Is there a specific reason why Stockfish thinks Black's 7th move is an inaccuracy?

Reference Game Aronian v Carlsen

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I'm currently going over The King's Indian in Thirty Classic Games at Chessable and the move suggested is 7... Nc6 to provoke white's d5 and stabilize the center pawn structure.

  • Short answer: because Stockfish doesn't know what he's talking about! It is a bad practice to just stare at the computer's evaluation, assume it's always right, and try to find an explanation behind the move. If you don't trust me, ask AlphaZero what he thinks about Stockfish!
    – David
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 7:05
  • 1
    Be wary of trusting engine evaluations at face value in the KID! Especially on 7th move. 7...Nc6 is the main move in correspondence and isn't close to an inaccuracy. Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


Chess engines are currently not able to give you a good analysis of opening moves all by themselves. This is basically due to the huge number of possible variations during the opening phase. Engines are effectively limited to a certain depth and if the potential positions some 10-20 moves later are still roughly equal you cannot decide on a best move.

Particularly the KID is known for being tricky for engines. Usually they give white a large advantage and underestimate any counterplay of black.

Because of this, analyzing openings is usually done with human interaction. For instance a player would pick certain lines that he is interested in and have the engine look more deeply into those directions. Also other factors than just objective computer evaluation do play a huge role in openings, such as:

  • how playable is this line for me and for my opponent (does he have to play only moves or is it easy to play)
  • am I aiming for a save draw or for a wild game with chances for both sides
  • etc

Also, they'd use stronger engines and strong computers than the one on the lichess website.

Anyway, in this particular case you should ignore what the engines says and trust many decades of games played in this line.

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