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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Why play the Nimzo-Indian? (Read 15334 times)
MartinC
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #25 - 04/06/15 at 08:07:03
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Seems to make sense. That choice does cut both ways though. Gives you very easy back up lines to dodge really specific work from anyone.

Also means that in practical terms you can more or less cut all your lines off around move 5-10 + some idea of what you're trying to do. Really quite hard to get into an early mess so any improvisation tends to work OK Smiley
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #24 - 04/05/15 at 19:41:39
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Stigma wrote on 03/15/15 at 22:22:13:
ErictheRed wrote on 03/15/15 at 16:25:01:
One discouraging thing about the Nimzo is that you'll spend SOOooo much time preparing for the London/Colle/Torre, working out your move orders against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4, etc., then the Catalan, then 3.Nf3, because those will make up most of your games.  Then when someone FINALLY allows the Nimzo against you, they've typically specialized in a particular line as White and know it better than you, since your preparation has had to be so broad.  Yippee.

I agree in general, but preparing any of the really critical equalizing tries against 1.d4 is a huge and broad project, isn't it? Last time I checked, the Grünfeld, the King's Indian and the Semi-Slav had also developed a bit of theory over the years...

In the King's Indian, the Mar del Plata, the Fianchetto and possibly the Bayonet may be the only truly critical attempts by White (though like you I have a soft spot for the Sämisch), so in a sense that's easier... until you gaze at the Himalaya of theory in the Mar del Plata alone.

While in the Grünfeld it seems like White has 10 critical tries, exactly which 10 that is changes each year, and if Black knows all the latest theory by heart he gets a drawn endgame or a far-fetched-looking perpetual check without having to think much at the board.

Choose your poison, I guess!


I also basically agree, except that I didn't just mean the theory.  The "nature" of play is often different in the Nimzo than it usually is in those other openings (at least it seems like it to me, the way that I approach chess).  You're usually pitting the bishop pair vs. development or the bishop pair vs. structure in the Nimzo, whereas the "other" things to prepare for (Colle, Torre, London, Catalan, Benoni or QID or Bogo) all have different strategic considerations.  So a Nimzo repertoire is just about the most broad repertoire vs. 1.d4, in my opinion.  The number of types of pawn structures and other imbalances is just enormous!

Of course that's part of the appeal: it's perhaps the most rich complex of openings at Black's disposal when meeting 1.d4.  But you get a lot of different types of positions when you set out to play it.  I feel like a King's Indian player (or Grunfeld or Benoni or Dutch player, or QGD or Slav player) gets "their" type of position more often than a Nimzo player does.  At least, that was my experience. 

I didn't necessarily mean amount of theory, if that makes sense.  It's all a bit subjective, though.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #23 - 03/17/15 at 16:37:11
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The bit about transposing to a Nf3 Exchange QGD but with Black's bishop on b4 reminded me of a game from last year I found surprising, in that a player rated in the 2200s played in such a clearly not-good way:  1. d4 e6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 Bb4+ 4. Nc3 0-0 5. Bg5 d5 6. e3 Nbd7 7. cd ed 8. Bd3 c6 9. Qc2 Be7.
  
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CanadianClub
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #22 - 03/17/15 at 15:45:22
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bragesjo wrote on 03/17/15 at 14:06:10:
This thread made me interested in Ragozin again. I bougt a new book some year ago but I never got the time to read it.
I tried it against a friend in some recent blitz games and we often reached Qc2 d5 Nimzo lines by transposing.
Nf3 Nimzo d5 is a direct transposning but are there transposning possibilities? Might read that book after all and see if I like it.


In my case (I usually play Bogo vs 3.Nf3) I faced (when I used to play Ragozin) more often quiet e3 lines (zero advantage for White I think) than Qc2 or Qa4 lines. My opponent elo range is/were (1800, 2200) fide. Of course, lots of transpositions between Nimzo and Ragozin are possible. Some of my Ragozin games ended in the Karpov variation of the nimzo or QGD exchange variation with Bb4 (not so good in itself, but where Nf3 is not a threatening move).

I also have "The Ragozin complex" on a shelf at home. One day I will start reading it and starting to play again Ragozin. I learned a little about Ragozin thanks to a chapter on that subject in a Bogdan Lalic book: "The Bg5 Queens Gambit" (or something like that).

