80/20 Tactics Multiplier : The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith

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80/20 Tactics Multiplier: Tactics in The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith

If you want to know an opening, you should be familiar with its typical positional ideas and remember the most important theoretical lines. But this is not enough.

Kings Indian Defense Bryan Smith GDNEvery opening has its own stock of tactical motives. Therefore, you also have to know the typical tactical patterns which frequently recur in your opening.

GM Bryan Smith’s course on the essential chess tactics in the King’s Indian Defense gives you a complete understanding of typical tactical patterns for both sides. Even if you only play the King’s Indian as Black, it’s important to know the opportunities available to White so you can prevent them!

The KID is a complex and rewarding opening where White enjoys more space but Black has a number of surprising methods to lay siege to the enemy position, often resulting in brilliant wins.

GM Bryan Smith explains the mechanics behind some of the most powerful tactics in Grandmaster play before giving detailed commentary on 2 of his own games.

About the Author:

Bryan Smith is an American Grandmaster and chess coach. GM Smith has won many international tournaments including Limpedea Cup (Romania), Citta di Erba (Italy), Easter International (Serbia), Philadelphia International, National Chess Congress, US Masters, etc.

Grandmaster Bryan Smith grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some of his accomplishments include first place in the 2008 National Chess Congress, 2009 National Chess Congress, 2010 Philadelphia International, and 2011 Limpedea Cup.

Is this course for me?

The King’s Indian Defense - Gm Bryan Smith 80/20 Tactics

The King’s Indian Defense is a chess opening for Black against 1.d4 and occurs after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7. You can see this position in the following diagram.

First of all, it is key to understand that the King’s Indian Defense is a hypermodern opening. Black does not try to control the center early on with his pawns but spends time fianchettoing his dark-squared bishop and only later attacks the center with his pieces.

To put it into a simple formula: Black first leaves the center to White and then tries to conquer it with his superior development.

Here’s what you’ll learn with this course:

Queenside Initiative

In many variations in the King’s Indian Defense, White is aiming for initiative on the queenside. Black has to be aware of the fact that White can sometimes sacrifice a whole piece in order to gain extremely strong connected passed pawns.

Vulnerable e6-square

The King’s Indian Defense - Gm Bryan Smith 80/20 Tactics

In the closed structures of the King’s Indian Defense, where the center is closed by d4-d5, Black almost always has to seek counterplay on the kingside with f7-f5. This, however, has the downside that the e6 square can become vulnerable. White’s knight can come to g5 and e6 in some cases.

In this position, White played 16.Ne6, attacking Black’s queen and rook. After 16…Bxe6 17.dxe5 Qc8 18.Nd5, White has a promising position. If Black takes the pawn on e6, White can play c5 and make use of the a2-g8 diagonal.

Black’s light-squared bishop

In the Mar del Plata variation – the most famous line of the King’s Indian Defense – the light-squared bishop is extremely important for Black. White has an initiative on the queenside, Black goes all in for an attack against White’s king.

Black’s pawn chain is on the dark squares, but he needs to break through on the light squares. Therefore if White can get this bishop, Black’s attack usually ends. It’s a common tactical idea to eliminate this bishop – even at the cost of material.

This course will give you an elevated understanding of the typical tactical and strategic themes of the King’s Indian Defense, which you can test and strengthen with the included quizzes!

Additional information

Running Time

8 hours



Opening Name

Production House

Content Outline


Part 1: Tactics for Black

  1. Introduction 
  2. Barrett-Smith
  3. Batordene-Smith
  4. Checa-Smith
  5. Hamer-Smith
  6. Hassen-Smith
  7. Khismatullin-Smirin
  8. Li-Wang
  9. Morefield-Smith
  10. MVL-Mamedyarov
  11. Najer-Mamedyarov
  12. Piorun-HillarpPersson
  13. Radovanovic-Smith
  14. Raghunandan-Amonatov
  15. Ringoir-Cheparinov
  16. Shmelov-Smith
  17. Sinha-Smith
  18. So-Nakamura
  19. Spacek-Smirin
  20. Ulrich-Smith
  21. Wu-Smith

Part 2: Tactics for White

  1. Introduction
  2. Antic-Kolev
  3. Bogdanovich-Belous
  4. Eljanov-Eijk
  5. Shankland-Patel
  6. Georgiev-Georgiev
  7. Lei-Bakalchuk
  8. Mareco-Nedev.mp4
  9. Vallejo-Mustaps
  10. Melkumyan-DiBerardino
  11. Miron-Ambru
  12. Navara-Muhammad
  13. Vocaturo-Steel

Part 3: Decision-making in the KID

  1. Introduction 
  2. Intuition and counterplay 
  3. Calculation and evaluation 
  4. Schematic thinking 
  5. Blackburne’s brilliance 
  6. Conclusion