Archive for the ‘Vladimir Kramnik’ Category

The Fabulous 00s: Can Blitz Teach Us Anything about the King’s Indian Defense Bayonet Attack?

December 30, 2007

The ICC and other online forums (fora??) are, I think, a good vehicle for learning-by-example. More specifically, the 5-minute pool where there are plenty of GMs to serve as sounding boards.

I like trying out the Bayonet Attack in the King’s Indian Defense.  It happens to have the ECO code of E97 – this can be useful when conducting online searches.  Let’s see how it did in some recent ICC blitz games.

IM Aries2 – GM Boing777 (Orazly Annageldyev) 

The first moves are familiar – popularized by Kramnik and his second, Dutch GM Loek van Wely.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4

I like this variation because it is forcing and white can often channel black into some special, narrow, labyrinths.  Van Wely has had some exciting games versus Radiabov recently (admittedly, Teimour came out on top, but Loek certainly had his chances as he explains in New In Chess magazine). And here the Central Asian GM plays a common defensive scheme.



Position after 9…a5!?  Is this a good reaction? 

Is this a good reaction, or playing on the side of the board where white is stronger?
It brings back good memories for me, I defeated GM Biyiasis way back in 1982 in this line.  But black can be more clever and introduce the a7-a5 move in a roundabout way. For example, 9…Nh5!? (the most common) in  aries2- SNOEBE ICC blitz 2007 which saw 9…Nh5!? 10. c5!? a5!? (a mixture of ideas with some thematic links to this game) and there followed 11. cxd6 cxd6 12. bxa5 Rxa5 13. a4 with murky play.  White won the game but it had little to do with the opening.

I’ve also faced 9…Nh5 in numerous OTB games.  Here, for example is a smooth win over Dmitri London, a player who created a stir in the early 80s with some flashy wins over strong players – but then “retired”, I suppose, probably by simply entering the workforce.

IM M. Ginsburg – NM D. London NY State Masters 1982
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 g6 3. e4 d6 4. d4 Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. c5!? (Kramnik later popularized 10. Re1) 10…Nf4!? 11. Bxf4 exf4 12. Rc1 a5 13. a3 axb4 14. axb4 Kh8 15. Qd2 Ng8 16. Rfe1 f5 17. Bd1!? Nf6 18. cxd6 cxd6 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. Nd4 Qd7 21. Qxf4! (Safe!) 21…Bd3 22. Qd2 Bc4 23. Ne6 Rfc8 24. Bf3 b5 25. h3 Ra3 26. Nxg7 Kxg7 27. Qd4 Re8 28. Ne4 Re5 29. Nxf6 Kxf6 30. Bg4 Qa7 31. Qf4+ Black resigns 1-0.  

The reader may be wondering about the leap 10…Nf4!? – is it necessary?  No, the move 10…f7-f5 is also possible.

Here’s an example:

IM Aries2 – NM WaShiHwanNi  ICC Blitz 2007 

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. d4 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. b4 Nh5 10. c5 f5 11. Nd2 Nf6 12. f3 f4 13. Nc4 g5 14. a4 (White is faster in this race on opposite wings) 14…Ng6 15. Ba3 Rf7 16. b5 Bf8 17. b6! (A thematic breakthrough; black is lost) 17…axb6 18. cxb6 h5 19. Nb5 Ne8 20. bxc7 Nxc7 21. Nbxd6 Once the bastion on d6 falls, the rest is carnage. 21…Rg7 22. Nxc8 Rxc8 23. d6 Ne8 24. Qd5+ Kh7 25. Nxe5 Nxe5 26. Qxe5 Nf6 27. Qf5+ Kh8 28. Rac1 Black resigns 1-0

And we’ve already seen this subvariation 9…Nh5 10. c5!? Nf4!? in the famous M. Ginsburg – I. Gurevich “Pawn Box” game in another post.  I also had it in a game versus NM Glenn Lambert, Lloyds Bank 1978 as reported in a Lloyds Bank nostalgia post.

Another quite original idea is aries2- IM Roberto Paramos (xadrezgalego), ICC Blitz 2007, which saw 9…Ne8!? 10. c5 f5 11. Nd2 a5!? 12. cxd6 Nxd6! (behold the value of 9…Ne8!) 13. bxa5 Rxa5 with complex play. That game was eventually drawn.

But let’s see the thoroughly modern December 2007 blitz game with the newfangled 9….a5!? first.

10. bxa5 Rxa5 11. a4 c5!? 12. Nd2 Nd7 13. Nb3

According to Openings Explorer feature (a ‘premium’ feature for those members who want ‘to go to 11’ [cf. Spinal Tap movie]), 13. Nb5!? has been seen in a few recent games with mixed results.   In this game, I innovate by dispensing with the leap Nc3-b5. It’s not clear how useful that is, anyhow.   Just to give one example of 13. Nb5!?:   13. Nb5 Ra6 14. Ra3 Kh8 15. Qc2 f5 16. exf5 gxf5 17. Nf3 h6 18. Nh4 e4 19. f3 exf3 20. Raxf3 Ne5 21. Rg3 Kh7 and white had some edge and went on to win a sharp game, Gulko-Reinderman, Las Vegas FIDE World Ch. 1999.

13…Ra6 14. a5 f5 15. f3 f4 16. g4!?   The move g2-g4 is seen in other King’s Indian lines, in particular 9. Ne1 variations. White doesn’t want to sit and wait passively for a pawn storm to swamp his kingside.  Philosophically, does white have the “right” to create some holes on the kingside in exchange for the obvious claims to some space?  Can the bottled up rook on a6 justify this ambitious scheme? 


Position after 16. g4!?  What’s going on? 

16…h5 17. h3 g5 18. Bd2 Ng6 19. Be1 Nf6 20. Kg2 Nh4+

The situation is very sharp. White loses his useful dark square bishop but maintains a king side blockade. 

21. Bxh4 gxh4 22. Qe1 Nh7 23. Na4 Qg5 24. Nb6 Rxb6 25. axb6 Nf6 26. Kh2(!) Sidestepping problems. The sacrifice introduced by black on move 24 may be insufficient.

26… hxg4 27. hxg4 Bxg4 28. Rg1 Qh6 29. Nd2 Bh5 30. Ra7 Rf7 31. Qxh4 Kh7 32. Qg5! This simplification wins.

32…Bg6+ 33. Qxh6+ Bxh6 34. Rga1 Nh5 35. Rxb7!

A typical blitz finale. Black gives up as 35….Rxb7 36. Ra7 wins for white. 


I am going to add to this post and introduce the historical 1982 Biyiasis material, as well as other topical games in this 9…a5!? defensive line.  Interestingly, I could not find the Biyiasis game (Philadelphia Swiss) in the usual Chessbase databases – yet another game from the past that this column will “contribute” to future databases.