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I always play the King's Indian Attack against the French Defense. Most of the time, I get the position below and I couldn't think of good plans. What are the best ways for White to continue? I don't know where to put my Queen, the d2 Knight, and the Dark-squared Bishop. I am also afraid of the a- and b-pawns of Black when Black starts to move them forward.

I play the KIA because I like closed or semi-closed positions. I don't really like open games. But my opponent has started to open the game by playing this position always.

rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1
1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. Ngf3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 dxe4 9. dxe4 e5
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    There was an excellent book by Neil McDonald, if memory serves me well... Anyway, your plan is to occupy f5 and d5 with your knights; preventing ...Bg4 with h3 is also good; as for his counterplay on queenside, you must choose between c3 or a3; Queen goes either to e2 or c2 -> both choices have their pros and cons; rooks fight for the d-file; i forgot what to do with the dark square bishop; anyway, I will find the name of the book and let you know... It is really worth getting, but don't trust me -> read it yourself and you will be convinced. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Apr 7 '15 at 19:34
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    Here is the name of the book. Really good book, and your case is explained. If you can not afford the book, let me know and I will officially answer your question. Best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Apr 7 '15 at 19:36
  • @AlwaysLearningNewStuff Thanks for your ideas. I have the book, but it only covers the position where the Black pawn is at c7 and Knight at c6. Unlike the above position where the pawn is at c5 and Knight at c6. Ok, the d5 plan seems nice, but I'm worried about occupying the f5 because Black's Bishop may take the Knight and I will lose a center pawn, may I ask you to elaborate on the f5 plan? Thanks! – user1764381 Apr 8 '15 at 2:30
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    You wait for him to play ...Bg4, then you go h3 ( exchange is good for you ) and Qe1 or Qc2. Since he has no pin anymore, you play Nh4-Nf5, leaving his ...Bh5 out of play. When he plays ...Bg6 you may bolster the knight with g4 or simply play Ne3, heading for d5. What I am trying to say is that you go for f5 after he has ...Bh5. It is all in the book, but generally, I would still fight for d-file and d5 outpost especially after he has played ...c5. You can play c3 to deprive him of d4 outpost ( yes, d3 is weak ut you have Bf1! to kick out his queen/rook ). – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Apr 8 '15 at 6:49
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    Glad to help, good luck and best regards. – AlwaysLearningNewStuff Apr 8 '15 at 7:34
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This is my first time answering a question, so i hope that will be all right :)

First of all, the position appearing on the board is also reached via this move order: 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 c5 3. Bg2 nc6 4. O-O e5 5. d3 Nf6 6. Nbd2 Be7 7. e4 dxe4 8.dxe4 and it's a tempo up for black, and the extra move might be important. And secondly we might reach this position with colors reversed: 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. O-O e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 etc. And it's very important to notice that the examination of similar positions provides complete understanding of ideas.

Bypassing the move order and transposition issues, I would like to mention the related article named "The King's Indian Attack (from White's Viewpoint)" (page 142) on the excellent book Opening Preparation by Dvoretsky (1996), Dvoretsky came to the conclusion that this exchange (...dxe4 and ...e5 by Black) is dubious. The reasoning behind Dvoretsky's assessment is:

"Not a good exchange. White now has a clear plan for playing on the weaknesses c4, d5 and f5."

In the game (which cannot be found in databases) Dvoretsky - Rogozhnikov, Moscow 1965 White executes his plan by playing, c3, Qc2, Nf1 and exchanging the defender of d5 square by Bg5-Bxf6 and after Ne3, Bf1 and Bc4, and exchanging the best defender, the light-squared bishop on e6. It should be noted that Dvoretsky's opponent defended weakly and lost after a beautiful positional squeeze. But it's not clear how White will react after the correct a timely ...h6 and countering the White's plan by trying to push ...c4 by ...b5 or ...Na5 Maybe the answer is the mixture of the whole ideas given, let's say, Nc4(Nf1)-Ne3 and Nf5 and after an exchange on f5 to take with exf5 and play with the strong bishop g2 and full control on the light squares. There are many typical master games with both colors. You might want to search the other transpositional options in order to achieve complete understanding of the ideas, because there are hundreds of master games beginning from those positions with both colors. I hope I might be able to help you.

  • Hi @nacado, thanks for your ideas! I'm afraid of ...b5, followed by ...h6 and ...a5. I don't know where to move my queen-side pawns when Black decides to push his queen-side pawns, any ideas about the correct way to block Black's queen-side pawns? Thanks – user1764381 Apr 9 '15 at 3:40
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    You're welcome. I think that's not an easy task to do b5 and a5 immediately. As far as i can see there are old games where Black played early b5 which were punished by a4 and by doing so White takes the control of c4 square. I dont know which move order you're about to mean but as computer evaluation points out it's not easy as Dvoretsky mentioned in his book. Probably because of this manner (the position is not so easy as to play on light squares) Svidler chooses to hop Nd5 immediately. chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1731431 And i think that's a good starting point. – nacado Apr 9 '15 at 16:16
  • Thanks for your effort and also for mentioning good references. – user1764381 Apr 10 '15 at 5:52

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