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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Nimzo-English (Read 21807 times)
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #12 - 10/30/07 at 10:34:37
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Willempie wrote on 10/30/07 at 08:35:51:
exigentsky wrote on 10/29/07 at 16:41:03:
I can't say I know it that well, but dxc4 (after Bd3) and b5 seem to be only to win tempos and gain some initiative. Anyway, I've decided to primarily stick with the NID/Willempie0 and NIED against Nf3. Thanks for your help!

You may want to check the "chess explained" on the English. I dont have it, but the reviews seem very positive (and the writer is a good analyst). A big part is about the symmetrical of course, but the reversed sicilian and NIED (nice one Wink) are present as well.


John Watson was quite negative to the book on the chess.fm show. The main issue was that too many important lines were completely missing.
  

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Willempie
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #11 - 10/30/07 at 08:35:51
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exigentsky wrote on 10/29/07 at 16:41:03:
I can't say I know it that well, but dxc4 (after Bd3) and b5 seem to be only to win tempos and gain some initiative. Anyway, I've decided to primarily stick with the NID/exigentsky2 and NIED against Nf3. Thanks for your help!

You may want to check the "chess explained" on the English. I dont have it, but the reviews seem very positive (and the writer is a good analyst). A big part is about the symmetrical of course, but the reversed sicilian and NIED (nice one Wink) are present as well.
  

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exigentsky
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #10 - 10/29/07 at 16:41:03
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I can't say I know it that well, but dxc4 (after Bd3) and b5 seem to be only to win tempos and gain some initiative. Anyway, I've decided to primarily stick with the NID/QID and NIED against Nf3. Thanks for your help!
  
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Willempie
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #9 - 10/29/07 at 09:36:52
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I'd stick with the nimzo for the moment. There arent many openings where there is so much variety in plans and positions. I am now combining it with the QGD, which can be played against the English and Nf3 as well. The reputation is dull, but I find the positions from the Lasker (endgames!) and Tartakower (hanging pawns) very interesting and definately not dull at my level.

The semi-slav is one of these openings I will never understand. Why play c6 and b5? Why play e6 and c6 but then give up the strong pawn with dxc4? Why allow white the initiative with all those pawn moves?

Then again I dont understand many openings at all Wink
  

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exigentsky
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #8 - 10/27/07 at 18:57:55
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I couldn't help but notice that your opening repertoire was similar to that of Mickey Adams. I don't know if this will help but he has often in the past forced a hedgehog positoin with 1 nf3 nf6 2c4 e6 3 nc3 c5 !?- I don't know if that would fit into your plans............

Ivanchuk has won some nice games recently including one in a rapid v Kramnik with 3 ...bb4- personally- i always think this is slightly better for white but nothing terrifying.


Well, I think I'm closer to Walter Browne because I always try to play for the full point and want a sound, dynamic and initiative seeking defense. I'm not happy with little space unless I feel that I have great active play to compensate or many possible pawn breaks. I don't feel this way in the hedgehog. It often seems like Black is just shuffling around waiting for White to make a mistake but if that doesn't happen, it's not pretty. I play the Najdorf vs e4, Nimzo/QID vs d4, Nimzo-English vs Nf3 and e5 vs c4. One thing that's confusing me recently is the Semi-Slav. In many ways, it is more in style with the Najdorf and e5 vs the English than the NID/QID/NIED. It seems to give White fewer choices and seek initiative more quickly on the queenside with b5 (like in the Najdorf). On the other hand, it may have less room for creativity as I've seen theory run basically up to an equal endgame after massive exchanges. Which do you think would suit me better?
  
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Willempie
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #7 - 10/27/07 at 14:17:17
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What do you play vs the English and 1.e4?

PS One thing to keep in mind with the symmetrical English is that the lines with Nf3 and d4 are less symmetrical and allow for pressure on d4 like with eg Qb6 at some point. If white insists on not playing d4 then his knight on f3 is worse as you can force a Botwinnik setup with black where his knight should be on e2.
  

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ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #6 - 10/27/07 at 07:42:54
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I couldn't help but notice that your opening repertoire was similar to that of Mickey Adams. I don't know if this will help but he has often in the past forced a hedgehog positoin with 1 nf3 nf6 2c4 e6 3 nc3 c5 !?- I don't know if that would fit into your plans............

