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King's Indian Defence

The King's Indian Defence is a common chess opening. It arises after the moves:
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 g6
Black intends to follow up with 3...Bg7 and 4...d6 (the Grünfeld Defence arises when
Black plays 3...d5 instead, and is considered a separate opening). White's major third
move options are 3.Nc3, 3.Nf3 or 3.g3, with both the King's Indian and Grünfeld
playable against these moves. The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) classifies
the King's Indian Defence under the codes E60 through E99.
In the most critical lines of the King's Indian, White erects an imposing pawn center with
Nc3 followed by e4. Black stakes out his own claim to the center with the Benoni-style
...c5, or ...e5. If White resolves the central pawn tension with d5, then Black follows with
either ...b5 and queenside play, or ...f5 and an eventual kingside attack. Meanwhile,
White attempts to expand on the opposite wing. The resulting unbalanced positions
offer scope for both sides to play for a win.

Overview
The King's Indian is a hypermodern opening, where Black deliberately allows White
control of the centre with his pawns, with the view to subsequently challenge it with the
moves ...e5 or ...c5. Until the mid-1930s, it was generally regarded as highly suspect,
but the analysis and play of three strong Soviet players in particular—Alexander
Konstantinopolsky,Isaac Boleslavsky, and David Bronstein—helped to make the
defence much more respected and popular. It is a dynamic opening, exceptionally
complex, and a favourite of formerworld champions Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer,
and Mikhail Tal, with prominent grandmasters Viktor Korchnoi, Miguel Najdorf, Efim
Geller, John Nunn, Svetozar Gligorić,Wolfgang Uhlmann, and Ilya Smirin having also
contributed much to the theory and practice of this opening. In the early 2000s the
opening's popularity suffered after Vladimir Kramnik scored excellent results against it,
so much so that even Kasparov gave up the opening after relentless losses to Kramnik.
However, Kramnik himself won a fine game on the black side of the KID in 2012, [1] and
current top players Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Ding Liren all play the
opening.

Variations
The main variations of the King's Indian are:
3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6[edit]
Classical Variation: 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5
The Classical Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5.

 The Main Line or Mar del Plata Variation continues 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7. Now White
has a wide variety of moves, including 9.b4, 9.Ne1, and 9.Nd2, among others.
Typically, White will try to attack on the queenside by preparing the pawn break c4–
c5, while Black will attack on the kingside by transferring his knight from f6 to d7
(usually better placed than at e8, as it helps slow White's queenside play with c4–
c5), and starting a kingside pawn storm with f7–f5–f4 and g6–g5. 9.b4, introduced
by Korchnoi in the 1970s, used to put top players off playing this line, but it has
recently been revived by Radjabov.
 7.0-0 Nbd7 is the Old Main Line, and is playable, though less common nowadays
than 7...Nc6.
 7.0-0 exd4 8.Nxd4 is also possible, although White's extra space usually is of
greater value than Black's counterplay against White's centre. Made popular in the
mid-1990s by the Russian Grandmaster Igor Glek, new ideas were found for White
yet some of the best lines for White were later refuted. White still has an advantage
in most lines.
 7.0-0 Na6 has seen some popularity recently. The purpose of this awkward-looking
move is to move the knight to c5 after an eventual d5, while guarding c7 if Black
should play ...Qe8. Play commonly continues 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8! but White has
also tried:
 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Qxd8 Rxd8 with even chances;
 8.d5 Nc5 9.Qc2 a5 may transpose into the Petrosian System (see below);
 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Qe8 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c5!, which is not totally reliable for Black.
 7.d5 is the Petrosian System, so named for the 1963–69 world champion Tigran
Petrosian, who often essayed the line in the 1960s, with Vladimir Kramnik playing
this variation extensively in the 1990s. The plans for both sides are roughly the
same as in the main variation. After 7...a5 White plays 8.Bg5 to pin the knight,
making it harder for Black to achieve the f7–f5 break. In the early days of the
system, Black would drive the bishop back with ...h6 and ...g5, though players
subsequently switched to ideas involving ...Na6, ...Qe8 and ...Bd7, making White's
c4–c5 break more difficult, only then playing for kingside activity. Joe
Gallagher[2] has recommended the flexible 7...Na6 which has similar ideas to 7...a5.
 7.Be3 is often known as the Gligoric System, after the World Championship
Candidate Svetozar Gligorić, who has contributed much to King's Indian theory and
practice with both colours. More recently, other strong players such as
Korchnoi, Anatoly Karpov, and Kasparov have played this line. The main idea
behind this move is to avoid the theoretical lines that arise after 7.0-0 Nc6. This
move allows White to maintain, for the moment, the tension in the centre. If Black
plays mechanically with 7...Nc6, 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2! is a favourable setup, so Black
most often responds by crossing his opponent's plans with 7...Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4
Nc6, but other moves are also seen, such as:
 7...Na6 8.0-0 transposing into the modern.
 7...h6!? is a favourite of John Nunn. The main line runs 8.0-0 Ng4 9.Bc1 Nc6
10.d5 Ne7 11.Ne1 f5 12.Bxg4 fxg4. In this subvariation, Black's kingside play is
of a different type than normal KID lines, as it lacks the standard pawn breaks,
so he will now play g6–g5 and Ng6–f4, often investing material in a piece attack
in the f-file against the white king, while White plays for the usual queenside
breakthrough with c4–c5.
 7...exd4 immediately surrenders the centre, with a view to playing a quick c7–c6
and d6–d5. For example, 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 c6 10.Qd2 (10.Bf2!?) 10...d5 11.exd5
cxd5 12.0-0 Nc6 13.c5 and 13...Rxe3!? (which was first seen in game 11 of
the 1990 World Chess Championship between Kasparov and Karpov).
 In the Exchange Variation (7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8 Rxd8), White exchanges queens
and is content to play for a small, safe advantage in the relatively quiet positions
which will ensue in this queenless middlegame. The line is often played by White
players hoping for an early draw, but there is still a lot of play left in the position.
White tries to exploit d6 with moves such as b4, c5, Nf3–d2–c4–d6, etc., while Black
will play to control the hole on d4. In practice, it is easier to exploit d4, and chances
are balanced. If Black is able to play ...Nd4, he will often have at least an equal
position, even when this involves the sacrifice of a pawn to eliminate White's dark-
squared bishop.

