Chess Lesson: King’s Indian Attack

Chess Lesson: King’s Indian Attack


Hello everybody, it’s jrobi. Today we are
going to be taking a look at the King’s Indian Attack strategy from white. And it’s
an opening that’s a little bit near and dear to my heart, because shortly after
I started playing chess this was one of the first openings I spent a lot of time
on. Getting comfortable with it, learning how the play follows, different moves
and things of that nature. Now I parted paths with the King’s Indian Attack
but not because it wasn’t a very effective opening. I wanted to start biting
into the Ruy Lopez, so I focused on that mainly in response to black playing E5.
But this opening by itself has been used by some very notable players, including
Bobby Fischer. The opening statistics on the opening itself are very
impressive! Since the early 1900’s white’s won about 43% of the time, black wins
about 29% of the time, and about 28% of the games are drawn. Now these statistics
are from just straight human players. there’s no computer games included
in those statistics whatsoever. So you can tell by the numbers it’s a very dynamic
opening obviously, and you know it has lost a bit of popularity over the past
couple decades, but that’s not because it’s not a good opening, I’m not too sure
why exactly its lost popularity, but you know it’s an interesting opening. The most
important thing about it is, is that you don’t have to be booked up to the gills
to use it. And you might be wondering why I don’t have the black pieces on the board
here right now, and it’s simply because you can achieve this position through
a variety of move orders, and this is kind of the target position that you are
going to shoot for in the King’s Indian Attack. So in this video we will take
a look at some common ways you can achieve this position, and we will take a
look at a bunch of different alternatives. For example, let’s say we want
to open up with pawn to E4 to get into this structure, we will take a look at
black’s most common replies to that. Of course we have the Sicilian Defense which
is pawn to C5, we will take a look at the French and we will also take a look at
the Caro Kahn Defense but we are also going to take a look at some alternate first
move options, you don’t have to play pawn to E4 to get into the King’s Indian Attack!
You can play something like G3, knight to F3, pawn to D3, so we will be taking
a look at all of those and hopefully by the end of the video we will
have a fairly comprehensive understanding of how we can achieve this position
almost irregardless of what black plays out of the opening. But before
we get into those examples I want to talk a little bit about this position that
you see here on your screen. So if you want to pause the video, take a couple minutes
to think to yourself how you would coordinate your pieces coming out of this
position against black, definitely go ahead and do so. I am going to talk some common
strategies of the opening. The first of course is eventually we’re going
to try to push our pawn to E5! And we’re going to try and bind up the center
a little bit to help coordinate an attack on black’s castled position, if black
is castled on the king side. Now, even if we don’t push the pawn to E5, let’s
just take a look at some of the other pieces that white has at its disposal. The
first one that really jumps out at me, of course, is the rook here on F1. Now the
rook on F1 can slide over here to E1 and contribute to E file pressure. If the
king ever moves to G2, the rook can swing over the H file, and give H file pressure,
so that rook is very dynamic in the position! Another piece that I really
like in this setup, of course, is the bishop here on C1! Now the C1 bishop, if the
pawn ever pushes up to B3, can snug up here on B2, and contribute to a castle
attack along this dark square diagonal. But even if it just stays on C1, it’s already
pointing at H6! So it’s a very useful piece coming out of the opening position.
Of course we also have the knight here on F3, and the knight on F3 is
a very dynamic piece as well. It’s sitting on F3 but it has a lot of options
available to it. It can swing over to E5 or support the pawn on E5 if we ever push
it there. Of course it can also jump to G5 and H4, so the knight is definitely
a nice piece in that position. And of course we can’t forget the queen, like I mean
the Queen is here on D1, and depending on how play follows and how the
play shapes up, she is going to have a lot of options at her disposal! Namely, of
course, right at the onset she has access along this light square diagonal, say
for example G4 or H5. And of course we can’t forget our nice little bishop here
on G2! Now the bishop on G2, of course, if the pawn ever does get pushed up
to E5, can of course access this long light square diagonal here all the way to
A8, but of course the bishop can also be re-routed to H3, or F1, up to E2, so definitely
a very flexible piece in the Fianchetto’d position there for the bishop.
So either way you look at it, like I mean the position is a very dynamic position
for white. It’s going to be a very good fighting game coming out of this opening
position. So we’re going to take a look at some examples now. I am going to put
the pieces back in the starting position, and we will take a look at the common
replies that black will play to an E4 opening, to get into the structure, and
then we will take a look at some of the alternative first moves that white has to
get into this structure as well. Now the first few lines that we are going to take
a look at in the King’s Indian Attack is if you want to get into that strategy
by playing pawn to E4. Now from pawn to E4 black obviously has a number of
great defenses that it can employ, we are going to take a look at the strongest
