What's New- February 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.
It's been a month full of decisive games in the Modern Benoni. According to the data in The Week in Chess (issues 324-328) Black has scored 39%, with 10 wins, 17 losses and only 4 draws.
We start with perhaps the most exciting Benoni of this month. In the game Comas Fabrego-Akopian, Ubeda 2001,White tries a sideline of the Modern Classical Variation but is shocked, first by a pawn sacrifice and then by a piece sacrifice. Objectively speaking the soundness of the sac is questionable, but then again, even in the cold light of day there are no obvious ways for White to get an advantage.
We follow this with yet another look down the long main line of the Modern Classical Variation with 9...b5!?
In the game Seres - Vajda, Budapest 2001 White produces something rare on move 18 and by move 22 he has a winning position!
There were also many decisive results here in the last month. Out of 35 games, there were 17 White wins, 12 Black wins and only 6 draws (Black scored 43%).
We start with the game Timman - Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 2001, in which the Bulgarian Grandmaster finally suffers a reverse in a line he has played many times over the last year (1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 b5!?). Timman produces a rare but natural move to claim an edge out of the opening, but there were many adventures before the game was finally settled in the Dutchman's favour.
Next up is the game Roghani - Hamad, Fajr 2001, which is not particularly important in a theoretical sense (the game starts 1 d4 c5!? 2 d5 e5), but White's decisive attack at the end does have a nice flow to it.
It was a good month for White against the Queen's Indian. In 114 games, White scored 49 wins, 40 draws and 25 losses (61%). The number of games was boosted by a large number of Queen's Indians from a Computer Chess Match Tournament in Spain.
Concentrating on human encounters, we start with the game Timman - Anand, Wijk aan Zee 2001, in which the FIDE Champion follows a suggested improvement in the main ine of the 4 g3 variation and is rewarded for his good homework
In the game Kacheishvili - Sakaev, Linares 2001 the Russian Olympiad player Sakaev tries something slightly unusual against the classical 4 e3. However, White soon gets a very nice space advantage and White's winning combination later on is certainly worth another look.
Let me get this straight. In the January poll, omeone puts forward a Nimzo line with 4 e3 and 5 a3 (as in Aleksandrov - Balashov) that they would like to see in a survey and then the masses start jumping on the bandwagon. Yes even though no such line actually exists many of you were voting for it like it's going out of fashion. Mm... perhaps not an appropriate comparison but one can see why this world is in such a political mess (do people really read those boxes before putting an 'X'?).
Oh, well, the result is that this suggestion somehow made it to top (or near) of the polls and yours truly has been commissioned to do what I call a 'massive merger' on a 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 c5 6 a3 kind of Samisch line.
Actually it has given me my opportunity for a debut in the 'no (worded) comments' department as I follow a strict symbols only regime to summarise positions reached from this variation mainly played in the last two years.
On top of that fulfilled obligation you will find a typical Micky Adams positional masterpiece as he grinds down a Classical variation in the 6...Ne4 line.
An extremely "solid" month for the Nimzo. In 153 games, there were 47 White wins, 40 Black wins and an enormous 63 draws.
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