Sämisch Variation: 5.f3


Main article: King's Indian Defence, Sämisch Variation

The Sämisch Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3. It is named after Friedrich Sämisch,
who developed the system in the 1920s. This often leads to very sharp play with the
players castling on opposite wings and attacking each other's kings, as in the Bagirov–
Gufeld game given below, though it may also give rise to heavyweight positional
struggles. Black has a variety of pawn breaks, such as ...e5, ...c5 and ...b5 (prepared by
...c6 and/or ...a6). This can transpose to the Modern Benoni after 5...0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5
e6. World champions Mikhail Botvinnik, Mikhail Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris
Spassky, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov have all played this variation. This line
defends the e4-pawn to create a secure centre and enables White to begin an attack
kingside with Be3, Qd2, Bh6, g2–g4 and h2–h4. It allows placement of a bishop on e3
without allowing ...Ng4; however, its drawback is that it deprives the knight on g1 of its
most natural square, thus impeding development of the kingside. Black can strike for
the centre as previously mentioned or delay with 6...Nc6, 7...a6 and 8...Rb8 so that
Black can play ...b7–b5 to open lines on the queenside.
The Classical Defence to the Sämisch is 5...0-0 6.Be3 e5, when White has a choice
between closing the centre with 7.d5, or maintaining the tension with 7.Nge2. Kasparov
was a major proponent of this defence.[3]
The Sämisch Gambit arises after 5...0-0 6.Be3 c5. This is a pawn sacrifice, and was
once considered dubious. As Black's play has been worked out, this evaluation has
changed, and the gambit now enjoys a good reputation. A practical drawback, however,
is that a well-prepared but unambitious White player can often enter lines leading to a
forced draw.[3] The line where White accepts the gambit runs 5...0-0 6.Be3 c5 7.dxc5
dxc5 8.Qxd8 (8.e5 Nfd7 9.f4 f6 10.exf6 is also possible here, though less often seen)
Rxd8 9.Bxc5 Nc6. Black's activity is believed to give sufficient compensation. White's
most frequent play is to decline the gambit, and instead play 7.Nge2, and head for
Benoni type positions after a d4–d5 advance.
5...0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8 leads to the Panno Variation of the Sämisch.
Black prepares to respond appropriately depending on White's choice of plan. If White
plays 0-0-0 and goes for a kingside attack, then 7...a6 prepares ...b7–b5 with a
counterattack against White's castled position. If instead White plays more cautiously,
then Black challenges White's centre with ...e5.
Averbakh Variation: 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5
The Averbakh Variation is 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 (named for Yuri
Averbakh), which prevents the immediate 6...e5.
Black often repels the bishop with ...h6 giving him the option of a later g5, though in
practice this is a weakening move. White has various ways to develop, such as Qd2,
Nf3, f4 or even h4. However, Black obtains good play against all of these development
schemes.
The old main line in this begins with 6...c5 (which keeps the long diagonal open).
However, 6...Nbd7 and 6...Na6 (Judit Polgár's move) are also seen.
It is possible that the Averbakh System (of the Modern Defense) can transition to the
Averbakh Variation of the King's Indian Defence.

Four Pawns Attack: 5.f4


Main article: King's Indian Defence, Four Pawns Attack

The Four Pawns Attack continues with 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3. This is the
most aggressive method for White, and was often seen in the 1920s. With his fifth
move, White erects a massive centre at the price of falling behind in development. If
Black can open the position, White may well find himself overextended. From this 6...c5
is the main line.

 6...c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5


 9...Bg4 has been a solid line for Black.
 9...Re8 can be justified with solid play.
 9...b5 is known to lead to sharp, dangerous play.
 6...Na6 is known as the Modern Variation. This is a move anticipating playing
...Nc5 with counterplay. Has worked with success of neutral moves made from
White, such as 7.Bd3. On the other hand, 7.e5 is the most aggressive plan.

Fianchetto Variation: 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3


The Fianchetto Variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0, is
named for White's development of his light-squared bishop to g2, and is one of the most
popular lines at the grandmaster level, with Korchnoi once its most notable practitioner.
This method of development is on completely different lines than other King's Indian
variations. Here, Black's normal plan of attack can hardly succeed, as White's kingside
is more solidly defended than in most KID variations. The most common responses are:

 6...Nbd7 with 8...exd4. Black intends to claim the centre with ...e7–e5. 7.Nc3 e5 8.e4
exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6. Preparation has been made for 11...Rb8, with ...c7–c5
and ...b7–b5, and sometimes with ...Ne5 first. This is known as the Gallagher
Variation of theFianchetto Variation.
 8...c6 and 8...a6 are alternatives.
 6...Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.d5 Na5. This variation goes against ancient dogma which states
that knights are not well placed on the rim; however, extra pressure is brought to
bear against the Achilles Heel of the fianchetto lines—the weakness at c4.
Hundreds of master games have continued with 9.Nd2 c5 10.Qc2 Rb8 11.b3 b5
12.Bb2 bxc4 13.bxc4 Bh6 14.f4 (14.e3 Bf5 is a trap that numbers Mark
Taimanov among its victims;[4] White must now lose material, as he has no good
interposition) e5!

Sidelines
Finally, White has other setups, such as Nf3 and h3 and Nge2 (with or without Bd3), but
these are currently not as popular at the grandmaster level. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7
4.e4 d6 5.Nge2 followed by 6.Ng3 is called the Hungarian Attack.

Famous games
The moves are shown for one of the most famous King's Indian games, a brilliancy by
the late Ukrainian-American grandmaster Eduard Gufeld, who called it his "Mona
Lisa":[5]
Vladimir Bagirov–Eduard Gufeld, USSR championship 1973
1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.e4 Nf6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 Rb8 8.Qd2 a6
9.Bh6 b5 10.h4 e5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.h5 Kh8 13.Nd5 bxc4 14.hxg6 fxg6 15.Qh6
Nh5 16.g4 Rxb2 17.gxh5 g5 18.Rg1 g4 19.0-0-0 Rxa2 20.Nef4 exf4 21.Nxf4 Rxf4
22.Qxf4 c3 23.Bc4 Ra3 24.fxg4 Nb4 25.Kb1 Be6 26.Bxe6 Nd3 27.Qf7 Qb8+
28.Bb3 Rxb3+ 29.Kc2 Nb4+ 30.Kxb3 Nd5+ 31.Kc2 Qb2+ 32.Kd3 Qb5+ 0–1

