At some point, when I was young, I learned an opening that involves the following moves: possibly after moving queen's pawn to the centre (d4), move out king's knight to above the bishop (Nf3), move knight's pawn up one (g3), move bishop up behind knight's pawn (Bg2), castle on king's side (O-O). This results in a very tight and turtle-like defensive formation that was sufficiently aesthetically pleasing to my young self that, in the years since, I've found it quite hard to get out of the habit of using it as my opening. (I'm not a chess expert in any way, I hasten to point out if it's not already obvious, though I do usually beat other casual players.)

White position after 5. O-O

Is this a well-known opening and does it have a name? Given my apparent overwhelming predilection for playing it, what are its advantages, and what weaknesses does it have that I should watch for my opponent being able to exploit? Any recommendations for taking my opening game to the next level would also be appreciated!

  • See also: boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/616/… Commented May 7, 2011 at 17:15
  • 1
    I'm wondering if someone who knows about chess nomenclature would be willing to edit the above question to include the official notation of the move. I think a picture showing the position of the critical pieces after the opening would be useful.
    – Adam Wuerl
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 21:52

3 Answers 3


Moving your bishop like that is called a fianchetto. There are a lot of openings which fianchetto the king's bishop; what you are describing sounds somewhat like the King's Indian for white.

The advantage of fianchetto-ing your bishop is that it very quickly puts the bishop on the long diagonal, its most powerful position. However, it takes two moves, and weakens your kingside (specifically the f3 and h3 squares), giving your opponent potential areas to attack. For example, a common plan for black in many openings (if his pawn structure allows it) is to force the trade of bishops by Bd7, Qc8, and Bh3. Once the bishops are traded, your king would be very vulnerable to attack.

Traditionally (beginning with Steinitz), it was taught that one of the goals of the opening phase was to control the center by occupying it with pawns. However, Nimzovich introduced hypermodernism, which states that the center should be controlled from a distance by pieces, not occupied by pawns. Neither view is more correct than the other - even today, both have very strong Grandmaster supporters, and accepted opening theory draws from both sides. I mention this because yours is a hypermodern opening.


That would be the King's Indian Attack. It's been always considered to be a good opening.

It's like the King's Indian Defense, but with an extra tempo for White, and can transpose to many other openings.

You can see most of the popular openings here.

  • 2
    A "hypermodern" opening... regarded as "highly suspect" until the 1930s! Crikey! One further question: that article seems to take it as read that the King's Indian player is black. Would it therefore be considered really bizarre to play a similar sequence of moves as white? Because (not being a very deep chess thinker) I've never made much of a distinction between playing it as white or black. Commented May 5, 2011 at 18:42
  • 2
    @thesunneversets, yes, as BlueRaja points out, there is a King's Indian for white. Commented May 5, 2011 at 18:52
  • 4
    the indian defense is a black opening against 1.d4 As white it is just the King's Indian (Attack)
    – user545
    Commented May 8, 2011 at 13:25
  • 1
    And this is neither the Kings Indian Defense nor Attach. If you play the pawn to d4, you have a structure called the Catalan(ian) Opening. Black could response with the KID, but there are better replies.
    – dwo
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 9:28
  • 1
    With d4 (or d5 as black) played it can hardly qualify as a KID.
    – dwo
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 21:01

This is NOT a King's Indian Attack, because d4 has been played. In the KIA, white plays d3 and e4, not d4.

The classification of an opening requires moves from both sides, not just white. For example:

Romanishin System

This position, which arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 4.Bg2 Bb7 is sometimes called the Romanishin System. But it is only a Romanishin System if Black has played ...Nf6 and ...e6. The Romanishin System is mostly just a sneaky attempt to get into a Catalan while avoiding some of Black's sharper replies, which is why Black plays ...b5 to restrict White from playing c4.

Or, there is this position:

Dutch Defence

This is a Dutch Defence, because Black has played ...f5. If Black meets 1.d4 with ...f5, it's considered a Dutch Defence regardless of how White then proceeds.

So, you see, Black's replies are quite often important in classifying the opening.

As to whether it is good or not - that rather depends on Black's replies. Against the Dutch Defence, for instance, this would be the main line, but against a slav-style setup with ...c6 and ...d5, it would be considered rather innocuous.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .