E70-79 King's Indian: Averbach, Four Pawns and other minor lines

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The King's Indian is a common defense for ambitious and aggressive players. In fact, Black, having allowed White to fully occupy the center, tries to undermine it, creating the conditions for an uncompromising game. This section contains the games played with some alternatives lines available toWhite if he wants to avoid the most popular variations.

Averbach variation is intended to prevent (or at least to delay) the Black's e5 push.  In fact after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 00 6.Bg5  if Black plays 6...e5? then 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Dxd8 Txd8 9.Cd5 gives a decisive advantage to White.  Black can avoid all that with 6...h6 in order to play 7...e5 only after the Bishop withdrawal, but in that case the fianchetto is weaker.   Alternatively Black can focus on the other pawn break, i.e.  6...c5.  Finally, it is worth mentioning Judith Polgar's 6 ... Na6, which takes time postponing the decision over the pawn break (c5 or e5) to attack White's center.

In the Four pawn variation (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4) White occupies the center and looks for space advantage without any compromise.   The issue is whether White is able to maintain his hyperextended center, that in the long run would assure him the win.   Conversely, if Black's pawn breaks and the action of his pieces succeed in destroying White's center, White is going to find himself in an exposed position that will probably lead him to the defeat.   Theory and practice have shown that it should be Black to succeed in its aim, provided that his play be precise, sharp and vigorous.   However, this extremely sharp line (it's all or nothing) must not be underestimated.  Indeed, the Four Pawns variation was a formidable weapon in the hands of the Italian GM Sergio Mariotti, who played it extensively with White in the 70's, when he reached the peak of his chess career. 


King's Indian: Averbach, Four Pawns and other minor lines




Last Update

July 2018