The Kings Indian 7...Na6 by GM Magesh and GM Arun
Today we will study the King's Indian defense 7...Na6 variation by studying from none other than the newly crowned US Champion, Gata Kamsky's game. After nineteen long years of wait and and and interesting career map, Kamsky has regained the coveted tittle in style by holding Yuri Shulman to a draw in an interesting tie-break format (25 minutes and the black pieces for Kamsky against Shulman's 60 minutes with draw odds for Kamsky). Kamsky played the 7...Na6 variation against Grandmaster Melikset Khachiyan in the second round of the recently concluded US Championship. A win in this game gave Kamsky a very good start to the tournament and also made his life easier during the later part of the tournament to qualify for the top four.
Let us study this game and some possible continuations out of this opening today.
An interesting idea from black. This knight move comes as an alternative to the popular move, 7...Nc6 in which case the knight would head to e7 and eventually to g6 on the king side helping black initiate a powerful attack on the white king. In the text variation, black commits this knight to the queen side. This has its own advantages and disadvantages, the first disadvantage being that black lacks one extra piece on the king side for his attack. But this knight being on the queen side also turns out to be advantageous for black in slowing down white's attack. Let us continue with the game now:
As we can see from the game, Kamsky has not played anything extraordinary, he just stuck to his plan. After 11.Qb3 white's intentions were clear, Khachiyan wanted to grab the 'b' pawn and hold on to his extra material in the long run, however Kamsky did very well to equalize and also force a misjudgment from his opponent at the right time. Next week we can take a look at some ideas in this opening from white's perspective.
After a grueling two weeks of chess, the Grandmasters seem to have gone 'gaga' over the closing ceremony! (http://main.uschess.org/content/view/10433/588/ )
Thanks to the World Championship match and the US Championships, we have had a wonderful opportunity this month to enjoy and learn from some entertaining games played by these champs.