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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4 (Read 1684 times)
kylemeister
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #11 - 03/17/19 at 16:00:26
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TN wrote on 03/17/19 at 08:25:19:
4.Bd2 and e3/Nf3 would be quite a decent shortcut in my view, again if it wasn't for 4...c5! which works well against White's sidelines in general.


That by the way reminds me of a game I came across from two weeks ago, S. Williams-J. Lopez:  1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.e3 O-O 6.Bd2 c5 7.dxc5 Nc6 8.Be2 Bxc5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.O-O Re8.  Which reminded me of a candidates match game from 45 years ago, Petrosian-Portisch:  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bd2 0-0 5. Nf3 c5 6. dxc5 Bxc5 7. e3 d5 8. Rc1 Qe7 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Be2 Nc6 11. O-O Bg4 (= R. Byrne).
  
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TN
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #10 - 03/17/19 at 08:25:19
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I once tried to make 4.Bf4 work with the idea of e3, Nge2 and a3/Nxc3 (where White's bishop is not stuck inside the pawn chain), but it falls a bit flat if Black plays directly, suc as with 4...c5.

4.Bd2 and e3/Nf3 would be quite a decent shortcut in my view, again if it wasn't for 4...c5! which works well against White's sidelines in general.
  

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mn
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #9 - 03/06/19 at 22:17:17
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I saw a game at a tournament last weekend where White played 4 Bf4 against the Nimzo, and it reminded me of this thread. Black played ...0-0/...d5/...c5, as recommended by Roiz, and was doing fine out of the opening, although I think the game was eventually drawn.
  
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grandpatzer
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #8 - 02/10/19 at 10:33:15
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I think it's more or less the same with 4.Bf4 vs the King's Indian, you simply develop a piece (in a square from which it can be an easy target for an eventual ...e5 from Black), you obtain a playable position, because you didn't do any obvious (big) mistakes - although developing a piece in a square from which it can be attacked might be considered a mistake - but what's the point? Aren't we supposted to fight for the center when we play 1.d4 Nf4 2.c4 as White? It is like the Bf4 variation of the Queen's Indian, popularised by Miles back in the '80s and '90s... The better player still wins the game. Then why not play the London System, so that you cannot risk worsening your Pawn Structure after an eventual ...Bxc3?
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #7 - 02/06/19 at 22:26:49
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One thing to think about--from the practical, human point of view--is that it's much easier to play good chess when you have a coherent plan, or especially sets of multiple coherent plans.  It's easier to play well when your pieces harmonize together and make sense to us.  If you can't find a coherent set of ideas with 4.Bf4, then I doubt that you'll have very much success with it, even if you get positions that a computer might judge as just as good as any other main line try. 

Just a thought; this doesn't seem to be a good decision for a practical repertoire, in my opinion.  But if you find some interesting ideas, let us know.
  
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derdudea
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #6 - 02/05/19 at 19:11:25
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Thank you all for your contributions.

"I don't know of any particular ideas behind 4.Bf4 that would qualify it as a "weapon," though I'm sure it's not terrible."

Yes, I stressed the lack of ideas in my first post. White does not follow any of the usual principles of fighting the Nimzo, he simply develops and avoids complications moves like Qc2 oder f3 usually bring about. But maybe having an equal game at least and eleminating any theoretical knowledge black usually has does not qualify as a weapon but a good idea. I really don´t know, just want to find out wether there is an obvious problem.

"4...0-0 5 e3 d5 6 Nf3 c5" was recommended, but in this case I would follow the only game in this played by a world class player:

Jobava - Donchenko, 2017
4...0-0 5.e3 d5 6.Rc1 c5 7.dxc5 and while Donchenkos 7...Ne4 led to some problems for Black after 8.dxc5 exd5 9.Nge2 there are enough decent ways to play for Black, but none giving white trouble.

Playing an early d6 followed by e5 seems logical, too, but does not lead to an ovious refutation. In the Line analysed by Gisplis
(4...0-0 5. e3 d6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Ne2 h6 8. 0-0 e5) White should play 8.Bg3 instead to be able to answer e5 with d5 and get some space advantage.

Finally, against 4...c5 I would rather play 5.e3 Qa5 6.Nge2
oor 5.e3 0-0 6.Rc1 or Bd3 oder Nge2

There is nothing too dangerous for black - but these lines seems easy to play for White without the early black pressure you often find in the Nimzo Indian.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #5 - 02/04/19 at 23:22:47
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I don't know of any particular ideas behind 4.Bf4 that would qualify it as a "weapon," though I'm sure it's not terrible.
  
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mn
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #4 - 02/04/19 at 21:52:47
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kylemeister wrote on 02/04/19 at 21:24:07:
I suppose it is mentioned in some Nimzo repertoire books?


Indeed. I checked Roiz' book, which makes no attempt to exploit the Bishop on f4, simply going 4...0-0 5 e3 d5 6 Nf3 c5. If Black can comfortably equalize just playing normally, it may not be worth trying 4 Bf4 as a regular weapon, IMO.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #3 - 02/04/19 at 21:24:07
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I suppose it is mentioned in some Nimzo repertoire books?

Once upon a time, Gipslis in ECO gave this extensive analysis:  4...0-0 (4...c5 5. dc5 Qa5=) 5. e3 d6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Ne2 h6 8. 0-0 e5=  Puc-Nedeljković, Jugoslavija (ch) 1951.
  
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mn
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #2 - 02/04/19 at 21:17:05
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As a Nimzo player, my gut instinct would be to play 4...d6 to blunt the Bishop, or 4...Bxc3+!? 5 bc3 d6. 4...c5 must be a decent move as well, and 4...0-0 I'm sure can be followed up with either ...d6 (or ...b6) or ...d5/...c5, when I doubt White has a better version of the standard Rubinstein lines.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
Reply #1 - 02/04/19 at 20:46:40
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I assume that 4...c5 is the main independent response to worry about; I don't know anything in particular about 4.Bf4, and there are very few games for research.

For a slightly offbeat (but still very respectable) line, how about 4.Nf3?  There are many transpositional possibilities, and my favorite variation to play as White was 4...b6 5.Qb3, as in many of Yasser Seirawan's games. 

Then there is 4.g3!?, which has been tried by many very strong players.  Even now that I play the Catalan as White, I often answer 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ with 4.Nc3, and I generally enjoy the positions that I get.  4.g3 is the seventh most popular fourth move for White, so Black is not likely to be as well prepared as you are, making it a practical repertoire choice.

Sorry if I've taken this too far off track, but I don't believe that 4.Bf4 can be very promising given the complete lack of attention by strong players.
« Last Edit: 02/04/19 at 23:32:29 by ErictheRed »  
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derdudea
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Nimzo-Indian with 4.Bf4
02/04/19 at 19:37:18
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After playing 4.f3 for years I grew tired of it, same with any line I found against the Grunfeld. I spent a whole year with the Tromp only to find out I simply dislike the positions it gave me.

Back to the Nimzo-Indian - my impression was, that White could spent years on the 4,Qc2 oder 4.e3 mainlines just to find out he has next to nothing.

So what about accepting to have nothing and going for a non-theoretical line? 4.Bf4 fits that description.

And yes - it does nothing to prevent Ne4, nothing to avoid the doubled pawns and nothing to solve the problem of White´s slow kingside developement.

But except for these "theoretical" disadvantages I did not find positions I really disliked. Sometimes it ends up like a Bf4-Queens Gambit Declined, but is that worse than Nimzo - Mainlines?

How would experienced Nimzo players fight 4.Bf4?
  
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