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Beating the King's Indian and Benoni by A.Vaisser


Reviewed by Jeremy Silman


While preparing Tal Shaked for a big game in Spain last year, we noted that his opponent played the Four Pawns Attack against the King's Indian Defense. This pleased us at first, but once we started looking at the analysis of this system we realized that things were not as simple as we had hoped. Indeed, it appeared to be far from easy to equalize (and I'm ashamed to admit that poor Tal suffered a defeat in this contest)!

Now Vaisser, one of the greatest experts of this line, has written an analysis-heavy book where he claims to have offered up all his secrets and unused novelties. Though I don't feel that players below expert-strength (2000 and above) should study this book (too complex and too many lines that have to be reevaluated), I must admit that the Four Pawns Attack might prove to be an excellent choice in a situation that pitted a 2300 player against an IM or GM. The lines are rich and sharp, the theory is extremely dense, and the slightest misstep by the Black player could easily lead to a tasty upset.

Not being an expert on this line, I got the following impression from a casual glance: After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 White has real chances for an advantage if Black tries 9...Bg4 or 9...b5. I was far from convinced, however, that White was doing well after the critical 9...Re8. Strangely enough, most KID players appear to avoid this move simply because they consider it too dangerous and too complex. This is where personal strength comes in: you have to be able to look at the author's suggestions and tear them apart. A trusting attitude won't serve you well here!

Mr. Vaisser gives an enormous amount of material (crammed into only 144 pages) and offers many new ideas. This makes the book very valuable to KID players and to 1.d4 players. However, sometimes he stops an analysis a bit too early, sometimes he offers up a smokescreen that makes it hard to properly assess a situation, and sometimes he is just a bit too partial to White's chances (after all, he's been playing this line with great success for 30 years!).

Nevertheless, these minor flaws should not distract you from the fact that this book is an important and much needed work on a line that has never been easy to get a handle on. Though this kind of book is nothing more than worthless gibberish for the average class player, it is highly recommended for professionals and semi-pros. A very worthwhile buy!

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 25 September, 2008.

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