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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) How to combat the Nimzo? (Read 18175 times)
ErictheRed
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #27 - 03/15/15 at 16:15:44
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When preparing to face the Nimzo, I think that White players should just accept that it's the best defense to 1.d4 and that it equalizes.  Stop beating your head against a wall looking for an advantage and just get positions that you like and can specialize in. 

It's a bit like facing the Sicilian after 1.e4 (at least particular variations of the Sicilian); it's very likely Black's best defense and just equal.  Oh well; pick some lines that you like and enjoy the rich fights that ensue.  And do your best to tip the practical chances in your favor by developing some of "your own theory," your own ideas about how some positions should be treated.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #26 - 12/17/14 at 19:04:28
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bragesjo wrote on 12/17/14 at 13:22:03:
I can also add one last thing. Many low rated players at Internet plays 4 Bd2 and after 0-0 the position often becomes a mainline in Bogo Indian 4 Bd2 Qe7 but where black can play other moves than Qe7. However that tempo makes no signicant difference and the position is eqal in both cases.


Incidentally, 4...d5 5. Nf3 would transpose to Nakamura-Aronian a few weeks ago (1-0, 48).   
  
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bragesjo
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #25 - 12/17/14 at 13:22:03
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I can also add one last thing. Many low rated players at Internet plays 4 Bd2 and after 0-0 the position often becomes a mainline in Bogo Indian 4 Bd2 Qe7 but where black can play other moves than Qe7. However that tempo makes no signicant difference and the position is eqal in both cases.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #24 - 12/11/14 at 21:54:32
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bragesjo wrote on 12/02/14 at 08:07:08:
Kasparovs Nf3 was developed as improved version of g3.
g3 at once can leed to catalan positions where Nc3 would have been better placed at the d2 square.


True, but 4 g3 avoids 4...b6 and the NID/QID hybrid lines.  Pick your poison.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #23 - 12/02/14 at 15:54:13
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An other move not mention in the unsound gambit e4.
I have met a at Internet twice.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #22 - 12/02/14 at 08:07:08
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Kasparovs Nf3 was developed as improved version of g3.
g3 at once can leed to catalan positions where Nc3 would have been better placed at the d2 square.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #21 - 12/01/14 at 19:22:04
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No 4. g3?  It's similar to 4. Nf3 in some lines, but not all lines.

I've recently adopted the Nimzo for White after getting frustrated with the Queen's Indian, and while it isn't for everyone (isolated doubled c-pawns on an open file!) it seems to give good chances, scores well, and requires more calculation from Black than many of the more "classical" lines with e3, Bd3, etc.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #20 - 09/18/14 at 16:49:10
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Since someone already promoted a chess video, I'll mention Gustafsson's new series for chess24 on the 4.Qc2 Nimzo for White. Gustafsson's DVDs are generally pretty good, but I haven't watched it in full yet.

I think the best way to combat the Nimzo depends largely on your rating and whether you want to set positional/strategic problems or concrete/tactical ones. It's probably best to just go through the lines one by one:

4.e3 with Bd3/Nf3 - This will always be an option, especially if you like IQP positions. It has a good mix of strategic ideas and tactical finesses too. If you are below say 1600 then I would strongly recommend this approach as it will teach you the most about chess in general.

4.e3 with Nge2 - A solid strategic option and quite good for getting a normal middlegame where you can outplay the opponent, even up to a very high level. However, I would advise against it for players below 1600 just because you should be learning to develop your pieces quickly at that level, and even players below 2000 might struggle to grasp all the strategic points without a fair bit of personal experience or explanation from a stronger player.

4.Qc2 - I agree with an earlier poster who said it probably isn't very practical for players below 2000, because you generally fall behind in development while trying to claim strategic advantages (such as the bishop pair) and that requires a certain level of memorisation to pull off. Both sides can steer the game towards positional or sharper systems, and like with the Bd3/Nf3 Rubinstein you need to know a decent range of structures. At an international level you're probably better off trying to make 5.e4 or 5.Nf3 work against 4...0-0 as 5.a3 Bxc3 6.Qxc3 d5 is something of a dead end theoretically.

