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King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3) (E71)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 h3

Number of games in database: 2392
Years covered: 1855 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 47.9%
   Black wins 24.5%
   Draws 27.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mihai Suba  61 games
Murtas Kazhgaleyev  34 games
Alexander Potapov  34 games
Joseph G Gallagher  16 games
Ilia Smirin  14 games
Bassem Amin  13 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Bronstein vs Gligoric, 1953
Radjabov vs Milov, 2005
Karpov vs S Polgar, 2004
Chernin vs Polgar, 1990
Firouzja vs M Karthikeyan, 2019
O Pavlenko vs Kasparov, 1975
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 page 1 of 96; games 1-25 of 2,392  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0431855CalcuttaE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
2. Cochrane vs Mohishunder 1-0461855CalcuttaE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
3. Tartakower vs Teichmann ½-½321907Ostend-BE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
4. Saemisch vs Tartakower ½-½261923CopenhagenE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
5. J A Seitz vs E T Jesty  1-0421923BCF Major OpenE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
6. D Daniuszewski vs R Rey Ardid  1-0281924Paris Unofficial OlympiadE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
7. Tarrasch vs M Bluemich 0-1811925BreslauE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
8. H E Price vs W Winter  1-0271929British ChampionshipE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
9. H Mattison vs Euwe  ½-½621929KarlsbadE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
10. M Chodera vs J Dobias ½-½391930Prague-chE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
11. I Pleci vs G A Thomas  ½-½401930LiegeE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
12. B Vainshtein vs V Goglidze 0-1651931USSR-sf group2E71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
13. M Feigin vs Petrov  1-03419313rd Latvian congress playoffE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
14. F Gygli vs Flohr  0-1231934ZurichE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
15. C H Maderna vs B H Villegas  1-0361943Mar del PlataE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
16. A Olivera vs A Medina Garcia  0-1401948Mar del PlataE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
17. Y Polyak vs Suetin  1-0401950URS-ch sf TulaE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
18. Bondarevsky vs Suetin  1-0551950USSR ChampionshipE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
19. Tolush vs V Lyublinsky 1-0411950USSR ChampionshipE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
20. Bondarevsky vs Petrosian 0-1821951USSR ChampionshipE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
21. O Benkner vs F Olafsson  ½-½801952Helsinki Olympiad qual-1E71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
22. Bronstein vs Gligoric 1-0571953Zuerich CandidatesE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
23. Sokolsky vs A Prameshuber  ½-½411953AUT-URSE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
24. N Kopilov vs Tolush  0-1401954URS-ch sf LeningradE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
25. N Kopilov vs V Skotorenko  ½-½401954URS-ch sf LeningradE71 King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
 page 1 of 96; games 1-25 of 2,392  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-22-03  Spitecheck: It's likely technical draw might know this Bears since he's looking for a GM norm :). This variation is not the only one Makagonov is responsible for, he's got his foot in the door elsewhere as well. My opinion of the system is that it can't be bad, g4 is a handy square for more than one black piece, however the move is hardly a square punch to the jaw is it, the whole motif of this system might simply be that Makagonov wanted to put his B on e3 without that annoying Ng4 counter. I guess I should have a look in my book on the King's Indian, it would probably describe this system as fairly innocuous that's there favorite name for a variation by white which shouldn't cause to many problems.


Aug-31-04  Giancarlo: I don't like 5.h3. It seems like a defenite waste of time and totally contradicts Lasker. Hard to think an opening line like this would be played. Why not 5.nf3? or even 5.e3/g5. That's what I think.
Aug-31-04  AgentRgent: <Why not 5.nf3? or even 5.e3/g5>

White wins 47.7%
Black wins 23.6%
Draws 28.7%

does this answer your question?

