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Hi subscribers,

It's been a depressing month for mankind as Mickey goes down 5½-½ to Hydra, who now has +11, =3 against top-class grandmasters. The challenge is on: who is going to be the first GM to beat Hydra (in one game I mean, not a match - get serious!). As for David Levy suggesting that odds matches against computers will be the way forward in the future for the world's elite, you've got to be kidding!

Luckily for me none of the Adams-Hydra games contained openings from this section, but even so the rise of the machines is evident in one of our games below. This month we look at games from the Nimzo-Indian, Queen's Indian and Modern Benoni. Enjoy!

Remember, if you have any opinions, ideas or questions, please either make yourself heard at the Forum (the link above on the right) or subscribers can email me at

Download PGN of June '05 Nimzo and Benoni games

Nimzo-Indian Classical Variation: 4 Qc2 c5

We kick off this month with the game L'Ami-Macieja, Warsaw 2005: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 c5 5 dxc5 0-0 6 a3 Bxc5:

This line is a favourite of Macieja's. His quickest ever win in this line (I'm guessing but I think it's a good guess!) went 7 Bg5?? Bxf2+! 0-1, Krush-Macieja, Internet (blitz) 2000, a game which sneakily appeared on this website!. In this game White 'improves' with 7 Nf3 but Macieja springs a powerful novelty.

Nimzo-Indian Classical Variation: 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4

Next up it's Woodward - Wells, British League 2005: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 d5 6 e5 Ne4 7 a3 Bxc3+ 8 bxc3 c5:

is fast becoming the most critical line of the 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 variation. Black has found it difficult finding equality in these complex lines, but Wells's play looks quite promising.

Nimzo-Indian 4 f3

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 f3 is back in vogue these days (perhaps Yakovich's book has something to do with this). In Cox - Wells, Coventry 2005 the English GM employs a line introduced by Eduardas Rozentalis: 4...d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c6!?:

At first sight it looks very passive, but Black has a cast-iron plan of ...b7-b6 and ...Ba6. The point of ...c7-c6 is to recapture after cxd5 with the c-pawn thus keeping two pawns rather than one in the centre.

Nimzo-Indian 4 e3 0-0 5 Nge2

Zaiatz - Peptan, Chisinau 2005 goes 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Nge2 (this has become quite trendy amongst the world's elite recently) 5...d5 6 a3 Bd6!?:

In the past this was thought to be a bit provocative as it does, after all, invite White to play c4-c5 with tempo. However, recent games have shown that Black doesn't have to worry about this, and in other lines (cxd5, ...exd5) the bishop is more aggressively placed on d6.

Modern Benoni: Modern Classical Variation

1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 e6 4 c4 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 Nc3 g6 7 e4 Bg7 8 h3 0-0 9 Bd3 b5:

Despite various attempts to rehabilitate other lines, 9...b5 remains the critical way of meeting the Modern Classical. In the game Nebolsina - Zhang Jilin, Wuxi 2005 White tries an unusual line with 10 Nxb5 Nxe4?! (10...Re8 is the more accurate move order) 11 Bxe4 Re8 12 0-0?! (12 Ng5!) 12...Rxe4 13 Ng5! and reached a very strong position after a powerful novelty on move 18.

Queen's Indian 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3

Shulman - Onischuk, Stillwater 2005 goes down the sharp main line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 b3 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 Be7 7 Bg2 c6 8 Bc3 d5 9 Ne5 Nfd7 10 Nxd7 Nxd7 11 Nd2 0-0 12 0-0 Rc8 13 e4 c5:

The game follows theory for many moves until a draw is agreed on move 27. However, White misses a big tactical chance on move 24 which would have simply won the game. If White had seen the little known computer clash Rebel Tiger 12.0e-Fritz 6a, Cadaques 2000, he could have simply copied the moves played in this game!

Finally, it's Varchenko - Andreev, Alushta 2005. Not a critically important game theoretically speaking, but a nice example of how Black can punish White for playing an early exchange on d5.

That's it for this month. Next month will include a look at the Flick-Knife Attack in the Modern Benoni: 8 Bb5+ Nfd7 with Black playing an early ...Qh4+.

Till next month.