one that it’s currently using which the Sicilian Defense, pushing the pawn up to C5.
Now when you see pawn to C5, obviously the Sicilian Defense you know it
is a very strong defense, but it’s not strong enough to prevent you from getting
into a King’s Indian Attack like structure, and we are going to take a look
at the most played moves in these positions that follow. So from pawn to C5,
now white’s simply going to develop the knight to F3. Now the most played move
by the Grandmasters in this position is to push the pawn up now to E6, getting
ready to thrust the D pawn forward up to D5. White’s going to continue, however, by
pushing the pawn up now to D3. And we can see that the King’s Indian Attack structure
is starting to take shape. First of all we have this dark square bishop here
on C1 that now is liberated and has access pointing towards H6, and of course
we need to remember that we can just push our B pawn up now to B3 and Fianchetto
that bishop if we want to, giving it scope along this dark square diagonal which
is going to be pointing directly at black’s castled position if it castles on
the kingside, so the position is definitely starting to take shape and there’s
not much that black can do to stop white from achieving this. From here the most
played move now is to thrust that D pawn forward, from which white is simply going
to play knight up now to D2. Black’s most played move in this position
is to develop the knight now to C6, and white is simply going to push the pawn up
to G3, getting ready to fianchetto that light square bishop. From here black will
play knight up to F6, and white can fianchetto that light square bishop. Black
will develop it’s bishop now to E7. White can castle, and black can castle. And
here we are in the King’s Indian Attack structure. So as you can see even the
Sicilian Defense can’t really stop white from achieving this position. Now what
you see on the screen here right now is a very equal position, but it is going
to be a good fighting game! A couple things that stand out of course, black generally
is going to get a little bit more room on the queen side, white on the other
hand, however, is going to have some really nice attacking potential on black’s
castled position. Especially when we factor in all the piece coordination that
white can bring to the table to contribute to a king side castle attack. But
nonetheless it is a very workable position for both sides, and it is going to
be a nice fighting game from this point. So let’s flip back now to E4 and take
a look at some other common defensive strategies that black could use
against the E4 opening that will still let white get into the King’s Indian Attack
structure. So we are going to take a look here at the French Defense, pawn to E6.
From here white is simply going to play pawn to D3, and the most played move
in this position is for black to push that pawn up forward to D5, and which point
white is simply going to develop the knight now to D2 giving the pawn another defender
here on E4, and developing a piece at the same time. From here black can
play knight up to F6, and white’s simply going to develop another piece by placing
the knight now onto F3. So we can see the characteristics starting to take
shape here for the King’s Indian Attack. From here black can push the pawn
up to C5, staking a claim to once again a little bit more queen side space advantage,
at which point white’s simply going to push the pawn up now to G3, getting ready
to fianchetto that bishop. Black can play knight to C6 and white can fianchetto
the bishop. Black can develop their bishop and white can castle, and from here
black has a lot of moves that it can play, it can castle as well, it can play pawn
to B6, queen to C7, all of which have been played before. But in this position
here, you know white’s in a very good position again. You know the King’s Indian
Attack position has been reached, and it’s going to be a fighting game from
this point forward. So let’s go back to E4 and let’s take a look at what happens if
black decides to play the Caro Kahn defense which is pawn to C6. We are going
to see a similar strategy here. White is simply going to play pawn up now to D3,
black can thrust that D pawn forward to D5, and white can simply develop the knight
again to D2. From here black can push the pawn up now to E5, white can simply develop
the knight to F3, at which point black can bring the bishop up now to D6, a
little bit different. The bishop isn’t tucked here on E7, but from here white can
simply push the pawn up to G3, once again getting ready to fianchetto that bishop.
Black can play Knight to F6, white can fianchetto the bishop, black can castle,
and white can castle. And once again we are in a very similar position. And you
know, fairly equal but definitely a good fighting position for both sides. But
the nice thing about the King’s Indian Attack is that you’re working from a very
similar position in a variety of defenses that black can employ! One of the
things that I really liked about it when I started playing the King’s Indian Attack
is that since I didn’t have to be booked up to the gills, I just had to be comfortable
in this position and aware of the threats and the risks associated with
playing it. But nonetheless it is a very solid opening strategy that white can
use. So I am going to go back right to the very beginning here. We are going to take
a look at some alternative first move options for white and once again we will
see that it is very consistent in that white can get into the same type of structure,
pretty much regardless what black plays. So the first one we are going
to take a look at, which is another move near and dear to my heart, is knight
to F3. Now, of course this is the Reti Opening, but we can also transpose into a
