Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense by Gawain Jones


Table of Contents

The Defense of Kings

Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren – it’s not an exaggeration to say that the King’s Indian Defense really is a defense fit for a king. But in the intense opening preparation of today’s tournament chess world, it takes no less than a king to wield the KID properly.

Fortunately, the complete guide to playing this crushing defense against 1.d4 is here, and now even the intermediate player can achieve his very own coronation. In his debut Chessable course, 2-time British Champion Gawain Jones teaches the ins and outs of the theoretically rich KID in the most thorough course on the subject the chess world has ever seen.

It’s not for the faint of heart by any means, but if you can wield this sword and swing it, you’ll see some seriously impressive results in your games. And GM Jones has a remarkably accessible, down-to-earth style of explanation that breaks down the complexities so you can easily commit the theory to memory.

A “Pet Variation” to Jumpstart Your KID Success

The course is thorough indeed – Part 1 alone encompasses more than 1,200 lines! But you definitely don’t need to master all 1,200 to play the KID properly. One of the beautiful features of this course is the Quickstarter chapter, where GM Jones teaches you his shortcut “pet variation”, where you play 6…Nbd7 instead of the standard 6…Nc6.

Nbd7 Pet Line

With this line, you can avoid a lot of the complex theory of the Mar del Plata and other variations and still go for a solid, challenging defense against White. Take this line for example:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.O-O e5 8.Be3 Qe7 9.d5 c5

Nbd7 Starting Position

White will typically push d5, grabbing space and preparing a queenside attack. So, Black meets this with c5, which the knight on d7 supports. If the c-pawn is left alone, Black will continue with a kingside attack with the standard f7-f5 pawn break, after preparation moves like Kh8 and Ng8.

But what if White takes en passant? In that case, the flexibility of the KID is ready to meet the queenside attack with characteristic gusto – Black will prepare a central thrust of d6-d5.

10.dxc6 bxc6 11.Qd2 Rd8 12.Rfd1 Nf8 13.Bc5

Bc5 Attack

What does Black do here? White targets the d6 pawn, and if Black plays 13…Bxc5, he loses the rook on d8 after 14.Qxd8 Qxd8 15.Rxd8.

Here, 13…Ne8 works perfectly. Not only does it protect the d6 pawn, but it shifts the knight to the queenside and central theaters where the action will be.

14.Ba3 Ne6 15.Na4

Now what? It’s time for a clever shift in strategy. Black can abandon the d5 push in favor of 15…c5! White’s bishop is completely shut down and his pieces are awkwardly placed. Meanwhile, Black has plenty of mobility with his knights and can continue playing both on the kingside and queenside.

Such is the power of the flexible KID setup. And this is just in the “pet variation”! For a proper treatment of one of the most powerful weapons against 1.d4 by one of Britain’s most powerful players, be sure to check out Part 1 of Gawain Jones’ Lifetime Repertoires: King’s Indian Defense.

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