White KIA meets black KID



What happens when Mr/Ms KIA lover meets Mr/Ms KID lover?

I recently played a game that caused me to consider this dilemma.  Me vs me OTB.  Me playing the KIA no matter what black does, against me playing the KID (or Pirc if 1.e4) no matter what white does.   So we go along our merry way playing a mirror image of each other.  1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d3 d6 5. O-O O-O 6. e4 *.

Black-me knows I need to break out of this copycat mode pretty soon.  At 6.e4, black-me takes pause, and thinks that this might be the time to break out.  We're trying not to use the brain at the same time, but white-me starts to creep in during the lull, and adds, "Yeah, this is weird!  We need to do some research."  

So I look in my text books and don't see any white KIA vs black KID.   In "Starting Out: King's Indian Attack," Emms, as far as I can tell, all the black play has black taking the center early.  Similarly, in my KID books by Gallagher, all of the white play has white taking the center early.  I haven't found any discussion of white KIA vs black KID.  I might have missed it. 

My chessbase 3.8 million game Big Database 2008 does however have 1762 games with the position resulting after the line given above.  It's comforting to know that I'm not the only potential idiot pursuing this line Surprised.  The win/loss ratio is exactly even.  Interesting!  34% 1-0, 34% 0-1, 32% draw. 

A few questions.

1a.  If white intends to play the KIA and notices that black is pursuing the KID, do you think it's reasonable to just continue on with the KIA, or is it clearly better for white to try to transpose to a standard white line of the KID?

1b. Conversely, if black is intending to play the KID against 1.Nf3, and notices that white seems to be pursuing the KIA, do you think it's reasonable for black to  continue on with the KID, or is it clearly better for black to try to transpose to a book response to the KIA? 

2a.  I suppose the 1762 games indicate it's somewhat reasonable to stick to the white-KIA/black-KID plan, but why no discussion in the text books? 

2b.  Have you seen any textbook material that addresses white KIA against black KID?  If so, can you recommend a reference?

We anxiously await your thoughts.

I actually ended up transposing into that line against a friend of mine. I usually lose all the time against him, but I ended up winning that game. It can't be too bad of a line :p

It probably isn't in the opening books because where exactly do you classify it and there are too many side paths from each move pair.  In an instance like this with a KIA/KID setup both players are unsure in the opening, are sticking to what they know best and don't have the confidence/knowledge to seize a slight advantage by exploiting the others opening inaccuracies (which is different than errors). 

Black has obtained the normal opening task of reaching equality so one might say he has won the opening battle.  A standard line against the KID would give white a better position than a KIA setup, if white knows it.  I would assume that by White playing the KIA he is not familiar with, happy with, playing against Indian defenses.  If you are playing this it couldn't hurt to look into the g3/classical fianchetto lines for white against the KID.

That being said, the best references you are going to find on this setup are those 1762 games.  Use your database and engine and delve in to find out what is happening here.

If I was Black, I would immediately play ...c5 and try to fight for that side of the board.  No sense in trying to blockade the kingside...it seems more natural to fight on the queenside for Black, seeing that White chose to play e4...What do you think?

If you play an immediate ....c5 you aren't in this line since the c pawn went away on move 3.

Foot in mouth  Never mind, got my posts mixed up.  I thought it was a different thread.  Time to close a couple windows.  Sorry about the mix up.

CarlMI wrote: If you play an immediate ....c5 you aren't in this line since the c pawn went away on move 3.


My screwup, see amended post.
CarlMI wrote: My screwup, see amended post.

No big thing...I was just curious Cool

But ...c5 is my opinion, start attacking quick.

And playing against yourself is an excellent resource, if you are totally considering playing honest from both sides...sometimes those matches are harder than playing against other people, because you know what the other side is going to do, and you try to create valid threats with both sides, but ultimately one side is stronger, and you not only experience victory, but you also suffer loss at the same time!  It is nuts.  I played one against myself with a system from the Bird, trying to find a good line for Black, and Black got crushed! lol 
Black-me did play 6...c5, but I didn't want to lead the conversation by disclosing that.  Felt like black-me was playing the Pirc, actually. 
So who won the battle, Black-you or White-you? Laughing
If White plays b4, he gives Black a stronger grip on his KID setup...d6 and e5 are easier to achieve, since there is no quick pressure.  As a matter of fact, Black may get fortunate enough to play d5-c6 and e5, supported by Nd7 and Qe7 Re8...lots of ideas in the air.
Fischer claimed advantage for black after e4 c5. Also, he claimed advantage for black after c4 e5 (after all of your moves, plus the moves Nbd2 and Nbd7. Fischer was a believer in the black side apparently. His article on this (in chess life) is pretty famous.

Interesting post...


You seem a little too deep into your dual personalities. Don't play too much chess against yourself or you'll probably end up like Fischer.




In response to this question, I feel obligated to first tell you that I have little respect for the KIA. This question is one of strategy, and the KIA does not fit in with typical opening strategy. In my view, it is simply an attempt to avoid opening theory and/or make black overextend himself. If black does not underestimate white's setup, equality should be very easy to achieve. So, now you understand my bias.