Ivanchuk has won some nice games recently including one in a rapid v Kramnik with 3 ...bb4- personally- i always think this is slightly better for white but nothing terrifying.
  
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exigentsky
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #5 - 10/26/07 at 23:53:36
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I looked at that variation and honestly, I think it's misevaluated. It is fairly positional and I don't see White making real progress. It seems perfectly equal. Out of curiosity, I also put it in HIARCS 11.2 and let it run for about an hour on my core 2 duo Macbook. It evaluates it as .20 better for Black, which is really just equal. Plus, Black doesn't have to play Be6 and he has many ideas with f5 or b5.


As for the Qb3 a5 line, that is very interesting. I will have to look into it further. However, Black doesn't have to play Na6 or Bxc3 and I think that d5 is way too optimistic. I would stick with d6 to strongpoint the knight and control the center. After d6, it looks roughly equal. Black can try to play f5 too. I know I like this move but it's only because it worked so well for me in so many QID positions. The Qb3 c5 variation seems better than I thought too, which is always nice. Looks fairly equal.

I'm really starting to feel that this move order trick isn't more challenging than a normal Nimzo.
  
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #4 - 10/26/07 at 15:33:37
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exigentsky wrote on 10/25/07 at 22:30:06:
Thanks a lot for all that information! It was really helpful.

10. e3 did poorly in my database after e5 so I thought it wasn't the main move. Are you sure you don't mean 9. e3, so that d4 can be played in one move?  After 9. e3, Black would again play e5 which is a key move throughout the variation. It takes advantage of White not having played d4. I can't see Black really being worse but again, it's all about variations. Regarding 4. Qb3, I'm not sure why c5 isn't doing so well statistically. It might just be the sample size, but Black wins 66% after a5 from 16 games at the 2525+ level. I guess part of the reason is that White can't play b4 as easily. Any ideas and variations? g4 is very interesting and sharp but after h6 I don't think black is objectively worse. He just has to absorb some initiative and that's not always easy. In any case, what do you play vs Nf3? I really envy Semi-Slav and KID players sometimes. It's so easy to meet c4 and Nf3.



No (or, yes), it's 10. e3.  Adams indeed played 10...e5, after which 11. h3 Be6 12. Kh2 was supposedly += (eventually drawn, by the way).

ECO and NCO both like White (slightly) after 4. Qb3 a5, based on the course of Piket-Nikolic, Dutch championship 1998:  5. g3 b6 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. d3 Na6 9. e4 Nc5 10. Qc2 Bxc3 11. Qxc3 d5 12. e5.

On 4. Qb3 c5, they both follow Kramnik-Illescas, Yerevan olympiad 1996:  5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 0-0 7. 0-0 Qe7 8. d3 h6 9. a3 Ba5 10. e3 Rd8 11. Qc2.  Now ECO thinks 11...d5 is equal, while NCO just thinks it is "interesting."

Another branch is 5. a3 in the above line.  After 5...Ba5 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 0-0 8. 0-0 d5 9. d3, NCO thinks that both 9...h6 and 9...d4 lead to a slight advantage for White, while ECO thinks they both lead to equality.  Ah, duelling opening books.


As to what I play, I could say "nothing," since I haven't played in a tournament in a while.  I am/was generally a KID player, which does simplify things.  Though I sometimes answered 1. Nf3 with 1...c5 or even occasionally 1...d5, as the spirit moved me.
  
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #3 - 10/26/07 at 09:56:13
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There is 3 .. b6 too - 4 d4 is a 4 Nc3 QID and you can meet 4 g3 with 4/5 ..Bb4 going back into something Nimzoenglish like (and I think reasonable). 4 e4 ^ 5 Bd3/Qe2 etc is critical and fun of course. Was mildly trendy back when Watson/Bagirov were writing their english books but I'm not sure if much has happened here since then.  I seem to remember not finding many recent games in my database.

Not sure why - it looked entertaining and unclear enough for both sides to be happy.  Could be a reasonable alternative to investigate this if there's something you don't like in the nimzo english somewhere.

This & the nimzo english  are one of the areas that have sort of fallen through the gaps in the multitude of recent English opening books. Useful for white Nf3 players trying to play sharp, fairly unbooked chess. I guess we might see them if someone does a dangerous weapons flank openings book.
  
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exigentsky
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #2 - 10/25/07 at 22:30:06
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Thanks a lot for all that information! It was really helpful.

