Originally posted by Janeway
i've been using this as an opening . what are the advantages? what counters should i be looking for?
There are a number of advantages to playing the King's Indian Attack.
#1: You can play the first four or five moves in your sleep. There is no sensible way for Black to stop you from building your fort with 1 Nf3, 2 g3, 3 Bg2, 4 O-O. (Sometimes White has to briefly interrupt his or her "fort building" with P-d3 to counter a Black KP push to e4.)
#2: The opening is very easy to learn. Most of the standard KIA moves can be played against almost all Black setups.
#3: You're unlikely to get into trouble early in the game.
The biggest downside is that Black can virtually equalize fairly quickly. By playing the KIA, you're basically telling your opponent that you're not trying to gain an opening advantage.
Another downside is that playing a "paint-by-the-numbers" opening can slow your growth as a chess player. To improve, one needs to expose themselves to as many strategic and tactical themes as possible. This is more difficult if you play passively from the get-go.
Another downside is that playing the KIA over and over again can become boring.
Overall, the KIA is a good, solid, easy-to-learn opening. At least two U. S. Champions have recommended the KIA in opening books that they wrote: Larry Evans (The Chess Opening for You
, and Yasser Seirawan (Winning Chess Openings
Addendum: Nick DeFirmian in MCO-15
recommends it as a good opening for beginners,