Aug-31-04  refutor: giancarlo...the ideas in this line are similar to the samisch lines, except he's going to try to play f4 in one move instead of two (at least that's the way i play it)
Aug-31-04  maoam: In his "100 Selected Games" (in the notes to game #80) Botvinnik says that "Makagonov prefers continuations in which book knowledge is of little help and positional sense is everything!"
Aug-31-04  Giancarlo: No one has really still answered my quesiotn of the purpose of h3, ok other then 40% or whatever thats not what I care about. I want to know why h3 is played?
Aug-31-04  refutor: i told you...similar to the samisch except he's going to try to play f4 in one move instead of two.
Aug-31-04  Dick Brain: <Giancarlo>the plan of development might be something like White moves of h3, Nf3, d5 (immediately after e5 - dont let Black swap pawn), Bg5 (or Be3), g4, Qd2, Rg1 with expansion and possible attack on the kingside. There are some Saemish ideas here as <refutor> sez, but I dunno about playing f4 that might give Black counterplay against White's weakened squares and e-pawn.
Aug-31-04  Helloween: <Giancarlo> To answer your question, 5.h3 is played mainly to facilitate the advance ♙g2-g4, after which White has a stronghold on the f5 square, making it difficult for Black to get the typical KID break ♙f7-f5 in. White can then castle Queenside and attack Black aggressively on the Kingside, as in Krasenkow vs Obodchuk, 1993. I hope this is of some help to you.
Sep-01-04  Giancarlo: Ty <Dick Brain> and <Helloween>
Sep-01-04  AgentRgent: <Giancarlo:> I apologize, I didn't completely understand what you were asking. When you posted "Why not 5.nf3?" I thought you were simply suggesting that 5. h3 was bad, not that you wanted an explanation of why 5.h3 is good. Sorry about that, I usually try to be helpful, but I guess I missed an opportunity.
Sep-01-04  Giancarlo: Thats alright <AgentRgent>, you didn't know, but you were trying to be helpful, and I appreiciate that.
Apr-05-05  Dustin J.: I have come to love this opening line for white, I don't play the KID as black. It's strong and can double as the white moves for the modern benoni, though the play is of a different theme and pace. Eventually, I get my 12. a3 break in, and the position is so easy to handle. A decently supported pawn storm on the queenside will collapse black's defenses there; it seems that the queenside win is more straight forward for white and more complicated for black. I'd recommend this line for anyone wanting a simpler King's Indian as white.
Feb-12-06  Ron: Recently opening of the day. I set up the opening position above and Mephisto playing black (set at one of the lower levels) went: ... c5
d5 0-0
Nf3 Qa5
Bd2 Qb6
b3 a6
Bd3 Nd7
0-0 Qc7
Bg5 b6
Qd2 Bb7
Bh6 Re8
Bxg7 Kxg7
Nh2 e6
f4 exd5
exd5 h6
f5 g5
h4 gxh4
Rf4 Ng8
Rxf4 Qd8
Rh3 Ne5
Bc2 Kf8
Qf4 Rb8
Ne4 f6


click for larger view

Rxh6! Nxh6
Qxh6+ Kf7
Qh7+ Kf8
Bd1 Nf7
Bh5 Bxd5
Nc3 Ng5
Qh6+ Kg8
Bxe8 Qxe8
Ng4 Nh7
Nxd5 ....

Dec-06-07  pawnofdoom: Opening of the day again. Who is this Makagonov? I couldn't find him in the database.
Dec-06-07  pawnofdoom: Opening of the day again. Who is this Makagonov? I couldn't find him in the database.
Dec-06-07  Open Defence: Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov

Vladimir Andreevich Makogonov born 1904 was awarded the IM title in 1950 and an Honorary GM title in 1987. Many times Champion of Azerbaijan he played in eight USSR Championships between 1927 and 1947. He shared 5th place with Mikhail Botvinnik in 1927, was 4th in 1937, 4th= in 1939 and 5th in 1944. In tournaments he was 3rd= at Leningrad-Moscow 1939 and 2nd at Sverdlovsk 1943. Perhaps he is best known for his contributions to Opening theory in the King's Indian Defence and the Queen's Gambit.

Nov-22-08  Kaspykov: i used to play that system, mainly because i like my dark bishop on e3 and this positional move prevent Ng4
May-31-09  Amarande: Indeed, I think it's much more about Ng4 than about Bg4 as <Alchemist> suggested ...

Against Bg4, White has other potential counters, such as developing Nge2 rather than Nf3; from e2, the Knight still has a number of reasonable futures (if White plays O-O-O, Ng3 is good, supporting the h-pawn advance as well as a potential g-file opening sac via g4 and Nf5; if he plays O-O, there is always Nc1-b3 to support the frequent Queen's side advance with c5).

On the other hand, there's little else to do about Ng4 but prevent the move entirely. Where can the Bishop really develop other than e3?

* Bd2 (or b3 and Bb2) don't contribute anything to the major White strategic plans.

* Bf4 will simply result in the B being driven off in most variations, as Black plays e5 at some future point. Thus, it is virtually a waste of a tempo, and does not ultimately solve the problem of the White Bishop.

