28 September 2012

French Defense: King's Indian Attack

The Modern French: A Complete Guide for Black (2012) by Dejan Antic and Branimir Maksimovic begins with the King's Indian Attack. I have had a few memorable games on the Black side of this opening. All of them required more than the usual amount of work through the first ten moves. Nonetheless, my results have been reasonable. In four games, I have one loss and three draws. Two draws were against substantially higher rated players. My rating average through the four games was 1707; my opponents' average was 1861. Now that I am 1970, however, it becomes time to convert those draws into wins. The first ten moves must become easier.

Before diving into Antic and Maksimovic's work, it seems worthwhile to orient myself to the main lines of theory through Encyclopedia of Chess Openings (ECO). The code C 00 covers several moves other than 2.d4 against the French. 2.Qe2 is covered in lines 7-8. Michael Hosford, Steve Merwin, and Scott Smyth all played that line against me. I responded each time with 2...Be7, which ECO gives in the notes. 2...c5 is the main line. The Modern French does not address 2.Qe2.

In my game against Merwin, he opted for an old line employed by Mikhail Chigorin in the 1890s, and I shifted from a French to a Sicilian in my plans. He launched a strong assault on my king, misplayed the attack, and let me escape with a draw.

Black to move

ECO gives Chigorin -- Tarrasch, Petersburg 1893, 14th match game, which continued 3...d5 4.Bb2 Bf6 5.e5 Be7.

My game with Merwin (Collyer Memorial, Spokane 2009) continued 3...c5 4.Bb2 Nf6 5.Nf3N.

Hosford and I (Collyer Memorial, Spokane 2006) reached a position after move six that is given in line 12 of ECO.

1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 (2.d3 d5 3.Qe2 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.g3 c5 6.Bg2 Nc6 is the move order in ECO) 2...Be7 3.Nf3 d5 4.d3 Nf6 5.g3 c5 6.Bg2 Nc6.

This line is the first one examined in The Modern French. I lost the game against Hosford. My study today begins with this position.

1 comment:

  1. Against the early Qe2, preventing c4 with an early ...b5 works well, as this is white's most dangerous plan.

    Then, my three rules of thumb are :

    - do not give e4 to a white Knight
    - keep the Nd4 resource in mind (play in the center)
    - for long term chances, push the queenside pawns