Salut,
  
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MartinC
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #21 - 03/17/15 at 14:22:01
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All over the place Smiley The 4 e3 stuff is a very obvious place for it. The modern main lines with Bg5 and/or cd not so much of course.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #20 - 03/17/15 at 14:06:10
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This thread made me interested in Ragozin again. I bougt a new book some year ago but I never got the time to read it.
I tried it against a friend in some recent blitz games and we often reached Qc2 d5 Nimzo lines by transposing.
Nf3 Nimzo d5 is a direct transposning but are there transposning possibilities? Might read that book after all and see if I like it.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #19 - 03/16/15 at 01:17:13
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I lose against all of them as White, so it is probably easier for Black in 1. d4 anyway Smiley
  
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Stigma
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #18 - 03/15/15 at 22:22:13
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/15/15 at 16:25:01:
One discouraging thing about the Nimzo is that you'll spend SOOooo much time preparing for the London/Colle/Torre, working out your move orders against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4, etc., then the Catalan, then 3.Nf3, because those will make up most of your games.  Then when someone FINALLY allows the Nimzo against you, they've typically specialized in a particular line as White and know it better than you, since your preparation has had to be so broad.  Yippee.

I agree in general, but preparing any of the really critical equalizing tries against 1.d4 is a huge and broad project, isn't it? Last time I checked, the Grünfeld, the King's Indian and the Semi-Slav had also developed a bit of theory over the years...

In the King's Indian, the Mar del Plata, the Fianchetto and possibly the Bayonet may be the only truly critical attempts by White (though like you I have a soft spot for the Sämisch), so in a sense that's easier... until you gaze at the Himalaya of theory in the Mar del Plata alone.

While in the Grünfeld it seems like White has 10 critical tries, exactly which 10 that is changes each year, and if Black knows all the latest theory by heart he gets a drawn endgame or a far-fetched-looking perpetual check without having to think much at the board.

Choose your poison, I guess!
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #17 - 03/15/15 at 18:52:22
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I have thought on this for a while, if you know that your opponent either 99,96% sure or reasonably sure that s/he does not play some Torre/London/Colle stuff and s/he plays 3. Nc3, you can play it, if you really do not like playing till exempel, the Queen's Indian against 3. Nf3, which to me is perfectly fine, plan Nimzo for those who play 3. Nc3 only, and then play different opening altogether for those who do not play 3. Nc3, which means not even 2...e6. Pick Grünfeld, for example.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #16 - 03/15/15 at 17:18:58
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tony37 wrote on 03/15/15 at 17:11:42:
ErictheRed wrote on 03/15/15 at 16:25:01:
In some sense, the Benoni is perhaps the ideal pairing with the Nimzo, as you avoid White's most critical systems and you have a lot of move order options against White's other first and second moves.

there are some pretty critical lines with Nf3 in the Benoni so I don't think everyone will agree with this


I don't think that's a very controversial opinion; I did say "most."
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #15 - 03/15/15 at 17:11:42
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/15/15 at 16:25:01:
In some sense, the Benoni is perhaps the ideal pairing with the Nimzo, as you avoid White's most critical systems and you have a lot of move order options against White's other first and second moves.

there are some pretty critical lines with Nf3 in the Benoni so I don't think everyone will agree with this
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #14 - 03/15/15 at 16:25:01
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Personally I think that if you like the Benoni lines after 3.Nf3 and 3.g3, then your work is done; just play those.  In some sense, the Benoni is perhaps the ideal pairing with the Nimzo, as you avoid White's most critical systems and you have a lot of move order options against White's other first and second moves.

I've tried to get excited about the Ragozin for more than a decade, but I just can't, personally. 

One discouraging thing about the Nimzo is that you'll spend SOOooo much time preparing for the London/Colle/Torre, working out your move orders against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4, etc., then the Catalan, then 3.Nf3, because those will make up most of your games.  Then when someone FINALLY allows the Nimzo against you, they've typically specialized in a particular line as White and know it better than you, since your preparation has had to be so broad.  Yippee.

