6 best books about King’s Indian Defence

Kings Indian Defence is a very popular line on every level of chess. This opening provides you will get very sharp and dynamic positions for both sides. If a player likes attacking chess, he should play Kings Indian Defence. Kings Indian Defence is a favourite choice of top players like Ding Liren, Teimour Radjabov, Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov, Hikaru Nakamura. We have already written an article on the top player in Kings Indian Defence. You can check out from here. Here are some famous books in Kings Indian Defence. Some of these books give a direct repertoire, some of them provide instructive games while some just touch upon key concepts in the Kings Indian.

Kings Indian Warfare

Quality Chess published this book Kings Indian Warfare written by Ilya Smirin. Smirin Ilya is from Israel and he is 3 times Israeli chess champion and won many major tournaments in his career. As the name suggests King’s Indian Warfare is a practical guide to the most dynamic and ambitious defence against 1.d4. Learn to play the King’s Indian like a world-class attacker from a life-long expert. Inside Smirin annotates his best games in the King’s Indian, explaining his successes, including his mini-match of four games over a decade against former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, which Smirin won 2½–1½. From sacrificial feasts to positional masterclasses, this book has it all. You can buy this from here.

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Bologan’s King’s Indian Defence: A modern repertoire for black

Victor Bologan a Grandmaster from Moldova has written this book Bologan’s King’s Indian. Victor Bologan played Kings Indian Defence for his whole life. So in this book, Victor Bologan presents a complete King’s Indian repertoire for Black that is much more than just a lucidly explained and very playable set of responses. In many lines, he presents two options to handle the Black position. Victor Bologan made a practical guide, not forgetting about the objectively less serious lines, where the surprise value plays an important role.

Opening Simulator Kings Indian Defence

Opening Simulator Kings Indian Defence is a book written by Esben Lund and Andreas Hagen and published by quality chess. This book was published in 2019. This book contains a lot of problems at a different level. They believe that if you solve many positions from this book, you will become a strong player. Authors compared this book with woodpecker method book and said to follow the same methodology. In this book, the theory part is not explained in deep with analysis but puzzle selection is good. you can buy this book from here

Kotronias on the King’s Indian series

Quality Chess has published Kotronias on the Kings Indian is series by Greek Grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias. He is very well known for his king’s Indian Defence play. Grandmaster Vassilios Kotronias places this bold system under the microscope and provides a world-class repertoire for Black. This series contains 5 volumes, the first volume of the series, Kotronias examines all the major set-ups featuring an early g2-g3. The second and third part covers mainline i.e. Be2. In 4th volume classical system is covered and in the last volume, Samisch and rest of the openings are covered. This series is very deep and well analysed by Vassilios kotronias. You can buy these from the following link.

The King’s Indian Defence move by move

Everyman Chess has published the book The Kings Indian Defence move by move. In this book, Sam Collins explained Kings Indian Defence by simple explanation. He points out that black plays for three results. In general white d4-players tend to be more on the solid side, and therefore usually don’t like wild, attacking games. This book is perfect for those who are a beginner and want to start Kings Indian Defence.

Opening repertoire 2A Kings Indian and Grunfeld.

In the above books, we see books for black to prepare kings Indian defence but this book is for white written by well-known coach Boris Avrukh. This book is published by quality chess. volume 2A is the third out of four brand new volumes in which Avrukh revamps, expands and generally improves upon his previous work in every way possible. This chess book provides a world-class repertoire against the Grünfeld and King’s Indian, two of Black’s most popular and dynamic defences. The author remains faithful to his preferred Fianchetto System but has completely re-analyzed it to forge an even more effective repertoire weapon than before. buy this book from here


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David Bronstein – The tricky David !

Happy International Chess Day to all of you !

‘Was David Bronstein an outstanding player? He was a genius, what a genius! A genius is somebody ahead of his time, and Bronstein was far ahead of his time.’–Victor Korchnoi

This is the third article on the series of “Legends who were near world champions!”

