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Aron Nimzowitsch

Number of games in database: 710
Years covered: 1896 to 1934
Overall record: +322 -122 =217 (65.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 49 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Reti System (43) 
    A04 A06
 French Defense (31) 
    C02 C11 C01 C00 C12
 Four Knights (30) 
    C49 C48 C47
 Sicilian (20) 
    B22 B32 B40 B30 B21
 English (19) 
    A18 A16 A15 A13 A12
 English, 1 c4 e5 (18) 
    A28 A20 A21 A25 A27
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (54) 
    C01 C17 C15 C11 C10
 Queen's Pawn Game (45) 
    A46 D02 A45 D05 D04
 Nimzo Indian (35) 
    E32 E23 E22 E21 E20
 Uncommon Opening (33) 
    B00 A00
 Caro-Kann (33) 
    B13 B16 B10 B12 B15
 Queen's Indian (23) 
    E15 E12 E16 E18 E14
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs A Hakansson, 1922 1-0
   P Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Alapin, 1914 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1926 1-0
   H Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927 1-0
   N Mannheimer vs Nimzowitsch, 1930 0-1
   E Post vs Nimzowitsch, 1905 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Dresden (1926)
   Marienbad (1925)
   Berlin BSG (1928)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   Kecskemet (1927)
   San Remo (1930)
   17th DSB Congress, Hamburg (1910)
   Bled (1931)
   Karlsbad (1907)
   Semmering (1926)
   Ostend-B (1907)
   Karlsbad (1911)
   Karlsbad (1923)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Legend Nimzowitt by Gottschalk
   Book: Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by nizmo11
   Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by trh6upsz
   Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by Okavango
   Book: Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by Baby Hawk
   Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by Qindarka
   Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by StoppedClock
   0ZeR0's Favorite Games Volume 67 by 0ZeR0
   N O P Players Bac by fredthebear
   Nimzovich: Chess Praxis by setuhanu01
   Nimzovich: Chess Praxis by basilderat
   Hypermodern chess: Aron Nimzovich by Reinfeld by nikolaas
   Hypermodern chess: Aron Nimzovich by Reinfeld by igiene
   mi sistema patidas by viniloangel

   Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923
   Nimzowitsch vs A Hakansson, 1922
   Nimzowitsch vs Alapin, 1914
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911
   L Van Vliet vs Znosko-Borovsky, 1907

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Aron Nimzowitsch
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(born Nov-07-1886, died Mar-16-1935, 48 years old) Latvia (federation/nationality Denmark)

[what is this?]

Aron Nimzowitsch was born in Riga, Latvia (then part of the Russian Empire) in 1886. He came to prominence in the chess world just before the First World War. He finished joint second with Rudolf Spielmann, half a point behind Akiba Rubinstein, at San Sebastian (1912). He was Russian Champion in 1913 (jointly with Alexander Alekhine) at St. Petersburg. Like Alekhine and others, he fled Russia after the 1917 Russian revolution. He initially moved to Berlin. In 1922, he finally settled in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Nimzowitsch won a string of international events in the mid-1920s which led him to challenge Jose Raul Capablanca to a world championship match in 1925, but negotiations dissolved after monetary backing could not be found. He took first place at Copenhagen (1923), Dresden (1926), Karlsbad (1929) and Frankfurt (1930).

Nimzowitsch's chess theories flew in the face of convention. He had a lengthy and bitter conflict with Siegbert Tarrasch over which ideas constituted proper chess play. While Tarrasch refined the classical approach of Wilhelm Steinitz, that the center had to be controlled and occupied by pawns, Nimzowitsch shattered these dogmatic assumptions, and proposed the controlling of the center with pieces from afar. In this way, the opponent is invited to occupy the center with pawns which thus become the targets of attack. This idea became known as the hypermodern school of chess thought.

Nimzowitsch, along with other hypermodern thinkers such as Richard Reti, revolutionized chess with their argument that controlling the center of the board matters more than actually occupying it. Nimzowitsch is also a highly-regarded chess writer, most famously for his controversial 1925 book My System, which is considered a classic by some prominent modern players but derided by others. Other books include Chess Praxis, which further expounds the hypermodern idea, and the seminal work The Blockade (Die Blockade in German), which explores the strategy implied by his famous maxim, "First restrain, then blockade, finally destroy!"