So to me, playing the Nimzo-Indian is sort of a lifestyle choice.  If you're a huge Nimzovitch disciple like BPaulsen around here is, great, it's probably the best defense to 1.d4.  But it's not for the faint of heart or those who only want to dabble in it.  Picking up the Nimzo (at least against good competition) is a huge endeavor.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #13 - 03/15/15 at 15:56:12
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TN wrote on 03/10/15 at 07:18:18:
Because 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 is just as exciting, although I'll concede that after 4.g3 you have to take more risks to get the same exciting play (4...dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 is one way to go about it). There's also the Modern Benoni invitation with 3...c5 but it's a fact of chess that if White wants a solid position, there's not a lot you can do about it (though 4.e3 a6 5.Nc3 d5 is hardly boring).


The Ragozin is an interesting option with similarities to the NID, so I'll consider it.
Question: Do people who play the NID/Ragozin consider the NID their main weapon against 1.d4 and the Ragozin as something they settle for against 3.Nf3? Or do they like the Ragozin better and use the NID move order to avoid certain QG exchange lines? I read in Barsky's book on the Ragozin that Ragozin often used the NID move order and would transpose from the NID into the Ragozin in certain lines, which I thought was interesting. So I wanted to know if most Ragozin players are the same way.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #12 - 03/13/15 at 15:25:43
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Laramonet wrote on 03/13/15 at 09:16:07:
Personally the Nimzo paired with the Queen's Indian is quite attractive. What stops the possibility in my mind, rather than 3.Nf3, is not having compatible answers to 1.c4 nor 1.Nf3.


I think both the Hedgehog and the Double Fianchetto are good options for Nimzo/QID players against 1.Nf3. Against 1.c4 it's a matter of taste, I personally like 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 (followed by 3...Bb4) and 1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 e6 followed by 3...d5, transposing back into either the Catalan or some harmless Reti. If you play the Sicilian as Black 1...c5 is the obvious choice and you can play it against 1.Nf3 and 1.c4.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #11 - 03/13/15 at 09:16:07
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Personally the Nimzo paired with the Queen's Indian is quite attractive. What stops the possibility in my mind, rather than 3.Nf3, is not having compatible answers to 1.c4 nor 1.Nf3.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #10 - 03/12/15 at 18:09:53
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I basically agree with the original poster; if you don't like the position after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3, then why would you bother trying to play the Nimzo?  Sooo....what's the point?  People who are happy with Black's options after 3.Nf3 and like the Nimzo will continue to play it, and those (like myself) who don't particularly like Black's options after 3.Nf3 will stop playing the Nimzo.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #9 - 03/12/15 at 00:04:48
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TN wrote on 03/10/15 at 07:18:18:
Because 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 is just as exciting,

Then 4.e3 gives a Rubinstein Variation in which Black already has played ...d5. That's inconvenient if Black rather plays the Hübner.
  

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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #8 - 03/11/15 at 23:57:12
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I used to play the Nimzo regularly for a short while, and I see no reason why not to play the Queen's Indian. 3. Nf3 b6 and I feel no less comfortable than in the Nimzo.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #7 - 03/11/15 at 13:55:59
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CanadianClub wrote on 03/11/15 at 08:31:13:
BobbyDigital80 wrote on 03/11/15 at 01:25:39:
I was condering playing the Bogo-Indian but I don't really understand the point of 3...Bb4+ when White just plays Nbd2. At some point White will play a3 and trade his knight for black's bishop.


Then Black plays a quick b6, follow by typical nimzo-style structures (d6-f5-Nbd7-Bb7-0-0) and then if it's possible Ne4 and Rf6-Rg6. If not, playing for e5. a5 is a good positional idea also to stop o minimize white play on the queenside (and/or c5 also).

Bogo is simple to play, but as always, there are other options if you don't like it.

Salut,



I agree. I only like to add the Nd2 is an ambitious mainline  but most white books and players preferces Bd2.

  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #6 - 03/11/15 at 08:31:13
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BobbyDigital80 wrote on 03/11/15 at 01:25:39:
I was condering playing the Bogo-Indian but I don't really understand the point of 3...Bb4+ when White just plays Nbd2. At some point White will play a3 and trade his knight for black's bishop.


