King’s Indian Defense

When players first start playing chess matches they most often want to play White. A few simple openings can be learned easily and utilized with variations to win matches against opponents of like skill. The highest learning curve tends to be in playing Black. A good first strategy from Black is to mimic the play that we observe from White. Black plays the identical moves White does as long as possible until board position or opportunity promotes variety and change. As a player advances in skill, White will attempt a queen’s Pawn opening to confuse and surprise Black. Black often gets confused when White plays the white queen’s Pawn first, not knowing what the following moves might be. Playing the white queen’s Pawn is a marked departure from the classic king Pawn to e4. Pawn to e4 is the most often used first move at any skill level, so Black begins to expect the e4 move and is taken off guard by the d4. The King’s Indian Defense is an excellent response to the queen’s Pawn opening and might startle the White opponent.

White’s first move is Queen Pawn to d4. Black’s response is king’s Knight to f6. This will be completely unexpected play from Black. White is compelled to respond with Pawn to c4. White cannot advance king’s Pawn to e4 as the black Knight would capture the white Pawn, clearly leaving White with no response. White could post the queen’s Bishop at g5 but this move would be a fruitless, wasted move. Black’s next move is to g6. This pawn move sets up the Black fianchetto with the king’s Bishop. White’s next move is Knight to c3. This move must be made to protect the king’s Pawn that will eventually be moved to e4. Black’s next move is Bishop to g7.

White may now be completely surprised. When players are surprised and do not have an effective response to unfamiliar play, the natural response is to resort to well-known moves. White may resort to the classic Four Pawn’s Attack by moving the king’s Pawn to e4. Most players focus on controlling center board; the move to e4 supports this philosophy. Black’s response should be to play Pawn to d6. This move appears defensive in nature but actually frees the queen’s Bishop for future attack. White’s next move, completing the Four Pawn Attack, is to move bishop’s Pawn to f4. In response, Black should castle. Black now has a very threatening position against White. Black has negated the first move advantage of White.

Continued at King’s Indian Defense.