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.
There's not too much hot new theory displayed this month, but Damaso-Bu Xiangzhi , Lisbon 2000 is of interest. In the Benoni White tries the tricky line with an early Bf4, which has caught out quite a few unsuspecting Benoni players. The World's youngest GM plays a risky line for Black, involving an early movement of the king, and is rewarded for his bravery.
Modern Benoni statistics for this month:
White wins: 6
Black wins: 7
Lots of decisive games in the Weird Benonis this month. From The Week in Chess 315-318 there were 34 games, including 15 white wins, 11 black wins and only 8 draws (White scored 56%).
In the game Arkell-Summerscale, British Rapidplay, Leeds 2000 we continue our coverage of the highly topical line 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 b5!? On this occasion there is another twist in that after 4 Bg5 Black plays 4 Qb6.
Is this another headache for White in this line?
In Shabalov-Wojtkiewicz, Philadelphia 2000, White tries an unusual move early on in the main line of the Schmid Benoni, and is rewarded with the full point after a tactical melee.
Sakaev-Volkov, FIDE World Championship, New Delhi 2000 is our first look at a move order option for White. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 e6 White has no need to return to the Modern Benoni with 4 c4, but can instead simply develop with 4 Nc3
Now Black normally plays 4...exd5, which probably grants White a tiny edge. Here Volkov tries something more ambitious, offering a sacrifice with 4 b5!?
We start this month`s coverage with the game Bates-H.Hunt, British League 2000/1, where Black is successful (after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3) with Adorjan's 5...b5, which has featured here before.
In Lalic-Mateo, Lisbon 2000 we stay with 4 g3 Ba6, taking another look at 5 Qb3. On this occasion, however, White answers 5 Nc6 with the "normal" 6 Nbd2 and an early mistake by Black is punished quite severely.
Queen's Indian statistics for this month:
White wins: 27
Black wins: 24
Nimzo-Indian statistics for this month:
White wins: 30
Black wins: 29
Three Xmas crackers for you this month. Actually I'm getting quite a taste for Nimzo miniatures. Sure I'll cover more theoretical tussles in 2001 but for now let's get into the festive spirit!
Okay, Happy New Year and that sort of thing!
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