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King's Indian Defense (E60)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6

Number of games in database: 7174
Years covered: 1914 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 36.8%
   Black wins 25.5%
   Draws 37.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  61 games
Pavel Tregubov  48 games
Jan Hein Donner  47 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  74 games
Peter Svidler  61 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  35 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Euwe vs Najdorf, 1953
Botvinnik vs Bronstein, 1951
Karpov vs Kamsky, 1992
R Byrne vs Fischer, 1963
L Stumpers vs Euwe, 1946
Lombardy vs Fischer, 1958
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 page 1 of 287; games 1-25 of 7,174 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Post vs J Mieses 1-023191419th DSB Congress, MannheimE60 King's Indian Defense
2. Saemisch vs Reti 0-1331922Teplitz-SchönauE60 King's Indian Defense
3. R Loman vs Euwe 0-1621923SSS CupE60 King's Indian Defense
4. Colle vs Koltanowski 0-1711923BEL-chE60 King's Indian Defense
5. Bogoljubov vs Tarrasch 1-0281923KarlsbadE60 King's Indian Defense
6. Gruenfeld vs Yates  ½-½321923KarlsbadE60 King's Indian Defense
7. A Pokorny vs Gruenfeld  0-1541923Maehrisch-OstrauE60 King's Indian Defense
8. Gruenfeld vs Euwe  ½-½541923Maehrisch-OstrauE60 King's Indian Defense
9. M Walter vs Hromadka  ½-½521923Maehrisch-OstrauE60 King's Indian Defense
10. Euwe vs Yates 1-0441923ScheveningenE60 King's Indian Defense
11. Alekhine vs E T Jesty 1-0411923BCF Major OpenE60 King's Indian Defense
12. Alekhine vs J H Morrison 1-0281923Simul, 32bE60 King's Indian Defense
13. Gruenfeld vs Reti  ½-½351923ViennaE60 King's Indian Defense
14. G Andreev vs Botvinnik 0-1461924LeningradE60 King's Indian Defense
15. G Fontein vs Euwe  0-1311924NED-chE60 King's Indian Defense
16. P Munster vs Barulin  0-1441924Tournament of Cities Workers group (final)E60 King's Indian Defense
17. Y Rokhlin vs A Kuris  1-0441924Tournament of Cities (sf) B-2-1E60 King's Indian Defense
18. Colle vs Gruenfeld 0-1451924MeranoE60 King's Indian Defense
19. Marshall vs Reti ½-½501924New YorkE60 King's Indian Defense
20. Colle vs Euwe 1-0361924MatchE60 King's Indian Defense
21. Kupchik vs Bogoljubov ½-½531924Bogoljubov - KupchikE60 King's Indian Defense
22. B Mazan vs N Zubarev  0-1301924Tournament of Cities-AE60 King's Indian Defense
23. J H Pannekoek vs S Groen  1-0621924WestendeE60 King's Indian Defense
24. V Vukovic vs S Gruber  1-0611924GyorE60 King's Indian Defense
25. A Vajda vs E Steiner 1-0301924GyorE60 King's Indian Defense
 page 1 of 287; games 1-25 of 7,174 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-15-10  rapidcitychess: <JD> This is when Black (or white) doesn't play KID or Grunfeld.
Jul-25-10  freakclub: Playing the black pieces, and employing the king's indian defense, I've been losing some games lately against the h4 attack.

The variation goes like this: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. h4!

And white proceeds with Be2, g4, h5, etc.

Does anyone know the name of this variation, and what is the most effective defense against it?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <Freakclub> I have not seen this idea before, but I do not believe that it should be too dangerous. For example:

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 <4. h4> Nf6 5. e4 O-O 6. h5 Nxh5 7. Be2 Nf6 8. Be3 (<8. Nf3> c5 9. d5 a6) <8...c5> 9. d5 b5 10. cxb5 a6 11. bxa6 Bxa6 and Black is better.

I do not think that the radical <7. Rxh5!?> works <7...gxh5> 8. Qxh5 Nc6 9. Nf3 e5 (this seems better than <9... Nxd4> 10. Nxd4 Bxd4 11. Bh6 Re8 12. O-O-O Bxc3 13. bxc3 e5)

Jul-27-10  freakclub: Hi Chessical; I have found some games in the database with white playing Be2 and h4, e.g. Kapu vs. Szabo (1964) which went: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.h4 c5 7.d5 e6 8.h5 exd5 9.hxg6 fxg6 10.cxd5 Qe7 11.Bg5 a6 12.a4 Nbd7 13.f4 Rb8 14.Qd3 b5! etc.

Now if White plays 8.g4 (instead of 8.h5), then play should probably continue 8...exd5 9.cxd5. But here now is the crucial point. How should black proceed?

If 9...Re8 or 9...Qe7, then white plays 10. f3. Sure White has a somewhat over-extended pawn structure but how should black exploit this? Do you see any good strategy for black?

I don't think 10...h5 works, because after 11.g5 Black's position is somewhat cramped.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessical: <freakclub> 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. h4 c5 7. d5 e6; and now:

<8. g4> exd5 9. cxd5 Qe7 10. f3

click for larger view

I believe that there are two reasonable continuations for Black:

<10... h5> 11. g5 Nfd7 12. Be3 f5 13. gxf6 Bxf6


<10... Bxg4!?> 11. fxg4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Qxe4 13. Nf3 Re8 14. Kf2 Qxg4 15. h5 Nd7, with three pawns for the piece.

