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Nimzo & Benoni Systems

with GM John Emms

Welcome to the wonderful world of Nimzo and Benoni Systems, a collection of dynamic and modern defences. From the popular and respectable Nimzo-Indian, the razor sharp Modern Benoni, the super solid Queen's Indian and Bogo-Indian, through to the downright outrageous Snake Benoni, this site is essential viewing for those with an interest in any of these lines.

What's Included?

The Launch Material provides you with an essential package on the two main openings on this site, that is the Nimzo-Indian Defence and the Modern Benoni Defence. This includes:

- A springboard for new ideas and stunning novelties

- Heroes and Slayers of the opening

- Historical games in a new light

- Success rates of the lines in practice

- Recommendations for White and Black

- The major tactics, tricks and traps

- Puzzles and Quizzes

- Reviews on Nimzo books and videos

- All the latest gossip...and much, much more!

Monthly Updates!

As well as all of this, each month new material on any of the above lines will be released to keep you bang up to date with all the essential new developments of your beloved chess openings. Important novelties from the latest Super Grandmaster tournaments will be analysed here in depth, with opinion, recommendations and feedback.

Statistics and Recommendations

Find out the success rates and my recommendations in all Nimzo and Benoni lines.

Heroes and Slayers

Who always wins with these openings? Who always beats these defences? Find out the favourite heroes and slayers here!

Traps and Puzzles

Discover the various tricks and test yourself in tactical positions from these openings.

Books and Videos

What's value for money and what's not! References and reviews on other material, including books and videos.


It's not just one way traffic, this is where you lot come in! Mail me your games, ideas, views and questions at

Nimzo & Benoni Systems

The Nimzo-Indian has been my favourite Defence to 1 d4 for a long time now, while I've also acquired extensive experience in the Modern Benoni and Queen's Indian. I've played the Bogo-Indian too, and although I've yet to take a plunge in a serious game with Weird Benonis, there's a first time for everything!

For a quick introduction click on one of these links:

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian


The most honourable defence to 1 d4! World Champions play it and theoreticians continually debate it. An opening played by the World's top players such as Carlsen, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand and Karpov, and before them Fischer, Botvinnik, Alekhine and Capablanca. Convinced? You should be.

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian

Modern Benoni

A razor sharp defence to 1 d4, the Modern Benoni appeals to those who like to live life on the edge. A favourite of the attacking legend Mikhail Tal, the Modern Benoni player accepts positional weaknesses for the kind of activity a stodgy defence can only dream about.

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian

"Weird Benonis"

This section deals with miscellaneous Benoni lines, with strange names, such as the Czech Benoni and the bizarre Snake Benoni, which have had their rare successes, without really ever threatening to become mainstream. As primary defences these are certainly not my recommended choices, but as one-off surprise weapons, well that's another matter entirely

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian

The Bogo-Indian

A sister of the Queen's Indian, the Bogo has also picked up a reputation as being "solid opening", and yet it's energetic enough for the likes of Vishy Anand and Mickey Adams to play it freely and successfully. Black develops quickly and efficiently, but White can look forward to a niggling space advantage. For Black, misplaying the Bogo can mean a slow and painful death. In the right hands. however, the Bogo is a fully viable defence at any standard.

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian

The Queen's Indian

An altogether quieter breed, the Queen's Indian is for those who take positional nuances seriously. Black is far less likely to get wiped off the board in under twenty moves, but then again he's even less likely to win in twenty moves. The Queen's Indian is very respectable, without being, shall we say, sexy?. However, this fact hasn't prevented it from being used at the very top level for many years.

Nimzo-Indian, Modern Benoni, Weird Benonis, Bogo-Indian, Queen's Indian