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Modern Chess Openings King's Indian Defense
keywords: King's Indian Defense, KID, Opening, Kalinin, Reference, MCO, ECO
Robert Pawlak
Tuesday, September 07, 2004

After two very successful CDs on the Sicilian and French, Convekta decided to turn their attention to an opening that's got a "serious" reputation. The KID is a tactical monster of an opening that is favored by GMs and beginners alike. For the beginner, its attraction is that it seems to be a "safe" opening that gets one through the first ten or so moves without falling for a cheapo. However, after that point, black has to play "energetically" to make sure that white does not place a pillow over his head, and gently press down. For GM's it offers the opportunity to play for a win with the black pieces.

This CD covers the following variations: The Saemisch system, Averbakh system, Four pawns attack, Classical system and the system with Bg2 (fianchetto). Most of the attention goes to the classical variation, but there is plenty of written material for the others as well. Like the other CDs in this series, this opening reference shares the familiar format of the others in that it contains four elements:

  1. An opening encyclopedia for the KID, consisting of 28 heavily annotated game fragments. This database contains what most people refer to as "Theory", and contains masses of variations, with evaluations.
  2. A Theory and Practice database that contains 846 annotated games; the annotations are of the Informant type, with language less symbols used to represent words. All the annotations in this database were created by actual humans :-).  And while this database appears to have been checked with Shredder 7.04, the results are only available in the form of CAP data. This database also contains instructional articles that cover the main ideas in the KID (these are written in English - note: they may be in other languages as well). Furthermore, there are 50 quiz positions that reinforce these ideas.
  3. A database of 52,000 games, some of which have comments made by human players (1000 or so games). Note that the Convekta website says that there will be an additional 10,000 free games for download to update this database.
  4. An integrated chess tree that shows statistics from the 52000 game database, along with human evaluations of the opening moves.

For most people the 846 game database is probably where they will spend the most time. This database is organized with a classifier that gives it a book-like appearance (incidentally, you can take a look at the "table of contents" for this classifier here). Each variation of the KID represents one "chapter". Each chapter begins with a short introductory text that relates the main ideas behind this variation. The graphic below shows an example of this for the Averbach variation. As you can see from the graphic, the CD pretty much sticks to the main lines in terms of coverage. Incidentally, if you want to know how the different ECO codes are represented on this CD, you can take a look at this file.


As you step through games in this database, it is always a simple matter to see other relevant games in the window below the board. On this CD, these games appear at the 10th move, and the list is automatically updated as the board position changes. Additionally, if you want to do a position search at any time, you can also simply click on the search button. Game fragments are commented in great detail as well. You can see an example of this below (the game is Kasparov - Loginov, Manilla 1992, position is after move 13 by black). In the picture, you can see the automatically updated games list below the chessboard, as well as the commented game score on the right.

[Kasparov KID example]

As you can also see from the screenshot, the explanatory text is very detailed, and does a good job of pointing out tactical themes (for instance, the sacrifice of the knight on f5 (see note to move 17). The latter is very important in this opening, especially for black, since his freedom is almost always contingent upon a clever tactical device or positional sacrifice.[quiz]

There are also theory and game collection databases on the CD as well. The former is used to present the opinions of Alexander Kalinin, and his team of masters on which variations are the strongest. The interesting thing about the theory database is that it automatically shows transpositions in a very novel way. For more information on how this is done, see my review of Convekta's French CD.

And finally, there is a test position collection as well. These are essentially annotated game fragments, that start at a position. You are asked to find the strongest continuation using the training mode of the program. Questions can also be timed if you so desire. I've shown a screenshot of a sample test position to the right. I'll give you a hint to the solution: With this thematic sacrifice, black creates a nice square for his knight.


This is another strong addition to Convekta's opening CD library. This, like the other CDs in the collection is of very high quality. Also, like those others, it is not meant as a "White/black to play and win" repertoire book, instead it is meant as a tool for understanding the opening. Please see this link for more information on this CD from Convekta.

Copy Protection

The program must be installed from the original CD, but you will not be prompted again for the CD (no invasive copy protection schemes). English, German, French, Spanish, Italian are all supported.

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