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Nimzo-Indian (E20)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4

Number of games in database: 4048
Years covered: 1883 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 35.2%
   Black wins 31.5%
   Draws 33.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergey Volkov  76 games
Viktor Moskalenko  62 games
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  47 games
Oleg Romanishin  17 games
Sergei Tiviakov  17 games
Sergey Karjakin  16 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs Kmoch, 1930
Gheorghiu vs Fischer, 1966
Kramnik vs Anand, 2008
Jakovenko vs Carlsen, 2007
Nakamura vs Carlsen, 2014
So vs Aronian, 2015
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 page 1 of 162; games 1-25 of 4,048  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Englisch vs Blackburne ½-½421883LondonE20 Nimzo-Indian
2. Rubinstein vs Bogoljubov 1-0441920Bogoljubov - RubinsteinE20 Nimzo-Indian
3. Rubinstein vs A Selezniev 1-0701920GothenburgE20 Nimzo-Indian
4. Saemisch vs D Przepiorka 1-0511922Bad PistyanE20 Nimzo-Indian
5. Maroczy vs Saemisch 0-1251922Teplitz-SchönauE20 Nimzo-Indian
6. A Brinckmann vs Nimzowitsch 0-1301923Match Nimzowitsch - BrinckmannE20 Nimzo-Indian
7. Tarrasch vs Saemisch ½-½581925BreslauE20 Nimzo-Indian
8. V Vukovic vs P Johner ½-½601925DebrecenE20 Nimzo-Indian
9. M Pinsky vs Kozhevnikov  1-0501927Perm championshipE20 Nimzo-Indian
10. C Ahues vs Nimzowitsch 0-1291927Berlin Freie VereinigungE20 Nimzo-Indian
11. K Ruben vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½441927Copenhagen Masters PolitikenE20 Nimzo-Indian
12. E Pfenniger vs C H Piccardt  0-1311927NSB-RhW SchachverbandE20 Nimzo-Indian
13. Tartakower vs Marshall 1-0531928BerlinE20 Nimzo-Indian
14. Tartakower vs Nimzowitsch ½-½211928BerlinE20 Nimzo-Indian
15. Tartakower vs G A Thomas 1-0401929ScarboroughE20 Nimzo-Indian
16. J A Seitz vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½151929ParisE20 Nimzo-Indian
17. Marshall vs H Steiner 1-0321929Bradley BeachE20 Nimzo-Indian
18. G Del Pezzo vs G Padulli 1-0591930FlorenceE20 Nimzo-Indian
19. Kashdan vs R Willman  1-0551930Manhattan CC-chE20 Nimzo-Indian
20. Alekhine vs Kmoch 1-0391930San RemoE20 Nimzo-Indian
21. Duchamp vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½321930NiceE20 Nimzo-Indian
22. N Grigoriev vs I Kan ½-½641930National TournamentE20 Nimzo-Indian
23. J A Anderson vs E Steiner 0-1241930Hamburg OlympiadE20 Nimzo-Indian
24. H Weenink vs Saemisch  1-0291930Hamburg OlympiadE20 Nimzo-Indian
25. H Weenink vs G A Thomas ½-½551930LiegeE20 Nimzo-Indian
 page 1 of 162; games 1-25 of 4,048  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-20-07  Shajmaty: <Bafometh: I would like to know which are the most secure lines with minimum but persistent advantage for white in this defenssive system?> Both 4. e3 (Rubinstein), aiming for Bd3 , Nf3 and 0-0, and 4. Qc2 (Classical/Capablanca, avoiding doubled pawns).
May-20-07  euripides: <Baf,shaj> My experience with 4.Qc2 is that, despite its good reputation, it is very tricky to play; White gets long-run positional assets at the cost of allowing Black some dangerous counterplay. I think 4.e3 may be safer at the amateur level.
May-24-07  Shajmaty: <euripides: [...] I think 4.e3 may be safer at the amateur level.> Yeah, maybe safer... although Black can still worry you with lines with b6+c5, or even Nc6.
Dec-03-07  Cactus: Really, it's just a question of taste, but the Classical and Rubinstein variations are both good. However, they are also quite different. The classical sometimes get pretty tactical- the Grand Variation may be the craziest sound opening variation there is. The Rubinstein might be more positional, so, I suppose, it's a matter of style.
Mar-03-08  nkinney: Greetings all. I have an original idea in the nimzo, which truly nobody may have considered before me. just take five minutes and put it in your computers. I studied it throughly for a few days and it seems that black only gets a slight edge in some very unusual positions. here it is

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g4?!

this cant be refuted and taking the pawn is too risky because of the planned Nf3, Rg1, and because the black king is somewhat commited to the kingside.

enjoy, ill post this in the cafe as well.

