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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo (Read 6341 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #22 - 10/06/21 at 20:50:51
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Stigma wrote on 10/05/21 at 20:42:55:
next up would be 4.Nf3 and 4.g3


As I have been playing the Vienna lately, I would answer 4.Nf3 with 4...d5. Someone who plays the Queen's Indian would probably choose 4...b6. 4...c5 5.g3 is an intricate main line also.

At some point I will have to look at 4.g3, but have not done so yet.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #21 - 10/06/21 at 20:40:47
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Stigma wrote on 10/05/21 at 20:42:55:
One setup that's not on the list but has annoyed me when I've tried to learn the Nimzo:
4.e3 followed by 5.Bd3 and 6.Nge2.

Almost everyone recommends Black go for an IQP position there (with White having the IQP), but I'm not a big fan of those. It also strikes me as a line White can play with relatively low risk, which these days is also true of the trending 4.e3 followed by 5.Bd2.

If I were to take up the Nimzo seriously, I would look first not at the heavy main lines, but slower lines like these - to satisfy myself that I have enough play and imbalance as Black to not get bored and start drifting.


I think the line you mean is:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Ne2 c5 7. cd5 cd4 8. ed4 Nd5

You have a point. This is a tabiya. In a sense, the opening is over and the middle game has begun. That said, it is still covered in many opening books with particular moves recommended at some point or other for either side.

Another approach is to play 6...dxc 7.Bxc4. 7...c5 and 7...e5 have been recommended by various authors. Perhaps 7...b6 is good also.

While there is no panacea, Black does have the choice between several adequate approaches. Playing through games and analysis can help, but I suspect that the only way to gain real experience is to play games. If possible, find a friend and play a training match playing from a tabiya position from both sides.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #20 - 10/06/21 at 19:52:06
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MNb wrote on 09/27/21 at 17:01:41:
In fact I think 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 c5 the accurate move order.


You may be right. However I am not aware of any particular problem with either 5...c5 or 5...d5.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #19 - 10/05/21 at 20:42:55
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One setup that's not on the list but has annoyed me when I've tried to learn the Nimzo:
4.e3 followed by 5.Bd3 and 6.Nge2.

Almost everyone recommends Black go for an IQP position there (with White having the IQP), but I'm not a big fan of those. It also strikes me as a line White can play with relatively low risk, which these days is also true of the trending 4.e3 followed by 5.Bd2.

If I were to take up the Nimzo seriously, I would look first not at the heavy main lines, but slower lines like these - to satisfy myself that I have enough play and imbalance as Black to not get bored and start drifting. And next up would be 4.Nf3 and 4.g3, for similar reasons.
  

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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #18 - 10/02/21 at 10:31:12
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A modest back up idea vs 4 Qc2: .. c5 5 dxc5 o-o 6 a3 Bxc5 7 Nf3 d5!?

Originally Ivanchuk - Graf in 2007 but Leela likes it and having updated my database I can see a few strong GMs trying it in 2020/21.

It definitely isn't bad:
8 Bf4 lets black go 8.. Nc6 with a main line 5 Bf4 QGD or try this odd thing: 8 ..d4!? 9 o-o-o Nbd7 10 Na4 Be7 11 Rxd4 Qa5, with the threat of e5 forcing either b4 or Bd2 when white's rook is a bit stranded and the computers seem happy that black has more or less enough play.

8 cd cd 9 Bg5 Be6 10 Rd1 Nbd7 doesn't drop d5: 11 Nxd5? Rc8 is just nasty.

11 e3 Rc8 12 Bd3 h6 13 Bh4 Bg4?! is Ivanchuk - Graf, 13 .. Qc7 is quite fun, 13.. d4 might even equalise by force and this is so absurdly computerish its impossible to not give it here:
eg: 14 Nxd4 Bxd4 15 exd4 Qb6 16 Qb1 Bb3 17 Rd2 Rfe8+ 18 Be2 Ne4!!? 19 NxN Ba2!!

Comp main line is then 20 Qa1 Rxe4 21 o-o Bb3.

8 Bg5 might be harder to have real fun against. 8.. Nc6 is sane but slightly lacks the spark you get from a Nd7/Rc8.

Leela wants 8.. dxc4 9 e3 Nd7 10 Bxc4 h6 11 Bh4 which does seem OK for black, but needs care not to get mated by Rxd7. 11.. a6 12 Rd1 Qc7 13 Ba2 Bd6 etc

Maybe too solid if white goes 14 Qd2 here.

There is 8.. dxc4 Bxc4 9 e3 h6 10 Bh4 b5!? 11 Nxb5 Qa5+ 12 Nc3 Ba6/Nd5 which seems risky but maybe..

