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There's more Nimzo-Indian action in this update, including two games involving Kramnik from June's Tal Memorial in Moscow, together with some developments in the sharp 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 lines.

Download PGN of June '13 Nimzo and Benoni games

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Nimzo-Indian: 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 d5 [E32]

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 d5:

We begin with Kramik's pet line of the Nimzo, in which he always seems to be immaculately prepared. Mamedyarov - Kramnik, Moscow 2013, is certainly no different. After 7 Nf3 dxc4 8 Qxc4 b6 9 Bg5 Ba6 10 Qa4 Kramnik chose the rare 10...Qd7!? and used very little time on the clock to secure an easy draw.

Nadera - Sasikiran, Manila 2013, diverged with 7 Bg5 c5!?, Wojtaszek's gambit and Black's main alternative to 7...dxc4:

Nadera declined the gambit with 8 Nf3, but Sasikiran's response looks very convincing to me.

Nimzo-Indian: 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 [E32]

The theory of 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 is continuing to move forward at pace. The main line here remains 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 d5 6 e5 Ne4 7 Bd3 c5 8 Nf3 cxd4 9 Nxd4 Nd7 10 Bf4, and in two recent GM games Black varied from the usual 10...Nc5.

In Navara - Swiercz, Haguenau 2013, Black chose 10...Qh4 11 g3 Qh5. Navara seemed to be well prepared, and although this line looks okay for Black, he does need to defend accurately.

Anand - Kramnik, Moscow 2013, appears much more comfortable from Black's point of view. 10...Qb6 is more or less a novelty - I could find only one previous game with it. Once again Kramnik gets a fairly painless draw, although perhaps Anand missed a chance to make things a bit harder for Black.

In Zhigalko - Fedorchuk, Legnica 2013, Black chooses 5...d6, and after 6 e5 dxe5 7 dxe5 he plays 7...Nfd7 (the most popular choice is 7...Ng4).

He soon gets into trouble after White's stunning idea on move 11, but earlier I think there's an opportunity for Black to reach a perfectly okay position.

Nimzo-Indian: Parma Variation [E55]

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nf3 c5 7 0-0 dxc4 8 Bxc4 Nbd7 9 a3 Ba5:

This bishop retreat has been played quite a few times, most notably by Carlsen and Adams (the main line is 9...cxd4 10 axb4 dxc3 11 bxc3 Qc7). In Tomashevsky - Zhigalko, Kiev 2013, White continued 10 Qe2 a6 and now the paradoxical 11 dxc5!? gave White a completely winning position after only seven more moves, albeit with a little help from the opponent! See the notes to this game for the idea behind Tomashevsky's move.

Nimzo-Indian: Kasparov Variation [E21]

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 0-0 5 Bg5 c5:

Finally this month, an interesting idea for White in the Kasparov Variation. White most often meets 4...0-0 with 5 Bg5 and then 5...c5 with 6 e3, just like Kasparov himself did when he faced this line against Karpov. However, 6 Rc1 looks like a promising alternative for White - see Bacrot - Inkiov, Haguenau 2013, for details.

Till next time, John

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