ECO codes
The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO) classification of variations of the King's
Indian are:
 E60 King's Indian Defence
 E61 King's Indian Defence, 3.Nc3
 E62 King's Indian, Fianchetto Variation
 E63 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation
 E64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav system
 E65 King's Indian, Yugoslav, 7.0-0
 E66 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav Panno
 E67 King's Indian, Fianchetto with ...Nbd7
 E68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
 E69 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Main line
 E70 King's Indian, 4.e4
 E71 King's Indian, Makogonov system (5.h3)
 E72 King's Indian with e4 & g3
 E73 King's Indian, 5.Be2
 E74 King's Indian, Averbakh, 6...c5
 E75 King's Indian, Averbakh, Main line
 E76 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack
 E77 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, 6.Be2
 E78 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, with Be2 and Nf3
 E79 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, Main line
 E80 King's Indian, Sämisch Variation
 E81 King's Indian, Sämisch, 5...0-0
 E82 King's Indian, Sämisch, 6...b6
 E83 King's Indian, Sämisch, 6...Nc6
 E84 King's Indian, Sämisch, Panno Main line
 E85 King's Indian, Sämisch, Orthodox Variation
 E86 King's Indian, Sämisch, Orthodox, 7.Nge2 c6
 E87 King's Indian, Sämisch, Orthodox, 7.d5
 E88 King's Indian, Sämisch, Orthodox, 7.d5 c6
 E89 King's Indian, Sämisch, Orthodox Main line
 E90 King's Indian, 5.Nf3
 E91 King's Indian, Kazakh variation, 6.Be2
 E92 King's Indian, Classical Variation
 E93 King's Indian, Petrosian system, Main line
 E94 King's Indian, Orthodox Variation
 E95 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, 8.Re1
 E96 King's Indian, Orthodox, 7...Nbd7, Main line
 E97 King's Indian, Orthodox, Aronin–Taimanov Variation (Yugoslav Attack / Mar del
Plata Variation)
 E98 King's Indian, Orthodox, Aronin–Taimanov, 9.Ne1
 E99 King's Indian, Orthodox, Aronin–Taimanov, Main

Kings Indian Defense


The Kings Indian Defense is one of the most solid defenses in chess. Black builds an
extremely strong defense around his king and then looks to counter attack depending
on where white’s structure is weak.

Play normally starts in the Kings Indian Defense with the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3.
Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6.

This defense is a hypermodern idea that allows white to control the center of the board
early on while black looks to develop his minor pieces early on and move his pawns
towards the center later on in the game.

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.

Famous Games using the Kings Indian Defense

Robert Eugene Byrne vs Robert James Fischer


"The Brilliancy Prize" (game of the day Mar-09-2017)
US Championship (1963/64), New York, NY USA, rd 3, Dec-18
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60) · 0-1

1. d4 Notes from various


sources. 1... Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cd5 5.Qb3maintains more tension. --
Fischer 5... cd5 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. e3 O-O 8. Nge2 Nc6 9. O-Ob6 10. b3 It's hard for either
side to introduce an imbalance into this essentially symmetrical variation. Deadeye
equality also ensues
afer 10.Nf4 e6 11.b3 Ba6 12.Re1Rc8 13.Ba3 Re8 14.Rc1 (Stahlberg-Flohr, Kemeri
1937) -- Fischer 10... Ba6 11. Ba3After White's 11th move I should adjudicate his
position as slightly superior, and at worst completely safe. To turn this into a mating
position in eleven more moves is more witchcraft than chess! Quite honestly, I do not
see the man who can stop Bobby at this time. -- K.F. Kirby, South African Chess
Quarterly 11... Re8 12. Qd2 e5! I was a bit worried about weakening my QP, but felt that
the tremendous activity obtained by my minor pieces would permit White no time to
exploit it. 12...e6 would probably lead to a draw. -- Fischer 13. de5 Ne5 14. Rfd1 "Add
another to those melancholy case histories entitled: The Wrong Rook." -- Fischer ~
"This is very much a case of 'the wrong rook'. One can understand Byrne's desire to
break the pin on the e2-knight, but this turns out to be less important than other
considerations. Fischer spends a lot of time and energy analysing the superior 14.
Rad1!, but still comes to the conclusion that Black can keep the advantage." -- John
Nunn 14... Nd3 Now it's all systems go for the Fischer rocket. -- Robert
Wade 15. Qc2 There is hardly any other defense to the threat of ...Ne4. --
Fischer15... Nf2! The key to Black's previous play. The complete justification for this sac
does not become apparent until White resigns! --
Fischer 16. Kf2 Ng4 17. Kg1 Ne3 18. Qd2Byrne: As I sat pondering why Fischer would
choose such a line, because it was so obviously lost for Black, there suddenly
comes... 18... Ng2!! This dazzling move came as the shocker... the culminating
combination is of such depth that, even at the very moment at which I resigned, both
grandmasters who were commenting on the play for the spectators in a separate room
believed I had a won game! -- Robert Byrne 19. Kg2 d4!20. Nd4 Bb7 The King is at
Black's mercy. -- Fischer 21. Kf1 In a room set aside for commentaries on the games in
progress, two grandmasters were stating, for the benefit of the spectators, that Byrne
had a won game. Byrne's reply to Fischer's next move must have been jaw dropping! --
Wade 21... Qd7 And White resigns. Fischer writes: "A bitter disappointment. I'd hoped
for 22.Qf2 Qh3+ 23.Kg1 Re1+!! 24.Rxe1 Bxd4 with mate to follow shortly."

Louis Stumpers vs Max Euwe


NED-ch prelim I (1946), Leiden NED, rd 6, Nov-01
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60) · 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Ne2 e5 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Nbc3 ed4


9. Nd4 Nc5 10. Re1 a5 11. b3 Re8 12. Bb2 a4 13. Rb1 ab3 14. ab3 c6 15. b4 Ne6 16.
Nc2 Ng5 17. Qd2 Ng4 18. h4 Ne6 19. Nd1 Ne5 20. Nde3 Ra2 21. Bc3 Qf6 22. Ra1 Ra1
23. Ba1 Nf3 24. Bf3 Qf3 25. Nf1 Ba1 26. Na1 Nd4!! 27. Nh2 27.Qe3 Bh3! -+; 27.Re3
Bh3! -+; 27.Qxd4 Bh3 28.Ne3 Rxe4 29.Qd2 [29.Qd1 Rxe3 30.Qxf3 Rxe3 -/+] Rxe3!
30.fxe3 Qxg3+ 31.Kh1 Bg2!! -+ 27... Re4 28. Nc2 Re1 29. Ne1 Ne2 30. Kf1 Bh3

Mikhail Botvinnik vs Vasily Smyslov


Botvinnik - Smyslov World Championship Match (1954), Moscow URS, rd 20, May-04
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60) · 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Nge2 e5 8. b3 Re8 9.


