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

Number of games in database: 7467
Years covered: 1914 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 36.8%
   Black wins 25.8%
   Draws 37.4%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  62 games
Pavel Tregubov  48 games
Jan Hein Donner  47 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  75 games
Peter Svidler  61 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  36 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 299; games 1-25 of 7,467 
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 299; games 1-25 of 7,467 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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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.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: Hi all

I noticed something quite surprising this morning - the main line of the Kings Indian defence with Nc6 is not much liked by Stockfish 16:

2486: Hikaru Nakamura - Luke McShane 0-1 5.0, London Chess Classic 2009

click for larger view

Analysis by Stockfish 16 - one thread version:

1. ⩲ (0.46): 7...Na6 8.Re1 Bg4 9.Be3 exd4 10.Nxd4 Bxe2 11.Qxe2 c6 12.f3 Nd7 13.Rad1 Re8 14.b3 Nac5 15.Qd2 Ne5 16.Nde2 Ned3 17.Rf1 a5 18.Qc2 Nb4 19.Qb1 Qe7 20.h3 Nba6 21.Kh1 Nc7 22.Rd2 Be5 23.Bg1 N7e6 24.f4

2. ⩲ (0.54): 7...exd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Be3 Re8 10.f3 Nh5 11.Nc2 Be5 12.Nd5 Ne7 13.Bg5 f6 14.Be3 Nxd5 15.Qxd5+ Be6 16.Qd2 f5 17.f4 Bf6 18.Bxh5 gxh5 19.Bd4 fxe4 20.Ne3 Qe7 21.b3 b6 22.Rae1 Rad8 23.Rf2 Qg7 24.Bxf6 Qxf6 25.f5 Bf7 26.Nd5 Bxd5

3. ⩲ (0.58): 7...h6 8.Re1 a5 9.Bf1 Nh7 10.h3 Nc6 11.Be3 Ng5 12.dxe5 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 dxe5 14.Rad1 Nd4 15.Qg3 Bd7 16.c5 Kh7 17.Bxd4 exd4 18.Ne2 Be6 19.b3 Qe7 20.c6 bxc6 21.Nxd4 Rad8 22.Nxe6 Qxe6 23.Bd3

4. ⩲ (0.65): 7...Bg4 8.d5 b6 9.Ne1 Bxe2 10.Qxe2 Nh5 11.g3 Nd7 12.Bd2 Bf6 13.Qg4 Bg7 14.Qh3 Qe8 15.Nd3 a6 16.f3 f5 17.Kh1 Nhf6 18.g4 Nc5 19.Nxc5 fxg4 20.fxg4 bxc5 21.Qg2 Qd7 22.h3 h5

5. ⩲ (0.67): 7...a5 8.Be3 Bg4 9.dxe5 Bxf3 10.exf6 Bxe2 11.Qxe2 Bxf6 12.c5 Bxc3 13.bxc3 dxc5 14.Bh6 Re8 15.f4 Nc6 16.Bg5 Qd7 17.e5 Qe6 18.Qf3 Ne7 19.Rad1 Qc6 20.Qxc6 bxc6 21.Rd7 Nd5 22.c4 Ne3 23.Rb1 Rab8 24.Rxb8 Rxb8 25.h3 Nxc4 26.Rxc7 Nb2 27.Bh6 Nd3 28.Rxc6

6. ⩲ (0.69): 7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 a5 10.bxa5 Rxa5 11.a4 Ra8 12.Nd2 Ne8 13.Nb3 f5 14.f3 c5 15.dxc6 Nxc6 16.Be3 Be6 17.Qd2 Nf6 18.a5 Nxa5 19.Nxa5 Rxa5 20.Rab1 Ra8 21.exf5 gxf5 22.Rfd1 Qc8 23.Qxd6 e4

7. ± (0.71): 7...b6 8.Be3 Nc6 9.d5 Ne7 10.Ne1 a5 11.a3 Kh8 12.b4 Nfg8 13.Nd3 f5 14.f3 Bh6 15.Bxh6 Nxh6 16.f4 Nf7 17.Qd2 fxe4 18.Nxe4 Bf5 19.fxe5 Bxe4 20.e6 Nf5 21.exf7 Rxf7 22.Nf4 Qg5

8. ± (0.74): 7...Re8 8.d5 Nbd7 9.Be3 Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bd2 a5 12.a3 Nc5 13.b4 axb4 14.axb4 Rxa1 15.Qxa1 Nb3 16.Qd1 Nxd2 17.Nxd2 Nh6 18.c5 f5 19.c6 Rf8 20.h3 fxe4 21.Ndxe4 Nf5 22.Bc4 Kh8 23.b5 Nd4 24.b6 cxb6 White is slightly better

(Gavriel, 16.08.2023)

It seems in fact the "Glek defence" as in Igor Glek comes out top. The reason why Nc6 is not liked seems to be because of the Bayonet attack.

Is this public knowledge? Statistics in the lichess database for online games show Na6 at 48% win rate for black compared to 43% for Nc6

Maybe Igor Glek has a good point here with Na6 at move 7. He also even plays it sometimes at move 6.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: While I am sceptical to a degree of engine evals this early on, Anand vs Nakamura, 2011 came to mind on seeing your post, and I recall a fairly recent kibitz of <FSR> in which he noted the difficulties of playing the KID in correspondence, which has become, of course, I'll use my engine while you use yours.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: <perfidious>Yep that was a great Naka game - he has also played Na6 with some success on a smaller game sample size than Nc6 :

Repertoire Explorer: Hikaru Nakamura (black)

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingscrusher: And I am going through some Glek games - which seem impressive:

Repertoire Explorer: Igor Glek (black)

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