Which KID Variations Do I Study First?


Hi, I'm an intermediate player, 1500 rapid on and and just started playing OTB. I recently picked up a copy of Victor Bologan's 2017 KID book and I've thoroughly studied the Four Pawns and London Variations but I'm unsure of which variation to study next. The Petrosian and Gligoric are what I most commonly face (aside from random rare moves which the book looks at) but feel it might be more important to study the Samisch seeing as it's a strong weapon to play against unprepared KID players. While my theoretical knowledge on the main Classical Variation with 8. d5 Ne7 is limited, I've never faced it online and I feel I know the general ideas of it well enough to want to focus on other variations. I'm also relatively new to reading/studying chess books, what I've done for the Four Pawns Variation was I looked through all the presented lines in the book and picked which lines to play as black, taking notes with post-its to help remember key ideas or moves in certain lines. Any advice/insight on which lines to study and how to study a chess opening book would be greatly appreciated.


"Which KID Variations Do I Study First?"
++ None at all. Just play and analyse your lost games.
That what you study will not happen, and when it finally happens, you will have forgotten.

Thank you tygxc for responding, but telling me that really doesn’t help me. I already analyze my games after I play them, I’m just trying to improve my KID because I enjoy studying openings and out of my black openings the KID is the one I’ve struggled with the most.

classical you will see the most, with or without b4 by white.

what you need to know about the Saemich as black is the pawn ending. blacks pawns get very loose and become targets.

the white player who is familiar with the KID will also throw the Averbahk variation at you because black can not play e5 and there is no kingside attack for black.


Thanks for the reply! I have only faced the Averbahk variation once before but I'll definitely need to look at it once I've finished looking at the classical variations and the Samisch.


study the modern Benoni as well.

the four pawns attack transposes to the Meikanas attack in the Modern Benoni on move seven. there are situations as black that you will need to know how to play with a backwards pawn on d6. and the benefits of anchoring the DQB on e5 as opposed to g7.

the Averbahk will teach you how to play the c5 pawn break since the e5 pawn break will not exist.


I feel pretty comfortable with c5 breaks, I'm not sure what a DQB is though so if you could explain that would be great.


The Panno is a very strong weapon against White's g3 fianchetto lines. You might want to look it over since some of Black's key moves are rather non-intuitive... eg: 7. ... Na5.


Alr, I'll be sure to look into the fianchetto lines as well.


dark square bishop.


IMO as Black

a : 1) d4 Nf6 2) c4 g6 3) Nc3 Bg7 4) e4 d6 5) Nf3 0-0 6) Be2 e5 7) dxe5 dxe5 important to study first because when a player knows nothing he can tend to play in a timorous way and because it is notably difficult to play a position without Queens where our opponent has an advantage.

By studying this position I mean watching strong bot vs strong bot (time 5 or 10m), doing testing against strong bot where we play with White and try to play what seems most annoying or lines of attack that seem winning ( in this way we'll see rebuttals or strong ideas that we can use with Black).

1 : 8) Qxd8 Rxd8 9) Bg5 this is almost all the time what is played and which is more dangerous.

2 : 8) o-o this variant is rather bots can play it.

3 : 8) Qc2 normaly very little played but it's the variant that seems the strongest.

b : 1) d4 Nf6 2) c4 g6 3) Nc3 Bg7 4) e4 d6 5) Nf3 0-0 6) d5 when a player knows nothing he can tend to play simple and pushing d5 is a simple way to play because he doesn't have to calculate what happens after x)...exd4.

6)...a5 7) Bg5 this is the variant that is played almost all the time and which causes us problems.

c : 1) d4 Nf6 2) c4 g6 3) Nc3 Bg7 4) e4 d6 5) f4 we quickly got massacred in this variant

5)...o-o 6) Nf3 Nbd7 7) Be2 c5

d : 1) d4 Nf6 2) c4 g6 3) Nc3 Bg7 4) e4 d6 5) f3 when we start playing KID the Sämisch variant gives us a lot of problems (White often will play x) o-o-o).

e : 1) d4 Nf6 2) c4 g6 3) Nc3 Bg7 4) e4 d6 5) Nf3 o-o 6) h3 it looks clownish but there is an opening trap encouraging our opponents to play this variant 6)...e5 7) d5 the trap will be understand after 7)...Nh5 8) Nh2 f5 9) exf5 Bxf5 10) g4

f : In what I said there aren't really the main lines but in short I think we have to first study the variants that I said as a priority.


My sense is that at that level, you'll see a whole lot of unambitious sidelines -- White playing e2-e3, that sort of thing. A fair amount of Bg5 stuff too but not the best versions. Real lines, in my experience, are fairly infrequent (which doesn't mean you shouldn't study them for when they do occur).

It's about 100-200 poitns above that that your opponents start to play real lines on a more regular basis. I see the Classical, Fianchetto, and Saemisch most often. I get the sense that most people playing the Fianchetto are doing it without a lot of theory, just because it seems like a reasonable way to get a game. For that one, I'd invest the most time in trying to understand the general strategic ideas. With the Classical and Saemisch (and less frequenst stuff like the Four Pawns) actual theory becomes more crucial.


Thank you guys so much for the thorough responses! Alchessblitz, I'll be sure to look into all the lines you've shown except for the c line (which is the Four Pawn Variation) because I've already done some extensive studying on that line. I've only ever gotten the exchange variation played against me once and I crushed my opponent because they played 8. Nxe5 which is just bad for white. While I probably should study the main main lines after 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 I've never had an opponent play 7. 0-0 against me before, while variations such as the Petrosian are much more common. tlay, I'll defenitely need to look at some of the fianchetto lines because that and the Averbahk are the lines I've done the least studying on.


Don't forget to study the Tromposky attack 2. Bg5. It's really effective for white if black isn't prepared.

play4fun64 wrote:

Don't forget to study the Tromposky attack 2. Bg5. It's really effective for white if black isn't prepared.

Yes, but that's true after any 1. ... Nf6 line.

The one that's slightly annoying is the London System. Against 2. Bf4 I really like 2 ... c5 -- but if you're a KID player you also have to have something different ready for 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4.

And the Jobava London is annoying too because you either have to play a Pirc or a d4 d5 setup, both of which are fairly different from usual KID ideas.

But all of these are manageable, and as a whole it's easier to deal with sidelines than in some other replies to 1. d4 (or 1. Nf3 or 1. c4).




Against the London I play 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. e4 c5, ever since playing this line I've been able to get comfortable positions that occur regularly bc London players generally play the same way every time. The Jobava is a little trickier bc I do play d5 after Nc3 to avoid Pirc positions. Against the Jobava I look to play c6 strengthen the d5 pawn and prevent Nb5 ideas. My theoretical knowledge vs the Jobava is rather limited however and I generally get into trouble when my opponents start pushing their king side pawns down the board. I have not studied any theory against the Tromposky because I face it very infrequently and I haven't lost to it in the last 4 games I've played against it. (I've faced it a total of 8 times)