Ba3 h5 10. h3 a6 11. de5 de5 12. e4 Nh7 13. O-O h4 14. Bc1 c6 15. Be3 hg3 16. fg3
Qe7 17. Qd2 b5 18. Rad1 bc4 19. bc4 Qb4 20. Rc1 Bf8 21. Kh2 Nc5 22. Nb1 a5 23.
Qc2 Be6 24. Rfd1 Reb8 25. Bf1 a4 26. Bd2 Qb6 27. Be3 a3 28. Nec3 Qa5 29. Qf2 Be7
30. Rc2 Nf6 31. Nd2 Rb2 32. Rdc1 Rd8 33. Bc5 Qc5 34. Qe2 Qb4 35. Nb3 Rc2 36. Rc2
Ne8 37. Nb1 Nd6 38. N1d2 Nb7 39. h4 Nc5 40. Nc5 Qc5 41. Nb3 Qd6 42. Rd2 Qb4 43.
Rc2 f6 44. Bh3 Bf7 45. Bg4 Kg7 46. Kg2 Qd6 47. Rd2 Qb8 48. Rc2 Bb4 49. h5 Qd6 50.
hg6 Bg6 51. Bh5 Qd3 52. Bg6 Qe2 53. Re2 Kg6 54. Rf2 Kf7 55. Rf1 Ke6 56. Rf3 Be7
57. Rf1 Bb4 58. Rf3 Ke7 59. Rf1 Kf7 60. Rf3 Kg6 61. Rf2 Rd6 62. Rf5 Bd2 63. Rf3 Bg5
64. c5 Rd7 65. Rc3 f5 66. Kf3 Kf6 67. ef5 Kf5 68. g4 Ke6 69. Ke2 e4 70. Rc4 Ke5 71.
Ra4 Rh7 72. Ra3 Rh2
Max Euwe vs Miguel Najdorf
"Swervy Euwe" (game of the day Aug-26-2006)
Zurich Candidates (1953), Zurich SUI, rd 9, Sep-13
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60) · 1-0

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 c5 6. d5 e5 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bf6 Qf6 9. d6


Nc6 10. e3 b6 11. Bd5 Kh8 12. Ne4 Qd8 13. h4 f5 14. Ng5 Bb7 15. g4 e4 16. Ne2 Bb2
17. Nf4 Qf6 18. gf5 Ba1 19. Ng6 Kg7 20. Ne4 Bc3 21. Kf1 Qf5 22. Nf4 Kh8 23. Nc3
Rae8 24. Nce2 Rg8 25. h5 Rg5 26. Ng3 Rg3 27. fg3 Re3 28. Kf2 Re8 29. Re1 Re1 30.
Qe1 Kg7 31. Qe8 Qc2 32. Kg1 Qd1 33. Kh2 Qc2 34. Ng2 Qf5 35. Qg8 Kf6 36. Qh8 Kg5
37. Qg7

Mikhail Botvinnik vs David Bronstein


Botvinnik - Bronstein World Championship Match (1951), Moscow URS, rd 23, May-08
King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60) · 1-0

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cd5 cd5 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Nh3 Bh3 8. Bh3 Nc6 9.
Bg2 e6 10. e3 O-O 11. Bd2 Rc8 12. O-O Nd7 13. Ne2 Qb6 14. Bc3 Rfd8 15. Nf4 Nf6
16. Qb3 Ne4 17. Qb6 ab6 18. Be1 Na5 19. Nd3 Bf8 20. f3 Nd6 21. Bf2 Bh6 22. Rac1
Nac4 23. Rfe1 Na5 24. Kf1 Bg7 25. g4 Nc6 26. b3 Nb5 27. Ke2 Bf8 28. a4 Nc7 29. Bg3
Na6 30. Bf1 f6 31. Red1 Na5 32. Rc8 Rc8 33. Rc1 Rc1 34. Nc1 Ba3 35. Kd1 Bc1 36.
Kc1 Nb3 37. Kc2 Na5 38. Kc3 Kf7 39. e4 f5 40. gf5 gf5 41. Bd3 Kg6 42. Bd6 Nc6 43.
Bb1 Kf6 44. Bg3 fe4 45. fe4 h6 46. Bf4 h5 47. ed5 ed5 48. h4 Nab8 49. Bg5 Kf7 50. Bf5
Na7 51. Bf4 Nbc6 52. Bd3 Nc8 53. Be2 Kg6 54. Bd3 Kf6 55. Be2 Kg6 56. Bf3 N6e7 57.
Bg5

Anatoly Karpov vs Gata Kamsky


Alekhine Memorial (1992), Moscow RUS, rd 6, Nov-??
King's Indian Defense: Normal. King's Knight Variation (E60) · 1-0

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. cd5 cd5 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Ne5 e6 9. O-


O Nfd7 10. f4 Nc6 11. Be3 Nb6 12. Bf2 Bd7 13. e4 Ne7 14. Nd7 Qd7 15. e5 Rac8 16.
Rc1 a6 17. b3 Rc7 18. Qd2 Rfc8 19. g4 Bf8 20. Qe3 Nc6 21. f5 Ba3 22. Rcd1 Nb4 23.
Qh6 Qe8 24. Nb1 Bb2 25. Qd2 Nc2 26. Kh1 Qe7 27. Bg1 Nd7 28. Rf3 Qb4 29. Qh6 Qf8
30. Qg5 Qg7 31. Qd2 b6 32. Rdf1 a5 33. h4 Nb4 34. a3 Rc2 35. Qf4 Nc6 36. Bh3 Nd8
37. Be3 b5 38. R3f2 b4 39. ab4 ab4 40. Rc2 Rc2 41. Rf2 Rf2 42. Qf2 Ba3 43. Qc2 Ne5
44. de5 Qe5 45. Qc8 Qe4 46. Bg2 Qb1 47. Kh2 Bb2 48. Qd8 Kg7 49. f6 Bf6 50. Bh6
Kh6 51. Qf6 Qc2 52. g5 Kh5 53. Kg3 Qc7 54. Kh3

Bobby Fischer And The King's Indian Defense


After Boris Spassky came the most famous chess player ever: Bobby Fischer.

Fischer was the world champion with the most limited and consistent opening
repertoire. Indeed, Fischer had an attitude that there must be one correct way of playing
in each position -- or perhaps more accurately, he felt that consistency was required to
fully become expert in a variation, and that a chess player should find "his" opening and
stick with it.

Fischer fairly early on found "his" openings. He always played 1.e4 as White, and as
Black he met 1.e4 with the Najdorf and played the King's Indian against all the closed
openings.

While he varied on occasion, as a surprise weapon or against a particular opponent, he


basically remained faithful to these openings as the backbone of his repertoire and his
understanding of chess, from the beginning of his career until the end, even including
his one-time comeback in 1992 against Spassky.

It is ironic that a player who invented "Fischer Random Chess" and bemoaned the ever-
increasing amount of theory would be the same who was the biggest (until that time)
specialist in certain openings, and the most dedicated and hardest worker on opening
theory. One can surmise that the young Fischer did not view his work on his favorite
openings as an unpleasant necessity in order to achieve competitive success.

