21 April 2012

Annotated Game #41: Stymied in an English-KID

This next tournament game is illustrative of how certain apparently subtle decisions can turn a potentially winning positional advantage into a draw.  My opponent transposes into a King's Indian Defense (KID) setup against the English, but from moves 8-11 succeeds neither in disrupting White's plans for queenside expansion, nor in establishing any kingside counterplay of his own, giving White an advantage.

White's move 12 indicates that he is looking to open up the a-file with pawn play, rather than fix Black's weaknesses and exploit them with his knight.  With some help from Black, White executes an advantageous piece trade (knight for bishop) on e6, but then errs by also trading his dark-square bishop for Black's. After seizing the a-file with the help of his monster Bg2, White is unable to exploit it after Black redeploys his forces to prevent further penetrations.

I've previously run across this problem in the English, where I'm able to achieve a large queenside space advantage, but then lack the wherewithal to make any further progress.  The improvements and other potential avenues of play found in analysis (particularly on moves 12 and 19) should help me overcome this problem in the future.

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