Fianchetto System, The

Weapons for White against the King's Indian and Grünfeld

By Damian Lemos


Fianchetto System, The
Fianchetto System, The
Everyman Chess (2014)
176 pages
$26.95
Reviewed by John Donaldson
THE FIANCHETTO SYSTEM: WEAPONS FOR WHITE AGAINST THE KING'S INDIAN AND GRÜNFELD by Argentine Grandmaster Damian Lemos offers the reader a stable system to combat two of Black's most dynamic and dangerous answers to 1.d4.

Lemos recommends meeting 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 with 3.g3. He presents the state of current opening theory for his g3 systems, but also spends a lot of time explaining White’s typical plans. This makes sense as the lines he advocates are ones where the first player aims for a small positional edge. The positive tradeoffs for lessening White’s ambitions are restricted Black counterplay and greater king safety for the first player.

The proposed repertoire includes the following lines:

Grunfeld

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.e4
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c6 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Ne5

English (Anti-Benko Gambit/Benoni)

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 g6 6.Bg2 Bg7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.0-0 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 d6 10.Qd3

King’s Indian

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0
6…Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bf4
6…Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.Bf4
6…Nc6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Be3
6…Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.d5 Ne7 9.e4
6…Nc6 7.Nc3 Qb6 8.e3
6…c5 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.dxc5 dxc5 9.Be3
6…c6 7.Nc3 Bf5 8.Ne1
6…c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 Bg4 9.h3
6…c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Re1
6…Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.h3 exd4 9.Nxd4 Nb6 10.b3 d5 11.Ba3
6…Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.h3 a6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Be3
6…Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.h3 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.e4 Re8 11.Re1 a6 12.Rb1
6…Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.h3 c6 9.e4 Qb6 10.Re1 (9…Qa5 10.Re1 transposes to 6…c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Re1)

Lemos has consciously avoided sharper lines like 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 8.h3 c6 9.e4 Qb6 10.c5 and 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.h3 Rb8 9.e4 b5 10.cxb5 axb5 11.e5 (as a backup line he does recommend 11.Re1) and instead proposes an internally consistent repertoire that should be resistant against any unpleasant surprises.

One idea, not so common to the fianchetto system against the King’s Indian, is the plan of trading dark squared bishops which is seen in the lesser-known 8.Bf4 against the Panno – 6…Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bf4 or 6…Nc6 7.Nc3 Rb8 8.Bf4. It is also seen in the line 6…Nc6 7.Nc3 Bg4 8.Be3. In each case White often follows with Qd2 connecting rooks and preparing Bh6.

Lemos recommends meeting 6…Nbd7 7.Nc3 e5 with 8.h3 and only after 8...c6 9.e4. The idea is to avoid 8.e4 a6. If Black meets 8.h3 with 8…a6 then White plays 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Be3 which typifies the author’s approach to meeting the King’s Indian/ Grunfeld. White’s ambition is not huge but he has a small but persistent advantage that might be most unpleasant to meet – especially for those seeking fireworks.

THE FIANCHETTO SYSTEM: WEAPONS FOR WHITE AGAINST THE KING'S INDIAN AND GRÜNFELD provides a complete repertoire against these two dangerous systems for those opening 1.d4. It will also be useful for those who open 1.Nf3 although they will need to find another answer to the open Fianchetto Grunfeld as Lemos recommends a system with an early e4 and development of the knight to e2.

The lines recommended in THE FIANCHETTO SYSTEM: WEAPONS FOR WHITE AGAINST THE KING'S INDIAN AND GRÜNFELD might not seem that that challenging but in most systems Black does not get the sort of counterplay he hopes for when playing the KID or Grunfeld. This does require that White have the positional skills to capitalize on his small advantages. Taking this into account this book can best be used by those rated 2200 on up.

THE FIANCHETTO SYSTEM: WEAPONS FOR WHITE AGAINST THE KING'S INDIAN AND GRÜNFELD is not only available as a physical book. Everyman Chess is at the forefront of innovation in ebooks. As well as having their ebooks available for all the leading ebook retailers (Kindle, iTunes, Nook and Kobo), they have also produced their own App, called Chess Viewer, available for Apple iOS and Android devices. Within the app you can buy pgn versions of their ebooks which allow you to play through the games of the ebook concerned. If you purchase ebooks through their website you receive both the pgn and cbv version, which can be played through a Chessbase reader. The pgn files come through very sharp on an iPad.

Highly Recommended