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Miguel Najdorf vs Svetozar Gligoric
Mar del Plata (1953), Mar del Plata ARG, rd 12, Mar-28
King's Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation. Classical System Misc. Lines (E98)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-26-03  ksadler: <refutor> Which version is correct? This game has Black winning, while Najdorf vs Gligoric, 1953 has White winning. Obviously it's 0-1 right?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Black is clearly winning, but there is also a little difference in order of moves after 12.Bd2.
Mar-16-05  Cerebrate2006: This is where the Mar del Plata variation was born. In his book on this variation, Gligoric decribes how he made up this line just a few minutes before the game and made up new moves as he went along. This novelty quickly turned into one of the most important lines in all of chess.

Najdorf, the poor guy, drew another round to this same line later in this tournament. The book on this line by Gligoric is almost a must for any player who wants to play this line.

Mar-16-05  Backward Development: What, may i ask, is the move or the series of moves that defines the Mar del Plata variation? I'm not really a KID guy, so be easy. :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: BD, it depends upon whom you ask. Some will say 9...Nd7. Some will say it's Black's 9th & 10th moves. A small minority, including yours truly, will say it's the entire system of combined offense and defense which Black uses from moves 9-19. This is truly one of the most profound games in chess history--that little dance of the Rook and Bishop from moves from 16-19 is amazing, because Black is playing attack and defense over the entire board with a simple rearrangement on three squares.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Apparently the Mar De Plata variation of the Kings Indian defence was named after this particular game:

Jun-17-11  parisattack: 'Before Gligoric we did not understand the Mar del Plata.'
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Bobby Ang's Chess Piece..

<I remember Mal del Plata 1953, When Miguel Najdorf lost to Gligoric’s King’s Indian Defense. Najdorf was in disbelief that White’s tremendous queenside initiative did not win the game. M. Luckis, though quite inferior to Najdorf in playing strength, did explain matters to the grandmaster: “It is simple. The King is more important!”>

Dec-15-11  ughaibu: I must say, I find myself a little way into surprise, that Najdorf was in disbelief. It seems to me that he should have been in seen similar before.
Dec-16-11  visayanbraindoctor: So this is where this famous variation began.

The 1950s were an exciting time for the KID revival, after the doldrums of the 1930s and 40s.

It's notable that in many of the games were black crushes white, white makes the decision to close the center and concentrate only on pushing his Queenside pawns. It becomes a race of pawns, but since the receiving end in the kingside is white's King, you often get games like this where white's king gets crushed.

Kasparov was the greatest KID practitioner in the 1980s to 1990s. Here is a typical Kasparov KID win following the model described above.

Ljubojevic vs Kasparov, 1993

Note though that this model or pattern, with black's pawn chain on d6, e5 facing their white counterparts in a closed center, allowing the black f5 thematic pawn push and pawn storm also occurs in other openings. It commonly also occurs in the closed Ruy for instance. And if white is not careful, he could get crushed the same way.

Kasparov quit the KID after Kramnik administered some beatings to him in this opening. Notice though that in Kramnik's KID victories, he never allows black unimpeded kingside play by opening the center and going for strong central and kingside activity himself.

Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994

Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1994

Kramnik vs Kasparov, 1997

These are the crucial games that may have caused Kasparov to quit the KID.

How did the leading players treat the KID when it first got started in the early 1920s by the hypermoderns (notably Reti). Just to take future world champion Alekhine as an example, he seemed to have instinctively opted to play g3 and fianchetto his king bishop and would exchange his d5 pawn whenever black pushed his e-pawn, thus opening the center. This made it all but impossible for black to do a kingside pawn storm.

Alekhine vs G A Thomas, 1923

Alekhine vs J H Morrison, 1923

Thus you have two world champions, one in the early and the other in the modern era of the KID, both avoiding a closed pawn center.

IMO there seems to be something fundamentally unsound with a white strategy of allowing the pattern of a closed center supported by a black c7, d6, e5 pawn chain; and embarking on a pure Queenside pawnstorm. Black's kingside pawnstorm often comes through first, and even if it does not, white still cannot afford a single mistake because it is his king that is at stake. It seems strategically sounder for white to partially open the center and go for strong central and kingside activity himself.

Jan-05-12  parisattack: <visayanbraindoctor:IMO there seems to be something fundamentally unsound with a white strategy of allowing the pattern of a closed center supported by a black c7, d6, e5 pawn chain; and embarking on a pure Queenside pawnstorm. Black's kingside pawnstorm often comes through first, and even if it does not, white still cannot afford a single mistake because it is his king that is at stake. It seems strategically sounder for white to partially open the center and go for strong central and kingside activity himself.>

So it has always seemed to me, as well. And White's wonderful KB in the QP game becomes a glorified pawn for some time.

I assume the White idea is that Black's K-side attack chains all the way back to c7/d6 and that with the correct Q-side 'touch of jiu jitsu' it all comes tumbling down domnino-style.

Still, I prefer the Four Pawn, blasting the center away and hoping to bring up pieces to attack before Black can capitalize the positional consequences of same.

Mar-21-15  sobic: How does this game finish?
Mar-21-15  Nerwal: <How does this game finish?>

49. ♔b3 ♗d1+; 49. ♔c2 ♗d1+ 50. ♔d3 ♕b1+ 51.♔e3 ♖f3#; 49. ♔d3 ♗e2+ 50. ♔e3 ♖f3+! 51. ♔xe2 ♕f1#.

Oct-16-15  cunctatorg: Yup; this is a literally "ever-green" game, a classical game that will pay homage to Svetozar Gligoric's creativity, taste and deep insight from then to eternity...
May-25-16  tigreton: A beautiful game, both sides playing in the flanks. Time is very important here, White lost some tempi with moves like b4 and a5, and Black attack went quicker. There are some excellent moves by Gligoric, attacking and defending at the same time, I agree the dance of the rook and the bishop (Rf7, Bf8, Rg7) changing their positions, is really nice.
Jul-23-18  Saniyat24: what a gem of a game...!
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