The King’s Indian Defense is a dynamic attacking response to 1.d4 and was favored by historical legends such as Bronstein, Fischer, Tal, and Kasparov.
In a counter-intuitive approach, you’ll happily allow white to occupy the center with a massive pawn wall, only to then use this wall as a target for your own later pawn strikes that blow open the position to your own benefit.
The best thing is that when playing this opening, you’ll attack with all the aggression you feel necessary, and score your black wins via devastating piece sacrifices, pawn storms and kingside invasions that lead to fast checkmate.
In a word: there is never a boring game!
This video is a free preview of GM Bryan Smith’s brand new 5-hour course, ‘Smashing 1.d4 Players with the King’s Indian Defense’.
Classical King’s Indian Sidelines
In this video, GM Smith covers the minor lines of the classical variation up to move 7. He calls them minor lines because they don’t lead into the key lines of the Mar del Plata, but they’re still important to know.
GM Smith begins with the Exchange Variation. He notes that this variation often annoys Kings Indian players because White has a well-known route to a draw. So, in the case that it is played, Black has to take some risks in order to fight for a win.
It could begin like this: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 (Diagram left)
One line that GM Smith offers for this situation is 6…Nbd7, which could lead to 7.0-0 e5. You’ll miss the main lines of the Mar del Plata for the sake of dodging the Exchange Variation. It can lead to a sharp game.
GM Smith notes here that you don’t have to avoid the Exchange Variation in order to play for a win. Getting a draw isn’t as simple for White as you might think.
The game continues with 6…e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1.
The next variation Smith discusses starts with 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8 9.Nd5 Rd7!? This isn’t seen much but is playable. The goal of …Rd7 is to guard c7 and stop the check on e7. At the same time, Black attacks the pawn on e4. 10.Nxf6+ Rxf6 11.c5 Rc6. Black was fine at this point despite the doubled pawns. Black ended up winning the game with this strategy.
However, 9.Bg5 is the key line. Smith suggests 9…Nbd7!? because this avoids the mainline. The idea is that Black prepares …c6, defends the pawn on e5, and the knight develops to a good square.
This would be followed by 10.0-0-0 Rf8 11.Nd5 c6 12.Ne7+ Kh8. (Diagram, right)
In this situation, the white-squared bishop isn’t in a great position. Black, on the other hand, has the d4 square to look forward to, following an exchange of dark-squared bishops. There’s no threat of the bishop getting away, so a normal move would be 13.Be3, followed by 13…b6!
This is an important move to know. The idea is to develop the bishop to b7 and to support …c5. So White either has to take the bishop or take on c6. If he takes on c6 then Black takes on e4 because at this point, there’s no knight attacking the bishop on c8. Here, there are no problems for Black. Black’s majority on the kingside is fairly easy to advance.
In the case of 14.g4 Raxc8 15.Nd2, Black can play 15…c5. After …c5 the situation looks strange, but with more knights on the board than the opponent, it’s good to block the position.
14.g4 can also be met by 14…Bb7. This probably looks like a surprising move. The tactical goal is that after g5, …Rae8 is possible. After this, it’s clear that Black doesn’t have to deal with the threat of a knight chase from f6 but can simply trap White’s knight on e7. Whichever way he goes, it will be a dynamic position with an imbalance.
There are many possibilities and the game is at least equal in these cases. The Exchange Variation need not be feared. It’s mainly a psychological weapon.
Be sure to watch the video for a full explanation, and also a look at the Gligoric Variation and the Petrosian Variation.
Smash 1.d4 Players with the King’s Indian
In this course, Grandmaster Bryan Smith reveals how you can use this opening to storm the enemy king, fend off and swat away white’s positional squeeze play and win your games in brilliant style.
And to assure that you’re fully prepared and armed to the teeth, GM Smith covers ALL modern theory in detail, provides detailed strategic plans, reveals the typical piece sacrifices and even shares the “spirit” you should play your games in.
This is a fun, attacking and sound opening that you can use for the rest of your chess play against 1.d4. Click here to get instant access with 35% off.