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King's Indian, Samisch Variation (E80)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f3

Number of games in database: 2903
Years covered: 1897 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 45.0%
   Black wins 26.2%
   Draws 28.8%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Artur Yusupov  31 games
Aleksey Dreev  26 games
Viktor Korchnoi  22 games
Varlam Vepkhvishvili  33 games
Robert Byrne  30 games
Mark Hebden  18 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Spassky vs Evans, 1962
Tal vs Tolush, 1957
C de Ronde vs H Kamstra, 1938
Lputian vs Kasparov, 1976
Botvinnik vs Tal, 1961
Shamkovich vs Bronstein, 1971
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 page 1 of 117; games 1-25 of 2,903  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C J Lambert vs H E Atkins  ½-½641897Southern Counties Chess Union chE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
2. Saemisch vs Koltanowski 1-0301926SpaE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
3. K Havasi vs L Merenyi  1-0491928BudapestE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
4. Noteboom vs S Landau  0-1421928MatchE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
5. H Kleefstra vs M Ubbens  1-0281929ASC-NRSVE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
6. J Araiza Munoz vs G A Thomas  0-1521930NiceE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
7. B Lichtenstein vs S R Wolf  ½-½701931Trebitsch MemorialE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
8. K Helling vs Bogoljubov 0-122193127th German Chess Federation CongressE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
9. B Verlinsky vs Kasparian  ½-½701931USSR ChampionshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
10. J Araiza Munoz vs E Gonzalez Rojo  1-0261932Mexico CityE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
11. V Chekhover vs V Nenarokov  1-0421933LeningradE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
12. Alekhine vs L C Burer 1-0381933Simul, 46bE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
13. V Yuriev vs M Kamyshov  0-1301933Trade Unions Team championshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
14. Kashdan vs Dake  ½-½35193435th Western Championship. FinalE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
15. G Abrahams vs G Wheatcroft  ½-½371934British ChampionshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
16. Saemisch vs A Haida  1-0761934Bad LiebwerdaE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
17. L Lenner vs Immo Fuss  ½-½301935Trebitsch Memorial 1934/35E80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
18. G Norman vs Capablanca 0-1351935Hastings 1934/35E80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
19. R Elstner vs Hennicke  1-0311935GDSB-ch03 Zonenturnier OstE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
20. Fine vs Tartakower  ½-½201935Warsaw OlympiadE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
21. L Laurine vs Y Dobkin  ½-½301935Warsaw OlympiadE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
22. M Luckis vs H E Atkins  1-0671935Warsaw OlympiadE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
23. Fine vs I Appel ½-½651935LodzE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
24. J Therien vs M Fox  0-1341936Canadian ChampionshipE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
25. I Kan vs Eliskases  ½-½441936MoscowE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
 page 1 of 117; games 1-25 of 2,903  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>
Jun-14-04  Dillinger: It is not uncommon for white to castle long in the classical variation of the Caro Kann defense (since the h pawn advances).
Jun-14-04  PinkPanther: <Gypsy>
The French Defense, Caro-Kann Defense, Sicilian Defense, Semi-Slav, Sometimes in the Pirc Defense, sometimes in the Queen's Gambit Declined.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: True <PP>. (I can think of others still, e.g., Spanish Exchange, but this should be a good start.) Incidentally, what theme(s) do you have in mind in the Semi-Slav? (Just curious.)
Jun-15-04  PinkPanther: <Gypsy>
Namely the Shirov-Shabalov gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Namely the Shirov-Shabalov gambit.> Thanks <PP>! Can you also give me a pointer to a key-game (or opening moves)? I am fishing for interesting ideas and this definitely perked my curiosity.
Jun-15-04  PinkPanther: I'm not sure what you're asking for but if it's a game in which the Shirov-Shablov Gambit was played then: Kasparov vs X3D Fritz, 2003 The move 7.g4 is what constitutes the Shirov-Shabalov gambit.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Thanks <PP>, this does it nicely!
Dec-06-05  Waffles: In the mainline panno: 1.d4 nf6 2.c4 g6 3.e4 d6 4.f3 0-0 5.be3 nc6 6.nge2 a6 (I think thats the order) do you guys play Nc1 or H4. H4 is more popular and more aggressive, nc1 is more positional. Any opinions?
Apr-20-07  Richerby: Surely, Karpov vs Kasparov, 1993 ought to be one of the featured games for the Saemisch variation?
Apr-20-07  KingG: <Richerby> It is, but it's under a different ECO code: King's Indian, Samisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6 (E86)
Mar-12-09  FiveofSwords: I play this quite a lot, I transpose the pirc/modern into it usually. I tand to take a very unusual approach which has been very sucessful for me. Rather than spending 2 moves to bring the N to c1, I simply leave my kside knight on g1 for a long time,playing h4 and g4 much mroe quickly if black castles, which also allows the queen to swing to h2 much easier.often the kside knight finds, as the game develops, that h3 becomes a better square than e2. I also often have fun with simply not castling, espceially if black is so scared of my idea with not moving my kside knight and refuses to castle, he often starts immediately trying to work on his qside counterplay rather than castle, but then the funny part is that i simply dont castle, either, and the knight on g1, protectig f3, really seems to repel any aggresive sacrirfical attemps by black to take advantage of my king in the center.
Mar-13-09  M.D. Wilson: I love using this opening with white. Spassky was perhaps the greatest exponent of this line.
Mar-13-09  Jim Bartle: I like the variation with Qh4 for black followed by the queen sacrice.

