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January 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.

Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian


Modern Benoni (JE)

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..

Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian


Queen's Indian (JE)

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,

Draws: 30

(White scored 58%)

Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian


The Nimzo (CW)

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!?).

Nimzo-Indian Stats:

116 games,

41 White wins,

49 draws,

26 Black wins

(White scores 56%)

Bye! Chris

Modern Benoni

Queen's Indian


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