-Nicholas Kinney

Mar-03-08  nkinney: also g5, moving the black knight is thematic in the fight for e4
Mar-03-08  whiteshark: <1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g4?!> Not a single game in the OE/db. Guess it's for good reasons. Maybe advantageous as a surprise move for some blitz games, though. :D
Mar-04-08  whiteshark: <nkinney> Here is the only game with <4.g4> I found in my db:

[Event "Copenhagen op"]
[Date "1973.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Hvenekilde, Jorgen"]
[Black "Bang, Erik"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g4 Nxg4 5. e4 f5 6. Nh3 O-O 7. f3 Qh4+ 8. Ke2 Nc6 9. Bf4 Nf2 10. Nxf2 Qxf4 11. Nh3 Qh4 12. Rg1 Bxc3 13. bxc3 fxe4 14. fxe4 Qxe4+ 15. Kd2 Rf3 16. Qe1 Qxe1+ 17. Rxe1 h6 18. Re2 d6 19. Reg2 Rf7 20. c5 dxc5 21. dxc5 Ne5 22. Be2 Bd7 23. Bh5 Re7 24. Nf4 Rf8 25. Ng6 Nxg6 26. Bxg6 Bc6 27. Re2 e5 28. h4 Rf4 29. h5 Be8 30. Kc2 Bxg6+ 31. hxg6 e4 32. Rb1 b6 33. cxb6 axb6 34. Rd1 Re8 35. Rd7 c5 36. Rb7 Rf6 37. Rg2 e3 38. Kd3 e2 39. Rxe2 Rxe2 40. Kxe2 Rxg6 41. a4 0-1

Jul-25-08  DukeAlba: A recent game I had playing against the Nimzo-Indian...

[Event "Casual Game"]
[Site "Miami, FL"]
[Date 2008.07.22]
[Round ""]
[White "DukeAlba"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E33"]
[PlyCount 75]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5.Qc2 d5 6.e3 Bd7 7.Bd3 h6 8.O-O Bxc3 9.Qxc3 Ne4 10.Bxe4 dxe4 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Qg5 13.Qd4 Bc6 14.b4 Rd8 15.Qxa7 Qxe5 16.Ba3 Qf5 17.Rad1 O-O 18.b5 Ra8 19.Qc5 Qxc5 20.Bxc5 Rfb8 21.bxc6 bxc6 22.Ra1 Kh7 23.a4 e5 24.a5 f5 25.a6 h5 26.a7 Rd8 27.Ra6 Rd7 28.Rxc6 f4 29.h3 f3 30.g3 g5 31.Rb1 g4 32.Rb8 h4 33.hxg4 hxg3 34.fxg3 Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Rd2+ 36.Ke1 f2+ 37.Kf1 Rd1+ 38.Kxf2 1-0

Jul-27-08  Archives: <1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g4?! >

Hmm that is interesting, I might use this for blitz.

Although I think that after 4...Nxg4, 5.e4 is nicely answered by 5...Qh4

5.Nf3 is better I believe

Aug-10-08  drukenknight: A short one in the nimzo indian. Dont you hate it when guys shove that d pawn into your 6th rank? Somewhere white goes astray...

1. d4 e6
2. c4 Nf6
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. Bd2 c5 (does anybody else play this?)
5. e3 Nc6
6. d5 (apparently this is a novelty but seems logical to drive the pawn into black's formation, they get pawns on the 6th rank and I am toast)

6... Ne7
7. a3 Ba5
8. d6 Nf5
9. Nb5 O-O forced
10. b4 Bb6
11. Bc3 (is this logical?)

12. Bxf6 (12 Nc7 was better but black would still be ahead)

13. bxc5 Ba5+
14 Ke2 and 0-1

Okay where is the mistake? Position after 10...Bb6, white to play and not look like a putz:

click for larger view

Aug-12-08  drukenknight: A rook sack in the nimzo indian that bites white in the end. You know this is a very typical nimzo after 4 moves but no one has offered to trade the Queens at that pt. Q winds up on a8 similar to that Fischer/Portisch game...

1. d4 e6
2. c4 Bb4+
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bg5 Ne4(hundreds have games got to white's 4, including a handful w/ spassky but no one has dared to swap Qs)..

