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Hello everyone! I am GM Ashwin Jayaram and I will be taking over this month's Nimzo & Benoni while John finishes a book. I will be analyzing 4 games from the e3 Nimzo and 4 games from the g3 Benoni.

Download PGN of October ’17 Nimzo and Benoni games

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The games from the e3 Nimzo will be divided into two games where White aims for f3-e4, and 2 games where Black goes for the ...b6-d5 setup.

Nimzo-Indian 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 Nge2 [E48]

4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 Nge2 is an interesting variation for White, similar to the QGD Exchange variation with Bd3-Nge2. The major difference is that White's bishop is behind the e3-pawn:

In Valsecchi, A - Jakovenko, D Black was soon better.

Nimzo-Indian Botvinnik 4 e3 0-0 5 Bd3 d5 6 a3 Bxc3+ 7 bxc3 c5 [E49]

Kryvoruchko, Y - Klekowski, M reaches the following common position:

We've discussed 15...h5-4 here in the past, but here 15...b5 16 Rae1 a5 and ...b4 worked very well for Black against his 2700+ opponent.

Nimzo-Indian 4 Nf3 b6 5 e3 0-0 6 Bd3 d5 7 0-0 Ba6 [E52]

7...Ba6 is an interesting sideline that deserves to be played more often:

See Batsiashvili, N - Eljanov, P.

Nimzo-Indian, Tal Variation 4 e3 b6 5 Bd3 Bb7 6 Nf3 0-0 7 0-0 d5 [E52]

In Lubbe, N - Caruana, F we again consider the following important position:

Here Black plays the inaccurate 12...Re8 and gets into big trouble.

Modern Benoni, Fianchetto Variation 7 Nf3 Bg7 8 Bg2 0-0 9 0-0 Re8 10 Bf4 Bf5 [A62]

The g3 Benoni games focus on the popular 10.Bf4 Bf5 line:

In Studer, N - Navara, D the critical 11 Nh4 is played:

and after 11...Bg4!? 12 h3 Nh5! White improved on previous play with 13 Bc1, but then quickly went wrong.

Kuzubov, Y - Zhigalko, S considers the more popular 11...Bc8 which White met with the interesting novelty 12 Qc1.

Next, we look at 11 Nd2, aiming to 'punish' ...Bf5 with e2-e4, 11...Nh5, virtually the only move, 12 e4 Nxf4 13 gxf4 Bd7:

Here the 14 Qb3?! of Perez Garcia, A - Deac, B should be met by 14...b5.

Instead, 14 a4 makes more sense, see Franco Alonso, A - Edouard, R, but Black was fine.

I hope you find the analysis helpful! Ashwin

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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