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What's New- October 2001

GM John Emms rounds up the latest in these Nimzo and Benoni Systems.

Modern Benoni


Queen's Indian

Hi everyone!

First of all, I'd like to say a big thank you to Chris Ward for his help in hosting the Nimzo-Indian part of the site. I'm taking back the reins now, although don't rule out Chris popping back for an occasional appearance!

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 October 2001, and then click on 'Nimzo and Benoni', over on the right. All these games should appear!

Modern Benoni: Avoiding the Flick-Knife?

Doug Schwetke from Arlington, Texas writes:

' I noticed a game Khan-Parkanyi on your site with the move 6...a6. A master friend of mine suggested that this was a move order to avoid the Flick-Knife. As ...a6 is a normal move in the Benoni it may not be out of place. Do you consider this a good idea for Black when White doesn't play Nf3 and how should White respond?'

A very interesting point, which I hadn't paid much attention to before now. If Black can play a Benoni without allowing the dreaded Flick-Knife Attack (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 Bb5), then things are looking very rosy indeed! So the idea is to play the move order

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 a6!?

I found 74 examples of this move in MegaBase 2001: it's been tried over the years by players such as Kavalek, Reshevsky and Lombardy, so it deserves some respect. Click here for my analysis on this line.

Modern Benoni: Old Classical Variation

Moving onto quieter waters, the game Biolek-Sikorova, Tatras 2001, OCT01/02, is a Classical with ...Na6. It shows a nice e4-e5 central breakthrough by White in a game where Black slightly mistimes his queenside counterplay.

(Modern Benoni Stats this month: 41 games, 25 white wins, 8 draws, 8 black wins)

Modern Benoni


Queen's Indian

Nimzo Indian: Classical Variation

Whenever Kasparov dabbles in a new line there's bound to be interest, and this is exactly the case here. The game Dao Thien Hai-Kasparov, Batumi 2001, OCT01/06, begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 cxd5 exd5

Apart from in a couple of blitz games against Kramnik, this is the first time Kasparov has played 4...d5 against the Classical. 5...Qxd5 has been more popular in recent times, but predictably Kasparov heads for the complications of 5...exd5. Disappointingly for the punters, Dao Thien Hai avoids the critical main lines, but characteristically Kasparov still manages to create complications.

If you're looking for a complications, then Jedynak-Thorfinnsson, Panormo 2001, OCT01/07, is where the action is! The line in question is the controversial 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 Ne4 7 Qc2 Nc6 8 e3 e5 9 cxd5 Qxd5 10 Bc4 Qa5+ 11 b4 Nxb4 12 Qxe4 Nc2+ 13 Ke2 Qe1+ 14 Kf3 Nxa1 15 Bb2 0-0 16 Kg3.

Here Black tried to improve on an old game but fails badly. That's not the end of the action though, as both players make mistakes before White eventually prevails.

Nimzo Indian: Rubinstein Variation

Struk-Abdulla, Hamburg 2001, OCT01/08, is an example of the popular 'Karpov Variation' -

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Nf3 d5 6 Bd3 c5 7 0-0 cxd4 8 exd4 dxc4 9 Bxc4 b6

This line, giving White the isolated queen's pawn (IQP) is a particular favourite of Anatoly Karpov, who has used it with success throughout his career. More recently it has also been utilised by Garry Kasparov.

Nimzo/Queen's Indian Hybrid

Campos Moreno-Adams, Cala Galdana 2001, OCT01/05, starts 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 b6 5 Qb3 c5

We've already looked at this hybrid between the Nimzo and the Queen's Indian a few times (see, for example, Sokolov-Emms in ChessPub - ECO code E21). In this game White plays the logical 6 a3, but soon fell into a line which is known to be good for Black.

(Nimzo Stats: 114 games, 37 white wins, 45 draws, 32 black wins)

Modern Benoni


Queen's Indian

Queen's Indian: 4 a3

In Mitkov-Berzinsh, Panormo 2001, OCT01/03, we see the popular line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 a3 Ba6 5 Qc2 Bb7 6 Nc3 c5 7 e4 cxd4 8 Nxd4 Nc6 9 Nxc6 Bxc6

White doesn't play the opening as accurately as he could, but Black's exploitation of this is a real treat.

Queen's Indian: 4 e3

In Lputian-Sakaev, Yerevan 2001, OCT01/04, White plays the deceptively quiet 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 e3. We've come across this unpretentious system a couple of times before. It doesn't look like much of a threat to Black but there are some tricky lines. White aims for a quick kingside development.

(Queen's Indian Stats: 84 games, 23 white wins, 38 draws, 23 black wins)

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, I'd be glad to hear from you.

Please e-mail John at