5. Bd2 Nxd2
6. Qxd2 Qf6
7. Nf3 c5
8. e3 b6
9. Bd3 Bb7
10. Qe2 cxd4
11. exd4 Bxf3
12. Qxf3 Qxd4

after 12 ...Qxd4. Shall we take the Rook?

click for larger view

Aug-12-08  Alphastar: <drukenknight> how does black 'swap Qs' after the simple 5. Bxd8? black doesn't have any compensation for the queen whatsoever after 5. ..Nxc3 6. Qb3!.
Aug-12-08  drukenknight: alpha you may be right (I will take a look later) on that, but we played another version of this as a Q vs R/N sack on this website and it was interesting and then we gave it up (dont know if that thread still exists). Anyhow, I was more interested in move 12....
Aug-12-08  drukenknight: EDIT: Yes ALpha that moves blows, but I am confusing this w/ another simiar variation...more homework I guess.
Aug-16-08  Alphastar: You're probably thinking of the following variation: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Bg5 c5 5. d5 Nxd5?! 6. Bxd8 Nxc3 when black continues with Ne4+, Nxf2+ and Kxd8; an interesting queen sac for sure though I doubt whether it's completely sound.
Jul-24-09  drukenknight: I finally figure out how to play the Nimzo Indian; after this game I'm suprised Korchnoi ever had a problem with this. Just take all his Bishops so that Q/B battery doesn’t kill you, errh me. The position at the end is interesting and illustrative:

1. d4 e6
2. c4 Nf6
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. Bd2 (this is quite rare)

4... d5 (I am trying to play as simple/straightforward as possible)

5. e3 Nbd7

there was only one game in the crap pc data base to this pt, my idea is to take...dxc4 and then hit the loose B on c4. So here's the position after 5..Nd7

click for larger view

The idea is for black to initiate exchanges and then gain tempos, to keep going, sometimes that is bad if you run out of good moves to make.

6. Be2 dxc4
7. Bxc4 Nb6
8. b3 c5
9. Nf3 Bxc3
10. Bxc3 Ne4
11. Qc1 Nxc4
12. bxc4 Qc7
13. O-O O-O
14. Rd1 f5
15. Qb2 Nxc3
16. Qxc3 b6
17. Ne5

position after 17 Ne5 now what?

click for larger view

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: On FICS tonight, I came across different opponents, 3 of them!! that played 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qd3(!?)

I, was playing black side, and I hate 1. d4 openings!!!

And CG's database showed +1 -1 =0... Does anyone have any opinions on this opening!(??) Any comments would be appreciated.

Jan-21-10  SimonWebbsTiger: well, 4.Qd3 - a change is as good as a wink to a blind bat! There isn't any real way to take advantage of the queen's unusual position in reality. A sensible move like 4...d5 5. a3 Bxc3 5. Qxc3 transposes to the 4. Qc2 lines. Black has the usual moves too, such as 4.Qd3 o-o and 4...c5
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♗b4

click for larger view

Jul-24-14  SimonWebbsTiger: a useful article highlighting the (accelerated!?) Saemisch 4. f3.

Nov-19-14  freeman8201: Anyone know about a book about typical pawn formations arising in the nimzo-indian that came out 2009-2011. This book was about pawn formations but had a lot of nimzo pawn chapters.

It got one bad review because the book had a like a whole chapter devoted to a pawn formation with White's pawns at d6, e5 and f4 while Black's pawns were at d7, e6, f5. And yes this was from a nimzo. A reviewer said how often does this arise in a game! Adding it was akin to studying all the benko formations in Kmoch's Pawn Power.

Nov-19-14  SimonWebbsTiger: @<freeman8201>

You are probably thinking of "Winning Chess Middlegames" by Ivan Sokolov, published by New in Chess, 2008.

Nov-21-14  freeman8201: Thanks! Here's a link to the game in which Ivan Sokolov describes in "Winning Chess Middlegames" calling it structure 1.8 in a nimzo indian game. So if you want to learn about King's Indian formations read Komch's book but Ivan scores in Nimzo pawn structures. I'm going to order on amazon today! Bronstein vs Simagin, 1961
Nov-19-18  Chessonly: (Plans and Ideas in Nimzo detailed for both Side)

There are 3 main lines in Nimzo Indian Defense white usually plays see links below: 1 Nimzo Indian e3 2 Nimzo Indian Qc2 3 Nimzo Indian f3

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