4.Nf3 - Quite a good choice for club players as you get the pieces out fairly quickly (whether with 4...b6 5.Bg5 or 4...c5 5.g3) and your opponents aren't likely to be as prepared for it. Some of the structures with doubled, isolated c-pawns can feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but if you study them properly you can pick up a lot of points. I think the line decreases in value as you move up the ranks as it's not easy to put pressure on Black after 4...b6 (maybe 5.Qb3 offers the best shot). Also, you have to be prepared for the Ragozin (4...d5), though 5.Qa4 is pretty easy to learn in that case.

4.f3 - This is definitely the best option if you want a very concrete fight and early confrontation, but it's hard to recommend it to club players because you fall behind in development while setting up a big pawn centre. You also need to put a lot of work into learning the theory, and above 2400 will need to stay up to date, but if you do you'll have a system for life. Also, players below 2200 are unlikely to have a prepared system against this move.

4.e3 with Bd3/Nge2 (or cxd5/Nge2) - This is quite a decent system for someone fairly new to 1.d4 and wanting to get going quickly, but at some point you should probably learn a more critical line.

4.a3 - The Samisch has run into a lot of problems lately and the antidotes are fairly well known. Maybe it's decent as a surprise weapon but your time is probably best spent elsewhere.

4.Bg5 - I think the Leningrad is a little underestimated as a practical try, although experienced Nimzo players will know the key games from the 80s and then you'll struggle to put any pressure on Black unless you have something up your sleeve. Probably best as a surprise weapon against young players reliant on the computer.

4.Qb3 - A decent surprise weapon at club level, but once your opponents start getting comfortable positions with 4...c5 5.dxc5 Nc6 I would start switching to 4.Qc2. This will probably most suit people who like the positions after 4.Qc2, but don't have time to study the theory.

Avoiding the Nimzo with 3.Nf3 - that allows the Queen's Indian, Queen's Gambit Declined where you don't have the Exchange Variation, the Modern Benoni where you are committed to Nf3, the Semi-Slav and the Bogo-Indian. Basically, it's more work than having some system against the Nimzo-Indian, but you'll learn how to play a lot of different positions as a result and will find it a lot easier to add 1.Nf3 to your armoury.

Avodiing the Nimzo with the Catalan (3.g3) - not really relevant to this section unless Black avoids 3...d5 with 3...Bb4/3...c5. The Catalan takes a lot of work to learn as there are a wide range of resulting positions (and it can just as easily get tactical as strategic, or both at once for that matter) but above say 2200 it can be a fantastic investment as players below 2500 tend to be not as well prepared for the Catalan. Also, once you have studied it thoroughly once and understood it, you're not going to suffer that much if your theory isn't 100% up to date.

Avoiding 2.c4 - you came to the wrong place, see the D-Pawn Specials section.

Avoiding 1.d4 - Do you really want to bang your head against the Berlin Wall again?
  

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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #19 - 09/17/14 at 19:29:15
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"In the crowded field of chess opening advocacy products, OnlineChessLessons will not be surpassed when it comes to breathless marketing baloney."
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #18 - 09/17/14 at 18:58:48
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To beat the nimzo you have to study one system (I choose 4.Bg5) and master it (game after game). There is no refutation nowadays so... your options rely on knowing better than your opponnent the positions you're going to face.

