Why does the tag wiki for King's Indian say that most of Black's attacks focus on the kingside? I have found that most of my games result in play on the queenside due to my dark-squared bishop, and sometimes I gain semi-open a- and b-files for my rooks.

  • Which "tag" do you mean? Jan 30, 2018 at 19:29
  • 2
    @user1583209 The tag he tagged this question with!
    – D M
    Jan 30, 2018 at 19:31
  • I see. But it says "often" there.... Jan 30, 2018 at 19:32
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    Not 100% sure, but I believe that only in the c5 King's Indians black can normally hope for play on the queenside. Perhaps somebody could compare the number of c5 KI to the number of e5 KI? Jan 30, 2018 at 21:03
  • @Glorfindel Tags should be formatted like this: [tag:kings-indian].
    – jpmc26
    Jan 31, 2018 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


There is a general principle that says that, in positions with a blocked center, every side must attack in the direction where his own pawn chain points to. For example, in the KID, sometimes White has pawns in e4 and d5 (White's pawn chain) and Black has pawns in d6 and e5 (Black's pawn chain). So we see that White's pawn chain points to the queenside, while Black's pawn chain points to the kingside.

The most efficient break move hits at the base of the opponent's pawn chain. So, for example, the base of White's pawn chain is the e4 pawn, so the most efficient break move for Black is f5 (and this is a kingside attack). The base of Black's pawn chain is the d6 pawn, so the most efficient break move for White is c5 (and this is a queenside attack).

If Black does not play e5, and he plays c5 instead, the argument above does not apply, and Black's strategy changes. Even if Black plays e5 and White decides to exchange with dxe5, opening up the center, then the situation is completely different. The KID is not a one-plan opening, it is very rich, I wish I could understand it better!

Another example of the aforementioned principle is given by the French Defense, where sometimes White has pawns in d4 and e5, and Black has pawns in d5 and e6. In this case White attacks on the kingside, and Black attacks on the queenside.

  • Maybe you should read Victor Bologan's opening book on it. Jan 31, 2018 at 17:52

I don't know if it's true that "most" games result in Black attacking the kingside. The tag claims "often", which seems to be true. For example, my openings database has over a thousand games that started like this:

[FEN ""]
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "?"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7
9. Ne1 Nd7 10. Nd3 f5 *

Black is beginning a kingside attack here.

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    The total number does not tell much on its own. A "thousand games" out of how many King's Indian games? Jan 30, 2018 at 19:58
  • Over a hundred thousand. But, of course, the position I showed is only one of many. For example, 9. b4 Nh5 10. Re1 f5 has several hundred games.
    – D M
    Jan 30, 2018 at 20:57
  • Black going for a king-side pawn push and white responding on the queen-side in the King's Indian Defense is one of the main themes of this opening, in fact it's the signature types of positions that pops to mind when one hears King's Indian. Take a look for example at most Hikaru Nakamura games employing this opening, a recent example of his that comes to mind is his game vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in 2015.
    – Ellie
    Jan 30, 2018 at 21:34

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