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I am a King's Indian player, but was recently informed that it wasn't popular due to the strong defences of 5.f3 and 5.Bg5.
How do I deal with these counters?
If you are a kings Indian player, you should know. If you do not know the samisch then you can not be a kings Indian player :-)
That's good advice.
5 Bg5 is entirely premature, IMO. Black can just play 5 ...h6 when the Bishop has no good retreat. If White wants to play Bg5, he should either go for the Averbakh with 5 Be2 & 6 Bg5, although it isn't particularly challenging to a well-prepared Black, or 5 Nf3, 6 h3, with the idea of 7 Bg5. In these lines the retreat Be3 is good since the harassment of ...Ng4 is blocked.
Thanks, I'm really interested in all these lines and in my opening preparation I have never heard of playing "h3 to prevent Ng4 which would attack the e3 Bishop" (but then again I'm only just beginning to look more closely at these less familiar lines). That whole h3 move reminds me alot of the Yugoslav attack in the Dragon....
Actually preventing Ng4 is one of the two points of the Saemisch(the other is to support a g4 push).
KingsIndian certainly isn't unpopular because of 5Bg5 or 5f3 Samisch. Samisch not so popular for white has used to be because 5....0.0 6Be3 c5 works out well for black. If black not so keen on endgames can play 6...Nb-d7 before c5.
Black has 2 plans against the Saemisch: a kings side attack with Nh5 and Qh4 (very sharp but also very analysed) and an attack at the queens side with the idea forcing b5 (with a6 and/or c6). Bg5 can be answered with c5 and Qa5, looking for a possibility to play Nxe4.
There is more venom in the Neo-Averbakh (5.Bg5) than one can usually suppose. On 5...h6 6.Be3 is a perfectly good square for the bishop (6...Ng4 7.Bc1).
But wouldn't Black just play 7 ...e5, and if White doesn't kick the Ng4, ...f5 soon? Where is the venom in the Bc1, which has moved three times to get to his original square?
White has not castled, and the center is fluid. Consider something like that as the mainline:
Houdini claims white is clearly better, and as usual he is wrong.
Black does have ample chances, but the position is no plainsailing: black has to fight against several positional handicaps.
My friend GM I. Nikolaidis is an expert on this variation, I am sure he knows about it more than most.
The legendary Mr Gligoric fell foul of it here, Uhlmann played 6.Bh4 rather than Be3...
Surely that can't be mainline, that position looks horrible for black! I'm not at all learned in these lines though, are there any examples of where black does well against this line?
Right. 6.Bh4 is wrong because of 6...c5 7.d5 Qa5, when the bishop is clearly offside on h4. IMO Black is already at least equal.
The bishop was certainly "offside" in this game.
Yes, old man Efim was quite proud of this game (I've attended a few courses by him when he was the trainer of the greek national team).
White can most likely keep things "level" by 13.h4!, but in any case the whole opening concept by Black is very sound and reliable.
Later on, Stein missed the equalizing 17.Qe1!, but finding such moves when under strong pressure is certainly a difficult task.
Interesting insight...I never got to see Geller play, I think he was one of the few top Russians of his era that didn't play at the annual Hastings Congress.
You've got me on 13.h4, how is it better than the Ne2 Stein played?
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