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MACA Book Review
Kill K.I.D. Volume 1 Kill K.I.D. Volume 1
by: Semko Semkov

Price: $25.99
ISBN: 978-9548782708
Format: Book 140pp.
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

Subtitled “A White Repertoire with the Four Pawns Attack,” Semkov begins by outlining two major novelties for White in the King’s Indian Defense. The material is divided as follows:

Modern Benoni Pawn Structures

Part One 1 d4 Kf6 2 c4 g6 3 Kc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f4 c5 6 d5 0-0 7 Kf3 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 cxd5, Lines without 9...Re8

Part Two 7 Kf3 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 cxd5 Re8

King’s Indian Defence and Volga Pawn Structures

Part Three 5 f4 c5 6 d5 0-0 7 Kf3 Rare Lines without 7...e6

Part Four 5 f4 0-0 6 Kf3 Lines without 6...c5

Modern Defence and Other Rare Move Orders

Part Five 1 d4 g6 2 e4 Bg7 3 c4

Part Six 1 d4 g6 2 e4 Bg7 3 c4 d6 4 Kc3 Kd7 5 Kf3

Part Seven 1 d4 Kf6 2 c4 d6 3 Kc3 Lines without ...g6

Each part begins with a “Quick Repertoire” that serves as an overview of the variation for those who wish to begin playing a line immediately. This section also tends to feature a greater amount of verbal commentary. The detailed analysis follows in the “Step by Step” section. This is where you will find the deep theory. Each part ends with lightly annotated “Complete Games” that provide practical examples as well as an occasional back up line. There are nineteen complete games in all, although the last might be easy to miss as the section header reads “Quick Repertoire” instead of “Complete Games.”
The publications from Chess Stars often seem to be strong on theory, but weak on translations and formatting. Readers will need to become accustomed to sentences such as “Now I’m going to deal with less testing in my opinion systems, which are however highly praised in chess literature. Thus they are very often met in practice.”

The author, who holds two GM norms, states that he has quit active play and so holds nothing back in his analysis. He claims his recommendations are based mostly on his “own original analysis.” A comparison with the book Fearsome Four Pawns Attack shows that while many of the same games are featured, there are many deviations in the suggested lines. If you play the Four Pawns Attack, you’ll be interested in what Semkov has to say. He recommends the book for players rated above 1800. Interestingly, he also preemptively disavows any intention of authoring a second volume.

For a PDF excerpt click here. For a PGN file of additional analysis not included in the book, see the link: More Analysis! at the publisher’s website.

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