In fact, as it happens in all other openings until we'll get the IM tittle  Wink

Salut,
  
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John Cox
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #17 - 11/03/05 at 12:43:37
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Inn2, I have inside information now, and evidently it does cover your favourite 4 e3 b6 5 Ne2 c5. And it's already out in the US so should be here by Christmas, which is good news. And the same with my own modest effort, I learn.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #16 - 11/03/05 at 09:00:57
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john: i had the impression that Eddie was referring to 4. Qc2 d5 in my post, rather than 4. e3 c5 5. Ne2 b6. In latest update with your games, it appears Black is doing well in 4. f3/8. dxc5 line... but to be honest, Mr. Emms didn't really convince me, and i think White still has many places to improve..
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #15 - 11/03/05 at 08:30:29
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Eddie – interesting choice; does this arise after 4….b6 5 Ne2 c5 or 4….c5 5 Ne2 b6? Looking forward to the book – is this still Gambit, or Everyman? And will I be able to get it for Christmas?

Pete Wells wrote about this variation once in his CBM column. He said he really wanted it to work because Black’s play appealed to him, but unfortunately it didn’t. Look forward to you proving him wrong.

You’ll be glad to hear I played Tiviakov the other day. He told me in surprise that the Alekhine was a good opening and he hadn’t been able to refute it in an hour’s preparation. I toyed with the idea of offering him a copy of my book, but decided against it…..don’t need a weak-players-shouldn’t-write-books flaming!
  
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lnn2
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #14 - 10/20/05 at 09:17:09
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hi castlerock, wouldn't most slav players be happy to develop their light-squared bishop (which is the whole point of playing slav than QGD in first place)? If i want to play e3 perhaps the colle-zuckertort is more straightforward! Wink 
I also think a 1. d4 player who does not learn the main slavs (including Moscow/Botvinnik) is like a 1. e4 player who does not learn the Open Sicilian, he will reach a ceiling in his chess understanding.

back to topic, recently the nimzo-QID hybrid with 3. Nf3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb4 is making a comeback. in particular 5. Bg5 Bb7 6. Nd2!? looks promising in Sherbakov's NIC articles, though Wells-Eljanov is abit of a damper Embarrassed anyone with experience in these lines?
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #13 - 10/20/05 at 04:02:54
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@Inn2

As I mentioned elsewhere, what I like in Palliser is his 4.e3. It's the way I teach and when it is presented as a repertoire my job was made much easier. Get Bg5 in quickly. If not, forget it. c1 Bishop is going nowhere in the short run. Simple and Sweet.

Yes. It doesn't have pretence. Yes.It doesn't have the so called cutting edge. Yes. As you say you, there is not much need to study theory at all.

But, he presents the ideas behind the openings and you are clear about what to play for and what to expect.

What's more important is the potential it has on the opponents. How many Slav players really welcome 4.e3 and are comfortable with it? I think that's the greatest asset of Palliser's recommendations.

I agree with most of them but not all of them.
  

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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #12 - 10/20/05 at 02:46:51
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Its not that difficult to present or learn a cutting-edge repertoire: see Beating the Indian Defences, where the number of pages in it on Petrosian QID is not much more than Palliser's 4. e3. imho there is not much need to study theory at all if you want to play a move like 4. e3.
  
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castlerock
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #11 - 10/20/05 at 02:34:41
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Palliser, as far as I understand, produced a “value for money” product. It is not a designer made luxury like Khalifman’s or a run of the mill trash like Raymond Keene’s. So he uses line which are not very fashionable, retains a minor pull and is not easy for the opponent and is aimed at strong club players. He has largely succeeded in his mission.

Further, this is my guess, he narrowed the choice further to avoid certain type of pawn structures. For example IQP.
  

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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #10 - 10/19/05 at 21:12:22
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I think the answer is rather more practical; in order to present a coherent repertoire for White in one book, it was necessary to avoid advocating the most theoretical lines.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #9 - 10/19/05 at 17:44:28
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I should much appreciate it if someone could explain to me why Richard Palliser's book 1.d4! does not even deal with the 3Nc3 response to 1...Nf6 and 2...e6. Nor does he seem to regard 3Nc3 as sufficiently viable in the Slav to have any treatment of it.

