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Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation (E34)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 d5

Number of games in database: 1938
Years covered: 1924 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 30.6%
   Black wins 24.2%
   Draws 45.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Aleksey Dreev  31 games
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  19 games
Salomon Flohr  18 games
Michael Adams  24 games
Nigel Short  22 games
Oleg Romanishin  21 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Capablanca vs Golombek, 1939
Alekhine vs Euwe, 1937
Capablanca vs Euwe, 1931
Keres vs Botvinnik, 1941
I Sokolov vs Aronian, 2006
K Havasi vs Capablanca, 1929
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 page 1 of 78; games 1-25 of 1,938  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Euwe vs G Fontein  1-0401924DD-ASCE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
2. Rubinstein vs O Antze 1-0271926HannoverE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
3. Euwe vs Alekhine  ½-½411926Alekhine - Euwe Training MatchE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
4. Nimzowitsch vs Marshall 0-1301927LondonE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
5. Flohr vs E Richter 1-0411928Kautsky mem 5thE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
6. V Kirillov vs D Grigorenko  1-02719285th Ch UkraineE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
7. K Opocensky vs M Chodera  1-0411928Kautsky mem 5thE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
8. B Hoenlinger vs H Mueller  1-0391928Trebitsch MemorialE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
9. Capablanca vs Nimzowitsch ½-½391928Bad KissingenE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
10. Capablanca vs Nimzowitsch ½-½151928BerlinE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
11. G Norman vs Colle  0-1291928Hastings 1928/29E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
12. R P Michell vs G Norman  1-0261928Hastings 1928/29E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
13. G Norman vs S Takacs  0-1631929Hastings 1928/29E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
14. M Monticelli vs S Rosselli del Turco  ½-½281929ITA-ch MatchE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
15. M Monticelli vs S Rosselli del Turco  0-1561929ITA-ch MatchE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
16. Anderson / Stockwell vs Alekhine 0-1351929Consultation gameE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
17. R Cintron vs A Kevitz  0-1421929Bradley BeachE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
18. J van den Bosch vs Olland  1-0521929Dutch ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
19. A Becker vs Yates 1-0351929KarlsbadE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
20. Nimzowitsch vs E Canal ½-½491929KarlsbadE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
21. Rubinstein vs D Przepiorka  ½-½331929BudapestE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
22. Rubinstein vs E Steiner 1-0331929BudapestE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
23. Rubinstein vs G A Thomas  1-0331929BudapestE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
24. D Przepiorka vs Capablanca  ½-½321929BudapestE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
25. K Havasi vs Capablanca 0-1331929BudapestE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
 page 1 of 78; games 1-25 of 1,938  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Oct-27-03  Benjamin Lau: This variation has become a little more popular in recent years. I adopted it because I couldn't stand watching white play 4. e4 after 4. Qc2 o-o in the classical Nimzo. After all, the whole stategy of the Nimzo is prophylaxis on the e4 square, so why would anyone let white play it so easily? Anyway, going bad to my previous statement, this version has gotten more popular because of the following line:

4. Qc2 d5. 5. cxd5 Qxd5!? (a move that lets the black queen come into the center without being subject to easy harassment due to the pinned knight, but means that if the pin is threatened via a3, black must cede the bishop advantage.) 6. Nf3 Qf5!? (if white exchanges queens with 7. Qxf5, he loses a lot of attacking chances and opens up both the e and d files for black, giving black free piece play. 7. Qb3 instead means that white loses a tempo and allows the black queen to occupy the deadly spot on which she sits.)

Oct-27-03  Bears092: Wouldn't this lead to an inferior version of the QGD Exchange (ie. the Bishop at b4)?

In the exchange, and the positional line (Qc2), the bishop should stay home on the Kingside.

Oct-27-03  Benjamin Lau: Bears092, I don't see any reason why the bishop is better at e6 for example than at b4. Why must the bishop stay home on the kingside when it can do so much more on the queenside? I don't play the QGD exchange anymore, so maybe I'm missing something, but I can't seem to comprehend your post.
Oct-27-03  Bears092: Opening Explorer

Not a single case of the bishop swinging queenside.

Oct-27-03  Benjamin Lau: <Bears092>

So that means it must be bad- just because it never gets played? With that kind of mentality, it's a surprise that new lines are ever invented at all. Anyway, I think that Bb4 is simply not thematic in the variation of QGD which you are discussing. I don't think it is necessarily bad. Also, you still haven't proved that Bb4 is bad or that the bishop should stay on the kingside, just letting you know.

Oct-27-03  Benjamin Lau: It's also worth noting that in the example you cite, the pawn structure is quite different as well, and thus, the play is not the same as in the Nimzo. There are a few other differences, but this is the main one.
Oct-27-03  Bears092: <So that means it must be bad- just because it never gets played?>

You'd think if it was good someone of GM strength would play it quite regularly by now.

Oct-27-03  Benjamin Lau: <Bears092>

Two main points:
(1) First, you still have not managed to prove it is inferior, neither through concrete variations nor through positional analysis and evaluation. Instead, you rely on the tired, old, and utterly lethargic argument of authority. Can't you come up with something better than that? If we blindly did only the things that players better than us did, where would we be now?

(2) Even the example you cite to show this variation of the Nimzo might be inferior doesn't resemble the variation enough to matter.

By the way, Kasparov and Kramnik recently began testing out this variation for their repertoire, so it can't be too bad.

Oct-28-03  Diggitydawg: : <BL> I admire the spirit of experimenting with a new opening. This question can only be resolved with OTB play, so please let us know how you progress with it.
Oct-28-03  Benjamin Lau: As I said before, the line I mentioned is not new at all, it's just gotten more popular lately. I've been doing pretty well with it, considering that I switched over from 4. Qc2 o-o a while ago.
Oct-29-03  Open Defence: In fact after cxd5 exd5 Bg5 h6 the game can become very sharp and complicated, look at the Kasparov-Short match for example, no doubt Gary is an absolutely fabulous player so he won (though I haven't checked out the games in a long time so if he didnt .. oops)

The Qxd5 line was used by Anand sucessfully in the Kasparov-Anand match and Kasparov played e4 then on as he wasnt making headway against the Nimzo, in fact many recommend the d5 line in the classical variation as it has less "book" than c5 or 0-0 (correct me if I am wrong)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I agree that one ought not spend too much time analyzing the product of blitz games, but I played one today that is worth a second look.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 <Very few games feature this move. Normal is ...exd5 or even ...Qxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3

click for larger view

7...Qxd4!? <This move took my by surprise. Have I fallen for some trap?>

8.Qa4+! <As far as I can tell, this is the only way to preserve an advantage> Nc6 9.Qxb4! Nxb4 10.cxd4 Nc2+ 11.Ke1 <Kd2 might have been better> Nxa1 12.Bb2

click for larger view

and I went on to win in 20 more moves. I'll spare you the moves, but an interesting nuance of my play was that I left the knight on a1 for a long time before bothering to recapture it.

Anyhow, is White really better here? Did I have stronger moves earlier in the game? What is the consensus for 5...Nxd5?

See Opening Explorer for more info.

Jul-12-09  RoseJunkie: I realize the argument was years ago, but <bears092> Bb4 in the QGD exchange is not really played in conjunction with c6 but more often with c5. So obviously you won't find very many games in the variation you posted (since you've already inserted c6).

I Sokolov vs Aronian, 2006

is a pretty neat example of play.

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