As a profound opening theoretician, Nimzowitsch has left a legacy of variations, many of which are still popular today. The Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♗b4) is one of the best-respected defenses to 1.d4, to such an extent that most players avoid it with 3.Nf3 or 3.g3. He played a key role in the development of two important lines in the French Defense: the Winawer Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.♘c3 ♗b4) and the Advance Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5). His name is also attached to the Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29) Variation (1.e4 c5 2.♘f3 ♘f6), the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack (1.♘f3 followed by 2.b3), the Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 ♘c6), and the Nimzo-English (1.c4 ♘f6 2.♘c3 e6 3.♘f3 ♗b4).

He suddenly took ill at the end of 1934, and died of pneumonia three months later on March 16, 1935 in Copenhagen.

Wikipedia article: Aron Nimzowitsch

Last updated: 2023-06-27 11:05:43

 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 710  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nimzowitsch vs NN 1-0181896RigaB01 Scandinavian
2. Schroeder vs Nimzowitsch  0-1201903Cafe Kaiserhoff offhand gameC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
3. B Blumenfeld vs Nimzowitsch 1-0291903BerlinC45 Scotch Game
4. Tarrasch vs Nimzowitsch ½-½711904Offhand gameD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
5. E Cohn vs Nimzowitsch 0-130190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AC41 Philidor Defense
6. Vidmar vs Nimzowitsch 1-048190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Nimzowitsch vs W Hilse 1-065190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AC27 Vienna Game
8. B Gregory vs Nimzowitsch 1-036190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AA30 English, Symmetrical
9. P Kaegbein vs Nimzowitsch 1-042190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
10. Nimzowitsch vs Duras 1-055190414th DSB Congress - Hauptturnier AB15 Caro-Kann
11. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-1521905Austro-Hungarian championshipC45 Scotch Game
12. Nimzowitsch vs Schlechter 0-1261905Austro-Hungarian championshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
13. H Wolf vs Nimzowitsch ½-½341905Austro-Hungarian championshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
14. L Forgacs vs Nimzowitsch  0-1341905Austro-Hungarian championshipC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
15. Nimzowitsch vs Albin 1-0381905Austro-Hungarian championshipB02 Alekhine's Defense
16. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-04219051st Match Nimzowitsch - SpielmannC45 Scotch Game
17. Nimzowitsch vs Spielmann 1-0201905Cafe Orlando di Lasso offhandC44 King's Pawn Game
18. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-01919051st Match Nimzowitsch - SpielmannB15 Caro-Kann
19. Nimzowitsch vs Spielmann  1-03519051st Match Nimzowitsch - SpielmannC45 Scotch Game
20. Nimzowitsch vs Spielmann ½-½3619051st Match Nimzowitsch - SpielmannC45 Scotch Game
21. Nimzowitsch vs K Satzinger  1-03519051st simulB22 Sicilian, Alapin
22. Nimzowitsch vs Fr Teltscher 1-02819051st simulB20 Sicilian
23. Nimzowitsch vs D Przepiorka ½-½251905Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
24. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-0301905Barmen Meisterturnier BC25 Vienna
25. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-1331905Barmen Meisterturnier BC45 Scotch Game
 page 1 of 29; games 1-25 of 710  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nimzowitsch wins | Nimzowitsch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 76 OF 76 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-12-18  Ron: Two chess players:

One was embarrassed by Capablanca and had a losing record against Alekhine.

The other had a losing record against Capablanca but it's not too bad and also deafeated Alekhine in the World Championship.

The former is Nimzovitch while the latter is Euwe.

Yet people to this day go Nimzovitch Nimzovitch Nimzovitch.

Nimzovitch was like the big talking modern athlete except that the big talking modern athlete has greater justification for his big talking.

Apr-12-18  Retireborn: <Ron> I think the point is that professionals like Nimzo and Alekhine talked big, as you put it, because they wanted to get invitations, simuls, and sell their books. They were advertising, if you like.

Not necessary for Euwe who was a teacher or professor and essentially an amateur chess player all his life.

Personally I find Nimzo's writing style quite annoying, but there is no doubt that his books have made a bigger impact than Euwe's.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: He is now a world chess hall of famer
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: about the Nimzowitsch-Hofer game from Ct-Art
Premium Chessgames Member
  takchess: [FEN "

click for larger view


1. Qh6 gxh6 2. Ng4 d2 3. Nxh6# 1-0 from ct-art. White to move

Nov-07-18  cunctatorg: A great chess genius, he drastically changed chess forever and furthermore he somehow shaped the future of chess.