Rather, I think that as a young player he genuinely enjoyed the opening theory. But over
the course of years one's perspective can change, one might become tired of what one
did with joy as a youth, and suddenly years later you have the bitter, older Fischer who
felt that opening theory was killing chess.

Fischer is known for the clarity and directness of his play. Thus, it might seem that an
extremely complex opening like the King's Indian would not suit him as well as one of
the various classically-direct openings. But Fischer had reached an unprecedentedly
high level of technique and understanding, and thus rather than being carried by the
crazy winds of complications -- as most King's Indian players are -- he could control
them himself.

The complexity only served to lead his opponents astray, not himself.

Thus, for instance, let us see Fischer's win against Jan Hein Donner, where the
complicated, "twisted" kind of position arising from the fianchetto variation of the King's
Indian results in a game of classical simplicity:

Donner, Jan Hein vs. Fischer, Robert James


Piatigorsky-Cup 2nd | Santa Monica | Round 13 | 7 Aug 1966 | ECO: E68 | 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Nbd7Fischer usually played


the now quite unusual variation with 6...Nc6 followed by 7...e5, but in this game he uses
the classical main line. 7. O-O e58. e4 c6 9. Rb1!?Slightly unusual at this point, but this
move often figures into White's setup. However, Donner plans to push b2-b4 very early,
which was actually not a good idea.(9. h3 Qb6This has been a main line for a long
time.) 9... a6 10. b4?!Expanding on the queenside seems like a natural idea, but it is
too direct here and - most importantly - weakens the c4 square, which Fischer uses.
White should prefer a move like 10.h3 or
10.Qc2. 10... exd4 11. Nxd4 Re8 12. h3 Ne513. Qe213.Qb3 could be met in the same
way. 13... b5 14. cxb5 cxb5!?A surprising away-from-the-center recapture, which is
typical of such positions from the King's Indian. I discussed it in my article "Karpov-
Kasparov: the King's Indian Defense". On the surface it seems that Black should
capture toward the center, defending d5 and opening the a-file. But in the case of
14...axb5 the pawn structure becomes fixed. It actually becomes harder to carry out
...d6-d5, and Black's light-squared bishop has less prospects as
well.(14... axb5 15. Rd1Black's position is okay, but not as good as in the game - White
maintains his stability and exerts slight pressure.) 15. Rd1 Bb7Ironically, the white e-
pawn is under more pressure than Black's d6-pawn, although only the latter is isolated
on an open file. This is because White is loath to play f2-f3, which would solidly defend
the pawn. 16. f4This attempt to play aggressively only further weakens White's position.
Better was 16.a4 Rc8, although Black's position is preferable. 16... Nc417. Qd3Now
17.a4 already loses material due to the pin on the e-
file.(17. a4 Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Bxe4 19. Bxe4 d5) 17... Rc8 18. Kh2 Qc7It was possible to
begin the immediate doubling of rooks on the e-file with 18...Rc7, followed by
...Rce7.(18... Rc7) 19. Rb3White tries to defend along the c-file. Changing the structure
by 19.Nd5 would fatally expose White along the second
rank.(19. Nd5? Nxd5 20. exd5 Nb6! 21. Nb3(21. Nc6 Nxd5) 21... Qc2) 19... Re7 20. R
e1 Rce8 21. Nc2 Qc8!This will be the final straw - the queen will go to a8, putting even
more pressure on e4.22. Ne3White's pieces are not coordinated to defend e4 (he would
have to involve the knight from c2 or the rook from b3, which is impossible). So he tries
to get out using exchanges, but this just allows a tactic.22... Nxe322...Nxe4 would be
picking the fruit too early, allowing White to play
23.Ned5.(22... Nxe4 23. Ned5!) 23. Rxe3 Nxe4!Now Black breaks through due to the
pin on the c-file. White even gets the d6-pawn in return, but his position is fatally
exposed and his pieces uncoordinated. 24. Bxe4Now after 24.Nd5 the knight can be
exchanged.(24. Nd5 Bxd5 25. Qxd5 Nc3 26. Qd3 Rxe327. Bxe3 Qc4) 24... Bxe4 25.
Qxd6The most resiliant was 25.Rxe4, but Black will still penetrate White's position
decisively.(25. Rxe4 Rxe4 26. Nxe4 Qxc1 27. Nxd6Re1White got the pawn back, but
his king is in danger, his pieces completely uncoordinated, and the bishop stronger than
the knight. Black has many ways to
win.28. Ne4 Bd4! 29. h4 (29. Qxd4 Rh1+30. Kg2 Qf1#) 29... f5If the knight moves,
then comes 30...Rh1+ 31.Kg2 Qg1+ followed by
...Qf2#.)(25. Nxe4 Qxc1) 25... Rd7!Just simple - the queen is forced to a square where
either a skewer or a fork wins material. 26. Qc5If 26.Qb6 then
26...Bd4.(26. Qb6 Bd4) 26... Rc7 27. Nxe4 Rxc5 28. Nxc5 Bd4Black is only up a
queen for a rook and knight, but White's position is fatally overextended - after the trade
of rooks the queen will enter on e2 or e1 decisively.

Fischer was consistent in his use of the King's Indian, and even within that opening he
tended to respond in the same way to each of White's variations. For instance, he
almost always met the classical main line (Nf3/Be2) with 6...e5, and if 7.0-0 then
6...Nc6. The resulting lines with attacks on opposite sides of the board are now the
deepest theory in the King's Indian, but in the 1950s and 1960s, it was fairly new.

Indeed, Fischer's international career began only a few years after the Mar Del Plata
1953 tournament, which for the most part introduced the variation and provided its
name. Thus Fischer did not play as many such games as a modern King's Indian
specialist would encounter. White players tended to play 7.d5 instead, or 7.Be3, if they
did reach this position.

Nevertheless, Fischer's blitz game with Kortschnoj in Herceg Novi showed that he fully
understood and had put a great deal into these lines which not long after became
critical.

