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Nimzo-Indian, Classical (E32)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2

Number of games in database: 7926
Years covered: 1915 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 31.2%
   Black wins 26.2%
   Draws 42.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Aleksey Dreev  85 games
Ivan Sokolov  55 games
Vitali Golod  49 games
Ivan Farago  52 games
Anatoly Karpov  48 games
Peter Leko  43 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Kasparov vs Grischuk, 2003
Rubinstein vs Nimzowitsch, 1928
Kramnik vs Karpov, 1997
Carlsen vs Kramnik, 2009
Lautier vs Karpov, 1995
I Balanel vs A Pytlakowski, 1951
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 page 1 of 318; games 1-25 of 7,926 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alekhine vs N Zubarev 1-02619151st Category tournamentE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
2. Euwe vs H van Hartingsvelt  1-0301921AmsterdamE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
3. K Opocensky vs Nimzowitsch 0-1431925MarienbadE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
4. J Davidson vs Colle 0-1251925NED-BELE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
5. G Reid vs G A Thomas  0-1191926Scarborough-AE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
6. J H Pannekoek vs G Kroone  1-0241926Dutch ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
7. Alekhine vs Nimzowitsch 1-0831927New YorkE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
8. B Hoenlinger vs J Lokvenc  ½-½411927Trebitsch MemorialE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
9. Rubinstein vs M Oren 1-0211927Polish ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
10. V Vukovic vs Gruenfeld  ½-½391927KecskemetE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
11. Gruenfeld vs L Steiner 0-1471927KecskemetE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
12. Gruenfeld vs Nimzowitsch 0-1471927KecskemetE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
13. H Mueller vs Kmoch  ½-½651927KecskemetE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
14. Alekhine vs C Ahues  ½-½321927KecskemetE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
15. Kostic vs Kmoch 0-1431927London OlympiadE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
16. M Monticelli vs R P Michell 1-0421927London OlympiadE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
17. Reti vs S Landau  ½-½311927MatchE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
18. A Smorodsky vs N Pavlov-Pianov  ½-½761927USSR ChampionshipE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
19. W Winter vs Colle ½-½581927LondonE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
20. W Winter vs Vidmar 1-0441927LondonE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
21. V Halberstadt vs R Crepeaux 1-0251928ParisE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
22. G Stoltz vs L Steiner  ½-½661928Berlin BSGE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
23. P Johner vs L Steiner  1-0151928Berlin BSGE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
24. L von Dory vs Kmoch  ½-½181928ViennaE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
25. L von Dory vs Reti 0-1601928ViennaE32 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
 page 1 of 318; games 1-25 of 7,926 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-20-05  Pawn Ambush: Against 4.Qc2 playable with chances for both sides are 4...Nc6,4...d6,and even 4...a5. < a5!!,dont try that at home > The idea is to keep the position as closed as possible and manoevre against White. Whats the rush to get in ...c5 Against 4.Qc2?
May-16-05  azaris: Not the most successful game but certainly exciting. Sometimes the swindles just don't work.

[Event "1 st finnish mini-tournament, group B"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2005.05.09"]
[White "mwandishi"]
[Black "azaris"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 7.Bg5 Bb7 8.e3 d6 9.Nf3 Nbd7 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.O-O Rc8 13.Nd2 cxd4 14.exd4 d5 15.Qb4 e5 16.Bf5 exd4 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Bxc8 Qxc8 19.Rfc1 dxc4 20.Rxc4 Qg4 21.f3 Qe6 22.Rxd4 Nd5 23.Qa4 Qe3+ 24.Kh1 Bc6 25.Qc4 b5 26.Qc5 Re8 27.Qxc6 Qe1+ 28.Nf1 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <azaris> Nice game! Fascinating to review previous opinions about Black's best answer to 4. Qc2; I'm partial to 4 ... Nc6 (Milner-Barry) per AAA himself, since it usually leads to 5. Nf3 and therefore no f4. I liked your opening up to 11. Bh4 and now 11 ... Qe7 playing for 12 ... e5 seems good for Black. Opening Queenside lines with 11 ... c5 (then opening the center with 14 ... d5 & 15 ... e5) helped White. 24 ... Bc6! was a cute trick but your opponent was on the ball. The ups and downs of chess! =)
May-17-05  RookFile: Well, Capa really believed in 4. Qc2,
he was sure without a doubt in the
world it was the best move.
May-17-05  azaris: It's hard to find a good plan for Black after 15.Qb4. Only after 17.Bxf6 did I notice that 17...gxf6 was really bad. I play 4.Qc2 myself and consider 4...O-O a good, balanced response to it. White gets some central control but his kingside development is slower.
May-17-05  Kangaroo: A. A. Alekhine also very often played 4. Qc2 against Nimzo-Indian
May-17-05  refutor: any opinions on 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 O-O 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b5

i haven't had the bollocks to try it OTB but it seems to mix it up a little bit

May-18-05  azaris: <refutor> That's the Adorjan Gambit, there's lots of analysis in his book "Black Is Still OK!". I'll post some choice quotes about it later on.
Jul-07-05  OneArmedScissor: Can someone tell me how black stands after:

