I am always afraid of the Samisch variation of the King's Indian. It's the main reason why I switched to Chebanenko Slav (or ..a6 Slav, or Kamsky's Slav). But my opponents seem to be always prepared against the Slav. So after few months of unsuccessful Slav, I am going back to King's Indian Defense.

[fen ""]
[StartFlipped "1"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6. Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 e5 8. d5 Ne7 9. Bd3 Nh5 10. O-O-O f5 11. exf5 gxf5

After gxf5, Black's position is scary.


  • 1
    6. Be3 c5! is an interesting pawn sacrifice. I think!
    – magd
    Jul 4, 2015 at 23:37
  • @magd I don't know how to continue from there though. And I am afraid to enter into an endgame a pawn down. Jul 5, 2015 at 1:58
  • 1
    Time to do some research then!
    – magd
    Jul 5, 2015 at 6:19
  • 1
    Play the King's Indian or Starting Out : The King's Indian books are probably a good place to start. Buying a book is really the only way to go.
    – magd
    Jul 5, 2015 at 6:31

3 Answers 3


According to the Game Database of ChessTempo, after 6.Be3, there are 3 main variations:

  1. 6....e5: 1970 games
  2. 6....Nc6: 1651 games
  3. 6....c5: 1335 games

After 6....e5 white's main moves are 7.d5 and 7.Nge2. After 7.d5 black has two options: 7....c6 (counterplay on the queen side) or 7....Nh5 8.Qd2 f5 (counterplay on the king side). After 7.Nge2 black's most common move is 7....c6.

After 6....Nc6 the most popular move is 7.Nge2. After 7.Qd2 black often plays 7....a6 (the very best move in my opinion), and black seems to have excellent results after 8.0-0-0 (simply too dangerous in my opinion) with 8....b5 or 8....Rb8. The main line 8.Nge2 Rb8 actually transposes to 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8, leading to a complicated position, where black has 2 plans: b5 or e5.

After 6....c5 black should be ready to play

  • the pawn sacrifice after 7.dxc5. The statistics in the database suggest that black has enough compensation for the pawn.
  • the Benoni positions that arise after 7.d5 or 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5.

In order to make a choice between these 3 options, you can search some games of strong players to see which type of positions suits your playing style the most.

      [FEN ""]
      [StartPly "11"]

      1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 Nc6 (6...c5 (7.dxc5)(7.d5) 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.d5) (6...e5 7.d5 (7.Nge2 c6) 7...Nh5 (7...c6) 8.Qd2 f5) 7.Qd2 (7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Rb8) 7...a6 8.O-O-O (8.Nge2 Rb8) 8...b5 (8...Rb8)


I agree with magd that 6.Be3 c5 is a hot line right now. And if you are scared to sacrifice a pawn, maybe the king's indian is not for you. And of course: The king's indian is a very complex opening. There are no easy solutions. Only working through books and GM-games will equip you with the ability to play these positions well and with confidence.

That being said, maybe you should investigate the possibility of playing Nd4 after 8.d5. This seems to score better and set more problems then retreating. Taking that knight immediately is definitely very bad for white and you may be able to follow up with c5.

[fen ""]
[StartFlipped "1"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6. Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 e5 8. d5 Nd4 9. Bxd4 exd4 10. Qxd4 Nxe4
  • 3
    The idea of 8....Nd4 is nice and very instructive, but I wonder how black should proceed after 9.Nge2? After 9....Nxe2 10.Bxe2 white is ready to launch an attack on the king side, while 9....c5 10.dxc6 seems a nice advantage for white.
    – Maxwell86
    Jul 5, 2015 at 17:35
  • 1
    After 9…Nxe2 you have at least reduced white's attacking potential by one knight. And given that you have less space this exchange might also uncramp your position a bit. And after 9…c5 10.dxc6 bxc6 you have opened the b-line, if you analyse this position carefully maybe you can get nice counterplay. But that being said: 7…a6, which Maxwell mentioned, is probably a better way to get quick counterplay. Jul 5, 2015 at 20:28

6...a6 turning it into a sort of Benko Gambit like structure. Look up Superchessguru on youtube.

  • Could you add more detail to this answer? Sep 29, 2015 at 19:21

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