel Aviv 2001; Suba - Motylev, Eforie Nord 2000; Psakhis - Hrbolka, Pardubice 2002; Yermolinsky - Radjabov, Hyderabad 2002; Ivanchuk - Kasparov, Novgorod 1994; Bazhin - Fedorov, Kstovo 1994; and Kasparov - Kramnik, Las Palmas 1996.

King's Indian with h3 CD by Martin Breutigam, ChessBase (2002).
Reviewed by John Watson, Seagaard, and Carsten Hansen and generally well received.  More from the White perspective and a little dated now, especially because the CD seems to have encouraged a lot more games with the line.

"Replete with Ideas: King's Indian Romanian Variation 5.h3" by Leon Pliester, New in Chess Yearbook 60 (2001).

"KI Romanian Variation 5.h3" by Alexander Beliavsky, New in Chess Yearbook 43 (1997) .

The Unconventional King's Indian by John Watson, Hypermodern Press (1997): 47-90.  This book is available as a reprint from Hardinge Simpole.  The chapter on h3 systems was quite groundbreaking, and clearly Watson considered lines with h3 among the most complex and interesting in the King's Indian due to their flexibility for both players.  Watson outlines the many options and mentions many games, including Greenshpun - Yurtaev 1988;  Simic - Cvitan, Yugoslavia 1981; Sokolov - van Wely, Groningen 1994Knaak - Piket, Hamburg 1991; Minev - Watson, Las Vegas 1984; Paunovic - Kupreichik, Yugoslavia 1992; Soln - Shaked, Biel 1995; Averbach - Bondarevsky, USSR 1951Hansen - Kasparov, Svendborg 1990; and Ibragimov - Kruppa, USSR 1991 among many others in this very detailed and rich chapter.

Beating the Anti-King's Indians by Joe Gallagher, ICE / Batsford (1996): 31-52.  Recommends a system build around an early Na6 followed by e5, with some exceptions.  Main annotated games include Paunovic - Kupreichik, Yugoslavia 1992; Chernin - Polgar, New Delhi 1990; Raetsky - Gallagher, Hastings 1992-1993; and Alexandrov - Zakharevich, St. Petersburg 1994.

"Romanian Variation 5.h3" by Igor Glek, New in Chess Yearbook 36 (1995).

"KI Romanian Variation 5.h3" by Mihail Marin, New in Chess Yearbook 34 (1994).

Kasparov on the King's Indian by Gary Kasparov with Raymond Keene, Owl / Henry Holt / Batsford (1993): 72-78.  Gives many of Kasparov's games vs. this system, up until 1992, but focuses on the games Kavalek - Kasparov, Bugojno 1982 (annotated by Kavalek in 2005 and 2013) and Hansen - Kasparov, Svendborg 1990.

The King's Indian for the Attacking Player by Graham Burgess, Owl / Henry Holt / Batsford (1993): 21-30.  This is a classic repertoire book, which was quite cutting edge at the time for recommending lines with Na6.  The recommendations against h3 are no exception.  Sample games include Knaak - Piket, Hamburg 1991; Bronstein - Nijboer, Wijk aan Zee 1992; and Hansen - Kasparov, Svendborg 1990.

As always, I welcome additions and corrections from readers.

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MNb said...

One remark: variations with Nf3 and Be3 are quite different from variations with Bg5, postponing Nf3.

Unknown said...

what is the name of the system in which white plays Be2; Be3 and delays development of knight on g1?

Anonymous said...

There is a book by Hansen and Lakdawala on the Makogonov: