What's New- April 2001
GM John Emms rounds up the latest in these Nimzo and Benoni Systems, with the help of guest GM Chris Ward in the Nimzo-Indian.
Only 20 games from this month's The Week In Chess, but Black is giving as good as he's getting (7 wins, 6 draws and 7 losses).
We start our coverage in the Fianchetto Variation. In the game Kachiani-Meissner, Tegernsee 2001, APR01/01 White tries an aggressive idea of moving the queen to the kingside via Qd1-a4-h4, but it backfires quite spectacularly when the queen is suddenly short of squares.
White does much better in Halkias-Erdogan, Antalya 2001, APR01/02. Here we see an old line of the Modern Benoni, in which White plays a quick Bg5. As is seen here, Black has to know what he is doing, otherwise he can easily wind up with a very passive position.
Finally, in Hoffman-Rodi, Mar del Plata 2001, APR01/04, we take a look at White's set up with Bd3 and Nge2, a dangerous system which is a favourite of the German Grandmaster Rainer Knaak. White's set-up starts with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 Bd3 Bg7 8 Nge2 0-0 9 0-0
At the highest level, the Queen Indian continues to be more popular than the Modern Benoni (105 games in TWIC's 333-336), but not necessarily more successful (26 Black wins, 49 draws and 30 White wins - Black scored 48%).
We begin with a Black success in the game Bacrot-Adams, Cannes 2001, APR01/03 which is a well played game from Michael Adams, who plays a slightly different line to the one he normally plays against 4 a3. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 a3 Ba6 5 Qc2 Bb7 6 Nc3 c5 7 e4 cxd4 8 Nxd4 Adams plays 8...Bc5
Before we've concentrated on 8...Nc6 and 8...d6, but this move is also very playable.
In the game Mateuta-Parligras, Sovata 2001, APR01/05 we look at a new wrinkle for Black in one of the very main lines of the g3 Queen's Indian. Despite the eventual loss, White's antidote looks quite effective.
Finally, one of my own recent games, but sadly for me, a loss. In Lalic-Emms, Southend 2001, APR01/06 I was punished for knowing "a little" but not enough theory. In trying to reach a position where I could spring a trap, all I manage to do is to reach a terrible ending.
You may have noticed that fairly regularly I like to include a game of the England number 1 and World number 4, Michael Adams. Other than my really liking his style, the fact is that he is currently the best player around that consistently employs the Nimzo. As I found myself playing him the other week, I figured I would be letting you down if I didn't annotate the encounter exclusively for the site. Yes Ward-Adams, APR01/07 occurs in a topical line of the Classical variation.
The totally different encounter Vera-Garcia Martinez, APR01/08 brings up the Open/Closed debate in the 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nge2 c5 line.
Til next time.
Remember, if you have any questions or remarks on the Benoni, Weird Benonis, Nimzo Indian, Queen's Indian or Bogo-Indian, we'd be glad to here from you.
Please e-mail John or Chris at