[Jun 08, 2016] Updated Opening Line from GM Dragan Paunović:
King’s Indian Defense, Orthodox Variation (incl. Kazakh Variation)

This update is a small tribute to our late colleague GM Dragan Paunović. In memory of our dear friend, our Editorial Board will continue updating his lines and articles.

[Line 158 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 without 6… e5]

The Orthodox Variation (6. Be2) is the most popular variation in the entire King’s Indian Defense, and our Line 158 covers various reactions from Black, apart from 6… e5, which is covered in Lines 159-169.

Against the Kazakh Variation (6… Na6) White has an interesting choice in 7. Bf4, which prevents e7-e5. That leaves Black with the idea c7-c5, like in 7… Bg4 8. O-O c5, but after 9. d5 White has a lasting spatial advantage.

Poking the center with 6… c5 has recently been tried by a few strong grandmasters, with a modern idea in mind. While 7. d5 transposes to Benoni, which is covered in our Line 117, White can also play 7. O-O. Players of Black can then opt for the abovementioned novel idea by playing 7… Re8, but even there White can fight for opening advantage in a number of different ways.

Black’s main alternative to 6… e6 is 6… Bg4, with the idea to trade his light-squared bishop for the knight on f3, followed by exerting pressure on the d4-pawn. The game then typically continues with 7. Be3 Nfd7 8. O-O Nc6 9. d5 Bxf3 10. gxf3 Ncb8, and after 11. f4 White has a slight edge.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Today’s preview brings a nice trick that is well-known from several grandmaster games. How can Black immediately seize significant advantage? Hint: black pawn on e7 is not as pinned as it seems!

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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