His contribution to the theory of chess strategy and -consequently- to the theory of chess openings is unparalleled!!

Nov-07-18  RookFile: He was a genius at marketing.
Premium Chessgames Member
  gezafan: My own opinion is that Nimzovich was an excellent player and that My System is an excellent book.

He probably was the number three player in the world at one point, behind only Alekhine and Capablanca, who were two of the all time greats.

My System has lots of useful information that players can use. They don't have to use every idea in every game but I believe those who read My System wll be able to apply Nimzovich's ideas in their own games.

Aug-29-19  RookFile: Let's put him down as the #3 tournament player in the world, and at the same time acknowledge he wasn't a good match player, considering that he lost matches to folks like Bogo, Stahlberg, and Leonhardt.
Nov-07-19  gars: There must be something different in Riga, it gave the Chess World two off-the-mainstream players in fifty years: Nimzowitsch (born in 1886) and Tal (born in 1936).
Nov-07-19  fabelhaft: Then Shirov (1972) was only fourteen years off from another 50 years.
Apr-23-20  LEPJe: Nimzovich top ten !!
Aug-16-21  Bartleby: Nimzowitsch has one of my favorites quotes: "Even the laziest king flees wildly in the face of double check!"

Besides the amusing imagery, it's handy to remember because it's quite true during a blitz game, no matter how chaotic the board or how many of your pieces are hanging.

Aug-16-21  sudoplatov: EDO has Nimzovich in the top 3 from 1926 to 1929. Seems about right. In the top 10 from 1912 to 1934.
Aug-16-21  SChesshevsky: <...Nimzovich was an excellent player and that My System is an excellent book...>

Nimzo's writing was interesting and somewhat helpful but think his play was far more instructive. Probably one of the best, maybe the best, at pawn structure and color complex square control. Games show he wasn't particular about which color squares to control:

Nimzowitsch vs Saemisch, 1929

Nimzowitsch vs Tartakower, 1929

Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: Wow, <Bartleby> back after 10 years...
Aug-17-21  Bartleby: <OhioChessFan: Wow, Bartleby back after 10 years...> I preferred not to post for...awhile.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <There is no such thing as an absolutely freeing move. A freeing move in a position in which development has not been carried far always proves illusory, and vice versa, a move which does not come at all in the category of freeing moves can, given a surplus of tempi to our credit, lead to a very free game.>

Nimzo's writing is unwieldy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: I have a question about game 56 in <Chess Praxis>, (Yates - Nimzowitsch, London 1927): Where it was played? The game started with 1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 ♘f6 3. e5 ♘d5 4. ♘c3 ♘xc3 5. bxc3 ♕a5!?.

It is not Yates vs Nimzowitsch, 1927, London (1927), where Yates played 4.♗c4 .
Surprisingly CG does not have the 'Praxis' game, and Opening Explorer does not show any games with 5...♕a5.

Jul-02-23  Retireborn: <nimzo11> That game is from the Imperial Chess Club tournament, July 1927. The other game you quote is from the British Empire club tournament in October of that year, which was stronger.

You may want to submit the game.

Jul-02-23  Retireborn: Hang on, according to Ray Keene's book the stronger tournament was played in July and the Imperial Chess Club was in October, sorry.
Premium Chessgames Member
  nizmo11: Thank you <Retireborn> I found BritBase reference with tournament table, and the known games,, according BritBase, the (tentative) dates were 7-21 November 1927.
It seems that the relatively weak opposition allowed Nimzowitsch to demonstrate his ideas, he included in <Chess Praxis> four games from this tournament (28, 56, 57,70)
Jul-02-23  Retireborn: <nimzo11> Thanks for pointing me to that - I've downloaded the pgn from there.
Dec-04-23  Caissanist: QOTD from Nimzowitsch, as it has been several times previously. Is this from <My System>?

<We engage one wing, or the obvious weakness in it, and thus draw the other enemy wing out of its reserve, when new weakness will be created on that reserve wing, and so the signal is given for systematic manoeuvring against two weaknesses.>

Dec-04-23  sudoplatov: Perhaps Nimzowitsch's style isn't too hard to emulate.

Nimzowitsch hat Laskers Angriffswechsel , die er während des Ruy-Lopez-Wechselspiels verwendete, das Lasker hatte und das ihm den Turniersieg bescherte, der 1914 in St. Petersburg wurde und bei dem die fünf Großmeister gekrönt wurden ausgetragen gewonnen besprochen.

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