ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
This month's update includes some new ideas and action in a variety of lines from the Nimzo-Indian and Queen's Indian.

Download PGN of June ’16 Nimzo and Benoni games

>> Previous Update >>

Nimzo-Indian: 4 Nf3 0-0 5 Bg5 [E21]

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Nf3 0-0 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 c5 7 Rc1!?:

We've seen this rook move before, albeit after 5...c5. Supporting the c3-knight in this way takes the sting out of any ...Qa5 ideas, and the pin on the f6-knight remains an annoyance for Black. Meeting ...c5 with Rc1 looks like a good alternative to e3, and certainly White had all the fun in Aronian - Caruana, Leuven 2016.

Nimzo-Indian: 4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 d5 [E32]

4 Qc2 0-0 5 e4 d5 6 e5 Ne4 7 Bd3 c5 8 Nge2 cxd4 9 Nxd4 Nd7 10 Bf4:

This is probably the main line after 5 e4. In this position 10...Ndc5 remains Black's most popular choice, but 10...Qh4!? is a good alternative for Black, and now 11 g3 Qh3 12 0-0-0:

Previously we've looked at 12...Nxc3 here, but 12...Bxc3!? 13 bxc3 Nb6 worked well for Black in a recent game. See Miron - Medvegy, Zalakaros 2016, for analysis.

Nimzo-Indian: Botvinnik-Capablanca Variation 14...h5 [E49]

4 f3 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 cxd5 exd5 8 e3 0-0 9 Bd3 b6 10 Ne2 Ba6 11 0-0 Bxd3 12 Qxd3 Re8 13 Ng3 Nc6 14 Bb2 h5:

This is a position we looked at last month, where Navara played the strong over-the-board novelty 15 e4!, demonstrating that White doesn't have to prepare the advance any further (see Navara, D - Sturua, Z/Gjakova 2016).

In the more recent game Szabo - Paschall, Zalakaros 2016, White instead chose the slower 15 Rae1. This game is a powerful demonstration of how quickly things can go wrong for Black if he fails to play accurately.

Nimzo-Indian: Karpov Variation 10 Qe2 Bb7 11 Rd1 [E54]

4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 Nf3 c5 7 0-0 cxd4 8 exd4 dxc4 9 Bxc4 b6 10 Qe2 Bb7 11 Rd1:

The set-up with 10 Qe2 and 11 Rd1 has to be considered one of the more dangerous tries against the Karpov Variation, not least because of the continuation 11...Bxc3 12 bxc3 Qc7 13 Bd3! Qxc3 14 Bb2:

Black has to be extremely careful here. In Marin - Pop, Olanesti 2016, he wasn't and he lost very quickly.

Queen's Indian: 4 g3 Ba6 5 Nbd2 [E15]

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Nbd2 Bb4:

Black has numerous options after 5 Nbd2, including 5...c5, 5...d5, 5...Bb7 and 5...Bb4. The pin on the d2-knight renews the threat on the c4-pawn, and this is supposed to be a solid choice for Black. However, in Carlsen - Harikrishna, Stavanger 2016, the World Champion secured a pleasant edge after 6 Qa4 c5 7 a3 Bxd2+ 8 Bxd2 0-0:

and now the new move 9 dxc5!. With this move White fixes the pawn formation and relies on the bishop pair and dark-squared control to give him some advantage.

Queen's Indian: Petrosian Variation 4 a3 Bb7 5 Nc3 d5 [E12]

4 a3 Bb7 5 Nc3 d5:

This month we see two recent games in the Petrosian Variation.

The first is a demonstration of how powerful White's attack can become in a main line if Black plays too passively, 6 cxd5 Nxd5 7 Qc2 Nxc3 8 bxc3 Be7 9 e4 0-0 10 Bd3 c5 11 0-0 cxd4 12 cxd4 Nd7 13 Bb2:

This all looks like sensible play, but in fact Black is already struggling here. Find out why in Neverov - Nabaty, Ortisei 2016.

Gonzalez Vidal-Leiva, San Salvador 2016, is considerably different: 6 Qc2 Be7 7 cxd5 exd5

In most lines of the Petrosian Queen's Indian, Black typically recaptures with the knight on d5. Recapturing with the pawn leads to positions very similar to those seen in the Queen's Gambit Declined.

Till next time, John

>> Previous Update >>

Feel free to share your ideas and opinions on the Forum (the link above on the right), while subscribers with any questions can email me at