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What's New (September 2002 Update)

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


Modern Benoni

Hi everyone!

All this month's new games are easily downloaded in PGN format using ChessPub.exe, but to download the September '02 Nimzo and Benoni games directly in PGN form, click here: Download Games

Nimzo-Indian: Classical Variation (4 Qc2)

We kick off this month's action with the game Bareev-Short, Russia vs. Rest of the World, Moscow 2002: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3, and now 6...dxc4!?

is Short's idea, which he had worked out for his 1993 PCA World Championship match with Kasparov. So far no one has proved any advantage for White. In this game, though, Bareev comes up with a serious novelty that puts the ball firmly back in Black's court.

Van Wely-Palo, Halkidiki 2002 sees the very sharp line 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 c5 5 dxc5 Na6 6 a3 Bxc3+ 7 Qxc3 Nxc5 8 b4 Nce4 9 Qd4 d5 10 c5 b6 11 f3 bxc5 12 bxc5 Qa5+ 13 Qb4 Qc7 14 fxe4 Rb8 15 Qa4+ Bd7 16 c6 0-0

We have already come across this line once on this website (for 17 Bd2 see Shirov, A - Lautier, J/Biel 1991 - ECO code E38). In this game Van Wely plays the previously untried 17 exd5!?. The Dutch GM goes on to win the game, although I suspect that Black should be okay with best play.

Nimzo-Indian: Rubinstein Variation 4 e3

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 c5

is a very common move order in the Nimzo-Indian. White normally plays 6 Nf3, 6 Ne2 or 6 a3, but in the game Tunur-Gaprindashvili, Kocaeli 2002, White plays the unusual 6 d5!?, which was twice used by Korchnoi in a world championship match against Karpov. Recently, the Swiss GM Vadim Milov has been using it too. Black responded with the critical 6...b5!?, offering a pawn in order to develop a large centre.

Nimzo-Indian: Saemisch Variation

Rudelis-Donaldson, Las Vegas 2002 begins 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 a3 Bxc3+ 5 bxc3 and now, instead of the normal 5...c5, Black plays 5...b6

and proceeds to make an early attack on White's c4-pawn with ...Ba6 and ...Nc6-a5. This plan works to perfection in this game.


Modern Benoni

Modern Benoni: Mikenas Attack

The Mikenas Variation, which we have come across before once or twice on this site, is not as likely to give White a long-lasting advantage as the Flick-Knife, but is dangerous all the same.

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 Bg7 8 e5 Nfd7 9 Ne4 dxe5 10 Nd6+ Ke7 11 Nxc8+ Qxc8 12 Nf3 Re8 13 fxe5

is known as the main line. Before on this site we have seen Black playing 13...Nxe5, but in Nakamura-De Firmian, San Francisco 2002 Black plays 13...Kf8!?. I believe that this should be okay for Black, but in the game Black makes an inaccuracy and soon ends up in trouble.

Modern Benoni: Modern Classical Variation

In the game Lautier-Vaisser, Val d'Isere 2002 we once again look at the crucial line beginning 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 Nf3 Bg7 8 h3 0-0 9 Bd3 b5!?.

After 10 Nxb5 Vaisser tries 10...Nxe4?!, a move that was deemed unplayable more than a decade ago after a strong novelty by the American GM Lev Alburt. As far as I can see, nothing in this game alters the general opinion that White is clearly better.

And finally, in Shulman-Langer, Las Vegas 2002, we see a more restrained approach from Black with 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 c5 3 d5 e6 4 Nc3 exd5 5 cxd5 d6 6 e4 g6 7 Bd3 Bg7 8 h3 0-0 9 Nf3 Nh5 10 0-0 Nd7

Ever since this way of combating the Modern Classical was advocated by John Watson in The Gambit Guide to the Modern Benoni, there's been a surge of interest in this line. Results so far have been reasonably encouraging for Black.


Modern Benoni

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.

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