E20-39 Nimzoindian (without 4.e3)

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In the Nimzoindian defence after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 pinning the Knight with 3...Bb4 Black doesn't allow the e4 push and threatens to double White's c-pawns (even though that would imply to leave the Bishop pair to White). 

In this file are included games played with all the lines but the Rubinstein variation.

White can directly challenge Black's idea with 4.a3 (Samisch variation) losing a tiime in order to force the Bishop vs Knight exchange and achieve an extended pawn center.  However practice has shown that Black's defence is solid and reliable and nowadays this line is seldom played.  

The same strategy can be implemented with 4.f3 (Gheorghiu variation) with the same idea to achieve an extended pawn center and the bishop pair but avoiding to lose a time with a3.

A popular line is 4.Qc2 (Classical variation) that avoids the c-pawns doubling as White can take in c3 with the Queen.  The downside is represented by the weakness in d4 and a certain delay in development.   

A flexible choice is Kasparov's move 4.Nf3 that can lead by transposition either to the Rubinstein variation (after 4..c5 5.e3) or to the Queen's Gambit Declined (after 4..d5); alternatively White can play an independent line after 4..c5 5.g3.

Finally a sharp option is represented by 4.Bg5 (Leningrad variation): White develops his dark bishop before closing the c1-h6 diagonal with e3.


Nimzoindian defence (without 4.e3)

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Last Update

November 2017