10. e3 did poorly in my database after e5 so I thought it wasn't the main move. Are you sure you don't mean 9. e3, so that d4 can be played in one move?  After 9. e3, Black would again play e5 which is a key move throughout the variation. It takes advantage of White not having played d4. I can't see Black really being worse but again, it's all about variations. Regarding 4. Qb3, I'm not sure why c5 isn't doing so well statistically. It might just be the sample size, but Black wins 66% after a5 from 16 games at the 2525+ level. I guess part of the reason is that White can't play b4 as easily. Any ideas and variations? g4 is very interesting and sharp but after h6 I don't think black is objectively worse. He just has to absorb some initiative and that's not always easy. In any case, what do you play vs Nf3? I really envy Semi-Slav and KID players sometimes. It's so easy to meet c4 and Nf3.
  
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Re: Nimzo-English
Reply #1 - 10/25/07 at 20:46:14
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In the line you give, the books I am aware of prefer 10. e3, considering it slightly better for White (a game citation is Karpov-Adams, Groningen 1995).  They think that 4...0-0 5. a3 Bxc3 should lead to equality.  NCO thinks that 4. Qb3 should lead to a slight advantage for White, but ECO (in some cases taking NCO's lines a little further) thinks that Black should be able to equalize there too.  For some of these lines it should be interesting to look at the Khalifman/Kramnik book (presumably "El Khalif" claims some sort of edge for White).

There's also the new-fangled 4. g4 to deal with.

I used to think that the Nimzo-English was more promising for White than the Nimzo-Indian, based on the idea that in a position such as the one after 4. Qc2 0-0 5. a3 Bxc3 6. Qxc3, White benefits from not having d4 in, since that would be already blocking his potential battery (using the "unopposed" dark-squared bishop) on the a1-h8 diagonal, and White still has the option of d3, denying Black the use of e4 (thinking of ...Ne4).  I suppose that is debatable, though.      
  
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exigentsky
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Nimzo-English
10/25/07 at 19:10:01
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Some background (skip if bored):

I am primarily a Nimzo and Queen's Indian player and I'm trying to find a good response to  White's transpsitional monster, 1. Nf3. I've considered the Symmetrical English but ultimately, it is not to my taste. Thus, I have to start 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6. I've considered 2. ...b6 which is very interesting but White can move into g3 lines and force me either into a Hedgehog or a Classical Queen's Indian, both of which are not my favorite. I play the Ba6 Queen's Indian and while the Classical is certainly good too, I don't want to let Nf3 players move order me out of my best line. Now 3. Nc3 is the critical move. Learning a complex opening like the Semi-Slav is out of the question and given the rarity of this move order, I would probably face it too few times to be good in it. I would have to play the Semi-Slav instead of the QID too. Outside of the QGD which is also not usually to my taste, there is the Ragozin. It follows with 3. ...d5 4. d4 Bb4. It is much like the Nimzo except that d5 is premature as White can always play cxd5, undoubling the pawns if Black takes on c3. Maybe this is too simplistic, but I think no one would claim that the Nimzo's flexibility is preferred and usually c5 is played. It seems to me like this is a good opening, but again, I would give an advantage to the Nf3 player. So what is my choice? Only the Nimzo-English remains. It meets 3. Nc3 with Bb4. This is much closer to my normal repertoire and more flexible than the Ragozin. It is odd at first glance, but in my research it is actually no worse than the normal Nimzo. d4 is a very useful move for White, gaining control of the center, helping development and setting up threats. Without d4, Black has a free hand in the center and easy development. The immediate a3 is not to be feared as results have shown, Black does very well after Bxc3 bxc3 c5!. If dxc3, h6 seems like a flexible but useful move, preventing Bg5. The most serious try is Qc2 or Qb3.

Thus, here is my main question, what is the status of this line? The Nimzo-English with Qc2 (by far the most popular) or Qb3? Do you consider it worse than the Nimzo and if so, why? Please explain and provide variations if possible. Here is my main variation: 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 (d6, b6 and O-O are also interesting) 5. a3 Ba5! 6. g3 Nc6 (or O-O/d5) 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O d6 9. d3 h6 10. Rb1 e5. Like the normal Nimzo, Black has almost limitless flexibility and potential for pawn breaks so it's hard to be sure what line is best.
  
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