How to Play King’s Indian Defense In Chess

The Kings Indian Defense is one of the most solid hypermodern defenses in chess.

The main idea for Black is to give up his central control for a solid defensive position that is hard to break up.

The Kings Indian Defense is a dynamic opening, exceptionally complex, and a favourite of former world champions Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer, and Mikhail Tal.

The opening appears on the board after the following moves:

  1. d4 Nf6
  2. c4 g6

Black builds an extremely strong defense around his king and then looks to counter attack depending on where white’s structure is weak.

Kings Indian Defense Variation

[+] Classical Variation
The Classical Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5.

[+] The Petrosian Variation
7.d5 is the Petrosian Variation, so named for the 1963–69 world champion Tigran Petrosian. The Petrosian Variation can be a good surprise weapon for White against the King’s Indian Defense.

[+] Samisch Variation: 5.f3
In this variation White wants to solidify his position and prevent Black from using an important g4-square. White will try to castle queenside in order to attack on the kingside by advancing his pawns.

[+] Four Pawns Attack: 5.f4
The Four Pawns Attack of the King’s Indian Defense is the most aggressive variation for White to fight this opening. White creates a very dangerous pawn formation and wants to exert his central control. On the other hand, Black has better development.

Although the Kings Indian Defense is a very solid opening for black it is also very passive in the early stages and if you are a very aggressive player you will not enjoy this opening. Much like any opening in chess, though, in the middle stages of this opening will allow for many opportunities for counter play.

Watch the video below to get a detailed explanation of the defense and extended lines.

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