What's New- January 2002 Update
GM John Emms rounds up the latest in these Nimzo and Benoni Systems.
If you want to see if there is anything new in one of your favourite lines, then go to ChessPub.exe, put the date on, say, 15th January 2002, and then click on 'Nimzo and Benoni', over on the right. All these games should appear!
We begin in the hugely theoretical main line of the Fianchetto Variation in the game Van Wely-Timman, Wijk aan Zee 2002, JAN02/01: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 Bg2 Bg7 8 Nf3 0-0 9 0-0 a6 10 a4 Re8 11 Nd2 Nbd7 12 h3 Rb8 13 Nc4 Ne5 14 Na3 Nh5 15 e4 Rf8!?
I believe it was Timman who first came up with this move of 15...Rf8, preparing ...f7-f5, many years ago. The final word seemed to follow a famous old Korchnoi-Kasparov encounter. Even though Kasparov won brilliantly, later analysis cast doubt on Black's idea. I wonder what Timman has up his sleeve?
Modern Benoni: Unusual Lines
In the game Kogan-Jenal, Zurich 2001, JAN02/07 we take another look at the new white try 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nf3 g6 7 Qa4+!?
This move is very new and there has been only half a dozen games or so with it, so it's difficult to make a concrete assessment of it.
In Ivanisevic-Mitkov, Skopje 2002, JAN02/06 play goes down a critically sharp line of the 4 Qc2 variation: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 Ne4 7 Qc2 c5 8 dxc5 Nc6 9 cxd5 exd5 10 Nf3 Bf5 11 b4 0-0
and now White played 12 Qb2!? (the normal move is 12 Bb2). This move hasn't been played much before. White simply moves his queen away from the same diagonal as the black bishop.
In the game Tsai-Donaldson, Seattle 2002, JAN02/02 we take a look at the main line of the Qc2 Nimzo with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 b6 7 Bg5 Bb7. On move fifteen Black unleashed a little trick which nets him a crucial pawn.
Nimzo-Indian: Rubinstein 4 e3
In the game Gulko-Shabalov, Seattle 2002, JAN02/03, White played 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 a3!?, forcing Black to make an early decision with his bishop. Gulko is very fond of this idea, which leads to a very dynamically balanced position.
In the game Barsov-Zhang Zhong, Hastings 2001/02, JAN02/04 we see the following line: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 b6 5 Bg5 Bb7 6 Nd2. This move (6 Nd2) has become trendy in the last few years (the old move is 6 e3) and in this game we can see why. White soon builds up a very promising position.
Queen's Indian: 4 g3 variation
In the game Tregubov-Van der Wiel, Wijk aan Zee 2002, JAN02/05, White plays the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Qa4.
5 Qa4 has traditionally been less popular than 5 b3 or 5 Nbd2, but white players are now starting to turn to this possibility. In this game White comes up with a reasonably fresh idea on move twelve and is soon controlling matters.
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 John at