The King’s Indian Defense is a popular opening choice at all levels and is the choice of players looking to win as Black against 1.d4.
The reason for this is that many positions in the King’s Indian Defense promise Black more active play than in most other openings. Black is able to avoid early simplifications and can enter unbalanced positions, which allows him to play for more than equality.
From club players to Super-GMs like Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov or Garry Kasparov, you regularly see this opening arising on the chess board.
The Averbakh Variation of the King’s Indian arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 (diagram).
With this setup, White has developed his bishops to the g5 and e2 squares, choosing to do so ahead of developing the g1 knight. This makes it hard for Black to play the pawn break …e5.
In this exclusive iChess Club video, King’s Indian Defense expert GM Damian Lemos explains how Black can play against this idea. As Damian will show, while this is a solid setup for White, it does have some drawbacks, such as the fact the d4 square is less-defended, and White’s development is somewhat slow as the bishop on e2 can end up blocking in the knight.
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