So, my answer (obviously) is yes: at some point, disregard of the center should be challenged. This does not mean that you have to try to transpose into some line of the KID or Pirc, though. Just play what makes sense as the moves happen. In this particular case, the fourth move was the move where this should have happened. 4.d3?! just doesn't make sense against black's setup. d3 is used as a preparatory move in the KIA if black has already occupied the center; i.e. controls the d4 square. In this case, 4.d3 is just stereotypical KIA thinking, and is not much of a move. 4.d4, or 4.c4 would have more punch.


So, if you are of the hypermodern school, the KIA should work with your thinking. You complete your kingside development, and work to control any center that black sets up. However, this can not define more than a couple of moves. A successful opening (against skilled play), must, at some point, fight for the center. The theory behind an opening such as the KID is to fix the center as soon as black has setup a foothold on one of the wings. If white has not set up a big pawn center yet, this will include other moves than the traditional ...d6 and ...e5. However, the point is that once black has completed his kingside development, his focus immediately shifts to the center. This should also be the approach taken here. If black has set up a center, then it is time to fight back with moves like d3 and e4. If black has left the center open, it is time to control it with moves like c4 and d4.




Black's play seems to make more sense, and I think there is less room for improvement here. 4...d6 seems like a decent response to 4.d3 and 6...c5 looks like a good way to begin to break the symmetry. We have a kind of closed Sicilian, where white has not played f4. So, his kingside expansion might be slowed. I would say that black is close to equality, already. Of course, 4...d5 is also a good plan for black and he will probably also get in ...c5. Black is hardly in trouble here as well.




Maybe... or it could indicate that some chess players have a kind of 'tunnel vision' when it comes to their favorite lines and have not learned to improvise very well in the opening. Either way, I am not sure why there is no easily found discussion of this strategy. I suppose the writers assume that one of the sides will fight to occupy some of the center from the beginning, as this is accepted opening practice. These will be the critical issues with these sort of hypermodern setups anyways. While neither side contests the center and play is symmetrical, there is not much to say. So then, similar to what I said in my response to 1a, when this development is complete, it is time for the fight for central squares to begin. When either player decides to make a break in the middle, the critical play will begin.




Sorry, I can't really help you here.



Hope that helps




Thanks all.  I appreciate the ideas on early breaks in symmetry and some perspective on the whole idea of playing white KIA against black KID.  If neither side claims the center right away then go ahead and play some strong center moves in place of the early prepairing moves usually found in the moderns.

Birdbrain, shortly after move 6 we decided to finish the game at blitz level of speed and recklessness, and get right to the research.  I think white won, but I'm not sure it will come out that way in the rematch.  Of course we will switch sides.  Black-me will play white and white-me will play...oh never mind.


"Fischer claimed advantage for black after e4 c5. Also, he claimed advantage for black after c4 e5 (after all of your moves, plus the moves Nbd2 and Nbd7. Fischer was a believer in the black side apparently. His article on this (in chess life) is pretty famous." 

Interesting.  I'd like to read that article, but I suppose not bad enough to become a member of UCSF right now.

On a side note, I’m interested in playing more games even more seriously against myself.  As birdbrain commented, I think it teaches me to look with equal seriousness at chances on both sides. 

In my last game here when I thought I had found my best move, and played it out several  more moves, I then looked at it from the other side of the board and really tried to figure out how I might beat myself from that side of the board.  It helped me see a few things I hadn’t seen until then.


To be clear on what the article is claiming, I interpret ozzie as saying that the article claims advantage for black after each of the variations:

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. d3 d6 5. O-O O-O 6. Nbd2 Nbd7 7. e4 (7. c4 e5
) 7... c5

Is that right?


You might be surprised too at the psychology involved in playing yourself.  If you value a move as strong, your fear of that move from the other side will cause you to "buckle" against it, since you totally anticipate it. 

Playing against yourself can be very exhausting.  And I do understand where you are coming from.  Plus, you have more time to analyze lines this way.  If you have another person to help you, that is fine too...they can help you find ideas that you might miss. 

 But so many people worship computer analysis nowadays, and I think it is garbage.  Yes, computers are great tactically, and I could never stand a chance against a top computer anyday.  But, the comments about occupying the center early - there is psychological advantage you have to consider.  How about when Tal faced Smyslov's Caro Kann with 2. d3?  Was the move a waste of time?  No, it was to agitate Smyslov.  Pawns that are "held back" have more inherent potential for down the road.  Aquaman's use of d3 was just as appropriate as another player's use of d4.  This is why the Hypermodern school is still around, and why many strong players play moves like 1 Nf3 and 1 g3.  They are strong moves, but you have to respect them and understand them to play them successfully. 

Tell Benko that when he used 1. g3 to beat Fischer and Tal that he didn't know what he was talking about.  The idea is flexibility.

ozzie_c_cobblepot wrote:
Fischer claimed advantage for black after e4 c5. Also, he claimed advantage for black after c4 e5 (after all of your moves, plus the moves Nbd2 and Nbd7. Fischer was a believer in the black side apparently. His article on this (in chess life) is pretty famous.

Wow. He must really like the sicilian. People who love it love to argue that black is so good, but after 1 e4 c5, fritz 10 thinks white has like a .7 advantage!