lot of different openings from knight to F3. From here now black is usually going to
play pawn up to D5, and from here now white can simply play pawn up to G3, getting
ready to fianchetto that light square bishop. From here the most played move is
knight to F6, and white can now fianchetto that light square bishop. Black
can push the pawn up to C5, so once again trying to gain a little bit more space
on the queen side. White can castle, and then from here black can develop another
piece with knight to C6. Play could continue, white pushes the pawn up now to
D3, black can push the pawn up now to E6, and white can develop the knight now to
D2. So as we can see we are definitely getting into that King’s Indian
setup. From here the most played moves continue now. Black develops the bishop to
E7, and white simply thrusts that pawn forward to E4. Black castles, and white swings
the rook over now to E1. From here black can play pawn to B5, once again
trying to secure more queen side space, but I want to flip back a move here to E4.
Sometimes you will see the opponents play pawn takes here on E4, and this actually
works out a little bit more advantageous for white! White can capture
back with the pawn, when black castles, white can simply push the pawn up now to E5,
and white’s going to have a very good game from this position. So as you know, there
are always alternative moves in every position, it’s just a matter of taking
advantage of what happens when they are played. So that is what can happen when
we play knight to F3 as our first move. Let’s take a look at D3. D3 has some
similarities as well. So from here we are going to pawn to D5 as black, the most
played move in the position. And white’s simply going to push the pawn up to
G3, once again getting ready to fianchetto that bishop. And play is going
to continue knight to F6 by black and now white’s going to fianchetto the bishop
on G2. Black can push the pawn up now to C6, and white can play knight to F3. So
as you can see we are definitely getting back into the normal state of affairs
here for the King’s Indian Attack. From this position black can swing that bishop
down now, a little bit more aggressively than we seen in other lines here
to G4. White’s simply going to castle in this position. Black can swing the
knight over to D7 and now white’s going to bring the knight now to D2, giving
the knight here on F3 another defender, and getting ever so closer to that
King’s Indian Attack structure. From here black can push the pawn up now to E5,
and white can push the pawn up now to E4, so once again we see that pawn thrusting
forward! Black can capture, white can re-take with the pawn, and then from here
black swings the bishop down now to C5. So while there are some subtle differences
compared to the other lines we have taken a look at, obviously we have had
some captures here on E4, from white’s perspective we are very much in the King’s
Indian Attack structure. Of course in this line black has much more aggressively
placed bishops. Of course we got the bishop on G4, and the bishop on C5, bearing
down into the white position. This is easily solved here for white by playing pawn
to H3, putting the question to this light squared bishop here on G4. The best
move in this position for black is to just retreat that bishop, instead of trade
it, at which point white can now develop the queen now to E2. Black can castle
and white can now swing that knight over to B3, attacking the dark square bishop.
And from this position, it is going to be a fairly good game for both sides, maybe
even a slight positional advantage for white in this position. But nonetheless
the King’s Indian Attack structure was very easy to create after playing pawn
to D3! Now I just want to conclude things up here by looking at G3 as your first
move. And very similar to the other lines we have taken a look at, black is going
to push to D5. White can fianchetto. Black can swing the knight up
now to F6, and white can play knight up now to F3. At which point black can play now
pawn up to C6, white can castle, and black can bring that bishop down aggressively
again to G4. White can play D3, black can bring the knight up now to D7, and
white can develop its knight now to D2. So once again very similar to the other
lines we were taking a look at. From here now black can now push the pawn up now
to E5, white pushes the pawn up to E4. Black captures. White re-takes with the pawn,
and black swings the bishop down now to C5. So very similar to the other line
that we took a look at. And once again white can continue on with moves like
H3, Queen to E1 or Queen to E2, for example. So there is no doubt that it is very
straight forward to get into the position. I am just going to flip back to
this position here that arose after the Sicilian Defense of pawn to C5. The opening
strategy from white is definitely flexible and versatile, and you will be able
to achieve this position in a lot of your games! Sometimes play might deviate,
so you might have to take a look into some sub-variations that I did not cover in
the video, but it is safe to say the vast majority of your games, you should be
able to achieve the position that we have been talking about. So if you have been
looking for a chess opening and not too sure which one to go with, I definitely
recommend the King’s Indian Attack to get you started! Like I said at the beginning,
you don’t have to be booked up to the gills, so definitely give it a shot! Also,
if you have been playing the King’s Indian Attack, or like playing against
the King’s Indian Attack, definitely share your thoughts and feedback on that.
It will definitely contribute to the discussion for those who are interested in
the opening. So take care, hope you enjoyed the video, and we will see you next
time!

