In the typical KID black tries to play for a mating attack. Consequently, the dark squared bishop usually ended up sleeping on g7 or sometimes reroute itself to defended the d6 pawn which is critical in KID. (correct me if my understanding is wrong)

So my question is the following. 1. Should we trade our dark squared bishop for any of white's pieces, because it doesn't participate much in terms of checkmating White's king.

  • Normally there's no time for the bishop to be traded off in the KID when the attacks happen on opposite sides of the board, and the bishop is not without duties. It can also be woken from its slumber by opening of the center, or activated via h6 in certain lines.
    – Scounged
    Jun 29, 2017 at 17:19

3 Answers 3


My understanding is that the dark squared bishop on g7 in this opening is a strong defensive piece and should be preserved there if possible. White I know will typically try to trade off this bishop to enhance his own kingside attacking chances, by playing his dark squared bishop to e3 and supporting it with his queen on d2 so he can penetrate with this bishop to h6 to trade off black's g7 bishop. Doing so will then weaken the dark squares around the black king, giving white better attacking chances there.

  • I think this is very good advice for most openings relying on a kingside fianchetto. I play the Sicilian Dragon and guard my fianchetto'd bishop with my life. Similarly, when I play against kingside fianchettos I almost always try to trade for their bishop or close the center to neutralize some of its power.
    – Dennis
    Jun 29, 2017 at 22:47
  • 2
    White (usually) doesn't attack on the kingside in the KID; it's Black's domain.
    – Glorfindel
    Jun 30, 2017 at 12:42

From a purely positional point of view, the Bg7 should only be exchanged for White's dark-squared Bishop, or in a case of emergency for another attacking piece, if absolutely necessary, or if the gain of material presents itself. Bg7 protects your king position and the weakened squares on f6/h6 (due to g6), and e5 central square, and by extension, d4.

I don't play the KID, but those are my 'feelings' about that particular piece in that particular setup.

Good luck.


There is not a single opening called the Kings Indian Defence defined by Nf6,g6,Bg7. There are some very different developments, and if you play KID you must be comfortable with all of them.

A. Black plays ..e5 and ..exd if permitted. The Bg7 is then a key player in a Q-side attack, probably involving an open b-file. See some famous Bronstein games.

B. Black plays ..c5 instead of ..e5 (eg against the Four Pawns Attack) Again the KB controls the dark squares and should be preserved. Sometimes not even given up for a Rook.

C. Black plays ..e5 and White closes the center with d5. This is the case where Blacks ambitions are on the K-side. The KB has already played a role by encouraging White to close the center. It may become a liabiity in the endgame, and is often exchanged for Whites QB to allow the Black Knights and major pieces to penetrate the weak dark squares. If White avoids this, the KB may become a strong attacker itself via h6 and f4 or e3. If those squares are blocked, then f6, h4, g3.

Correct handing of the KI Bishop is crucial but seldom simple.

  • I think he means the Mar del Plata variation, that's what people usually refer to when generally talking about the KID. Jul 3, 2017 at 4:41
  • @Hockneyfan. You may well be right, but (a) he should realise that one size does not fit all, and (b) a number of the answers are not appropriate to that case
    – Philip Roe
    Jul 3, 2017 at 12:06

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