Nimzo Indian
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Nimzo Indian Defence – Introduction

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 colors. 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 the future. So let us have a look at what exactly Nimzo Indian move order is.

As we all know we should control the center 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 center 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 contributions at regular intervals.

Now we look at the possible variations in Nimzo Indian, and all the possible options on the 4th move for white.
    1. e3 – The Rubinstein Variation
    2. Qc2 – The Classical Variation
    3. Nf3 – The Kasparov Variation
    4. f3 – The Saemish Variation
    5. a3 – Also known as the Saemish Variation as it leads to the same positions
    6. g3- A classical approach to fianchetto.
    7. 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 or else there are a lot of theoretical 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 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 an 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 position. 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 to Nimzo Indian, If you are excited and want to look at the games in Nimzo Indian before our next article, you can follow the games of Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, Former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, Super GM Peter Leko, Super GM Fabiano Caruana, Super GM Vidit Gujrathi.

For those who aim to look for dynamic options, FM Nikhil Dixit has covered Kings Indian Defence in his articles. He shares books, DVDs, and players to follow is covered. Following are the links to those articles.

This article is first written on this website by Akhilesh Nagare

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