99 thoughts on “Chess Lesson: King’s Indian Attack

  1. I just want to point out that "irregardless is not a word. 😉 It's either regardless or irrespective. You use the word quite a few times in your videos… no biggie but I figured you should know.

  2. Dang this is no doubt one of the most helpful guides on chess I've ever come across… just wrecked my friend with this opening a couple hours ago after watching this video! thanks for the tips, please do more! 😀

  3. @frinchboy black dont play openings its called a defence. u wanna play not symetrical defences with black – like the sicilian, caro kann, french pirc are good defences against 1.e4. And against 1.d4 i often play inian defences with Nf6 or reversed sicilian

  4. @jrobichess Cool! But that was a year ago! Did you ever make a vid for that? I'd love to know because I this video was great and I'm sure your analysis from black's perspective would be valuable too! Give us a link if you made one! Thanks!

  5. @jrobichess
    My friend at school plays a game where he pushed his king and queen pawn both two squares, (he does this no matter what color he is) then bishops at d6 and e6 (d3 and e3 for white) and knights to e and d7 (d2 and e2 for white) then bishop pawns to f6 and c6 (f3 and c3 for white). It's basically some chamber with his knights and bishops protectedd by pawns.

    Is this a defense of some sort? and can you tell me some pointers to try and break it down. I have a tourny and I want to win it

  6. hey jrobi, during a king indian attack, when the pawn is pushed to e4 black moves pawn to d5 and in later moves captures the e4 pawn, this leaves a hole in the king indian structure n makes it hard to make a king-side attack. , do you have any solution to this? thanks..

  7. @pornyhony

    The book moves are the best moves. My suggestion is learning where you faulted in your position to get better.

  8. i used to use this attack (not knowing what it was called) but a defense variation. i dont remember how. but i won more that 70% of my games that way

  9. @Rvrsbeartrapv2 i think the only option in that situation would be for a bishop to be on g4. because it pretty much delays 2 pieces. (unless you feel like losing a queen) but a knight on g4 would just make me move my knight to reinforce a different position and threaten the knight all together. and play from there.

