Ambitious players need openings they can rely on. But what happens when you start to face the serious “booked-up” players you find in tournaments?
Romanian IM and WGM Irina Bulmaga knew she needed to keep an edge if she wanted to make rapid progress and beat ever stronger players. Her approach: master the sidelines.
By employing sound, tricky and lesser-known ideas such as the Reversed KID against each of the main opening moves, Irina was able to able to consistently get great positions against strong players and her rating rocketed from 2100-2300.
Playing sidelines has its ups and downs. On one hand, one uses less time for studying the theory, having more time for improving the other aspects of their chess. On the other hand, the engine era compromises regular use of sidelines. One can simply get a bad position out of the opening if the opponent is super-prepared.
However, IM Bulmaga believes that one needs to play sidelines from time to time in order to make use of the element of surprise. Irina advises not to jump straight into playing mainlines but start by playing sidelines, which will buy you some time to learn the classics.
In this exclusive preview of her 15 hour Master Method course, Irina discusses the Reversed KID, a chess opening for White that can be played against the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2. d3 or 2. Qe2) or against the Sicilian.
It is simply a fact that the person who gets the opening on their terms has a massive advantage. Make sure that person is you! In the reversed KID, and in general, you must complete your development before launching an attack. The basic idea is to wait for Black to castle, and only afterward play e5, partially closing the center, cutting the board into two parts, and preparing an attack on the kingside.
The Reversed KID
Before we take a look at the Reversed KID, let’s remind ourselves of the King’s Indian Defense for Black. That opening starts with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 d6, which you can see in the diagram on the left. Black’s plan is to castle short and play …Nbd7 and …e5.
The Reversed KID is basically the same plan, but for White. Let’s take a look. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d3 – this move is often a surprise for Black. Players of the Paulsen/Taimanov Sicilians are generally looking for an open game, expecting d4. d3 makes this much harder for Black to accomplish, and psychologically you may already have a slight upper hand.
3…d5. Black wants to capture on e4, so we play 4. Qe2. 4. Nbd2 is also possible, but Irina recommends the Qe2 variation. 4…Nf6 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Be7 7. 0-0 and we see that White has pretty much accomplished the same sort of position as the King’s Indian Defense for Black. See the diagram on the right.
What next? Black has two main options here, either …0-0 quickly, or to play with …b5 or …b6 in mind and possibilities of …0-0-0 at some point. In the video, Irina looks at both these responses from Black and shows which continuations she prefers. She also shows how when there is a closed pawn structure in the center, you can take action on one of the flanks, preferably on the side where the opponent has castled. Be sure to watch the entire video!
Invigorate Your Chess.
There’s one big myth in chess and only the masters know it’s not true. People like to believe that becoming a titled player is all about natural talent or having a GM coach or growing up in Russia. It’s not.
It’s all about constantly evolving to conquer new challenges. Most people limit themselves. They get to a level they’re happy with and stay there. They stop learning. Others, the masters and high achievers, constantly strive to go beyond.
Before IM Irina Bulmaga was an IM she ran into some serious opponents. How could she beat them when they knew everything she did?
She decided to invigorate her game by playing lesser-known lines, mastering the typical positions to a) give herself an edge and b) broaden her understanding of chess. And it worked. Spectacularly. A rapid rise from 2000-2300 was followed by a new challenge. One she conquered to achieve her IM title.
Irina explains how you can use her Method in her new 15-hour course. Click here to get the Irina Bulmaga Method with 50% off.
Other interesting articles for you: