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.
Resultswise, it's been a very good month for the Modern Benoni. From The Week in Chess 319-323: Black scored 11 wins, 7 draws and 9 losses (54%). However, in both the most theoretically important games Black didn't score the full point. We begin with the game Yakovich - Handke, Stockholm 2000/1, in which White tries the tricky 7 Bf4 line (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 d5 d6 5 Nc3 exd5 6 cxd5 g6 7 Bf4!?)
This is one of White's most underrated lines against the Modern Benoni and Black must proceed with great care. In this game Black tries a popular pawn sacrifice but Yakovich is more than ready.
In the GM encounter Savchenko - Berelovich, Zadar 2000, Black once more tries the dodgy looking 8...Nbd7 against the famous Flick-Knife Attack (1 d4 e6 2 c4 Nf6 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 Bb5+ Nbd7!?). Despite its obvious great risk, there is still no clear refutation..
We start with the trendy 4 a3 Variation. In the game Koehler - Zeller, Boblinger 2000 , Black gives a model demonstration of how the "hedgehog" formation should be handled from Black's point of view.
In Wells - Rowson, York 2000, White plays a very strange idea in a line which could become very fashionable. The game went 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 b6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 Bb7 and here White played 7 Nd2!?.
Spielmann - Eperjesi, Budapest 2000, is not particularly theoretical. However, it does contain some interest, particularly in White's caveman approach to attacking Black's king.
We finish with the game Piket - Feygin, Bundesliga 2000/1. Black tries the line 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb7 6 Bg2 Bb4+, with which Michael Adams had success against Morovic in the recent Istanbul Olympiad. However, in this game White is much more successful.
Queen's Indian statistics for this month have been:
White wins: 30,
Black wins: 17,
(White scored 58%)
What's New In The Nimzo?
Well welcome to next year (er this year, whatever!). A couple of recent games for you here in January. Firstly I have observed that after 4 Qc2, many people are getting confused and playing 4...b6?!. I'm sure that this is a mistake and I believe the game Popovic - Stojanovic (plus notes) proves that.
Remaining on the theme of the big centre and the bishop pair in the middlegame a hot (or at least pretty warm!) off the press 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 c5 6 Ne2 encounter, JE213, may also provide you with some instructive entertainment (if not complain to the boss and they might bring in someone else!?).
41 White wins,
26 Black wins
(White scores 56%)
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