E99 King's Indian Defense for Black

King's Indian Defense Strategical Plans for Black – E99

The beauty of this opening is that you may play the same first seven moves against almost any opening your opponent tries to use against you: Nf6, g6, Bg7 (It is important to fill this hole quickly to "fianchetto" your Bishop. It's an Italian word, which translated means "little flank"), d6, 0-0, e5, Nc6.

The fianchetto structure is difficult for your opponent to attack and often allows the Bishop to become more active. The Bishop is placed on a long diagonal (either h1-a8 or a1-h8), controlling many squares, and can become a powerful weapon. Your opponent will try to get rid of your fianchettoed Bishop with a trade to weaken the squares your Bishop was protecting. This will create targets for invasion if the fianchetto was front of the your King. Trading-off your fianchettoed Bishop should be done very carefully, and avoided entirely if the enemy Bishop of the same color is still on the board.

The idea of the fianchetto is to delay occupation of the center, with the plan of ambushing the opponent's overextended center pawns if he becomes too greedy. This is played in most of the "Indian defenses", as fianchettoing is a strategy that has been used since the creation of chess in ancient India. The fianchetto is unusual in open games (1.e4 e5) as the long diagonals are blocked by the e-pawns.

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6

This move is usually played before castling to slow down White's command of the center.

5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7

With the center now closed, the battle lines are clear. White controls more space on the queenside, and Black owns the kingside. It is natural for Black's Knight to head for the kingside to attack the King.

9. Ne1 Nd7!

When the center is closed, both sides must find the right pawn break or die. White plans to push c5 to pry open the c-file. Black wants to storm the White King with f7-f5, so his Knight gets out of the way.

10. Be3 f5!

The key strategic pawn break for Black in the King's Indian Defense. This type of move is usually only possible when the center is closed. Black does not need to worry about weakening his King position because he is about to embark on a violent assault on the White King, using all seven of his pieces!

11. f3 f4!

Once he has been able to get this move in, Black should be licking his chops for an attack on the King.

12. Bf2 g5

Fischer stated in My 60 Memorable Games that this position is virtually a mating problem for Black. It's not quite that easy, yet the fact is White is grabbing space on the q-side and Black is on a King hunt.

13. Nd3 Nf6! 14. c5 Ng6 15. Rc1 Rf7!

A brilliant, key move that both defends against White's plan to attack the c7 square with cxd6, Nb5, & Rc7, & …Rf7 also prepares for an eventual …Rg7 once the pawn storm breaks through to White's King!

16. Rc2?!

This is too slow.  Better are:  a) 16. Qb3 g4! 17. cxd6 cxd6;  or b) 16. Nb5 g4 17. g3 fxg3 18. hxg3 gxf3 19. Bxf3 Bh3 20. Re1 Bh6 21. Rc2 a6 22. Na3 Qf8 with complications that favor Black's plan to attack.


Clearing the rank so that the Rf7 can defend an invasion at c7 and the Bishop protects Black's d6 pawn.

17. cxd6 cxd6 18. Qd2 g4 19. Rfc1 g3!!

In the King's Indian Defense, Black often resorts to a pawn sacrifice to open lines that demolish White's King safety.  The rest of the game is very instructive in how to conduct the attack.

20. hxg3 fxg3 21. Bxg3 Nh5 22. Bh2 Be7! 23. Nb1 Bd7 24. Qe1 Bg5 25. Nd2 Be3+ 26. Kh1 Qg5

When the position is closed, almost all successful King's Indian raids on the King involve the dynamic arrival of her majesty the Queen to crown the festivities with an overwhelming invasion of the King!

27. Bf1

27. Nc4!? was White's last chance to break the Bishop's pin on Rc1, with some activity for the material.

27…Raf8 28. Rcd1 b5!

This stops 29. Nc4, using one move to slow the action on the side of the board where Black was weak.

29. a4 a6 30. axb5 axb5 31. Rc7 Rg7

Black planned this on 15…Rf7, calmly waiting 16 moves for the rest of his pieces to join in the attack!

32. Nb3 Nh4 33.Rc2 Bh3!

Bronstein wrote, "A picturesque position!  The queenside has become utterly deserted, seven pieces are attacking White's King, and the point g2, now attacked four times, apparently cannot be defended."  This is a famous game between Taimanov-Najdorf, Candidates Tournament Zürich 1953 which actually continued 34. Qe2 Nxg2 35. Bxg2 Bxg2+ 36. Qxg2 Qh4! 37. Qxg7+ Kxg7 38. Rg2+ Kh8 39. Ne1 Nf4 40. Rg3 Bf2 41. Rg4 Qh3 42. Nd2 h5 43. Rg5 and White resigned, because after 43…Rg8! 44. Rxg8+ Kxg8 45. Ra1 Bxe1 there is no defense to …Qg2# mate.

Black's valuable white-squared Bishop often hides out at c8 until the time is right for this safe-cracker to arrive on the scene!  This Bishop is rarely traded for a Knight, as he is the piece who knows the combination to open the vault to White's King.  In this game, Taimanov didn't take the Bishop due to:

34. gxh3 Qg1+!! 35. Bxg1 Rxg1+ 36. Kh2 Nxf3 checkmate

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