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What's New (April 2003 update)

Hi Everyone! Here's where we take a look at the most exciting Nimzo, Queen's Indian and Modern Benoni games from last month.


Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni

Remember, if you have any opinions, ideas or questions, please either make yourself heard at the Forum (the link above on the right) or email me at

To download the April '03 Nimzo and Benoni games directly in PGN form, click here: Download Games

Nimzo Indian Classical Variation (4 Qc2)

We begin this month with a look at one of the main lines, if not the main line in the 4 Qc2 Nimzo. The game Gurevich - Kosten, French League 2003 begins normally enough with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 b6 7 Bg5 Bb7 8 f3 h6 9 Bh4 d5 10 e3

and here Black played 11...Re8, a rare move which Kramnik has played recently (although Tony Kosten was unaware of this during his game). A few moves later Black plays a brave piece sacrifice, but excellent resourcefulness on Gurevich's part proved the sacrifice to be unsound. I must thank Tony Kosten for providing the notes to this game (I supply a few additional comments marked with JE).

Nimzo Indian Leningrad Variation (4 Bg5)

Doug Schwetke, New Jersey, writes:

«I am interested in more information on the gambit line (declined) in the Leningrad Nimzo-Indian after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Bg5 h6 5 Bh4 c5 6 d5 b5 7 e3. Also, is there a significant difference in this line when Black doesn't play ...h7-h6?»

Check out my thoughts and a brief survey of this line in Leningrad Nimzo 4...h6 5 Bh4 c5 6 d5 b5 7 e3.

Nimzo Indian 4 e3 b6

Mchedlishvili - Sakaev, Dubai 2003 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 e3 (the game starts as a 4 e3 Queen's Indian but soon transposes to a ...b6 Nimzo) 4...Bb7 5 Nc3 Bb4 6 Bd3 Ne4 7 0-0 f5 8 Ne2!?

This move certainly has some logic to it. Black was likely to play ...Bxc3 next move, but now his bishop is rather stuck out on a limb on b4. However, in this game White makes an early miscalculation and the punishment handed out by Sakaev is quite instructive.

Nimzo Indian Sämisch

In the game N.Pedersen-Schandorff, Danish Championship 2003 we once again take a look at the main line of the Sämisch Nimzo: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 Bd3 Nc6 8 Ne2 b6 9 e4 Ne8 10 0-0 Ba6 11 f4 f5 12 Ng3 g6

All the key moves and deviations up to here have been explained before on this website (see, for example, Yusupov-Karpov, Linares 1993 - ECO code E29). In this game White decides to open the position as much as possible, trying to obtain some much-needed scope for those bishops with 13 exf5 exf5 14 dxc5 bxc5.


Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian 4 a3

Dreev - Tiviakov, Dos Hermanas 2003 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 a3 Bb7 5 Nc3 d5 6 cxd5 Nxd5 7 Bd2 Nd7 8 Nxd5 Bxd5!?

8...exd5 is more solid - see Akopian-Polgar, Merida 2000 (ECO code E12). Tiviakov follows an earlier game in this line between Dreev and Karpov, but on move fourteen Dreev comes up with a powerful novelty which very much puts Black on the back foot.

Tkachiev - Pelletier, French League 2003 sees an aggressive approach by White: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 a3 Bb7 5 Nc3 d5 6 Qc2 dxc4!? 7 Bg5!? a6 8 e4 b5

Black keeps his pawn but White's central control gives him good compensation. In the game Black allowed a powerful piece sacrifice and was unable to find a solution to his problems.


Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni

Modern Benoni 7...a6

We finish this month with another look at the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 d6 5 Nc3 exd5 6 cxd5 g6 7 e4 a6 8 a4 Bg4 9 Qb3!?

We also saw this move last month (Crouch - Povah, code A70). Results suggest that Black has found a good antidote to this sharp line, but it would be premature to say that it's unplayable for White, as the analysis in Papp-M.Hoffmann, Budapest 2003 shows.


Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni

Till next time,

John Emms