Initial years of Bronstein

David Bronstein was born on 19 February 1924 in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. He was born in a poor family and had to face a lot of hardship in his initial years. Bronstein learned chess from his grandfather. He achieved success in his age group events. He completed his high school and decided to study mathematics at university of Kiev. Like Paul Keres, even Bronstein’s academic as well as chess career was interrupted by World War 2.


The impact of World War 2.

As the World war 2 was going on chess as well as academics was at a halt. Furthermore, David’s father was imprisoned for giving controversial statements. David had a defect of eyesight so he was declared unfit for military. Thus during the world war, he had to do part-time jobs to get a living. He did work hard and kept pace with chess.

Opportunities do come when you are working hard on things you wish to pursue. Same was the case with Bronstein. \In his first-ever mega event, Bronstein beat the eventual champion Botvinnik in their direct encounter. Thus he kept his efforts at peak got his deserved place in the Soviet team.

Proving his strength at the top level

Bronstein made the best use of the opportunities he got and kept on producing strong performances. In 1950 candidates, he shared first place with his training partner Isaak Boleslavsky. He best Boleslavsky in tie breaks to qualify for the match with Mikhail Botvinnik. This was his biggest achievement till then.

World Championship match with Botvinnik

The rules of world championship back then were, 24 games to be played. The current world champion was given the liberty to claim the title at 12-12 which meant that if the challenger (Bronstein) had to win he had to score 12.5. Thus began their match. The first 4 games were drawn. Then Bronstein broke the deadlock in the 5th game but conceded a point in the 6th. Thus the seesaw battle started.

Both players exchanged blows at regular intervals and when it seemed Botvinnik had taken a solid one-point lead, Bronstein came back strongly to win the 21st and 22nd game. This gave him a full point lead over Botvinnik. Thus everyone expected Bronstein to win the match by drawing the last two games. But it was Botvinnik who had the last laugh as he won the 23rd game and drew the final game. Thus Botvinnik retained his title and Bronstein had to content with the Runner-Up position.

1953 Zurich Candidates

The next opportunity where Bronstein could qualify for the world championship was 1953 candidates. Although he did not win it he was a strong contender. This candidates match was so interesting that later he wrote a book on this tournament which is till date one of the topmost recommended books.  Later in his book Sorcerer’s Apprentice, he mentioned the pressure put on him and Keres not to win the championship. He further mentioned that Keres and him being non-Russians was the main reason why they both didn’t become world champions which can be considered as a hint of external pressure on them during tournaments. The book Zurich International Chess Tournament 1953 can be bought from here.

 Success apart form World Championship

Bronstein made a huge contribution to the soviet team which won Gold in chess Olympiad 1952,1954,1956,1958. He was the best player on Board 4 in 1952 and 1956 and Best on board 3 in 1958. Further major tournament victories were achieved at Hastings 1953–54, Belgrade 1954, Gotha 1957, Moscow 1959, Szombathely 1966, East Berlin 1968, Dnepropetrovsk 1970, Sarajevo 1971, Sandomierz 1976, Iwonicz Zdrój 1976, Budapest 1977, and Jūrmala 1978.

David Bronstein as a writer

David Bronstein contributed a lot to chess literature. His famous book 1953 Zurich International Candidates Championship, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, 200 open games, The modern chess self-tutor and much more. He also brought evolution to the Kings Indian Defense with the help of his country mates Efim Geller and Isaak Boleslavsky.

Top qualities of David Bronstein

Bronstein was a strong tactician, he had a great combinative vision. He was good at playing complicated positions to produce insane tactics. Bronstein was a creative thinker. Even before Fischer recommended increment and chess960, it was Bronstein who had this idea in mind to introduce new variants in chess. This is the reason Victor the Great has said “Was Bronstein an outstanding player? He was a genius, what a genius! A genius is somebody ahead of his time, and Bronstein was far ahead of his time.