Kortschnoj, Viktor vs. Fischer, Robert James


Herceg Novi blitz | Herceg Novi | 1970 | ECO: E97 | 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d65. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-


O Nc6 8. d5 Ne79. Nd2 c5Fischer favored this move, although later 9...a5 became
more popular (and even later, the radical 9...Ne8!?).10. a3Capturing on c6 is now
considered more promising, while if White intends to play as he did in the game, 10.Rb1
seems more accurate. 10... Ne8 11. b4 b6 12. Rb1f5 13. f3 f4In standard fashion
Fischer closes the position and transfers the attack to the g-
file. 14. a4 g5 15. a5 Rf6The transfer of the rook to the sixth rank is perhaps not as
common as the ...Rf7/...Bf8/...Rg7 maneuver, but here it makes sense - Black does not
have a particular need to defend the seventh rank (compared to positions where the c-
file is open). 16. bxc5?!It would be better for White to capture first on b6, opening the a-
file in addition to the b-file. Nevertheless, it will be hard to make progress on the
queenside. 16... bxc5 17. Nb3The knight takes up an awkward square to defend the
a5-pawn. 17... Rg6 18. Bd2 Nf6 19. Kh1g4Black achieves this move relatively easily
compared to usual. 20. fxg4 Nxg421. Rf3?!A further inaccuracy - White hopes to use
the rook to defend along the third rank, but it just ends up exposed, which loses time.
But he would have to anticipate Fischer's later - highly unusual looking - maneuver. Yes,
and in a blitz game.21... Rh6 22. h3 Ng6 23. Kg1 Nf624. Be1Black's knights have been
chased back and the rook stands strangely on h6. It looks at first like White's position is
solid and it will be hard to make progress on the kingside... 24... Nh8!!The knight is
heading to the g5 square with devastating effect (while also clearing g6 for the rook).
Now, such a knight maneuver is known and most good King's Indian players will find it -
but this game was played long ago, and it was precisely games such as this which have
led the way. 25. Rd3White has to reorganize his defense. 25... Nf7 26. Bf3 Ng5White
had two moves to do something, but there was little he do. Now the pressure on f3 and
h3 is overwhelming, and soon a piece will be
sacrificed. 27. Qe2 Rg6 28. Kf1Nxh3!Crashing
through. 29. gxh3 Bxh3+30. Kf2 Ng4+! 31. Bxg4 Bxg4The queen is attacked and
32...Qh4+ is also coming, so Korchnoi resigned.

The King's Indian was also featured in Fischer's 1971 match demolitions of Mark
Taimanov and Bent Larsen.

Taimanov, Mark E (2620) vs. Fischer, Robert James (2740)


Candidates qf3 | Vancouver | Round 1 | 16 May 1971 | ECO: E97 | 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d65. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-


O Nc6 8. d5 Ne79. Bd2In this match, Taimanov was experimenting with an alternative
to his original idea of 9.Ne1 - bringing the rook to c1 first, while leaving the knight on f3.
Needless to say (in view of the 6-0 match result) it didn't meet with success. The knight
excursions to g5 ended up futile. 9... Ne810. Rc1 f5 11. exf5 gxf5 12. Ng5h6Fischer's
play was very direct - he just forces the knight into e6 and then simply captures the
pawn in exchange for the b7-pawn, rather than trying to win a pawn. As a result, Black
ends up with a massive pawn center and also uses the b-
file. 13. Ne6 Bxe614. dxe6 Qc8 15. Qb3It was better to start with
15.Nd5.(15. Nd5 Qxe6 16. Qb3Nevertheless, after16... Rb8It is not simple to prove
White's compensation.) 15... c6 16. Bh5?This is just grasping at straws, and the bishop
will only be chased back with loss of
time. 16... Qxe6 17. Qxb7Nf6 18. Be2 Rfb8 19. Qa6 Rxb2So Black won a pawn
anyway. White's two bishops and the active queen on a6 might provide enough
compensation for the pawn alone, but not for the pawn plus Black's massive center and
active knights. 20. Rfd1 e4It was worth considering 29... Nd7 instead, heading for
c5. 21. Qa3 Rb7 22. Bf4 d5 23. cxd5cxd5 24. Nb5 Ng6 25. Nd4 Qd7 26. Qe3Kh7 27.
h3?(27. Ba6!And if the rook moves then 28. Rc7 comes. There are, however, some
complications after
27...Ng4. 27... Ng4(27... Rb6 28. Bb5 Rxb5 29. Rc7) 28. Qg3) 27... Rf8 28. Ba6Now its
not quite as strong. 28... Rb6 29. Rc7 Qa4 30. Rxg7+(30. Be2 Ne8wins for Black - the
rook is under attack while 31...Nxf4 followed by ...Bxd4 is also threatened when the rook
moves
away.) 30... Kxg7 31. Bxh6+ Kf7 32. Be2 Rfb833. Nxf5 Rb1 34. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 35. Kh2
Qd7The game remains unclear - Black is up the exchange, but his king is exposed and
White's two bishops create dangerous threats. It is very hard for Black to consolidate or
to find a meaningful target to attack. But now White makes a blunder, giving Black the
chance to immediately attack the white king. 36. Nd4?Natural, but a move like 36.g4
was much better. 36... Qd6+37. g3 Qb4Now 38...Qe1 is a major threat, when White will
not have time to avoid mate.38. Nc6 Qb6!Not 38...Qe1 39.Qxa7+ with a perpetual. But
now Black will force the trade of queens, after which the passed d-pawn will be
sufficient for victory. 39. Nxa7(39. Nd4 Ra1doesn't help, as White cannot create any
threats with his knight pinned and Black is meanwhile capturing the a-pawn (followed,
perhaps, by ...Ra4).) 39... Qxe3 40. Bxe3 Re1Taimanov resigned, since after the
bishop moves 41...Ne5 follows (again with gain of tempo due to the threat of ...Nf3+ and
...Rg1#), and then ...d4, with the unstoppable advance of the d-pawn.
Larsen, Bent (2660) vs. Fischer, Robert James (2760)
Candidates sf1 | Denver | Round 4 | 13 Jul 1971 | ECO: E97 | 0-1

1. c4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 O-O5. e4 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. O-


O Nc6 8. d5 Ne79. Nd2 c5 10. Rb1Superior, compared to Korchnoi's 10.a3 in the blitz
game. The rook will have a potential role on the b-file, while White's a-pawn is likely to
advance again
anyway. 10... Ne8 11. b4 b6 12. a4 f5 13. a5Nf6 14. Qa4 Bd7 15. Qa3 Bh6 16. Bd3 Qc
717. bxc5 bxc5 18. exf5 gxf5 19. Bc2 a620. Nde4 Bxc1 21. Nxf6+ Rxf6 22. Rfxc1Raf
8 23. Rb6 Bc8Black is holding on the queenside, with a potential storm menacing on
the kingside. However, the position is objectively about equal. 24. Ne2Hoping to play
25.f4, fixing the f5 pawn and thus impeding the light-squared bishop. But perhaps it was
better to keep the knight within reach of the e4-square, preventing Black's next
move. 24... f4The e- and f- duo lose their flexibility and give up the e4-square, but Black
opens the bishop on c8 and also gives the knight the f5-square. The future attack on the
g-file will also be aided by the f-pawn. 25. Be4 Nf5 26. Rc6Qg7Imperceptibly, White has
lost the initiative. He has not succeeded in creating threats on the queenside, while
Black's attak on the kingside is gathering momentum.27. Rb1 Nh4 28. Qd3There was a
small combination with 28.Rxc8, but it fails to a
boomerang.(28. Rxc8 Rxc8 29. Qh3fails to29... Rcf8and if 30. Qxh4 Rh6traps the
queen!) 28... Bf5After this, White is lost. The bishop cannot move and ...f3 is
coming. 29. Kh1f3Not only threatening the knight and g2 pawn itself, but also cutting
the line from the bishop on
e4. 30. Ng3 fxg2+ 31. Kg1 Bxe432. Qxe4 Nf3+ 33. Kxg2 Nd2Besides the fork, there is
also the issue of the f2-pawn, so Black is winning everything.

