In Chess what is the Queens or Kings Indian, and why might it be useful?

2 Answers 2


At a high level, an "Indian" in Chess is just advancing the pawn which is in front of a knight by one square.

King or Queen indicates which side the advanced pawn is on. This move will usually be followed by the fianchetto of the bishop nearest the pawn. This puts the bishop in front of the knight and allows him to control one of the long diagonals on the board from a safe location.

Two common openings using this are:

  1. The King's Indian Attack, usually done in response to the French defense. A famous example is from 1967. Bobby Fisher against Lhamsuren Myagmarsuren.
  2. The Queen's Indian Defense starts like this 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6
  • This answer is nonsense. "Indian" refers to the family of openings after 1. d4 Nf6 other than transpositions to the QGD. cf Bogo-Indian, Old Indian, Nimzo-Indian which do not necessarily feature a fianchetto. The "King's Indian" normally refers to the King's Indian Defence 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 without ...d5 soon. The King's Indian Attack has a different character, but is named by analogy with the KID.
    – RoundTower
    Jan 6, 2012 at 0:16
  • Rather than comment, it sounds like you should create your own answer. Also, you should downvote mine if you think it is "not useful" Thanks for the feedback.
    – Pat Ludwig
    Jan 6, 2012 at 0:37
  • I was a little shocked by the 9 upvotes and wished to point out how the answer is factually incorrect (though it surely could be useful). I would vote this down if I had more rep: I don't have a more comprehensive answer in mind to the OP's question.
    – RoundTower
    Jan 6, 2012 at 0:42
  • @RoundTower - if you take your comment and put it into an answer, I expect you'd get some votes and hence rep, and will be able to downvote soon enough!
    – Pat Ludwig
    Jan 6, 2012 at 0:44

The King's Indian is a hypermodern opening, where Black deliberately allows White control of the centre with his pawns, with the view to subsequently challenging it with the moves ...e5 or ...c5. The Queen's Indian Defense, also a hypermodern opening, is defined by the moves 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 The move 3...b6 increases Black's control over the central light squares e4 and d5 by preparing to fianchetto the queen's bishop, with the opening deriving its name from this manoeuvre. As in the other Indian defenses, Black attempts to control the center with their pieces, instead of occupying it with their pawns in classical style.

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