So, I played quite a bit a few years ago, at the 1500-1600 level, and now I'm getting back into things a bit. I figured I'd use the chance to shore up my opening repertoire.

At the moment, I play 1. c4 as white and love it. I'm also pretty happy with the dragon as black vs e4. Vs d4 though, I have issues. I used to play the KID vs d4, but never really liked it. I like the fianchetto, but it was cramped in all the wrong ways, I never felt like I had good pawn breaks, and my minor pieces always were tripping over each other. I like fianchetto positions in general. Before the English, I played a lot of KIA, and before the Dragon, Pirc.

So what should I look into vs d4 if I like the Dragon, and especially the English?


3 Answers 3


Just as Brian Towers I would recommend you to give a look at the Grunfeld. The main difference with the KID is that you react faster in the center with 3...d5 and the resulting positions are often more open and "enjoyable" for your g7-bishop. Other possibilities are the Benoni: play with c5 instead of e5 (in the KID) and with Queenside pawn play. Or the Benko Gambit which can lead to attacking positions with a dominant black square bishop (but depending on white's answer, the fianchetto won't always be the best option). In any case welcome back in the chess world and I wish you the best of luck with your black Dragon (a favorite of mine too)!!


I would try the Gruenfeld in your position. It has the fianchetto without the cramping and has a lot of scope for someone who likes a tactical, non-symmetric counter-punching kind of game.


I second Grunfeld & I can understand when you have an aficionado for the Dragon then you love fianchettoes but my suggestion would be that you can try Slav & Semi Slav as Black . If you see then their Winning percentages as Black is the Best against d4 . Kramnik Anand Kasparov are the best teachers in this Variation .

Technically what I feel that this opening has an Initiative which White cannot parry easily . I never feel that playing Black as Semi Slav & Slav has any disadvantage . lets go for an example now Lets consider the Semi Slav Meran Variation .

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bb7 9.O-O a6 10.e4 c5

You can see how Black snatches the initiative when he pushes the Bishop to d3 via 7)..b5 . It is Black infact who is dominating .

You can go through some games and you will find that whatever I mentioned would be an interesting option to you as well .

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