Continuing with our Nimzo Indian Defence series, today I am sharing my experience about how I prepared Nimzo Indian Defence. So as mentioned in one of the articles from this series, Spassky – Fischer game was an inspiration but that wasn’t sufficient to play Nimzo Indian. I needed some material to rely on, I lacked material but got Nimzo Indian Defence by Jacob Aagaard. I followed the concepts taught by him. But I realized it was a bit old and wanted some new data to study.
My experience with this DVD
I saw The Lifetime Repertoire by Rustam Kasimdzhanov. I really loved the data in it, he has given a very easy to remember and comparatively similar ideas to every variation. He has considered all the tricky options mentioned from the white side and also given options which lead to dynamic positions with all 3 results possible. This did suit my style so I enjoyed studying lines from it and also implementing it in my games.
The Instructive games section also provides a lot of instructive games which helped me understand Nimzo Indian better. The tests section boosts one’s confidence and helps you recall the ideas.
In the previous article, I shared a strategic game played beautifully by our Former World Champion Bobby Fischer. Today we see a dynamic game which was also listed in the race for a game of the century! Excited already? Indeed, those who think that playing Nimzo Indian Defence against 1.d4 always leads to dull positions will change their opinion. This game was played by Chinese No. 1 Ding Liren. This was played in the Chinese League. Te format remains changed, I will share the positions from the game first and then the whole game.
All the moves are black to play and are very complicated lines. Make sure you go through positions first and then check game.
Today we continue the series of Nimzo Indian where I will share some of my knowledge of the Nimzo Indian. In today’s article, I share with you a game which made a deep impact on me. It made me take up Nimzo Indian. The game was played by 11th world chess champion, Bobby Fischer. More importantly this game was played in a World championship match against Boris Spassky. Lets quickly move to the game. I will present moves and wait at critical positions. At the end of the article I have attached the full game.
d4 – Nf6
c4 – e6
Nc3 – Bb4
Nf3 – c5
e3 – Nc6
Bd3 – Bxc3
bxc3 – d6
e4 – e5
d5 – Ne7
Nf4 – h6
f4 – ?
Try to think in this position and find black’s next move.
It is an interesting idea played by Bobby Fischer. He played Ng6!?
… – Ng6!?
Nxg6 – fxg6
dxe5 – dxe5
Now we reach a position where Black has exchanged his dark Bishop and kept central pawns on dark squares. And continuing the game he uses Light square strategy. This is a common idea and you can use it in most of the e3 Nimzo Indians.
Be3 – b6
0-0 – 0-0
a4 – a5
Stopping a5 and tapping the a4 pawn which is now a long term weakness.
Rb1 – Bd7
Rb2 – Rb8
Rbf2 – Qe7
With 20. … – g5 Black puts all his pawns on dark squares which neutralizes white’s dark Bishop.
21.Bd2 – Qe8
Be1 – Qg6
23 … – Nf4
Once the Knight lands on f4 it is a good knight vs bad bishop game.
Rxf8 – Rxf8
Rcf8 – Kxf8
Bd1 – Nf4
Qc2 – Bxa4 ! 0-1.
If Qxa4 then Qxe4 attacks Be1 and threatens Qxg2#.
A smooth win by Bobby Fischer. This just made a huge impression on me and made me play the Nimzo Indian. This is by far my favourite opening till date. So you can try playing it yourself, and do give feedback. I will be presenting some interesting games in the next article.
What is Nimzo Indian Defence? Against which move is it applicable? Who are the top players to follow in the opening? What are the plans? What are the variations? Is it dynamic or is it Solid? Who invented it?
These are the common questions related to the opening. Speaking about Nimzo Indian Defence, It is one of the most solid openings in reply to 1.d4. Nimzo Indian Defence was developed and implemented by Aron Nimzowitch.. Nimzo Indian is employed by almost all the world champions and with a lot of success. It is one of the safest openings and a lot of positional masterpieces have been produced from this opening.
I have been playing this opening since 2015 and I enjoyed playing it with both colours. I was amused by a lot of plans. Today I plan to discuss the opening brief and I ensure I will come up with some articles based on this opening in future. So let us have a look at what exactly Nimzo Indian move order is.
As we all know we should control the centre right from the start of the opening. A lot of times we try to control it with the pawns but in the case of Nimzo Indian, we control the centre with our pieces. The Dark Bishop goes and pins the Knight on c3 thus stopping white from expanding with e4. The opening keeps on evolving with players making some contribution at regular intervals.
Now we look at the possible variations in Nimzo Indian, all the possible options on 4th move for white.
e3 – The Rubinstein Variation
Qc2 – The Classical Variation
Nf3 – The Kasparov Variation
f3 – The Saemish Variation
a3 – Also known as the Saemish Variation as it leads to same positions
g3- A classical approach to fianchetto.
Bd2- There is no specific name but it is used quite often.
