Jun 20, 2010

King's Indian 101: Introduction Part V--Averbakh System

Click here for Part I: Overview
Click here for Part II: Classical
Click here for Part III: Four Pawns Attack
Click here for Part IV: SämischVariation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 O-O 6.Bg5

The Averbakh presents a small exception to the notion that it's White's fifth move that determines the line of th KI being played.  White usually plays 5.Be2, and that raises the Averbakh alert.  After 5...O-O, White, however, can transpose back to the Classical with 6.Nf3 or follow through with the Averbakh by 6.Bg5. (Diagram below.)

After 6.Bg5, Black is constrained from pushing 6...e5 because of the resulting pin on the Knight.  7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Nd5 Nbd7 10.Rd1.  Black's usual move here is 6...c5, but 6...Na6, 6...h6, and 6...e6 are played with some frequency.  6...Na6 deserves a separate post.  7.d5  (7.dxc5 Qa5 (7...dxc5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.e5 Nfd7 10.e6 Nf6 11.exf7+ Kxf7) 8.Bd2 Qxc5 9.Nf3 Bg4) 7...h6 8.Bf4 (Diagram left.)  Now the most popular move is to go straight for the center-buster 8...e6, but 8...a6 deserves attention, too.  Now the position gets complex fast, and Black does need to sort out these complexities at home.  9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.Bxd6 (Diagram below right.)
The usual move now is overwhelmingly 10...Re8. And one question arising is whether the move no one plays, 11.Bxc5, is playable? 11...Qa5 12.b4 Qa6 and the position appears tenable.  Black is down two pawns, but has significant compensation.  More work is required.  After 10...Re8, the usual play goes  11.Nf3 Nc6 12.O-O Nd4 13.e5 Nd7 14.Nxd4 cxd4 15.Qxd4 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 Qxd4 17.Bxd4 Bxd4, where Black has almost enough compensation for the pawn. (Diagram below left.)

While this certainly an incomplete discussion of the Averbakh, we'll fill in the discussion with forthcoming games.  One thing that stands out in even a preliminary investigation of the this line is that there is tremendous potential for original analysis and computer research.