The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith [80/20 Tactics]

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Chess Tactics in The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith

Chess Tactics in The King’s Indian Defense - GM Bryan Smith

The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith [80/20 Tactics]

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.

Every 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?

How To Beat the King’s Indian Defense – IM Nazi Paikidze

King’s Indian Defense Initial Position

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

Chess Tactics in The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith

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

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Running Time

8 hours



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1 review for The King’s Indian Defense – GM Bryan Smith [80/20 Tactics]

  1. Rated 5 out of 5


    You always get bang for your buck with a Bryan Smith video, and this is no exception. Bryan is amazing at getting you into his mind as he evaluates a position, and how he spots tactical themes is truly instructive. The KID is very sharp, so the video is filled with lots of fun tactics for white and black. He doesn’t cover common lines, as this is not intended as a repertoire video. It’s most useful for someone already playing the KID or looking to learn it. For me the KID is my second opening against d4, and this video opened my eyes to new ideas I hadn’t considered. I can’t wait to use these tactics over the board!

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