* Bg5 has little merit, unless White's intent for the Bishop is to trade it for Black's via Qd2 and Bh6 (in which case, Be3 is just as suitable a preliminary, moreover, White will possibly have to play h3 anyhow, else Ng4, once the pin is broken, prevents Bh6). The pin simply isn't that strong against the fianchetto, as Black can move the Queen away from the pin without pain, answering Bxf6 simply with Bxf6. (By contrast, in openings where Black does not fianchetto, this pin is very strong because Black must often simply suffer from it, as the Queen's overriding duty becomes to be able to recapture on f6 to save Black from a major and frequently fatal Kingside weakening that would occur otherwise after Bxf6 gxf6, and this duty cannot usually be maintained without remaining in the pin) Nor can White usually reinforce the pin well, because in most KID lines the center tends to become blocked, depriving White of e4 and d5 for a Knight; the only square a Knight can reinforce the pin from thus being the awkward g4.

The upshot is that Bg5 seems to give very little benefit besides delaying Black's eventual ... f5 a few moves, as he must first move the Queen before removing the Knight.

* Ba3 (after b3) is potentially good, *if* the usual blocked Pawn center occurs. If it does, this may even be superior to Be3, since from a3 the Bishop directly pressures Black's base (d6) and thus combines very well with the Pawn advance c5. Otherwise, the Bishop is probably misplaced here.

In summary, it seems that in very many strategic plans for White, Be3 is probably the best development for the Bishop, and thus preventing Black from disrupting this with Ng4 is worth a tempo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

King's Indian, Makagonov System (5.h3)
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘c3 ♗g7 4.e4 d6 5.h3

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Kasparov might crush this, but at club level, I have a higher opinion of it than most.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: The 47.7% White wins percentage (presumably from Opening Explorer) needs to be put into perspective. Impressive, yes, but White typically has a good winning percentage in the KID. The ChessTempo database with more than 3.9M games about a month ago (the last time I checked it) had the following White winning percentages for the most popular 5th moves in the KID, with the number of games and White winning percentages for all games regardless of player ratings in columns 2 and 3 and the number of games and White winning percentages when both players were rated 2200+ in columns 4 and 5:

5.Nf3 50,868 <42.6%> 27,771 <39.8%>

5.f3 25,895 <43.4%> 12,103 <40.5%>

5.Be2 21,083 <43.8%> 12,056 <41.0%>

5.f4 7,593 <43.4%> 3,108 <40.4%>

<5.h3> 5,816 <48.3%> 3.212 <46.5%>

5.Bd3 3,418 <43.2%> 1,829 <41.2%>

5.Nge2 2,646 <43.0%> 1,311 <40.0%>

5.Bg5 1,425 <44.3%> 687 <41.2%>

And the corresponding numbers for White winning percentages when all first moves and 1.d4 are considered are:

1.(any) 3,931,442 <38.6%> 1,860,057 <35.0%>

1.d4 1,333,171 <38.7%> 673,352 <35.3%>

3...Bg7 108,753 <41.8%> 56,102 <40.0%>

So the KID does not seem, at the moment, to be as good a defense against 1.d4 as others. And I'll you decide whether the KID Makagonov System with 5.h3 is statistically sufficiently better than other approaches after 4.e4 d6 to justify your playing if it doesn't suit your style.

May-12-20  sudoplatov: I used this move back in the 1960s but at t he time, one of the opening books claimed it was a modified Samisch. The idea was to play g4 (as mentioned) and perhaps attack Black on the Kingside. Should the Pawns get into some type of (closed) Benoni formation, Black's QB has fewer opportunities than usual.

White can play Be3, Qd2 (again as mentioned), Ne2, or Nf3 depending and even postpone castling until which side seems good.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: Larsen played both 6.h3, 6.Be3 and 6.Bg5, typically preferring the beaten path. He would also play the "deferred" 6.Nf3 0-0 7.h3 which however makes Black's task somehow easier, as Ng1-e2 is no longer an option.

As i recall, back in the 1960s and 70s probably ..c5 was the better center break but later on people would start playing stuff like ..Na6 and ..e5 with decent results. The early ..e5 often led to crushing attacks by White involving the advance of g- and h-pawns (Larsen vs H Westerinen, 1969).

<OhioChessFan: Kasparov might crush this, but at club level, I have a higher opinion of it than most.> Seeing as Ivanchuk employed it against Kasparov in 1994 and Kasparov would later play it as White against Kramnik I think you can extend that opinion to also higher level.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <pawnofdoom>

It should be:

"Mak-o-gonov" as in the player:

Vladimir Makogonov

I hope this might be corrected at some point

search thread:   
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