The Nimzo-Indian Defence 4

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

Introduction to 4... 0-0

0-0 is the least committal move of all the options explored in this technical white paper. Black keeps many of his options open.

4a 0-0 followed by d5 by black

This technical paper follows the stem idea of Bd3 and the immediate cxd5 by White against this black system. The following two game examples provide the template plan. The immediate 6. cxd5 by White aims to reduce the central tension, thus for example removing any possibility of dxc4 by black which might lead to positions with White having an Isolated Queens Pawn.

0-0 followed by d5 by black - Illustrative game 1 of 2

Kasparov Garry - Yurtaev L [E48/01]
Moscow tt (2), 1981

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5

6.cxd5 This immediate capture is the recommended move of this technical White paper

exd5 7.Nge2 Nbd7 8.0-0 c6 9.f3

It is here that this opening paper wishes to illustrate an important template plan for re-use in your own games:

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The idea of f3 is to try and gain space in the centre, and in doing so release the dynamic potential of White position. If White can establish a pawn on e5 and chase the knight on f6 back, and then later play f4, White will have an ideal attacking position.

Black tries to counter this plan by dissolving the centre but even so, White changes the direction of his attacking idea by making effective use of the g pawn as the following game continuation shows:-

c5 10.a3 cxd4 11.exd4 Be7 12.Nf4 Nb8 13.g4!

wpe10.jpg (9666 bytes)

An aggressive move designed to gain more space and restrict black's pieces.

Bd6 14.Kh1 Re8 15.g5 Bxf4 16.Bxf4 Nh5 17.Bxb8!

Kasparov does not lose any time and wants the f pawn to play a decisive role!

Rxb8 18.f4 g6 19.Qf3 b6 20.f5 Rb7 21.f6 Be6 22.Rae1 Qd6 23.Re5 Rd8 24.Qe3 b5 25.Be2 b4 26.axb4 Rxb4 27.Bxh5 gxh5 28.g6 hxg6 29.Rxe6 fxe6 30.Qh6 Rb7 1-0

0-0 followed by d5 by black - Illustrative game 2 of 2

Kasparov Garry - Tal,M [E48]
Brussels (11), 1987

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5


The recommended move of this paper which reduces the central tension.

exd5 7.Nge2 c5 8.0-0 Nc6


White encourages Black to play Bxc3. It will simply reinforce the White pawn centre which is sometimes loose in the Nimzo-indian. Once the d4 pawn is re-inforced White can more comfortably turn attention to the Black Kingside.

cxd4 (Black throws in a zuichenzug) 10.exd4

Bxc3 11.bxc3 Ne7 12.Qc2 Bd7 13.Bg5 Ng6


Kasparov's plan is simple and effective. He uses the f pawn as a battering ram to get to Black's king.

The plan template is partially expressed by the following:-

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As you can see White has ambitions for practically all his major resources. The Queens rook has a "swinging" square on e3. The f1 rook has one on f4 after the f4 pawn moves forward. White's seemingly passive knight on e2 will play a key role in the devastation of Black's king. Try and remember this template plan, and the idea of using pivot/"swinging" squares for your rooks to get to the Black King. The pivot squares that Kasparov used where e3 for his Queen's rook and f4 for his rook on f1.

14...h6 15.Bxf6

relinquishing the Bishop pair in order to gain a valuable tempo for the attack.

Qxf6 16.f5 Ne7 17.Ng3 Nc8 18.Rf4 Nd6 19.Qf2 Rfe8 20.Nh5 Qd8 21.Nxg7

21...Ne4 22.Bxe4 Rxe4 23.f6 Kh7 24.Rxe4 dxe4 25.Qf4 Bc6 26.Re1 Qf8 27.c4 Qxa3 28.Nf5 Qf8 29.Re3 Bd7 30.Rg3 Bxf5 31.Qxf5+ 1-0

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