Andy Duren Print E-mail
By Joel Benjamin   
June 13, 2007
Dear Joel,

Why you did you use the following King's Indian Attack move order against Bryan Smith in the 2001 World Open (Philadelphia)?

1.e4 e6 2.d3 c5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.d4

Position after 5.d4

I can't find that move order in my KIA book, and I was just curious about it. Also what sort of things should I be looking for in the KIA from both sides?

Finally, do you know a good book for white on the f4 Scheveningen. If not, then how can I learn about this line?

Andy Duren


The Scheveningen has been in a long funk because of the perceived power of the Keres Attack (6.g4). Kasparov wrote a book (with trainer Nikitin) on Sicilian e6+d6 systems but it would be largely out of date, if not out of print. These days most discussion of Scheveningen formations comes out of the Najdorf, e.g. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 etc. That's where you are most likely to find f4 Scheveningen lines covered in a book.

The line I played against Smith was nothing new, even for me. A year earlier I essayed 5.d4 successfully:


There are over 100 examples of 5.d4 in my database, including this amusing early effort by Chess Life columnist GM Pal Benko:

It has been played in several grandmaster games, including Glek-Mortensen:


The idea of 5.d4 is quite simple: White shifts the game into Open Sicilian territory where the combination of e6 and g6 is awkward for Black, who has a potentially giant hole on d6. In most games, Black has captured on d4, but not in the game you cite:


You see from the different move orders in my games that this can be both an anti-French and anti-Sicilian (where you find it in the opening key) system.

I don't know which book you are referring to - it pays to be as specific as possible in your questions - but most openings books sacrifice some level of completeness in order to offer extra explanation of themes. Don't assume that a move is unusual because it doesn't appear in a particular work.

The last part of your question I really can't answer for you. Black has many different responses that lead to different strategical scenarios. As a very broad generalization, in most systems where Black plays c7-c5 White is hoping for a kingside attack while Black seeks counterplay on the queenside.

Joel Benjamin