Then Black plays a quick b6, follow by typical nimzo-style structures (d6-f5-Nbd7-Bb7-0-0) and then if it's possible Ne4 and Rf6-Rg6. If not, playing for e5. a5 is a good positional idea also to stop o minimize white play on the queenside (and/or c5 also).

Bogo is simple to play, but as always, there are other options if you don't like it.

Salut,
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #5 - 03/11/15 at 01:25:39
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CanadianClub wrote on 03/10/15 at 09:15:11:
Nimzo + Ragozin is a good combo. In fact, some Qc2 Nimzo can even transpose to Ragozin lines. Barsky book on the Ragozin is wonderfull.

If you like positional play, Bogo-Indian is a good option also. Easy to study (very few lines to check) and interesting positions arising. My opinion on that opening is that white players don't understand so much that kind of positions; they know better how to play against Benko or Benoni (or even Queens Indian) but not against Bogo... And this is great for me Smiley

I don't know if you guys feels the same but I lately I am facing more nimzos than two years before in tournaments. The ratio (3.Nc3) / (3.Nf3) is increasing... Maybe a question of fashion... A lot of 3.g3 by White also, so you have to be prepared to face it.

Salut,


I was condering playing the Bogo-Indian but I don't really understand the point of 3...Bb4+ when White just plays Nbd2. At some point White will play a3 and trade his knight for black's bishop.
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #4 - 03/10/15 at 13:57:38
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CanadianClub wrote on 03/10/15 at 09:15:11:
I don't know if you guys feels the same but I lately I am facing more nimzos than two years before in tournaments. The ratio (3.Nc3) / (3.Nf3) is increasing... Maybe a question of fashion... A lot of 3.g3 by White also, so you have to be prepared to face it.

Salut,


That's probably because most 1.d4 repertoire books recommend allowing the Nimzo as after 3.Nf3 there's a lot of different things Black can try (not least 3...d5), and most authors writing about a repertoire featuring the Catalan tend to spend a whole book just on this subject.
  

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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #3 - 03/10/15 at 09:15:11
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Nimzo + Ragozin is a good combo. In fact, some Qc2 Nimzo can even transpose to Ragozin lines. Barsky book on the Ragozin is wonderfull.

If you like positional play, Bogo-Indian is a good option also. Easy to study (very few lines to check) and interesting positions arising. My opinion on that opening is that white players don't understand so much that kind of positions; they know better how to play against Benko or Benoni (or even Queens Indian) but not against Bogo... And this is great for me Smiley

I don't know if you guys feels the same but I lately I am facing more nimzos than two years before in tournaments. The ratio (3.Nc3) / (3.Nf3) is increasing... Maybe a question of fashion... A lot of 3.g3 by White also, so you have to be prepared to face it.

Salut,
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #2 - 03/10/15 at 08:59:34
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You could also try the Noteboom if you want excitement. Must admit though, for me the positions are so odd that I failed to get my head round it. "I lurch that side, you lurch in the middle". But, praps just me. Likely odd for white too though....
CB have a video out on it, discussed hereabouts, maybe that might be your cup of thrills n' spills dynamic tea?

B
  
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Re: Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
Reply #1 - 03/10/15 at 07:18:18
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Because 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 is just as exciting, although I'll concede that after 4.g3 you have to take more risks to get the same exciting play (4...dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 is one way to go about it). There's also the Modern Benoni invitation with 3...c5 but it's a fact of chess that if White wants a solid position, there's not a lot you can do about it (though 4.e3 a6 5.Nc3 d5 is hardly boring).
  

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Why play the Nimzo-Indian?
03/10/15 at 06:46:17
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I'm joking a little bit when I say "Why play the Nimzo-Indian?" but I wanted to make a point. I love the Nimzo-Indian but I'm not that thrilled about facing 3.Nf3 because nothing against that move seems as exciting to me as the Nimzo. And I believe most Nimzo players face 3.Nf3 a little more than they do 3.Nc3, so I was kind of thinking why study this opening so much when most of the time you don't even get to play it?

The same argument could be made about having to face openings like the London, Torre, Colle, etc. a lot, but the difference is that those openings aren't considered as good as main lines, and both 3.Nc3 and 3.Nf3 are main lines.
  
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