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The King's Indian attack is my choice of opening. I choose this because more often I would prefer games where the actual clash between the sides is delayed (rather than outright in the opening). My friends have recommended me to prepare myself with more aggressive lines in the KIA. He specifically talked about pawn storming ideas (possibly with sacrificing a pawn) starting with h4. But, I guess this is not practical always.

Is there a way to play King's Indian attack aggressively against most systems adopted by black? (I don't mean same attacking plan irrespective of opponent's system). If yes, how?

I personally prefer double-edged games.

PS: There is a book on KID: King's Indian Warfare by Ilya Smirin. Is there a book of this sort on KIA?

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I looked you up on FIDE's website, and as a roughly 1500-player, the KIA naturally fits your question "How to play king's indian attack aggressively?" If you play it correctly, it already IS an aggressive opening. You cannot get any more aggressive than an opening that basically says "I want to mate your king".

The reality is that at higher levels, it is mostly de-fanged, and considered only good for equality, which is why you do not see Carlsen, and other world champions, play it often (at best). At the top levels, it is played mostly as a surprise opening, typically, to avoid home preparation, or when a player just wants a playable game where the opponent is mostly on their own. Generally, black is considered to have adequate defensive systems that should render that attack harmless. However, black cannot underestimate white's kingside attacking chances, and even GMs can make mistakes in that opening, and lose to an attack.

You can play the KIA against the main black 1.e4 defenses: The Sicilian, French, and Caro-Kann. It becomes more difficult to get the type of game you want if black knows what you typically play, and plays and early g6, Bg7, and 0-0. It is just harder to go for mate against that setup.

As far as books go, there are dozens of books on the KIA. For your level, I would focus on books that explain the ideas rather than rely heavily on regurgitating a ton of theory. I have many books, but unfortunately, during a move, I lost most of my opening books, so I literally have no books on this opening, but if I were to recommend two book just based on a search, I would try these two: "King's Indian Attack: Move by Move" by GM Neil McDonald, and "Starting Out: King's Indian Attack" by GM John Emms. They seem to be more of the explaining type (you can look at the first few pages on Amazon).

A word of warning: If you have any real intentions of trying to get to 2200, you may find that you have to develop a new opening repertoire from scratch at some point, as this opening is will limit your chess development in the long run since you will be easy to prepare for.

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  • Oh, thank you for your suggestions. I like ruy lopez; but I am afraid I am not ready for an opening with a lot of theory. – Cyriac Antony Feb 12 at 16:12
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    @CyriacAntony Beware of worrying too much about the opening, and memorizing theory. That is a sure-fire way to remain a 1500-1600 player for the rest of your life. Concentrate on learning HOW to play chess. Read my answer here for more on what to study: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/27945/… – PhishMaster Feb 12 at 16:46
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    we clearly have different ideas of what an aggressive opening is! I see KIA more as a slow positional set up that might allow an attack on the king but depends what black does whether that is the best strategy. – edwina oliver Feb 12 at 17:22
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    Slow, or fast, its intent is clear...attack! – PhishMaster Feb 12 at 17:26
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    The beauty of KIA, KID is the way it is both positionally and tactically rich. First get a better position, then attack. – Michael West Feb 12 at 17:48
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Well, playing the KIA, before you can get aggressive, you've got to first consolidate your position, shore up all weak points and place a knight on d2(slows down Black's queenside ambitions), and then only to start playing aggressive by playing ...Ne1, ...f4, ...f5, ...g5, and attempt to overwhelm Black with a kingside attack.

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    The question is about KIA, not KID. – Cyriac Antony Aug 4 at 5:25
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    The knight often goes to h2 in the KIA – David Aug 4 at 6:10
  • I am afraid a certain amount of flexibility gives a better chance of producing good attack. If one is fixated on placing the knight on d2 (or h2 for that matter), that would give less choices of attack. I guess depepending on the position, one has to come up with a plan of attack. – Cyriac Antony Sep 8 at 3:38
  • Your first point is important in KIA. "Before you can get aggressive, you've got to first consolidate your position" – Cyriac Antony Sep 8 at 3:39

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