  10. The King's Indian Attack is definitely a solid opening for white. For more information I recommend checking out many of Fischer's early games in the 1950s and early 1960s. However, you've got to be careful with the move order because sometimes black can adopt a very aggressive stance by seizing a lot of space in the center and threatening to over-run white's position with a mass of pawns. Thanks for the video and I'll look forward to more!

  11. very versatile move, it gives you a fair advantage, as long as you're the white pieces. I don't think it would be as effective with the black ones. Does anyone knows if it's as effective?

  12. When I first saw this, it was interesting.
    So much so, it hung in my head for…well, I dunno. I don't always get good games in. Living out in the corn fields..well. Cows and passing crows don't play much chess.
    Anyway, I just dropped into it once a couple of weeks ago and accidentally slammed My brother. oops.
    But, when I tried to look it up, what I was getting is English Openings.
    Which isn't a bad opening, too, but that danged King's Indian came like a fast meteor out of the night.
    d=^))

  13. By far the most instructive and articulate chess videos on Youtube. The likes of
    Silman and Pandolfini would be proud; keep up the good work, man.

  14. Great vid. but if I´m playing with someone who is not good at chess he is simpely gonna eat my pawns and the whole f*****g attack will fall apart?!

  15. I have come through a very strange metamorphosis of openings. To make a long story short, I have been playing the Pirc with black for quite awhile now, and tried using it with white. I enjoy it a lot – I didn't realize I was basically playing the KIA!

    Since I don't play e4 with a reversed Pirc in the opening, I generally end up ceding the center to black. I am very interested to try the KIA now that I've watched your video.

  16. I'm a USCF rated 1750 player. I no longer employ the KIA as White, but readily admit that my biggest upset victories have come when playing the White side of the KIA!

  17. Hi.You sound the same as kevin fron the chess website.com.Both of you are great teachers,and easy to listen to.Iam getting beter in my chess skills!Take care,John Inglis.

  18. well it is actuallly the horse and not a knight chess was invented in india where they did not have knights but had horses and elephants so rook reps elephant.so he was right in calling it a horse u little ignorant punk

  19. The main real difference is that the pawn was not allowed to move 2 squares on the first move…….. that is about it

  20. no chess is not from europe and people in erope suck at chess…. european people can't even think properly.. its the indians who are comming to your bloody country and taking all the jobs because their actually clever 🙂

  21. OMG! Irregardless….. AHHH. That word makes my head split open. The word is regardless. Sorry, I had to vent. I almost couldn't watch this excellent video because of that. Again sorry.

  22. You should not make annoying remarks when you could just be grateful that he is uploading these kind of video's. Mosquitoes are not well liked you know?

  23. King's Indian Attack:
    மேலும் Barcza கணினி (Gedeon Barcza பிறகு) என அழைக்கப்படும் கிங்கின் இந்திய தாக்குதல் (கியா),,, மிக குறிப்பாக பாபி பிஷ்ஷர் பயன்படுத்தப்படும் வெள்ளை ஒரு சதுரங்க முதல் முறை ஆகும்.

    தொடக்க குறிப்பிட்ட நடவடிக்கைகள் தொடர்ச்சியாக, மாறாக பல்வேறு நடவடிக்கை ஆணைகள் இருந்து இயக்க முடியும் என்று ஒரு முறை அல்ல. கியா அடிக்கடி D3, Nd2, Ngf3, ஜி 3, Bg2, மற்றும் 0-0 தொடர்ந்து 1.e4 வழியாக அடைந்த போதிலும், இது, 1.g3 இருந்து 1.Nf3 எழலாம், அல்லது 1.d3 முடியும்.

