The Nimzo-Indian Defence 2

An solid aggressive and simple system against the Nimzo-Indian Defence
- The Rubinstein variation with 4. e3


Strategies inherent in the Nimzo-indian defence

The Nimzo-indian is Aron Nimzowitsch's greatest contributory system to modern opening theory.

It is one of the most popular defences to 1.d4. It often features black trying to saddle white with doubled pawns and then use the higher level Nimzowitsch strategies of Restraint and Blockade to remove White's counterplay and exploit white's structural weaknesses. Black makes the concession of giving up the dark squared bishop, hoping that the position will remain closed enough for his knights to be equal or more effective than the White bishops.

White's implicit plans with consideration to having the two bishops and possible structural damage on the queenside are generally:

To open up the position for the two bishops

To launch an attack on the black king, to decide the issue before structural weaknesses are emphasised in the endgame

The Rubinstein variation

Starting Position

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This move which signals the start of the Rubinstein variation is the main line of the Nimzo-Indian. White leaves the bishop on c1 at home and prepares development of his kingside pieces. Rubinstein was one of the worlds best four players from about 1907 to 1922 (See Lasker in culture section).

The first game of the Rubinstein variation was when Rubinstein introduced it against Alekhine in the St Petersburg tournament, 1914:

Rubinstein Akiba - Alekhine Alexander [E43]
St Petersburg-1

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.f3 c5 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d5 9.Ne2 0-0 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Ng3 Qc7 12.cxd5 exd5 13.e4 cxd4 14.cxd4 Qc3 15.Be3 dxe4 16.fxe4 Ba6 17.Bxa6 Qxe3+ 18.Kh1 Nxe4 19.Nf5 Nf2+ 20.Rxf2 Qxf2 21.Qg4 g6 22.Rf1 Qb2 23.Nh6+ Kg7 24.Nxf7 Qb3 25.d5 Nf6 26.Qd4 Rxf7 27.Bc4 Qa4 28.g4 Rc8 0-1

Since (or despite :-) this game, this 4th move has become one of the most popular methods against the Nimzo-indian defence.

Black has a number of alternatives here :-

This paper looks at the following 3 alternatives and more importantly tries to focus on

the ideas and concepts that they represent. It is too easy to drown in variations presented in standard "cop-out" opening books/ encyclopaedias. If you like being drowned in a sea of variations/ past games, then you can view all the games in this technical paper's appendices without trying to figure out the higher level template plans!

4... c5 (Huebner Variation)
4... 0-0 followed by d5
4... b6

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