But interestingly, Fischer avoided playing the King's Indian entirely against Tigran
Petrosian in the next, candidates final match. In addition, he had tended to avoid the
opening against "Iron Tigran" in earlier, tournament play. It seems that despite
preferring consistency, Fischer could be pragmatic too -- and thus usually avoided
playing the opening that fed Tigran's family.
Nevertheless, Fischer felt the King's Indian positions perfectly, and could rely on them to
mow down weaker opposition.

Bisguier, Arthur Bernard vs. Fischer, Robert James


USA-ch | New York | Round 11 | 3 Jan 1961 | ECO: E90 | 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bf4 c5 6. d5 d6 7. e4 Qa5 8. Bd3 Bg4 9. O-


O Nbd7 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 Ne5 12. Qe2 Nxd3 13. Qxd3 a6 14. Bd2 Nd7 15. b3 Qc7
16. f4?!White should prevent Black's next move with 16.a4.
(16. a4)
16... b5!This Benko-style move is very correct here. Black's play comes alive. 17. cxb5
Qb6Due to the threat of ...c4+ and the pin on the long diagonal, White won't get to keep
the pawn. 18. Kh2 axb5 19. Nxb5Correctly deciding to sacrifice the exchange rather
than be simply crushed. 19... Bxa1 20. Rxa1 Rfc8 21. Qc4 Qa6 22. a4 Nb6 23. Qc2
c4!Achieving this breakthrough, as usual, is critical. Fischer will have to sacrifice the c-
pawn, but the most important thing is that lines are opened. 24. b4 c3 25. Nxc3 Qc4 26.
b5 Qd4White has two pawns for the exchange, but remains tied up. 27. Be1 Nc4 28.
Qf2 Ne3 29. Rd1?Allowing a nice queen sacrifice to sweep White's pieces off the board.
White had to play 29.Rc1, but after 29...Qd3 would still have a difficult position.
(29. Rc1 Qd3)
29... Qxc3! 30. Bxc3 Nxd1 31. Qd4?31.Qh4 was the best chance - White could capture
the e7-pawn as well, but Black would quickly get the queenside pawns.
(31. Qh4 Nxc3 32. Qxe7 Rxa4)
31... Nxc3 32. b6 Rc5 33. e5 Rxa4 34. b7 Rxd4 35. b8=Q+ Kg7 36. exd6 exd6 37.
Qxd6 Rcxd5With the overwhelming material superiority Black has no problems winning.
38. Qc7 Ne2 39. f5 Rxf5 40. Qa7 Rfd5 41. Qa1 Nf4
Ultimately, Fischer's approach to opening theory was one of consistency, and this was
how he lived life as well. The true artist has to specialize in one thing rather than being a
dilettante in many. Thus he became one of the biggest experts in his openings, and has
inspired all the specialists in the King's Indian that followed.
Queen's Indian Defense

The Queen's Indian Defense[1] (QID) is a chess opening defined by the moves:
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nf3 b6
The opening is a solid defense to the Queen's Pawn Game.[2] 3...b6 increases Black's
control over the central light squares e4 and d5 by preparing to fianchetto the queen's
bishop, with the opening deriving its name from this maneuver. As in the other Indian
defenses, Black attempts to control the center with pieces, instead of occupying it
with pawns in classical style.
By playing 3.Nf3, White sidesteps the Nimzo-Indian Defense that arises after 3.Nc3
Bb4. The Queen's Indian is regarded as the sister opening of the Nimzo-Indian, since
both openings aim to impede White's efforts to gain full control of the center by playing
e2–e4. Together, they are a well-respected response to 1.d4.

Main line: 4.g3


4. g3 (ECO E15–E19) has long been White's most popular line against the Queen's
Indian. It contests the long diagonal by preparing to fianchetto the light-squared bishop.
The standard response for Black through the 1970s was 4...Bb7, but 4...Ba6 has since
become the topical line. A rarer third option is 4...Bb4+, which aims to exchange the
less useful dark-squared bishop, though this line tends to leave Black with a slightly
passive position.
Modern main line: 4...Ba6 [edit]
White can defend the pawn at c4 with a piece by playing 5.Nbd2, 5.Qa4, 5.Qc2 or
5.Qb3, but these moves all diminish control of d4, making ...c7–c5 an effective reply for
Black; therefore 5. b3 is White's most common response.[3] However, it weakens the
dark squares slightly, which Black can take advantage of by playing 5... Bb4+. Now
6.Nbd2? loses material after 6...Bc3 7.Rb1 Bb7 threatening 8...Be4, an opening trap
which has ensnared players such as Kamran Shirazi.[4] White's best move is
therefore 6. Bd2. However, after6... Be7 7. Bg2 c6 Black is ready to play ...d7–d5,
again attacking the c-pawn. If White plays cxd5 then ...cxd5 is considered
to equalize for Black. Thus White usually plays 8. Bc3to clear this square, and the main
line continues 8... d5 9. Ne5 Nfd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Nd2 0-0 12. 0-0 to maintain
central tension. The effect of Black's check has been to lure White's bishop to c3 where
it blocks the c-file. This, the current main line of the Queen's Indian, is considered equal
by theory and became a frequent guest in grandmaster praxis in the 1980s.
After 5. b3, Black also has several playable alternatives to 5...Bb4+, the most common
of which is 5... Bb7 6. Bg2 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 a5. When White plays Nc3, Black will
exchange bishop for knight in order to enhance his control over the central light
squares, and play on the queenside with moves such as ...a5–a4 and ...b5. Other
possibilities for Black include 5...d5 and 5...b5.
More recently, several grandmasters, including Alexander Beliavsky, Ni Hua, Veselin
Topalov, and Magnus Carlsen, have played 5. Qc2. The idea is to allow Black's
counterthrust ...c5, the main line running 5... Bb7 6. Bg2 c5. The fashion is for White to
sacrifice a pawn with 7. d5, gaining active play. This idea has scored well for
White,[5] and new ideas have been cropping up since 2008. [6] The 5.Qc2 lines had
previously scored poorly for White according to Emms.[3]