Dunno Smiley
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #17 - 10/01/21 at 15:02:49
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As noted before after "4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 Nc6 8. e3 e5," Black might prefer 7...c5 to 7...Nc6. As they say in the investment community, do your due diligence.

"4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. Nf3 Qf5 7. Qxf5 exf5."

This very interesting line continues to do well. Perhaps it is a testimony to the line that 6e3 has increased in popularity (though still trailing 6Nf3). A quick check shows that black did very well at high levels in 2020/21 after 6e3.

A sharper option is 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 exd5. Of course this has been played for many years. GM Davon Kuljasevic recommends it in his 2019 Nimzo repertoire available at Modern-Chess. I recommend his eBook for its selection of lines and analysis.

For myself, I could go either way, 5...Qxd5 or 5...exd5. However 5...exd5 the sharper line and this is a "sharp" Nimzo repertoire.

"4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 cxd4 6. Nxd4 Ne4 7. Qc2 Qa5 8. Bg2 Nxc3 9.O-O."

4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 has been called the Kasparov variation. I looked at it in the past, but have not kept up. So maybe someone else would like to comment.

IsaVulpes was asked how he answered 3Nf3 and he said the Vienna variation. After 4. Nf3 d5 one transposes to the either the Vienna or the Ragozin system. This seems the natural choice for anyone who plays those systems.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #16 - 09/30/21 at 19:18:54
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/30/21 at 14:22:24:
Bagirov in the 1991 ECO (E37) gives 9.cxd5 here; in a note he analyzes 9.f3 Nf6, for example Vidmar - Alekhine, San Remo 1930 (=+)


ECO 3 does not even show 9.f3. Row 1 continues with 9.cxd. Footnote 3 with 9Nf3.

I found 5 human games that continue 9.f3 Qh4 10g3 Nxg3 11Qf2 Nf5. The results are split, however engines claim improvements for white.

Emms gave 9f3 an "!". Perhaps TN was warranted as well.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #15 - 09/30/21 at 15:29:07
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/30/21 at 14:22:24:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.e3 e5

And now 9f3.

GM Emms at ChessPublishing analyzed the game Likavsky-Petric, 2006.
After 9f3 Nf6 10. dxe5,
"! [Perhaps 9f3 was rejected due to 10cxd5 ... when Black was in control, Vidmar-Alekhine, San Remo 1930. It wouldn't be the first time that a line was unfairly disregarded due to weak moves in a high-profile game.]"

The game between Likavsky and Petric was eventually drawn but Emms thought white had a winning game.

As to 9...Qh4,
"9...Qh4!? is more complex, and players looking to make this line work for Black should perhaps head here. Even so, I think it may be an uphill task:" Emms provides analysis.

The entire line is very complex. True chess analysis involves looking at the position oneself. I have to admit that my review of 7...Nc6 has been superficial, relying as it has on Emms and Stockfish. You might want to track down Emms' analysis and look it over yourself.

"I think 7...c5 is a better chance to equalize than 7...Nc6". Agreed. That is where I've put in some time.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #14 - 09/30/21 at 14:22:24
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FreeRepublic wrote on 09/30/21 at 13:42:04:
"4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 Nc6 8. e3 e5"

I don't think this holds up after 9f3 Qh4ch 10g3 Nxg3 11Qf2.

There must be some misunderstanding.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 Ne4 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.e3 e5

This is an old and respectable line (also possible from a 4...Nc6 move order), albeit the main move for black is 7...c5. Bagirov in the 1991 ECO (E37) gives 9.cxd5 here; in a note he analyzes 9.f3 Nf6, for example Vidmar - Alekhine, San Remo 1930 (=+). https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1007893

I think 7...c5 is a better chance to equalize than 7...Nc6, but 7...Nc6 is certainly playable. 9...Qh4+ is just a mistake.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #13 - 09/30/21 at 13:42:04
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Also in IsaVulpes' 2016 sharp Nimzo repertoire:

"4. Qc2 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 Nc6 8. e3 e5"

I don't think this holds up after 9f3 Qh4ch 10g3 Nxg3 11Qf2.

