What's New (August 2002 Update)
GM John Emms rounds up the latest in these Nimzo, QI and Benoni Systems.
All this month's new games are easily downloaded in PGN format using ChessPub.exe, but to download the August '02 Nimzo and Benoni games directly in PGN form, click here:
We begin this month's action with a look at the game Kniest-Hracek, Pardubice 2002, which is an example of what can be considered the main line of the Qc2 Nimzo-Indian: 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.
Now, instead of the normal 10...Nbd7, Hracek played 10...Re8!?, a move he has played before with success. On this occasion he wins a nice game and it will be interesting to see if 10...Re8 catches on
Kaganskiy-Mikhalevski, Tel Aviv 2002 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 Ne4 7 Qc2 c5 8 dxc5 Nc6. This variation can lead to very sharp positions after both 9 Nf3 and 9 cxd5, but here White opts for the safe 9 e3. This is less complex, but White's chances of securing more than an insignificant advantage are slim.
Nimzo-Indian: Rubinstein Variation (4 e3)
Harikrishna-Ramesh, Torquay 2002 is another encounter in the so-called 'Karpov Variation', one of the most popular lines in the Nimzo. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nf3 c5 7 0-0 cxd4 8 exd4 dxc4 9 Bxc4 b6 10 Bg5 Bb7 Harikrishna played 11 Rc1, a move we've not come across so far on this website.(White's main move is 11 Re1 - see, for example, the famous game Kramnik-Kasparov, London 2000 (ECO code E54). He plays a logical but new idea on moves 13 and 14 and soon obtains a sizeable edge.
Nimzo-Indian: 4 f3
4 f3 was very popular around 10 years ago, when Alexei Shirov was playing it against very strong opposition. Could it be time for a comeback? The game Erdogan-Selbes, Ankara 2002 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 f3 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 cxd5 exd5 (7...Nxd5 is Black's normal move) 8 e3 Qc7!.
I believe that this is Black's most accurate move order as White now has to take care with development.
In Wells-Emms, Torquay 2002, we see the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 d6 5 Nc3 exd5 6 cxd5 g6 7 h3!?. The idea behind this move is to answer the natural developing move 7... Bg7 with 8 e4!, transposing into the Modern Classical Variation, without allowing ...Bg4 ideas. Instead I played my normal line 7...a6 8 a4 Qe7 but was hit by a powerful new idea on moves 13 and 14. After this I was always struggling to reach a playable position.
Modern Benoni: Fianchetto Variation
Zoler-Bar, Tel Aviv 2002 goes right down a main line of the Fianchetto Variation with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 g3 Bg7 8 Bg2 0-0 9 0-0 a6 10 a4 Nbd7 11 Nd2 Re8 12 h3 Rb8 13 Nc4
Here Black played the safer line beginning with 13...Nb6 (13...Ne5 is more complex - see Van Wely-Timman, Wijk aan Zee 2002 in ECO code A64). Play follows a pretty normal course before White plays a novelty on move 18 followed by an interesting exchange sacrifice. Black fails to solve the problems in this game, but I suspect that with careful play he should be okay.
We finish this month with another look at the line featured in the game Milicevic-Degraeve, Ontario 2002: 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 g6 4 Nc3 Bg7 5 e4 0-0 6 e5 Ng4 7 Ng5 Nh6 8 h4. I suspect that this line is just bad for Black and yet Degraeve, a strong Grandmaster, seems happy enough to play it and here he chalks up another win.
Remember, if you have any questions or remarks on the Benoni, Weird Benonis, Nimzo Indian, Queen's Indian or Bogo-Indian, I'd be glad to hear from you.
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