I have another question I am going to ask and answer.

The other day, I was watching a chess24 video, and GM Jan Gustafsson mentioned the “Gufeld Bishop”. What is the “Gufeld Bishop”?


Eduard Gufeld was a Ukrainian Grandmaster, who died in 2002. He was a noted expert on the King’s Indian Defense, and wrote two books on it. He won many brilliant games with the KID, and the “Gufeld Bishop” was when the Bg7 came alive, and got great scope, on the a1-h8 diagonal to become a “monster” piece (one that dominated the board, and was hard to oppose)…often on d4.

Here are references to the naming of the Bg7 as the “Gufeld Bishop”.




Now, here are a few games with the “Gufeld Bishop” in action.

In the first, Gufeld, uses a nice tactic to come to d4.

 [Event "Kiev Avantgard-ch"]
 [Site "Kiev"]
 [Date "1960.??.??"]
 [Round "3"]
 [White "Sakhanovich, YV."]
 [Black "Gufeld, Eduard"]
 [Result "0-1"]
 [ECO "E82"]
 [PlyCount "48"]
 [FEN ""]

 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 b6 7. Qd2 c5 8. d5 Re8 9. Bd3 e6 10. Nge2 a6 11. a4 exd5 12. exd5 Nbd7 13. O-O Ne5 14. Ng3 Nxd3 15. Qxd3 Ng4 16. Bf4 (16. fxg4 Rxe3 17. Qxe3 $4 Bd4) 16... Bd4+ 17. Kh1 Nxh2 $1 18. Nge4 (18. Kxh2 Qh4#) 18... Nxf1 19. Rxf1 Qh4+ 20. Bh2 Bf5 21. Qd2 Bxe4 22. Nxe4 Rxe4 23. fxe4 Be5 24. g4 Re8 {And after black trades everything off on h2, Re4 will leave black up two pawns, and more will follow.} 0-1

In the second, the Bishop is unopposed, and when black finally rips open the f-file, it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

 [Event "Goodricke op 03rd"]
 [Site "Kolkata"]
 [Date "1992.??.??"]
 [Round "2"]
 [White "Agarwal, Brajesh"]
 [Black "Gufeld, Eduard"]
 [Result "0-1"]
 [ECO "E84"]
 [WhiteElo "2260"]
 [BlackElo "2490"]
 [PlyCount "44"]
 [EventDate "1992.01.??"]
 [EventType "swiss"]
 [EventRounds "11"]
 [EventCountry "IND"]
 [FEN ""]

 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. Be3 d6 6. f3 Nc6 7. Nge2 a6 8. Qd2 Rb8 9. g4 b5 10. Ng3 e5 11. d5 Nd4 12. Bxd4 exd4 13. Nce2 d3 14. Qxd3 bxc4 15. Qd2 Nxg4 16. fxg4 Rxb2 17. Qf4 Rxe2+ 18. Bxe2 Bxa1 19. Bxc4 Bc3+ 20. Kf2 Be5 21. Qf3 Qh4 22. Be2 f5 0-1

And in the last, he used the nice tactic with e4, then maneuver Ba4, pinning the Nb3 to the queen, so he could trade it off, and gain control of d4 again.

 [Event "Tbilisi"]
 [Site "Tbilisi"]
 [Date "1985.??.??"]
 [Round "?"]
 [White "Azmaiparashvili, Zurab"]
 [Black "Gufeld, Eduard"]
 [Result "0-1"]
 [ECO "E94"]
 [WhiteElo "2460"]
 [BlackElo "2470"]
 [PlyCount "72"]
 [EventDate "1985.??.??"]
 [EventType "tourn"]
 [EventRounds "9"]
 [EventCountry "URS"]
 [FEN ""]

 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. d5 Na6 8. O-O Nc5 9. Qc2 a5 10. Bg5 h6 11. Be3 b6 12. Nd2 Bg4 13. f3 Bd7 14. Rfe1 Nh5 15. g3 f5 16. exf5 gxf5 17. f4 Qe8 18. fxe5 dxe5 19. Bxc5 $6 {Gaining the pawn structure, but poorly judging how strong the Bg7 would become. King safety is always the number one priority in chess.} bxc5 20. Nb3 f4 21. Qd1 Nf6 22. Bd3 Ng4 23. Ne4 Qh5 24. Re2 f3 25. Rf2 Nxf2 26. Nxf2 e4 $1 27. Bxe4 Ba4 $1 {Gaining d4 permanently.} 28. d6 c6 29. Qd2 Bxb3 30. axb3 Bd4 31. Bxc6 Qh3 32. Bd5+ Rf7 33. Bxf3 (33. Bxf7+ $4 Kf8 $1 {And mate on g2 is unavoidable.}) 33... Rxf3 34. Qxd4 Rxg3+ (34...cxd4?? 35. Nxh3) 35. hxg3 Qxg3+ 36. Kh1 Qf3+ (36...cxd4? 37. Rg1 {Black still wins, but has to think about the passers...this is just easier.}) 0-1
  • 2
    As a complete amateur I'm obviously missing something, in game 1, I don't understand move 18, white allows himself to go an exchange down by moving the knight, the only idea behind this I can see is either to make space to push the g pawn, which isn't done until much later anyway, or to support Bg5 which looks to me like it would at least result in the swapping of black square bishops, which surely is a good thing for white in this situation – Darren H Mar 2 '20 at 7:42
  • 1
    White has to deal with Black's threat of mate in two (through some combination of N moves from h2 and and Qh4). Just moving the rook does little to deal with this. Simplest to see (for me) is something like Rd1 Ng4 when black threatens both Qh4 mate and Nf2+ picking up the white queen, and white can only stop both by giving up his queen - and it turns out an immediate Qh4 by black is even stronger, but in either line White is dead. So he has to stop the mate threat, and Nge4 prepares to block the h file check with Bh2. Strategy is good, but it is always trumped by tactics! – Ian Bush Mar 2 '20 at 9:51
  • @IanBush Thanks for getting that question. I just woke up on the East Coast of the U.S. – PhishMaster Mar 2 '20 at 10:21
  • 1
    @PhishMaster No worries, and nice games! Though I don't play the KID they are useful in reinforcing ideas in what I do play (Modern Benoni, Pirc, occasional Modern). Often in the Benoni Black getting a stable bishop on d4 seems to mark the beginning of the end for White. – Ian Bush Mar 2 '20 at 10:39
  • @IanBush Right, it is not really just in the KID...it happens in the Benoni too. – PhishMaster Mar 2 '20 at 10:44

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