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Something completely different this month - a glance at an opening not previously covered on! (My thanks go to IM Larry Remlinger for the suggestion).

Download PGN of January '12 Nimzo and Benoni games

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The Dzindzi-Indian 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 Bxc3+!? 5 bxc3 f5 [A40]

1 d4 g6 2 c4 Bg7 3 Nc3 c5 4 d5 Bxc3+!? 5 bxc3 f5:

This line is usually named after the grandmaster and two-time US Champion Roman Dzindzichashvili, who pioneered the defence in the 1980s. It looks like a strange cocktail of the Benoni, Dutch and Nimzo-Indian!

Black's decision to capture on c3 unbalances the position in a way he couldn't hope to do otherwise, and for this reason the Dzindzi-Indian is an effective line to play as Black if you are desperate to win. One practical advantage from Black's point of view is that quiet responses by White tend to be at best unchallenging and sometime much worse than that, so the Dzindzi-Indian can be a successful choice against timid players.

The follow-up of ...f5 is designed to avoid giving White a free hand in the centre.

Black will usually try to keep the position as closed as possible, and then exploit White's obvious structural weaknesses on the queenside. An example of a successful Black strategy is seen in Handler - Kozul, Graz 2011, where White's 6 Nf3 and subsequent play leaves Black with little to fear.

Generally speaking, White should be in a hurry to open the position, and the critical tries against the Dzindzi-Indian usually involve some form of gambit. One of these is 6 e4!? fxe4 7 f3:

White basically treats the position like a Dutch, and plays a Staunton-type gambit. In fact 7...exf3?! (see Navara - Rozmbersky, Czechia 2001) is simply too risky, as White gets a very favourable version of the Staunton Gambit.

Much wiser is 7...Nf6! 8 fxe4 and now either 8...Qa5 9 Qc2 d6 (see Onischuk - Sokolov, Viernheim 1995) or the immediate 8...d6 (see Liascovich - Tristan, Mar del Plata 2007), although even here Black must play accurately and White has some chances to keep an advantage.

Another aggressive option for White is 6 h4!?:

The h2-h4 lunge is seen in a few Leningrad Dutch lines, and here it's more enticing because Black no longer has his dark-squared bishop. The main line runs 6...Nf6 7 h5 Rg8 8 hxg6 hxg6 and here White has more than one option:

Possibly the most violent try is 9 g4!?, which can cause Black serious problems if he doesn't know how to respond. However, Black's play in Bunzmann - Okhotnik, France 2002, beginning with 9...Qa5!, seems quite convincing to me.

Also possible for White is the strange-looking 9 Qa4!?, which has been used successfully by one or two very strong players and is certainly more challenging than it initially appears. See Shishkin - Klimov, St Petersburg 2008, for an example of the problems Black can face here.

Finally, 6 g4!? is yet another violent attempt against the Dzindzi-Indian:

This is probably not quite as critical as 6 e4 or 6 h4, as long as Black remembers to meet 6...fxg4 7 h3 with the typical Dutch response 7...g3!. See the game Bazart - Okhotnik, Creon 2008, for more details.

Till next time, John

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