This page focuses on the King’s Indian defense and the Gruenfeld defense against 1. d4. Both openings begin with the sequence 1. d4 Nf6;  2. c4 g6; 3. Nc3.  Black does not try to prevent e4 in the King’s Indian defense. His focus is on building up a counterattack against the White pawn center. One way to do this is with d6 followed by e5. After moving the king knight a second time he may continue the counterattack with f5. This is referred to as the orthodox King’s Indian defense.  In the regular King’s Indian defense Black answers 3. Nc3 with Bg7.
Major choices for White include the Classical Variation and the Four Pawns Attack.

In the Gruenfeld defense Black answers 3. Nc3 with d5. One of White’s options is the exchange variation which runs 4. cd Nxd5; 5. e4 Nxc3; 6. bc. Black intends to continue the counterattack with c5 and Bg7. Theoretically Black should have equality. In practice tactical considerations may outweigh positional advantage. Another option for White is 4. Qb3 forcing Black to either exchange or defend his d pawn.

King's Indian Classical Variation King's Indian Defense Four Pawns Attack Grunfeld Defense Exchange Variation

The classical variation results from the sequence 1. d4 Nf6; 2. c4 g6; 3. Nc3 Bg7; 4. e4 d6; 5. Nf3 O-O; 6. Be2. Because of a tactical finesse, the immediate e5 is playable. White can then exchange pawns, advance his d pawn or keep developing pieces. d5 is a popular choice. Black will lose time with his king knight to counter with f5.

The four pawns attack seeks to disrupt Black’s game with an early pawn storm. The merits of this variation depend on tactics. Black’s main choices are O-O and c5. In both cases Black can answer e5 with Nfd7 and easy equality. One possible line goes 5. ____ 6. Nf3 c5; 7. d5 e6. White doesn’t seem to have very much no matter what he plays now.



For further information about the items below please click on the image of an item or the blue text under the image.

Play the King’s Indian – Gallagher

The Classical King’s Indian Uncovered – Panczyk / Ilczuk

The ABC of the King’s Indian (DVD) – Martin

Easy Guide to the Nge2 King’s Indian – Forintos / Haag

The Samisch King’s Indian Uncovered – Cherniaev and Prokuronov



For further information about the items below please click on the image of an item or the blue text under the image.

Starting Out: the Grunfeld – Aagaard

Fianchetto Grunfeld – Mikhalchishin

Play the Grunfeld – Dembo

Foxy Openings #98 Grunfeld for Club Player 1 – Martin