Old main line: 4...Bb7 [edit]


The classical main line of the Queen's Indian, the most frequently played line from the
1950s until 4...Ba6 became popular in the 1980s, usually continues: 5. Bg2 Be7 6. 0-0
0-0 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Qc2 Nxc3 9. Qxc3. White has a spatial advantage, but Black has no
weaknesses and can choose from a variety of ways to create counterplay, such as 9...
c5, 9... f5 or 9... Be4. These lines are well-known for their drawish tendencies and 4...
Bb7 is nowadays often employed by Black as a drawing weapon. White has tried
various deviations from the main line in an attempt to unbalance the play. These
include:

 8. Bd2, which defends the knight on c3 and threatens a d4–d5 push.


 7. d5!?, introduced by Arturo Pomar, and rejuvenated by Lev Polugaevsky's
continuation 7... exd5 8. Nh4 threatening to regain the pawn on d5 or to play Nf5.
 6. Nc3, which postpones castling in favor of preparing action in the center with the
d4–d5 and e2–e4 thrusts.

Other lines
4.a3[edit]
The Petrosian Variation, prepares 5.Nc3 by stopping ...Bb4 pinning the knight. White
intends to follow up with Nc3 and e4, building a large pawn center. Black usually
responds by contesting the e4-square with ...Bb7 and ...d5. (See Gurevich, 1992, for an
extensive analysis.) This variation was often used by Garry Kasparov early in his
career.
4.Nc3[edit]
Black can choose between 4...Bb7 and 4...Bb4.

 4... Bb7
 5. a3 became the more common move order to reach the Petrosian system by
the mid-1980s, where White has avoided 4.a3 c5 5.d5 Ba6 and 4.a3 Ba6.
 5. Bg5 is an older line which gives Black good equalizing chances after 5...h6
6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Nh5 8.e3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 Bg7. After 5...Be7, White can play 6.e3
or 6.Qc2.
 4... Bb4 (or the transposition 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6) is a Queen's Indian/Nimzo-Indian
line. Moves for White include 5.Bg5, 5.e3, and 5.Qb3.
 After 5. Bg5, Black may play 5...Bb7 or 5...h6.
 5...Bb7 6.e3 h6, White can play 7.Bh4.
 5...h6 6.Bh4 Bb7 (or by transposition 4...Bb7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 Bb4), White
can play 7.e3. The position after 6...g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 8.Qc2 was heavily played
and analyzed in the 1980s.
 After 5. e3, Black usually plays 5...Bb7. White usually plays 6.Bd3 for the Fischer
Variation of the Nimzo-Indian (or by transposition 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7
6.Nf3). White can play 6.e3, then Black usually plays 6...h6, although 6.Nd2 or
6.Qc2 may be better.
 After 5. Qb3, Black usually plays 5...c5.
4.e3[edit]

Preparing to develop the king's bishop and castle kingside, was also a favorite of Tigran
Petrosian. This apparently quiet development may lead to complex middlegame play.
Black usually replies 4...Bb7, then play may continue 5.Bd3 d5 6.0-0 or 5.Nc3 Bb4,
transposing into the Nimzo-Indian Defence.
4.Bf4[edit]

The Miles Variation, which simply develops the bishop to a good square. Despite some
success by its originator, this idea has never been popular.

ECO codes
The Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings classifies the Queen's Indian under codes E12
to E19 according to the following scheme:
 E12 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
 E13 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg5
 E14 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e3
 E15 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3
 E16 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7
 E17 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7
 E18 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3
 E19 – 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 Ne4 8.Qc2

What are the main ideas and goals in the Queen's Indian Defense?

There's no real surprise when it comes to the strategy for the King's Indian Defence:
storm white's king side, maybe sac a few things, and mate (ideally).

But what does a practitioner of the QID hope to achieve in terms of the opening and
long term goals?

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 b6

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6

In the Queen's Indian Defense, black is going aim his light-squared bishop and knight
at e4 in order to restrain the moves e4 and to prevent d4 to d5.
White's most popular move is 4...g3 in which white aims to complete development on
the king side and counter black on the long diagonal.
A key position is reached after the following:

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb75. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3

In the above position, 7...d5 might seem like a logical move, but it is against the spirit of
the opening which say's that Black should be waiting for the most opportune moment to
make moves like 7...d5which occupy the center until the timing is just right. Also, after
exchanging pawns on d5, black finds himself with 2 problems, the bishop on b7 is
blocked in and the c pawn is on an open file and becomes vulnerable to attack. For
example, after white plays Bf4 to eye the c pawn, Black would like to move his pawn
to c5, but after the following:

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb75. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 d58. cxd5 exd5 9.
Bf4 c5 10. dxc5 bxc5

The above leaves Black with a hanging pawn formation. The d and c pawns are
extremely vulnerable and if white can quickly generate an attack such as 11.
Ne5 generating a third attacker and pinning the pawn. Black may continue 11...Na6 and
now white has 12. Nc4 taking advantage of the pin with the mindset of getting his knight
to e3, so Black often plays Qd7, but White just plays Na5
Going back to positon after 7. Nc3, we just illustrated that 7...d5 is not a logical move for
black, so instead he plays 7...Ne4 directly occupying the e4 square making it impossible
for white to play e4and he wants to use his f pawn to strengthen his hold over
the e4 square and he won't block the diagonal of his bishop. After the following:

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb75. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4
8.Nxe4 Bxe4 9. Ne1 Bxg2 10. Nxg2d5

Black is now willing to play d5 because there is not bishop on b7 anymore and he can
now gain share of the center and the position is about equal, so after 7...Ne4, white
often plays 8. Qc2, 8...f5 looks like a natural response, but white plays 9. Ne5 and
would black would quickly find himself in trouble after:

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb75. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne48. Qc2 f5
9. Ne5 d6 10. Nxe4 fxe411. Bxe4

In the above diagram, black does not have time to capture the knight because of
the bishop and queen staring down the diagonal, so instead of 8...f5, black should
play 8...Nxc3 9. Qxc3 f5. White still has in mind one other factor to gain an advantage.
In addition to still play pawn to e4, he also counts on the fact that blacks e6 pawn will
become weak if black plays d6 eventually, so for example:

NN – NN
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Qc2 Nxc3
9. Qxc3 f5 10. b3 Bf6 11. Bb2 d6 12. Rad1 Qe7 13. Ne1 Bxg2 14. Nxg2 Nd7 15. Qc2.

White is looking for small small initiative based upon the weakness of the e6 pawn, so in
the end the fight for e4 is the major theme that holds the entire Queen's Indian together.