I'm a beginner and I really like openings that end up in a fianchetto, I mostly like playing on Black side because of Sicilian Dragon and King's Indian Defence.

On White I play London System and King's Indian Attack.(For which I don't like London system that much.)

So I have 2 questions:

1.- Is there a list of openings where a fianchetto is involved for both black and white openings? And which are most effective?

2.- I like to think of myself as a positional player, what are the most popular white openings that have this kind of "passive" play?

3 Answers 3


Beside very famous openings such as kings indian or dragon ... there is also a less known opening, Leningrad-Dutch (for black), which uses fianchentto king side bishop. For white in addition to what you mentioned very famous closed sicilian opening also goes for fianchentto kingside bishop.

By the way IMHO, openings with fianchentto bishops (particularly for black side) in many cases are quite sharp (such as kings indian, dragon) and not passive at all, if you are positional player and you want to avoid a race condition and many tactical patterns, it's maybe better to avoid it and play more relaxed openings. e.g in dragon or kings indian slowing down the race and sometimes even defending against opponent attack may result to a lost.

P.S: it's clear that almost every opening that we can play with black we could also play it with white just a move ahead.


With black against 1.e4:

  1. Modern defence
  2. Pirc
  3. Sicilian defence: dragon
  4. Sicilian defence: accelerated dragon

With black against 1.d4:

  1. Modern defence
  2. King's Indian defence
  3. Grünfeld
  4. Leningrad Dutch
  5. Benoni

Most of these openings have a fixed or typical setup, so with white you can play the same setup with an extra tempo.

Hard to say whether an opening is tactical or positional, active or passive. All the openings in the list have the reputation of being "fighting". This is not surprising. As you spend time playing g6 and Bg7, your opponent has the opportunity to occupy the center. Therefore, it is often important to create counterplay, which leads to an interesting battle.

In order to choose one of these openings, you can take a look at some games of strong players to see which kind of position arises and to learn the main ideas.


A kingside fianchetto is basically always an option.

You can start to build one with your very first move:

  • For black that would lead to the Modern Defence: 1…g6

  • With white this is sometimes called the Benko(-Larsen)-Opening: 1.g3

You can also develop your kingside knight first (with black after 1.d4), which prevents e4/e5 and may lead to:

  • The Reti: 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 and a fianchetto to follow.

  • The King's Indian or the Grunfeld: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5/Bg7

With white you have additional options of kingside fianchettos, like the English with g3, 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 or the Catalan 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3. or to just fianchetto your bishop against the King's Indian or Grunfeld.

Generally, white prefers to fianchetto the bishop after 1.d4/c4, because after 1.e4 it would be blocked by the e4-pawn. The King's Indian Attack is the exception, and for what it's worth, it isn't often seen in top level chess.

You are right that the kingside fianchetto is generally a very safe way to play with white (but not a passive one!). But the opposite is true for the black side! The Modern, the King's Indian, the Grunfeld and especially the Dragon are all regarded as very sharp and tactical openings.

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