  24. I am assuming you don't exactly see what I did. Kingomegared said "this nigga did not just say irregardless at…".I'm taking his language sand saying it properly. "Yes, that nigger did." It is sort of a comical twist to his phrasing by turning it into a proper literary kind of English. It's a very common method to poke fun at vernacular variants. It's odd that you'd have such an emotional response whether or not I was a racist or not. Does everybody have to have your opinion on black people?

  25. There should be two types of olympic games these days…

    1. Ones which focuses on physical abilities
    2. Others that focus on intellectual prowess

  26. if you are getting checkmated in 2 minutes, I would not be focusing too much on openings, but more on tactics and strategies to get a better idea of common threats on the board and to understand how pieces work together, and then possibly endgames and only then is openings important. You can go a long way as a beginner by knowing the basic opening rules… youtube "Basic Opening Principles"

  27. I'm bothered. My step-brother lives on the floor above me. I'm irritated because he as of late became fantastic at attracting all women. The guy found the Master Attraction web page by Jake Ayres (Search in Google). All he's doing now is fucking women. He's continuously pulling chicks back and I can't help but hear it, which is disgusting and If only he never found that site. My best friend just signed up and got a blowjob a week later.

  28. Can you please also say what are the ideas behind the kings indian once we have achieved the position and maybe some standard tactical shots that the position may have?

  29. I love how timeless these videos can be. Uploaded 4 and a half years ago, and jrobi is still conversing with viewers.

  30. I've been playing for a couple months, and I notice one tangle that I constantly get myself into, regarding the knights. I know that it is useful to have knights set up early in the game, but I always struggle when they block other minor pieces and pawn movement. In this video , for example, we have Kd2, which blocks the bishop. If it were Kc3, it would prevent c3 from occurring. I guess there's always a trade-off. I was wondering if you have any general advice for this dilemma.

  31. what about pawn to d4 @ 8:56. In my games I found that I would often have to allow this in order to complete my KIA but would find that in mid game if would often cause me troubles. How would you respond to this push? pawn c3 perhaps…

  32. I have used this opening many times now.  It started when I first saw this video. I definitely prefer starting with e4.  Couple of things I cant get my head around though.  In lines where black gets e5 in what in general do we play for? The kings bishop looks redundant in its fianchetto position. Also I would have thought after Nc6 from black propping up e5, that we have to get e5 in straight away. In some of your examples though white didnt, and black didnt grab e5.

  33. Well you might quite be prepared for the Scandinavian defense. The Kings Indian attach dosen't work then. (With1 e4 of course).

  34. I am a beginner chess playing at tournaments. Want to spend more time on my thinking system than learning opening variations. So KIA looks great. Thank you for this video….can I ask: I like 1.e4, but if black goes Scandinavian. What would you suggest for me to arrive at the KIA setup?

  35. At 6:54 Black does not need to play Bishop, he can simpley exchange pawns …de4, de4-e5. and put stop to White's light square Bishop

  36. The e-4 opening is met by 1)…d5 and the KIA is over.  I also note that black's knight can move to d4 once white's queen goes to e-2.  I believe that white must make the prep move c-3 before moving the queen to e-2.

  37. I also used to play this when I first started – as it is good for beginners, you play the same set up against many openings (Sicilian, French, Caro) you get developed safely and castled, and you have a ready made plan (kingside attack). The only problem I found is that I don't think  the KIA works against  1……e5 If you blindly continue trying to get the KIA set up you end up deadlocked, in a symmetrical position

  38. 2:16 "you can play something like g3, knight to f3, pawn to d3" while the picture stays the same. would be much more useful if you had visuals that matched the audio. not everyone's an expert already or wants to keep stopping and starting just to count the squares and figure out what you mean.

  39. I have used the Barcza System effectively which as you know is the one where white does not open with e4 but sets the same KIA system. However, I like the e4 setup and I am going to try it out and see what happens in the practical struggle for me. Thanks for the video.

  40. At 6:53, after black plays …Nf6 and we fianchetto the bishop, I was afraid black would play dxe4, trading pawns and knights and then trading queen and we have to recapture with the king since we're not castled. Am I missing something? Thanks !

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