For black that is. As white I feel totally stifled against black's perfect and complete pawn structure, even if I have captured the black queen at the cost of two minors and two pawns.

Mar-13-09  dfelix: Chris Ward's book is a great resource in this opening, and I used to fear the KI before I learned to play a decent Saemisch. I think it's been over two years since I lost the white side of a Saemisch when black plays ..e5. The ..c5 variation is definitely a better option for black, but it's much less common at the club level since the KI aficionados tend to stick with what's familiar.
Mar-14-09  FiveofSwords: jim that line, I assume you are speaking of the idea with Nh5 followed by Qe4+ stuff after ..e5 d5, has been recently kinda refuted and at the moment is looking totally busted for black, unfortunately. Suggest you check out the most recent developments heh.
Mar-14-09  FiveofSwords: the c5 line has also been somewhat refuted, simply by accepting the pawn sacrifice and then making an exchange sacrifice... but I think white would have to be a strong player to feel like its a refutation... the resulting position would probably just seem unclear to most club players, and even to GMs its really hard to convert to a win without pretty good technique.
Mar-14-09  blacksburg: <the c5 line has also been somewhat refuted>

<has been recently kinda refuted>

how do you <somewhat refute> or <kinda refute> a move? either it's <refuted>, or it isn't.

Mar-14-09  chessman95: <white would have to be a strong player to feel like its a refutation>

That's not much of a refutation then...

Mar-14-09  FiveofSwords: ok...everyone yake a deep breath, clear your minds, forget your prejudices. I shall now explain to what extent the line was refuted. To understand, you will have to follow me on a journey....into the past...Once upon a time, people who knew the saemish would never accept the pawn sacrifice. It was just too dangerous and black would get a lot of activity. I was one of those people. One day, DM romanishin called to my attention a recent line, found with the help of computers, where white actually has a solid advantage. I looked at the forced position from the line and was slightly confused. It didnt look so bad for black. So I had to play some various moves and emss with it for a while before I understood the various rather subtle threats white had and eventually I felt comfortable that it was quite good for white, so now I am okay with taking the pawn.

OK was that so hard?

Mar-14-09  chessman95: So that makes it "kinda sorta" refuted? I think you need to <yake> a deep breath and <emss> around with it a little bit more.
Mar-14-09  Nuncle: <One day, DM romanishin called to my attention a recent line, found with the help of computers, where white actually has a solid advantage.>

What is the actual line?

Not that it matters that much, since GMs are still losing with the white pieces after taking the pawn, so I hardly expect my opposition to do much better. If I ever come across a 2100-rated theory robot who plays it successfully, I guess I'll lose that game, but it'll be one out of hundreds.

Apr-24-10  rapidcitychess: My antidote is the interesting Bronstein gambit,
The Queen sacrifice!!
<<Anyone who knows this line and/or plays this line>> Would you guys tell me more about this line?
Nov-09-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

King's Indian, Samisch Variation
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

Apr-05-16  Caissanist: After the mid sixties Bobby Fischer stopped playing the King's Indian against top opponents who he thought would play the Samisch against it. In a 1969 Boys Life column he recommended the Saemisch against the KID and stated that "white does not have to be that good a player to get an advantage." Column here:
Aug-02-23  CapablancaDisciple: <<Jim Bartle: I like the variation with Qh4 for black followed by the queen sacrifice.>>

The Bronstein variation. Indeed, a clever alternative for Black, though White also has decent play, especially if he can open up the Kingside and activate his Queen.

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