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Normal Topic Nimzo-Pirc again (Read 1263 times)
Michael Ayton
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‘You’re never alone with
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Nimzo-Pirc again
05/13/07 at 18:03:24
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There was some discussion recently on the Forum of the Nimzowitsch Defence line 1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 g6!? 5 Be2 Bg7 6 0-0 0-0 7 d5 Nb8, when JEH suggested that even after the possibly strongest move 8 h3! Black has reasonable play. I’ve been looking at this again recently (esp. lines with an early …Bg4), and I’m wondering what Black’s best line might be after 5 Be3 Bg7 6 Qd2.

The most frequently played move here is 6 …0-0, transposing to a 150 Attack with 6 …Nc6!?. How bad (if at all) is this for Black? The enterprising Danish IM Carsten Hoi has done OK after 7 0-0-0 Bg4 8 Be2 e5 and 8 Bh6 Bf3; while on 7 d5, as well as 7 …Nb8, the odd-looking 7 …Nb4!? (not fearing 8 a3 Na6 9 Ba6) has been played successfully by Speelman and others. Experience with 7 Bb5!? (mentioned in Summerscale’s [i]A Killer Chess Repertoire[/i]) has been limited, but Black has 7 …Bg4 as well as 7 …a6.

Black has tried at least three other sixth moves. After 6 …Bg4, 7 0-0-0 would, after 7 ...0-0, transpose to 6 …0-0 (but 7 ...d5!? might be possible), while 7 d5 Nb8 (7 ...Bf3!?) transposes to 4 …Bg4 5 d5 Nb8 6 Be3 (6 h3!) g6. Nimzo expert Mestrovic has (as you’d expect!) been happy to play Black here. There’s also 6 …a6!? – I’m not sure how much this might dissuade White from queenside castling, but it might be interesting? Finally, 6 ...Ng4 has been played, but after 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bh4, 8 ...g5 looks too loosening?

So, what do you think the best way to go for Black might be after 5 Be3? I’d be grateful for any thoughts or references. It should be added that, instead of 5 …Bg7, 5 …Bg4!? 6 h3 Bf3 has been played by Larsen and – several times! – Lazic, but is this really trustworthy?
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