After knowing about David Bronstein lets have a look at some of his brilliant games –


Here are some of his masterpieces –





Previous articles on this series –

  1. Paul Morphy – “The First Unofficial World Champion” – https://chessarticle.com/paul-morphy/
  2. Paul Keres “The Eternal Second” – https://chessarticle.com/paul-keres/


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Top 9 chess players who play the King’s Indian Defense

King’s Indian defense opening has very much old history. Geller popularized this opening in the 20th century.  People started to pay more attention to it in between 1985-2005. This opening is suitable for attacking style players as it is a dynamic opening and most preferred for a must-win situation with black. Another plus point of this opening is in a lot of positions even engine misevaluates. Also, there are various move orders to reach the basic positions of King’s Indian Defense. This opening is still very popular at the highest level. There are various books and DVDs by top authors on the king’s Indian defense, we will cover that in a different article. Following are top players who played king’s Indian and because of them it becomes very much popular

the basic position of King’s Indian Defense

The above position is generally reached with move order 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6. From here white has various approaches to deal with this position.

Efim Geller

Geller was born in 1925 in USSR. He is the first player who popularized the king’s Indian defense on the top level. He won with Ulhmann, Polguavesky, Petrosian, Gligoric, Lubinsky in kings Indian defense. The following are some popular games of Efim Geller.





Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov who was born in Baku, Azerbaijan is a former World Champion. He used the king’s Indian defense as his main weapon with the black pieces. He is almost has beaten all top-level players in this line. The game between Kramnik- Kasparov where Kasparov gives queen sacrifice for two pieces to Kramnik was legendary. You can watch that game below. Kasparov also won some crucial last round games with the king’s Indian Defense.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura is a grandmaster from the united states of America. His peak rating was 2817. He is also known for his live stream on twitch. He is also a master in kings’ Indian defense. His game with Wesley so in kings Indian is world-famous. Following is his game.





Teimour Radjabov

Teimour Radjabov is a Grandmaster from Azerbaijan, he defeated Garry Kasparov when he was just 15 years old and at that time Kasparov was a star. He played kings’ Indian defense almost all his life. His win in kings Indian includes Gelfand Boris, Andreikin, Wang Hao, David Navara, Hikaru Nakamura, Mamedyarov Shakhriyar. The following are some of the best games. Watch and enjoy it.




Ding Liren

Ding Liren is Chinese grandmaster and currently world no 3, he is the first Chinese player to cross 2800 rating barrier. He has a lot of experience in the King’s Indian Defense His victory in kings Indian includes Nikita Vitigov, Ni Hua, Aronian, Radjabov, Richard Rapport.



Kozul Zdenko

Kozul is a veteran grandmaster and Croatian chess player. He played kings Indian defense for almost all his life. He also played the fide world chess championship in 2004. His peak rating was 2640 in 2004. He won various tournaments in his chess career. The following are some of his best games.

Victor Bologan

Victor Bologan is a veteran grandmaster from Moldova. He played various games in King’s Indian. He is also a popular author. His book kings Indian according to Bologan, a complete repertoire is his famous book. He also recorded 2 DVD for kings Indian. You can check out his book and DVDs on newinchess.com and chessbase.com respectively.



Iliya Smirin

Ilia Smirin is an Israeli Grandmaster born in USSR. Smirin has a peak rating of 2702 in 2001. Smirin also played 4 world championship matches. He played kings Indian defense for his whole life and defeated almost all top-level players in the king’s Indian defense. He is author of the famous book Kings Indian warfare. The following are some of his best games.

Robin van Kampen

Van Kampen, Robin is a young Dutch grandmaster. He is currently 2658 and dutch champion also. He played many games in kings’ Indian defense. As he is not very much popular in this particular opening, but I included his name because he recorded one of the best DVDs on kings Indian defense for chess24. You can check out from here.


Cutting Edge KID: Introduction – Robin van Kampen chess video

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There are many other players who contributed and improved the King’s Indian defense. It is a very big list. we picked 9 players. If you know some players who can be added to the list, then let us know in the comment section. Thank you for reading this article.

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