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9. b4 a5?! in the King's Indian Defense
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Author:  Phobetor [ Tue Jan 23, 2007 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  9. b4 a5?! in the King's Indian Defense

Can anyone tell me how to play both as white and as black in the line 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 0-0 6. Be2 e5 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 a5?

I have this book called Play the King's Indian by Joe Gallagher, but it only covers the 9... Nh5 lines :( (although he does say that if the lines he suggest come into trouble, one should look at 9... a5).
I have one game I played as black with 9... a5, after which the game continued 10. Ba3 Nd7 11. bxa5 b6 12. Bb4 bxa5 13. Ba3, and white was alot faster with attacking on the queenside than black is on the kingside.

All suggestions are welcome! :)

Author:  slybackstabber [ Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

You and your opponent played (perhaps unwittingly) one of the main lines. Where he deviated from "theory" was with 11.... b6. Usually 11....Rxa5 is played. Gallagher didn't cover 9....a5 because he was giving a repertoire for black based on 9....Nh5. But I suppose you will find some coverage of 9....a5 in Nunn and Gallagher's book, though mind, that book is almost a decade old, and I don't know where "theory" is today.

Author:  Phobetor [ Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the reply :)

You say 11... Rxa5 is theory? I looked at that during the game (I was black :wink: ) but I thought that after 11... Rxa5 12. Bb4 Ra8 13. a4 black is forced to play b6 some time soon as well because of the incoming c5, and then after ...b6 a5 white can totally open up the queenside, and use his space advantage to get an easier position.

I don't have any databases and I don't have access to the ChessGames.com Opening Explorer after a certain move, so could you please show me one or two games played with that line (in which black didn't get crushed :wink: ) so I get an idea what the idea is for black and how to continue?
Thanks!

Author:  slybackstabber [ Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:55 am ]
Post subject: 

Phobetor wrote:
You say 11... Rxa5 is theory? I looked at that during the game (I was black) but I thought that after 11... Rxa5 12. Bb4 Ra8 13. a4 black is forced to play b6 some time soon as well because of the incoming c5, and then after ...b6 a5 white can totally open up the queenside, and use his space advantage to get an easier position.

I don't have any databases and I don't have access to the ChessGames.com Opening Explorer after a certain move, so could you please show me one or two games played with that line (in which black didn't get crushed) so I get an idea what the idea is for black and how to continue?


It's "theory" in the sense that there are scores of games following that path and not one game with 11....b6 (not even by transposition). I used Chessbase, but mind, I haven't upgraded my game database for three years, and the lines may have completely changed during the interim. My guess is that ....b6 allows a2-a4-a5 to be played with even greater force than otherwise. If black trades, then c5 cannot be stopped, and if he doesn't trade, then white trades, creating a target of the isolated pawn at b6. But these are general considerations and how they work out in practice, I'll have to see. Let me generate another opening report (when I have a bit of time), and let me run over a few games with Shredder, and I will get back to you (eventually).

If memory serves, Kasparov stopped playing the KID because of Kramnik's Bayonet Attack (i.e. 9. b4), in which white always retains an edge, and I think I read this in Cox's "Starting Out: 1.d4" (don't be misled: this is a fairly sophisticated book). It occurs to me in passing that the place to find up-to-date top-notch analysis of the Bayonet Attack is in Khalifman's book, "The Opening according to Kramnik" (don't remember which volume, though).

Author:  Phobetor [ Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

slybackstabber wrote:
It's "theory" in the sense that there are scores of games following that path and not one game with 11....b6 (not even by transposition). I used Chessbase, but mind, I haven't upgraded my game database for three years, and the lines may have completely changed during the interim. My guess is that ....b6 allows a2-a4-a5 to be played with even greater force than otherwise. If black trades, then c5 cannot be stopped, and if he doesn't trade, then white trades, creating a target of the isolated pawn at b6. But these are general considerations and how they work out in practice, I'll have to see. Let me generate another opening report (when I have a bit of time), and let me run over a few games with Shredder, and I will get back to you (eventually).

If memory serves, Kasparov stopped playing the KID because of Kramnik's Bayonet Attack (i.e. 9. b4), in which white always retains an edge, and I think I read this in Cox's "Starting Out: 1.d4" (don't be misled: this is a fairly sophisticated book). It occurs to me in passing that the place to find up-to-date top-notch analysis of the Bayonet Attack is in Khalifman's book, "The Opening according to Kramnik" (don't remember which volume, though).


In the game I considered not playing b6 also, but I thought b6 if the only way to prevent c5 for a while. But since white can play a2-a4-a5 and get rid of that b-pawn, he is always able to play c5.
In the other KID lines, white usually gets to play c5 too, but then the queenside isn't so open. I don't see how trading the black a-pawn for white's b-pawn would help black at all :shock: But then again, I'm only 2100 and those GMs who "make" theory are 2500+ :roll:

And I don't really mind playing a line that gives white a small edge if white plays it best. I also play the Scandinavian as black and the Bishop's Opening as white, so I rely on my strength more than on my opening advantages :) Also, I won't be playing many GMs any time soon, and even GMs far from always make the best moves...(I drew a 2600 rated GM in a FIDE rated event once with black, with the Scandinavian...and I even missed mate :roll:)

As long as black has a (solid) plan and doesn't get crushed in the main lines like I did in the game, it's fine with me :wink:

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