Jul-30-10  freakclub: Chessical; Thanks a lot! I shall be looking forward to employing 10...Bxg4! in actual play, as it also puts White into a sort of psychological disadvantage in this position. :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day:
King's Indian
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘c3 ♗g7
Aug-05-11  bronkenstein: Excellent compilation of tactical themes for black in King`s Indian , credits to Eric Schiller :
Sep-15-12  zoren: Kings Indian being pasted (crushed) in 2012, anyone know whats happening?! Even Radjabov is struggling with it.
Sep-15-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<zoren>

the KID has always been a risky opening. After all, black gives white so much space with the hope his position can unfurl like a spring, with dreadful effects. As it stands 9.b4 in the Classical is the major headache for the KID player. Look at Kramnik's win versus Grischuk for a KID horror story and, saying that, wonderful play by Kramnik.

It's typical of opening theory, though. Strong ideas and resources are found for white which haven't yet found an antidote from black. They will come. Then, as "they" say, the ball will be back in white's court.

Mar-09-15  Ron: Here is a line in the King's Indian:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 c6 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2

Using chesslab's database, here are the stats for this position. Games are from 1991 to the present, all ratings:

White won 56%
Black won 17%
Draw 27%

Mar-18-15  Conrad93: Besides Radjabov, who are the best KID players of today?
Mar-18-15  Conrad93: <Here is a line in the King's Indian: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 c6 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2 Using chesslab's database, here are the stats for this position. Games are from 1991 to the present, all ratings:

White won 56%
Black won 17%
Draw 27%>

Out of how many games?

Mar-18-15  Ron: <Conrad93: <Here is a line in the King's Indian: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 c6 6. e4 d6 7. Nge2 Using chesslab's database, here are the stats for this position. Games are from 1991 to the present, all ratings: White won 56%
Black won 17%
Draw 27%>

Out of how many games?>

Chess lab gives 141 games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: The KID is rarely played in elite-level tournaments these days.

Does anybody know specifically what variations have made it fall out of favor? Any key games?

Feb-02-21  SChesshevsky: <Does anybody know specifically what variations have made it fall out of favor?

Think a couple of things. Maybe mainly, the black side really advanced Grunfeld theory. Gives a way to achieve controlled equality or near equality without getting into a complicated shoot out versus few different white variations.

Also the early 5.h3 lines look a big help for white. Seems to get all the benefits of Be3 ideas while limiting Black. Haven't noticed Black getting many meaningful kside attacks vs. h3. Guess KID not as much fun without that potential.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: So 6. h3 reduces black's chances of a pawnstorm on the kingside?

The Grunfeld is a complete mystery to me, so I can't comment on that.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: While having less knowledge of the whys and wherefores behind the current decline of the KID in top level praxis, one reason for this may well simply be a question of fashion: most openings' popularity ebbs and flows at different times.

It will be remembered that Kasparov's advocacy of numerous opening systems spurred their popularity amongst the rank and file of grandmasters; in this respect, the KID was certainly one of his primary weapons in his early career and once more by the early 1990s, but he came in for a rough time at the hands of Kramnik in some of their early encounters. During their title match in 2000, Kasparov never essayed the KID at all, turning to the Queen's Gambit Accepted (!) and Nimzo-Indian, the latter an opening which he never played often or scored well with, for reasons which have never been clear to me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <perf> But fashion ebb and flow could explain a reduction in the number of KID games but not a complete disappearance.

I've noticed the QID appears to be taking a vacation as well.

Kasparov played the Grunfeld in his first game with black against Kramnik and lost. Maybe that sent him scrambling. He only lost one more with black. His big problem was he couldn't win a single game with white.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <saffuna>, with no top exponent such as Kasparov to lead the way, quite a lot of everyday players are not encouraged.

The Queen's Indian has likely gone into the shades because everyone now plays 3.g3 and opts for either the Catalan or 3....Bb4+.

Kasparov, in 2000, seemed to barely be trying, even as White, after Kramnik threw that wretched Berlin Wall at his Spanish Torture. I am curious why Kasparov never tried to venture down any of the byways he had explored in his matches with Karpov and Anand after 1.e4 e5; best guess is that he figured there would no element of surprise.

Feb-03-21  sudoplatov: Back in the 1960s, MCO recommended 5.h3 as an alternative to the Saemisch variation. Caruana did well with it here: Caruana vs A Firouzja, 2020 (I assume C has some better way as Black.)
Feb-03-21  nok: The top is a bit risk averse. At the level below afaict it's alive and kicking.
Jun-24-21  Stolzenberg: Two early examples of a King's Indian Defense were played at the tournament of Ostend / Belgium in 1907: Teichmann vs Nimzowitsch, 1907 and Swiderski vs J Mieses, 1907
Jun-24-21  Stolzenberg: ... and here are another two at the same tournament: Tartakower vs Teichmann, 1907 and F G Jacob vs J Mieses, 1907
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <saffuna: The KID is rarely played in elite-level tournaments these days.>

I saw a remark - from a GM the name of who I do not recall, most likely a Danish one - that engines had devised a defensive strategy around moves like Kh1, Rg1 and a timely advance of the g-pawn that often thwarted the Black attack. Of course, KID was always a risky opening but on top-top-level of today it is regarded as foolhardy it seems. On sub-2600 level it is probably less dangerous, and on sub-2200 amateur level it is completely fine.

<I've noticed the QID appears to be taking a vacation as well.> This is more a fashion thing I suppose. QID is positionally sound and can also transpose to QGD-like structures. Maybe the Covid tournament situation has something to do with it, e.g. Karjakin has not been very active.

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