Usually King's Indian players don't seem to be afraid to double the pawns on the c file if that means trading a knight for the dark-squared bishop. I was just wondering what are the plans that Black has in mind when doubling those pawns? For instance, if White castles queenside, how can Black use that pawn structure to its advantage?

      [FEN ""]
      [StartPly "11"]

      1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Bg5 Na6 { E73 King's Indian Defense: Averbakh Variation, Modern Defense } 7. Qd2 e5 8. Nf3 Qe8 9. d5 Nc5 10. Qc2 h6 11. Be3 Ng4 12. Bxc5 dxc5 13. h3 Nf6 14. O-O-O

  • Just because White has castled queenside doesn't mean he's weak there. Black normally carries on with the normal play on the kingside. The doubled pawns are quite stable and hard to attack effectively.
    – magd
    Jun 11, 2017 at 14:03
  • Attacking on the kingside is certainly an option, not sure I'd play it that way. While black certainly has a natural superiority on the kingside in the KID it's no fun to expose your king position while attacking an area that doesn't endanger your opponents king. Jun 11, 2017 at 15:21
  • Generally speaking, doubled pawns are not a weakness at all. They increase pawn control over neighboring files, and open files for your own pieces. They only become weak when there is no pawn on an adjacent file to protect these pawns - an isolated doubled pawn is structurally generally not what you want. (But even this is sometimes ok, and again might help cover key squares on the board.)
    – TMM
    Jun 11, 2017 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


In that line you posted I'd imagine black would ideally try to blockade d6 with a piece, say via Ne8-Nd6, then begin pawn storming the queenside with a6-b5, or Rb8-b5, or something along those lines. The actual attack itself would be complex, whether to push c4 or b4 first for example, and may need additional piece development to prepare it, as well as accurate calculation to prevent white from being able to blockade the pawn storm.

As far as white attacking on the kingside, it's not so easy to attack into a fianchetto and would likely require a piece sac to break through.

I don't know the variation in question but that's how I'd play it.


The most important thing IMO is that White has voluntarily traded his good Bishop. Black should be thinking of a good N vs bad B endgame, with Nd6 perfectly placed both for attack and defense.

To steer toward such an ending, the general recipe is to threaten an attack, without making overly committal moves and certainly without sacrificing but not necessarily against the King. White then has a dilemma. If he reduces the attack by exchanging then he just brings that endgame closer.

This is not to claim that Black is actually better (although I would prefer Black in the diagrammed position) but they certainly should not fear this exchange. And, as has been remarked, it is not easy for White to attack that King position. Particularly without Bh6 available.

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