What are the cons of Indian defense

King's Indian

The two sides of the same Indian.

Many openings are really tedious and difficult when you want to play them. You not only have to memorize complicated variants, but often also the exact sequence of moves in order not to fall hopelessly behind somewhere. This is not for everyone. Is there an alternative? Yes! There are also so-called opening systems, in which one does not reel off any learned sequence of moves, almost independently of the moves of the opponent, but instead only tries to achieve a certain build-up of pieces. So basically you only have to remember one position, cool right?

For White, the so-called King's Indian attack, abbreviated to "KIA" in English-speaking countries, would be exactly such a system for "opening lazy" chess players. But we'll save that for the end, let's start with the more complicated mirror image for Black, the King's Indian Defense (in English "King's Indian Defense", abbreviated to "KID"). This defense was already played at the end of the 19th century, but only really popular at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was included in the complex of Indian defenses, in which Black does not occupy the center with pawns but tries to dominate with pieces, mainly by fianceted runners.

If black is fianchetted on the ladies 'side, then it is called ladies' Indian, and with Fianchetto on the king's side it is called king's Indian. Trains 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7, Changes are possible, lead to the characteristic starting position:

The continuation in the classic variant is 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 0-0 and leads to the following position:

White has gained a lot of space and controls the center with its pawns. If you move so many pawns, you can also fall behind in development because the pieces are still standing on the back row. Black, on the other hand, is a bit crowded, but has already placed and castled bishops and knights on the king's side. Definitely a small lead in development, white is a little behind. So does black already have an advantage and is better? No, definitely not.

White has a lot of space, can move his pieces freely and regroup at will. In addition, it is already clear where black has castled, so White also has a clear target in mind. Black, on the other hand, has a much harder time finding a reasonable plan. At some point he has to venture into the center with e7-e5 or c7-c5. The advance c7-c5 can easily lead to benoni-like positions. Whereas 6. Be2 e5 the original, typical game would be, but with which Black walled himself in the fianchetted bishop:

To 4. e4 d6 there are a number of other moves conceivable for White, such as 5. Nge2, 5. f3 or 5th h3. But we only want to look at the four-pawn attack here, the one after the trains 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f4 arises:

This march is frightening and discourages many players from choosing the King's Indian Defense. The typical idea e7-e5 is now hardly possible for Black. But if you look at the sequel with 5. ... 0-0 6. Nf3 and then the advance 6. ... c5 looks, it all looks pretty solid and stable:

Now quickly redeemed the promise from the beginning. The opening for theory-lazy, the King's Indian attack. With this opening system you don't have to memorize dozens of variants, it is enough to remember the following position:

This is the lineup that has to be achieved, and it doesn't really matter what Black plays in the meantime. White's position is very stable, a basic plan is the pawn advance in the center, e.g. e4-e5, supported by knights and queen; possibly followed by a piece attack on the kingside. The move e7-e5 in the King's Indian Defense has more of a defensive character, if you play it as white, then you are one move faster, one speed earlier, then e2-e4 suddenly gets an offensive character, that's why it is also called King's Indian attack.

What are good sequences of moves for White to achieve the above position? One way is to start with the Fianchetto and leave the center open. So 1. Nf3, then g3, Bg2, 0-0 and then d3 and Nbd2 to prepare e4. The pace that you are faster now also has a disadvantage. Schwarz immediately knows that you want to fianchette and aim for short castling and can align himself very nicely with it. A sequence of moves like 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bg2 Bg4 4. 0-0 Nd7 5. d3 Ngf6 6. Nbd2 e5 7. e4 would be typical and shows the problem for white:

Black has severely restricted the fianchetted bishop on its diagonal and can freely develop his pieces. White, on the other hand, is a bit narrowed, but completely ok. There is currently nothing threatening, except that maybe some figures could be swapped and the game flattened. The second popular sequence of moves is with 1. e4 and then only to switch to certain openings, such as French, Sicilian or Caro-Kann for the King's Indian attack with d3, Nd2, Ngf3, g3, Bg2 and 0-0. Black does not immediately know what is going on and what exactly White is planning.


Conclusion: The recognized best choice against 1. d4 is Nimzo Indian. The white player also knows that and will be well prepared. Ladies Indian is just as solid but maybe a bit passive at times. Then the King's Indian Defense might be just the right choice for you if you like it a little more offensive, involved and aggressive and don't just want to watch the opening. And the King's Indian attack with white is one of the insider tips for everyone who just wants to get through the opening safely in order to achieve a playable position without having to memorize variants by hand.