Is this just a personal preference for the early Nf3, avoiding the Nimzo and playing a more orthodox game against the Slav, or is there something fundamentally wrong with the Nc3 lines in these two openings?
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #8 - 04/05/05 at 21:00:19
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obviously not! Tongue  It's just that the nimzo is part of my repertoire with black, so it is not difficult for me to play a wide variety of moves against it as white.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #7 - 04/05/05 at 20:46:52
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300+ posts and Inn2 seems to be cured from his favourite move 4.f3. Is this a sign of spiritual grow?
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #6 - 04/05/05 at 06:22:37
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Lol! Inn2 that is actually the line I recommend in my new Nimzo book! I love playing the Black side; the positions are quite unbalanced and nobody with White ever feels comfortable handling the positions.

As regards the Rubinstein/Classical dilemma, I feel that 4.e3 is the way to go until you hit about 2000-2200, if only because the Classical is such a difficult line to handle well and developing a good feel for it requires time and experience.
  
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lnn2
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #5 - 04/05/05 at 05:20:36
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king: it's a matter of prioritising. More study = more chances for an advantage. 4. Qc2 demands very exacting moves from White to gain any semblance of an advantage, especially after 4... d5. And sometimes I feel one wrong move and black turns the tables!

4. e3 is also a decent try for the advantage (but less than 4. Qc2). But it is the only line that has survived the most important test: of time! White can also make some allowance for a few inaccuracies and he might still have a nice position (surely not the case with 4. Qc2). I briefly tried 4. e3 + 5. Nge2 against all black replies. This is quite a logical repertoire but like all 4. e3 lines it is not sufficiently doubled-edged for my taste. With so many 2600s trying this setup recently, it cannot be too bad? Speaking as a black player I don't fear this so much because of a personal pet line: 4. e3 c5 5. Nge2 b6!??, where after a3 Black plays Ba5!?/Nc6 (Na6)/Qe7 clamping down on the b4 square. Not like anything you've ever seen in the nimzo!
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #4 - 04/05/05 at 03:24:32
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Thanks to Edward Dearing and Inn2 for the advice.  I was trying to decide between 4.Qc2 and 4.e3.

I was actually leaning towards 4.e3 as I figured I could get by with less knowledge at my level (Elo 1700)
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #3 - 04/04/05 at 11:02:07
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Quote:
I await Ward's new offbeat nimzo book with great interest


So do I  Cheesy

Especially for Leningrad and Saemisch lines.

When someone receives his copy, please let us know what you think about that book
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #2 - 04/04/05 at 09:29:21
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The nimzo is part of my repertoire with both colours for many years. Even when I used to play the tromp it is unavoidable (1. d4 e6!). As much as I hate to admit this, but 4. f3 isn't a critical try for an advantage. It is a decent practical weapon OTB, but Black frequently has too much activity in the resulting positions to be in any theoretical danger.

A lifetime of investigation from both sides of the board have now led me to agree that 4. Qc2 is theoretically the only way to go. Undecided

I await Ward's new offbeat nimzo book with great interest. Certainly 4. Bg5 needs quite abit of coverage. Its recent champion is Sasikiran, who seems to play it with great skill.
  
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Re: How to combat the Nimzo?
Reply #1 - 04/04/05 at 05:03:12
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Classical Nimzo - 4 Qc2 - is the only way to go. None of the other lines come close to causing black serious problems.
  
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How to combat the Nimzo?
03/08/05 at 07:04:14
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I have played 1.e4 all my life and am now planning to switch to 1.d4 to have some new positions to play. 
 
I was wondering what to play against the Nimzo.  I am not a particularly aggressive player, so I don't want some razor sharp line.  I enjoy having a bit more space and cutting down Black's counterplay rather than a theoretical advantage. 
 
Any suggestions would be most appreciated
 
Thanks 
 
Apologies for this being similiar to AmatuerDragoneer's post but I think he wanted more tactical lines.
  
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