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 b6 5. Nf3 c5 6. a3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3 Ne4 9. Qc2 Bb7

Jul-07-05  refutor: i would say that black stands better, but there are stronger moves for white. for instance 5.Nf3?! i think 5.e4! is the way to go here for sure. why play 4.Qc2 if you don't intend on playing e4? 6.a3 is an odd continuation as well in my opinion.
Jul-07-05  OneArmedScissor: <refutor>
Do you know any novelty lines in the classical NID?
Jul-07-05  refutor: lol it's hard to find novelties, but a couple relatively rare lines i like are the 6. ...b5 listed above on May 17th and 6. ...Ne4 7.Qc2 f5 which is likely better than Tal's 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne4 that he played v. Botwinnik in theit 1960 match. my advice is that if you want to play ...b6, play 4. ...O-O first first then 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6
Jul-07-05  azaris: Adorjan Gambit:

6...b5 7.cxb5 c6 8.Bg5 cxb5 9.e3 Bb7 10.Nf3 h6 11.Bh4 a6 12.Bd3 Nc6 13.O-O Rc8 14.Qd2 Ne7 (14...Na5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.e4! Kh7 17.Qf4 ) 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.e4 Kg7 17.Rac1 Ng6 18.Rxc8 (18.d5 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Qb8 20.g3 Rc8 ) 18...Qxc8 19.Rc1 Qb8 20.g3 (20.d5 Qf4 ) 20...f5! 21.Qe3 = (A.A.)

Nov-12-05  Karpova: in znosko-borovsky's book on opening traps there's a nice game where white tries a strange manoeuver to avoid the doubled pawn on the c-file and falls for a choked mate after some sacrifices by black. does anyone know the game and maybe if it's here? i already sarched for it but found nothing.
Jan-10-06  notyetagm: Yikes! This database shows the great Paul Keres playing 26 games on the Black side of the Classical Nimzo Indian (E32). His record? <+15 =11 -0 with the Black pieces!> That's <78.8%> with the Black pieces! Undefeated with Black to boot.

Does anyone else in this database have such an incredible record on the Black side of any opening?

Jan-10-06  notyetagm: I've reproduced the link from above to Keres' Black Nimzo Indian Classical (E32) games:
Feb-08-06  majick: I'm currently thinking about learning this opening and its ideas and stuff. I have zero experience with it. I found two books - "Easy Guide to the Nimzo-Indian" by John Emms and "Starting Out: The Nimzo-Indian" ("Starting Out"-series) by Chris Ward. Which one should be better for me? Which one would you guys recommend?

And is there a website that includes things such as "ideas behind the ...-opening"?


Feb-14-06  Dudley: I have both the books you mentioned and they are both useful in different ways. The Ward book is a general, more broad look at most of the lines in the whole complex. The Emms book is actually a Nimzo repertoire book that goes into great explanation and depth of certain selected lines, and is generallly more advanced. For instance, against White's 4.e3 he recommends 4...b6, and doesn't discuss all the other ways of playing the position for Black. It's a pretty well written book and I like the "easy" format because it uses a variation tree format rather than the complete game method. One thing about the Nimzo, there are a lot (almost too many) ways of playing it. You also need a companion opening (Q Indian or Bogo) in case of White's 3.Nf3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are some puzzles from E32 miniatures:
Jun-17-06  refutor: i swear i've seen this idea before in the nimzo but i couldn't find it in the opening explorer

NN - Refutor ICC, today
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. e4 c5 6. d5 b5!?

of course 6.a3 or 6.e5 are better, but now i remember where i got the idea

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5 5.d5 b5

the first line is not a linares-level novelty, but it might be worth a second look

Nov-23-06  Bob726: What do you think of after 5. a3 Bxc3 Qxc3 Ne4? Does anyone know that line or play it?
Dec-23-09  Tigar Genijalac: I think that the 5.e4!? line is interesting with 5...d5! being the only critical test to whites idea there are some nice wins for both sides in this line but most of the analysis I have seen lead to equal positions, tho they are not extremely simple draws ;)

to NotYetAGM : I am still undefeated in the Nimzo :D altho these days white players enter it somewhat more reluctantly so Ive not played as many games in it as Keres has but... only have 1 draw with a FM and the rest wins :)

What do you guys say about the recent game Karpov-Anand in the cxd5 Ne4!? line? Karpov got slammed hard :P

Interestingly enoguh Morozevitch played the white side very originaly and won some nice encounters.

A very strong GM told me that there are some improvements for black here since then ;)

Also the line 4...c5!? 5.dxc5 Bxc5!? 6.Nf3 (to stop Bg5? Bxf2+ and Bf4 e5!? but maybe here ♗g3 is worth investigating Qb6! 7.e3 and now Nc6 White looks a tincy bit better but black is not without play!

4.Qc2 0-0! 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.Qxc3 b6 is what I like best.

Dec-23-09  Marmot PFL: <Bob726> I seem to meet that a lot, hard line to beat.
Apr-01-11  PSC: Posted a quick overview/survey on the new line with 6...d5 that Anand and Kramnik are playing, might prove useful:
Jan-24-13  oh5252: what is the best way to learn this opening?
please ....
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