4.e3 – The Rubinstein Variation
Rubinstein Variation provides white with a simple yet lively position. It can be turned into a complex position if white plays a specific move order orelse there are a lot of theorotical lines which have forced draws in this variation.
4.Qc2 – The Classical Variation
Classical Variation has been explored a lot in recent times and is leading to a lot of complicated positions and also, Black must know what he is doing in this line.
4.Nf3 – The Kasparov Variation
The Kasparov Variation is employed to reach hybrid positions from the Queens Indian ( 1d4- Nf6 2.c4-e6 3.Nf3-b6 4. Nc3- Bb4). This also transposes to a lot of other structures like the Hedgehog, or even to the Ragozin and also Maroczy type of positions.
4.f3/a3 – The Saemish Variation
The Saemish is a sharp way to deal with Nimzo Indian and is also trending as it was employed by Caruana against Kirill in Candidates 2020. It is also covered in Moskalenko’s Attacking with 1.d4. Recently those who used to bang their head to find advantage in the Nimzo Indian are trying it out to catch their opponents off-guard.
4. g3- Catalan type approach
A classical approach to fianchetto is more of a positional approach where white aims to transform it into some Catalan type of positions. Black can go for some closed Catalans to play solidly.
4.Bd2. or 4.e3 and 5. Bd2
Bd2 in Nimzo Indian is a variation used by GM Sandipan Chanda. You can have a look at his games to see how things unfold in this line. It is a harmless variation.
There are a lot of move orders to avoid Nimzo Indian Defence.
This was a brief intro of Nimzo Indian, If you are excited and want to look at the games in Nimzo Indian before our next article, you can follow games of Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, Former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, Super GM Peter Leko, Super GM Fabiano Caruana, Super GM Vidit Gujrathi.
Those who aim to look for dynamic options, FM Nikhil Dixit has covered Kings Indian Defence in his articles. He shares books, Dvd’s and players to follow is covered. Following are the links of those articles.
The French defense has a rich history. The French Defence is named after a match played by correspondence between the cities of London and Paris in 1834 (although earlier examples of games with the opening do exist). It was Chamouilley, one of the players of the Paris team, who persuaded the others to adopt this defense. There are 3 main variations against french defense i.e. Tarrash, Advance, exchange variation. We will see a detailed analysis of these variations in an upcoming blog. Here are the top players in french defense.
Victor Korchnoi was a very strong Russian grandmaster. Unfortunately, he cannot become a world champion. You can find more detail about Viktor in this article. Viktor majorly played french defense in his career. You can say he started French Defense fashion. He has beaten many strong such as Gashimov, Vallejo pons, John Nunn, Nigel Short.
Pentala Harikrishna is an Indian super grandmaster and currently in the top 30 in the world ranking. Currently, he is staying in the Czech republic. Although French is not his main weapon but he is playing regularly and given some beautiful games. He has beaten many players such as Caruana, Mamedov, Evan Saric.
Nikita is a Russian grandmaster. He won many big events such as the Grenke chess classic 2018, Prague chess festival 2019. The French defense is a trademark of Nikita Vitiugov. He’s played it constantly over the last 2 decades, against all kinds of opponents. And in fact, he has also written two books on the French Defense! Both of them are published with Chess Stars.
Emmanuel Berg is a Swedish grandmaster. As a youngster, he made solid progress and was consequently selected to represent his country in the various age categories of the European Youth and World Youth Championships. He won various games in french defense against top players. Following is his best game
Alexander is a Russian chess grandmaster. Morozevich is a two-time World Championship candidate (2005, 2007), a two-time Russian champion, and has represented Russia in seven Chess Olympiads, winning numerous team and board medals. Morozevich is known for his aggressive and unorthodox playing style. He is also a top player who plays french defense. He won games in french defense with many top players such as Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Karjakin Sergey.
Veteran grandmaster Rafael Vaganian is an Armenian chess player. He is currently 68 years old and he is still an active player and played almost all top players such as Mikhail Tal to Vishy Anand. He played 478 games out of 575 games with french defense. (As per mega 2020 database)
Surya Shekhar Ganguly
Surya Shekhar Ganguly is an Indian well known, Grandmaster. His current rating is 2635. He plays French frequently. He has won 40 individual gold, 21 individual silver, and 6 individual bronze medals in National as well as international tournaments. In addition, in team competitions, he has won 12 gold, 4 silver, and 3 bronze medals. He has beaten many players in french defense such as Ponomariov, Naiditch, Volotkin. Surya also run his youtube channel, click here to watch his videos with Vishy Anand, Wesley So, Aronian Levon
Krishna is an international master from India. I have included him on this list for a special reason. Against E4 Krishna played only french for all his life. Currently, in the mega database 2020, he has 113 games against e4, in which he played 110 games with french. With this example, I want to say that you can get to this level by sticking to a single variation. You just have to update your knowledge about that variation every time.