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Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3 d5 [E40]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 d5:
A number of grandmasters have used the 4...d5 move order in recent years. It gives Black an extra option against 5 Nge2, that is 5...dxc4 instead of 5...0–0.
5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 is the usual recommendation for White, who tries to force the Botvinnik-Capablanca pawn structure by trading pawns on d5. However, in Aleksandrov - Yu Yangyi, Dubai 2014, Black had other ideas and unleashed 6...c6!? 7 Bd3 e5!?:
This is another idea from the creative mind of GM Bojan Kurajica.
Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3 0-0 5 Nge2 [E46]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0–0 5 Nge2 c6!?:
We've seen this move before on this site. The idea is to make sure the bishop can retreat and stay on the b8-h2 diagonal, something which it is unable to do in the main line, 5...d5 6 a3 Bd6 7 c5 Be7. After 6 a3 Ba5 White usually pushes with b2-b4. In Donchenko - Gonda, Balatonboglar 2014, White doesn't do so, and after 7 Ng3 d5 8 Bd3 dxc4 9 Bxc4 c5! Black is already fine.
Nimzo-Indian: Karpov Variation [E54]
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 cxd4 9 cxd4 b6 10 Qe2 Bb7 11 Rd1:
Recent games have demonstrated two rare but perfectly viable-looking alternatives to the main lines 11...Bxc3 12 bxc3 Qc7 and 11...Nbd7 in this tabiya position:
a) 11...h6!? is very rare for this actual position, but similar examples have cropped up recently in IQP positions as more players appear willing to spend a move preventing Bg5. See Agdestein - Kramnik, Stavanger 2014, for details.
b) 11...Bxc3 12 bxc3 Nd5!? is yet another option for Black. See Demuth - Ruck, Ruzomberok 2014.
Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 [E54]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e3 0–0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nf3 b6:
With 6...b6 Black signals his intentions to enter the Tal Variation, which is reached after 7 0–0 Bb7. However, White has an option here to bypass the line entirely with the move order 7 a3!? – see Flear - Gajewski, Saint-Quentin 2014, for details.
Nimzo-Indian: 4 Qc2 c5 [E39]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 c5 5 dxc5 0–0 6 Nf3 Na6 7 g3 Nxc5 8 Bg2 Nce4 9 0–0 Nxc3 10 bxc3 Bc5!?:
This rare move could just transpose to the main line with 10...Be7, but it doesn't have to as demonstrated in Omar - Bologan, FIDE World Blitz, Dubai 2014.
Nimzo-Indian: 4 f3 d5 5 a3 Bd6 [E20]
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 f3 d5 5 a3 Bd6:
Finally this month, here's an interesting alternative for Black to 5...Bxc3+ and 5...Be7. There are numerous gambit ideas for Black after 5...Bd6 – see Korobov - Moradiabadi, FIDE World Rapid, Dubai 2014, for analysis.
Till next time, John
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