So recently I played an online blitz game with White (you can find the game here and the analysis here)

[White "LetMeWinPls45"]
[Black "Nord1970"]
[FEN ""]

1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. c4 b6 4. Nc3 Bb7 5. Be3 Nc6 6. Qd2 Nf6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O-O
e6 9. Bh6 Ne7 10. Bxg7 Kxg7 11. f3 d6 12. g4 c5 13. d5 exd5 14. cxd5 Nc8 15. h4
Ne7 16. h5 gxh5 17. gxh5 Ng6 18. hxg6 fxg6 19. Qh6+ Kf7 20. Nh3 Rg8 21. Ng5+ Ke8
22. Nxh7 Nxh7 23. Qxh7 Rf8 24. e5 dxe5 25. Bxg6+ Rf7 26. Qxf7# 1-0

Now, this is what I'm talking about when I say "attacking the kingside". Trade the fianchetto bishop and storm the kingside with pawns. If I can trade the h pawn, my rook and queen can team up on h6, the knight can jump to g5 to put an eye on h7, and the bishop on e3 is always putting an eye on g6-h7

I heard (though do not remember exactly) that Levy Rozman (a.k.a GothamChess) suggests this for White when Black plays this kind-of the King Indian's defense setup.

But I also heard some theory saying that Black is the one who should storm the kingside and White should storm the queenside instead.

So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of attacking the kingside? And is it a good game plan?

  • 3
    have a look at the saemisch variation. similar plan en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – cmgchess
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 16:16
  • Saemisch (spelling?!) is a setup where white advances on Kingside. You should see how black reacts. It is quite instructive I must say. I have always been crushed as White any time I attempted this :((
    – user13438
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 12:51
  • QUestion of is something a good or correct plan is not a great one! Attack on kingside (or any side for that matter) when the conditions are ripe: You have (or can safely gain) space there, you have (or can quickly bring) pieces there, and your opponent has created (or will have to create) some weakness there. In a KID set-up, only the last one (due to g6) is present and the reason white seldom goes for kingside activity is bc the first two criteria are difficult to achieve--of course unless your opponent helps :)
    – user13438
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 12:54

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking a kingside pawn storm only makes sense when your opponent castles kingside. In that case your opponent's best course of action, according to classical theory, is a counter attack in the center.

With that in mind the reason your attack succeeded was because your opponent was playing some kind of "formula" chess instead of paying attention to your moves and adapting plans accordingly.

Castling kingside after you advertised your intentions by lining up your queen and bishops against the kingside was dumb as a rock. Castling should have been delayed or planned on the queenside instead.

The second major error your opponent made was to leave themselves with no central breaks to challenge your central control. The knights on c6 and f6 ruled out pawn moves c6 and f6 as preparation for d5 or e5 or even c5 or f5 directly. Also the the d and e pawns stayed home. Fianchettoes like this have to be used in conjunction with central pawn breaks to challenge white's large center.

The KID proper requires an early d6 preparing either c5 or e5. Completely neglecting the center as your opponent did is an invitation to quick defeat. When black plays the KID and launches a kingside attack it is usually in conjunction with an early e5 followed up by moving the Nf6 out of the way and playing f5 supported by the bishop on c8. The double fianchetto played here makes no sense.

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