A queenside sacrifice to beat the King’s Indian

GM gmjlh
Jul 1, 2012, 3:42 AM |

The King’s Indian is one of the most complicated openings in chess. White focuses his attention on the queenside, trying to advance his pawns and create dangerous outposts for his pieces. Black on the other hand tries the exactly same thing – but on the kingside, where both the black and white king resides.

It’s a question of getting there first. If white can get a grip on the queenside, he can use that play to disrupt black’s attack on the other flank. If white doesn’t manage to create any threats and good ideas, he will be at the mercy of black’s formidable attacking scheme.


In my last blog, I showed a game in which I (with the white pieces) pushed all my queenside pawns, creating a great initiative on that flank, before surprisingly winning the game on the other flank, trapping a bishop.


If you missed that post, catch up on it here!


Today I want to show how black can try to hinder white’s plans by attempting to do a pre-emptive block of the position, with the move c5. Then we typically get this pawn structure:


The plans remain the same; White will try to attack on the queenside (with b4 and a4-a5) and black will pin his hopes on the kingside (with g5-g4).

In an earlier blog post, I showed a fantastic game I played on the chess.com live server. I sacrificed a total of a whole rook for two mere pawns – but they were very fantastic pawns! I ended up losing the game, as I made a huge mistake – essentially checkmating myself. But the sacrifice in itself was decent, and I could have won the game if I had found the right way.


See my blog post about that amazing King’s Indian game.


That game started out with a knight sacrifice for two pawns, which is what will be the subject of this blog: Beating the King’s Indian by sacrificing a knight on the queenside, in order to create extremely strong passed pawns.


As it turns out, in these three games I got 0.5/3 points, but I had a winning position every single one of them. It is a testament to the sacrifice being risky, but also that even if you get a great position, you still have to keep a sharp eye: As usual black has lots of tricks with his potential attack.