Black has many ways to vary:
a) I am currently looking at 7...c5 8dxc5 Nc6. Black has to consider 9. cxd5, 9. Nf3, and 9. e3. I think black is hanging in there.
b) 6...c5 7dxc5 d4 and now either 8. Qg3 or 8. Qc2. This is quite amazing, but I don't know if it is sound.
c) If you want to take the edge off and play soundly, there is 6...0-0. It transposes to a position that can be reached after 4. Qc2 0-0 5. a3 Bxc3ch 6. Qxc3 d5
d) There is also 6...dxc 7. Qxc4 b6

One line that has come on strong is 4...0-0 5. e4, at which point 5...d5 is most often recommended. It seems to be just fine for black. However it is very complicated and you will either want to do your homework, or roll the die, on this one. As far as I know it was first recommended in the Dangerous Weapons series. It has since been recommended in numerous repertoire books. If instead white plays 5.a3, play can transpose to line c above, a notable bridge between 4...d5 and 4...0-0 variations.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #12 - 09/29/21 at 15:06:36
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Next in IsaVulpes' 2016 sharp Nimzo repertoire:

"4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O Nc6 8. a3 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Qc7"

Gligoric, in his old book on the NID, called this the Khasin variation, after a Soviet master who played it. Ivan Sokolov, The Strategic Nimzo-Indian, calls it the Flexible variation. Black doesn't trade pawns, trying to restrict the scope of white's bishops. This was my choice in 2016 also.

Since that time 8cxd exd 9dxc has come on the scene. Black should either study that line, or try something different. Black could play 6...dxc 7Bxc4 c5 80-0, where he has several reasonable systems from which to choose.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #11 - 09/28/21 at 19:29:42
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Isa Vulpes' 2016 sharp Nimzo repertoire continues:

"4. e3 O-O 5. Ne2 d5 6. a3 Be7"

White usually plays 7cxd. Both 7...exd and 7...Nxd5 have been played. They've done pretty well. 7...exd is more common. The resulting position often results in the Carlsbad structure. That structure is found in the Queen's Gambit Declined (QGD) exchange variation. However black has a much better win/loss statistics here. Black often repositions his bishop to d6 at some point.

6...Bd6 has been played. But then white might play 7c5. 6...Bd6 has done O.K. too.

5...c6 has been played, intending 6.a6 Ba5 7.b4 Bc7.

MNb mentioned 5...Re8. If 6a3 Bf8. This has worked very well for black.

I suspect that these variations generally have a lot in common provided we get the moves cxd exd. Although we are talking about the opening, I think the key here is to become familiar with the resulting middle games.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #10 - 09/28/21 at 16:36:26
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Out of curiosity, what do you prefer to play against the d-pawn specials (and 3.Nf3)?
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #9 - 09/28/21 at 14:56:16
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IsaVulpes sharp Nimzo repertoire continues with:

"4. Bg5 h6 5. Bh4 c5 6. d5 b5 7. dxe6 fxe6 8. cxb5 d5"

I think the theoretical main line proceeds with 4.Bg5 h6 5.Bh4 c5 6.d5 and then something like 6...Bxc3ch 7.bxc d6 8.e3 e5 resulting in a closed position. Both sides can vary. For example 8.Nf3 or 8. e3 Qe7.

6...b5!? has been covered several times by Chris Ward. John Emms has discussed it also. White has several options on move 7. Black can play the ...b5 idea without inserting ...h6 and ...Bh4, though you can probably expect different treatments by either black or white.

Early prominent games with ...b5!? include Spassky-Portisch 1-0 1955 and Spassky-Tal 0-1, 1973. The line continues to do well. 4Bg5 itself is quite rare these days among the chess elite.

...b5!? lines often blow the position open. Other main lines tend to be closed. However, I must mention that GM Kuljasevic recommends a third option, a semi-open line for black. His analysis looks good too.
  
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Re: Theoretical Standing / Sources on "sharp" Nimzo
Reply #8 - 09/28/21 at 12:11:02
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Considering IsaVulpes' 2016 repertoire after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4

"4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3 c5 6. e3 O-O 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Ne2 b6 9. e4."
This is a standard position and I think gives chances to both sides.

"4. f3 c5 5. d5 b5 6. e4 O-O 7. e5 Ne8 8. f4 exd5 9. cxd5 d6"

I think this was once a side line, but it has been growing in popularity among theoreticians. It does well in practice too!

It was recommended for black in Dangerous Weapons NID, later Sielecki recommended it in his Nimzo/Bogo Opening Repertoire. GM Kuljasevic provides two answers to 4f3 in his Nimzo eBook at Modern-Chess, and this is one of them. As an aside, I like Kuljasevic's book very much and will refer to it again.

The line is very sharp. Black can also play 6...d6.

MnB mentions 4.f3 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3, and also 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.f3 which transposes to the same position. Good point.

Here 6...d5 is main line theory. However some theoreticians have advanced 6...Nc6 instead. At first it looks like white is getting his way with 7e4. After 7...d6 black asks "what now?" It's not clear that white has a great answer. I recommend Kuljasevic once again.
  
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