What's New- June 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.
It's been another month of decisive results in the Modern Benoni. A good month for Benoni players, who scored a very respectable 53% from The Week in Chess (issues 342-345). The statistics were 37 games, 15 Black wins, 9 draws and 13 White wins (once more draw comes bottom - the Modern Benoni is sharp both in theory and practice! Our one game this month sees some interesting developments in the Modern Classical Variation. The game Arlandi-Reinderman, Ohrid 2001, JUN01/03 starts with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 h3 Bg7 8 Nf3 0-0 9 Bd3 Nbd7 10 0-0 and now Black played 10...Nh5.
as recommended by John Watson in his book "The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni". Suddenly there have been three GM games in this line - word is spreading fast!
Another hugely solid month for the Queen's Indian, with the draw a massive top scorer (138 games, 36 White wins, 24 Black wins and a huge 78 draws). Some of these draws can be attributed to some "Grandmaster Draws" in the final couple of rounds in the European Individual Championship in Ohrid, but even so!
Van Wely-Iordachescu, Ohrid 2001, JUN01/04 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb7 a favourite of the English GM Adams. In fact this game follows an old game between Anand and Adams from three years ago.
Dautov-Istratescu, Ohrid 2001, JUN01/05 is brief but still interesting. Black rehashes an old idea in the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Qa4 c6 and gets a comfortable draw.
Finally, something a bit sharper in Tregubov-Ivanovic, Herceg Novi 2001, JUN01/06. After 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Nbd2 c5 6 e4 cxd4 7 e5 Black plays the rather cheeky 7...Ng8
... and doesn't live to tell the tale!
In Palliser-Plaskett, Hampstead 2001, JUN01/01, White plays the deceptively quiet Classical Variation 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 b6 3 c4 Bb7 4 e3!?, but soon injects some life into the proceedings with a powerful pawn sacrifice which may cause a major reassessment of a popular line. Many thanks to Richard Palliser for providing his thoughts on this game.
An okay month for Weird Benoni addicts (16 wins, 17 losses and a surprisingly solid 22 draws). Our one game this month is the amusing brevity Sakaev-Delchev, Ohrid 2001, JUN01/02, where the strong Russian GM scores a very easy point in the line 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 b5 4 Bg5.
Stats: 45 White wins, 60 draws, 38 Black wins.
I've noticed that on this site I've not yet tackled what some may consider to be the main line of the Classical variation (4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3) but that's changed this month with Sokolov-Hansen, JUN01/08 as I bring you two interesting Black piece sacrifices.
Alas in Sakaev-Vladimirov, JUN01/07 there is also no happy ending, as original thought is again rewarded with a loss. I can assure you that this won't always be the case though, so remember to stay tuned!
Bye for now.
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