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What's New (August 2003 update)

Hi Everyone! This month we take a look at games in the Nimzo Indian, Modern Benoni and Queen's Indian.


Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian

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 August '03 Nimzo and Benoni games directly in PGN form, click here: Download Games

Nimzo Indian Sämisch Variation (4 a3)

Leo Martinez asks about a particular line in the Sämisch Nimzo that goes 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 a3 Bxc3+ 5 bxc3 c5 6 e3 0-0 7 Bd3 Nc6 8 Ne2 b6 9 e4 Ne8 10 e5 (10 0-0 is normal) 10...Ba6 11 Qc2 h6 12 g4!?

In my book Easy Guide to the Nimzo-Indian I was unfairly dismissive of this move. My opinion was that 'in the cold light of day, it's difficult to believe such a move.' However, after looking at it again five years later I've been forced to change my opinion to 'it's very dangerous - Black could easily get mated!' I'd even go as far as saying that 10...Ba6 may be queried. Click here for my analysis of this position.

Nimzo Indian Classical Variation (4 Qc2)

We stay with sharp lines in the game Xu Yuanyuan-Vijayalakshmi, Calicut 2003, which begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4

My respect for this still relatively unexplored move is increasing every time I see it. White plays with great ambition by grabbing the centre. Black must somehow try to exploit a lead in development, but that is easier said than done.

Next up is the game Bozinovic - Gaspariants, Biel 2003, which goes 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 cxd5 exd5 (the safer alternative is 5...Qxd5) 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bh4 8 dxc5 Nc6 9 e3 g5!? 10 Bg3 Qa5

So far on this site we've checked out 11 Nge2 and 11 Nf3, but here White opts for a third possibility in 11 Bd3!? - a natural-looking move that is actually quite rare. Watch out for a dramatic queen sacrifice at the end of this game.

Nimzo Indian Flexible Variation (4 Nf3)

The game Jobava - Barsov, Abu Dhabi begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 0-0!?

Strangely enough, this is the first time this natural-looking move has appeared on this website. Previously we have only considered the more popular 4...b6 and 4...c5.


Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni Flick-Knife Attack

I make no apologies for yet again including a game with the 'infamous' Flick-Knife Attack. There are still many unanswered questions in this line. In the game Piceu - Stellwagen, Vlissingen 2003 we get the long theoretical line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 Bb5+ Nbd7 9 e5 dxe5 10 fxe5 Nh5 11 e6 Qh4+ 12 g3 Nxg3 13 hxg3 Qxh1 14 Be3 Bxc3+ 15 bxc3 a6 16 exd7+ Bxd7 17 Bxd7+ Kxd7

Now White plays 18 Qf3. In earlier games I criticised this move but perhaps I was being a little unfair, especially since 18 Qb3 (see, for example, Bromberger-Smerdon, Goa 2002) doesn't seem to be such bad news for Black. Nevertheless, given the state of Black's king, it does seem more logical to keep the ladies on the board.

Modern Benoni 7 Qa4+!?

The encounter Levin - Dambacher, Dieren 2003 goes 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nf3 g6 7 Qa4+!?

White's idea is to disrupt Black's normal development with this check coupled with a quick attack on the d6-pawn with Bf4. This move has only cropped up in the last few years and, after some initial success for White, the signs are that Black players are coming to grips with it.

Queen's Indian 4 e3

Finally this month we have the game Adler - Cvitan, Biel 2003, which begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 e3 Bb7 5 Bd3 c5 6 0-0 Be7 7 Nc3 cxd4 8 exd4 d5 9 cxd5 Nxd5

Seemingly we have a typical Isolated Queen's Pawn (IQP) position in front of us but in fact Black must be more careful than usual as White can drum up an immediate and dangerous initiative with the following moves: 10 Ne5! 0-0 11 Qh5 Nf6 12 Qh4. White has managed to activate his pieces incredibly quickly and the queen is impressively placed on h4. Black now has to tread a very thin line and avoid the various tricks and traps.


Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian

Till next time,

John Emms