The Modernized King’s Indian – Averbakh Variation Welcome to the wonderful world of the
Averbakh Variation against the King’s Indian Defense (KID). Who would not want to have a variation
against the KID that keeps White’s position completely under control, that is positional in nature
and that stays away from dark and murky waters or messy tactical situations? Many players like to
play a variation against the KID that bears the hallmark of strong grandmasters and has stood the
test of time. This book examines such a variation with a repertoire for White and an in-depth
analysis of all of Black’s responses.
The Averbakh is a solid and respectable variation against the KID. It bears the name of the well-
known Soviet grandmaster, theorist, and endgame specialist Yuri Lvovich Averbakh. He is the oldest
living grandmaster who recently celebrated his 99th birthday in Moscow on 8 February. In the early
1950s, Averbakh was one of the first grandmasters to play the variation more than once. He
contributed greatly to the development of its theory. Averbakh used the variation for several years,
then changed course to other variations to fight the KID. Occasionally, he returned to his old love
that by then bore his name.
The Modernized King’s Indian – Averbakh Variation
The Averbakh Variation represents a shift in White’s approach to the fight against the KID. Rather
than focusing solely on the queenside while accepting a certain danger of being checkmated on the
other side of the board, as happens in the KID in many lines, White uses a strategy of positional
control, in which he uses the KID in a calm, positional way. Initially, the character of the battle is
indeed relatively calm and positional, but not too calm to land in near-equal positions immediately.
White’s development schedules follow strategic logic. In the following parts of the game, White
generally retains his first mover advantage, in positions where he retains control.