Building a ‘stronghold’

A lot of openings aim to occupy and control the centre of the board straight away, delaying castling for a short while.

Some openings work differently, by building a ‘stronghold’ straight away. With these openings:

FIRST make your king safe allowing your opponent to put their pieces in the centre, if they want to;

THEN start to attack. The idea is that once you have built a secure and well-defended stronghold for your king, who will be safely tucked away after castling and well defended with a knight, a bishop and three pawns, you no longer have to worry too much about him, and can then get on with the job of attacking the enemy.

White can open by building a ‘stronghold’ in this way; so can Black.

--- The King’s Indian Attack ---

Here White builds a stronghold. The moves might be:

1. Nf6   2. g6   3. Bg7   4.d6   5. 0-0

{ This opening is sometimes called the ‘Barcza’ opening, named after the Hungarian grandmaster Barcza. }


--- The King’s Indian Defence ---

Here Black builds a stronghold. The moves might be:

1…d6   2…Nf6   3…g6   4…Bg7   5…0-0

{ This opening is sometimes called the ‘Pirc’ defence, named after the Yugoslav grandmaster Pirc. }

{ The bishop with a pawn on either side and a pawn in front is called a ‘fianchetto’ and is commonly used as a line of both defence and attack. }