What's New (February 2002 Update)
GM John Emms rounds up the latest in these Nimzo and Benoni Systems.
All this month's new games are easily downloaded in PGN format using ChessPub.exe, go to ChessPub.exe, put the date on, say, 2nd March 2002, and then click on 'Nimzo and Benoni', over on the right. All these games should appear!
The updated eBooks can be found at the eBooks Download Page.
Philip Ferguson writes:
I want to develop a tactical response to 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3. White players who know this opening well have burned me a few times as I don't know the 'normal' responses that well. What I have researched about the Colle seems to imply that I have to settle for a slow positional game. As I'm a 1700 player who prefers tactical play (I play a lot of gambits), I wanted something with more zing!
The ...b5 Benoni (1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 b5) appealed to me a lot. However, a Colle-ish player would play 2 Nf3 c5 3 e3 or the like, rather than pushing with d4-d5. This prevents ...b5 and gets into territory where I'd feel lost and at a disadvantage. Do you have a recommendation there?
This is a very good point. It's sometimes frustrating when White adopts such a passive but solid opening, preferring to leave the tactical battle until much later in the game. A dose of realism is required here. Unfortunately, there is no magical sequence of moves which leads to tactical fireworks. If White really isn't very interested in 'mixing it up' early on, then Black just has to be patient. At some point the game should become tactical and this is when you'll have your chance.
That said, it's worthwhile learning a flexible system against the Colle and this is what I'm advocating here. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 e3 I think Black should continue in Benoni style with 3...g6.
Have a look at Anti-Colle in [A48] for some theory on this move.
Two games this month, both concentrating on the ...Bg4 lines of the Classical Variation, see [A75].
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0 a6 10.a4 Bg4 11.Bf4
These days Black usually prefers to exchange on f3 immediately, but there are alternatives. In Akhmetov-Bu Xiangzhi, Moscow 2002 Black opts to harass the bishop on f4 with 11...Nh5, while in Tosic-Brenjo, Leskovac 2002 Black goes for the older line with 11...Re8. Black is doing okay in both these games (although he is certainly a bit fortunate to win the first one!).
Iskusnyh-Zvjaginsev, Moscow 2002 is another example of the so-called Karpov Variation, [E54]: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.e3 0-0 6.Bd3 c5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4 dxc4 9.Bxc4 b6
in which White accepts the isolated d-pawn. We've already seen plenty of examples of this line on this site. On this occasion White plays a slightly unusual 11th move but errs soon after and the rest of the game is exquisite technique from the Nimzo player.
Divljan-Bluvshtein, Montreal 2002 sees the line 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Nge2. This is one of White's main replies to 4...c5. With 5 Nge2 White prevents Black from inflicting the doubled pawn complex. White's idea is simply to play a2-a3 and recapture on c3 with the knight, giving White the advantage of having the bishop pair, see [E42].
Nimzo-Indian: Sämisch Variation
In Murali Krishnan-Prasad, Nagpur 2002, [E24], White immediately puts the question to the bishop with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3. The positions arising from this move are often very sharp and this game is no exception. White takes on the weak doubled pawns, but it's no good for Black to win these if he's getting mated on the other wing!
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.
Please e-mail me at