Aron Nimzowitsch - The Greatest Opening Innovator, Part Two

  • GM Gserper
  • | Aug 11, 2013

In the first part of this series, we analyzed Aron Nimzowitsch's influence on the modern openings. While everyone knows that Nimzowitsch was the creator of a number of well-known opening variations like the Nimzo-Indian Defense or the 5...gxf6 line in the Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6 gxf6!?), we sometimes forget about his many other inventions. Today we will see how Bobby Fischer (who was a well-known connoisseur of classical games) studied Nimzowitsch opening ideas.

Let's start with a simple but a very dangerous brain child of Nimzowitsch which today is called the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack. White develops his queen's bishop to b2 (where it points at Black's king), the king's bishop goes to b5 in order to eliminate Black's knight covering the key e5-square, then he moves his pawn to f4, puts his knight to e5... and starts a crushing kingside attack! Here's how he did it:

And now compare the next two positions:

Yes, Robert James Fischer knew classical games very well.  He also never missed an opportunity to improve upon them! 

Fischer noticed that the key of the Nimzowitsch's defense was a trade of his 'bad' light squared Bd7. So, in his game vs. Petrosian (whose favorite chess player was Nimzowitsch!), Fischer just prevented this trade and Black's whole position ultimately collapsed.

Bobby Fischer

The moral of this story: study classical games! If you just learn them, you'll be a good chess player. If you manage to improve upon them, you'll be a great player!



  • 2 years ago



    Thanks =) I missed the bishop maneuvering once the King got to e5. Bh8 is a very cool move to find

  • 2 years ago


    TQ SIR

  • 2 years ago


    Aaron Nimzowitsch is one of my favorite players of all time, because of his creative, unique, and original approach  to chess at top-level. My System, to this day, is one of my favorite chess books and is extremely informative. I would suggest it to any intermediate player. It will teach you the principles to reach the next level.

  • 2 years ago


    Thanks for posting such immortal games of chess!!!

  • 2 years ago



    49. Bh8 opens the way to e5 for White King and basically puts Black into zugzwang. If only the Bishop or a-pawn move, White play 50. Ke5, 51. Bf6, 52. Bg5, 53. Bh6 and 54. Rf8# (or 52... Kg7 53. Rc7, and Black can't stop the d-pawn from queening). 49... Rb7 is met with 50. Rc7+ Rxc7 51. dxc7, with a new Queen on the board.

    Finally, any move of the Bishop away from the a8-h1 diagonal (for instance, 49... Be2, with idea of 50... Ba6) is met with simple Rxc6.

  • 2 years ago


    Interesting article.  In Igor Smirnov's Youtube channel, he gives a presentation on 1.b3 opening with the light square bishop pinning the knight on c6 as above.

  • 2 years ago


    I enjoy his moves so much! Surprizing (for me) and very very enjoyable!! :)

  • 2 years ago


    Thanks for posting such immortal games of chess.

  • 2 years ago


    Nice article, the b3 system is what i try to play now (starting with 1.b3/Bb2 and if d5 -> nimzowitsch attack) and i like the ideas of nimzo's hypormodern approach. But often people start to play strange replies, so it's hardly possible to perform that typical plan, most of the time it ends in some kind of caro-can structures or english stuff. I had over 10 1.b3-tries so far in long time control OTB games - and none of them allowed this attack.


    Btw, is the book "die praxis meines systems" (don't know it's english name, but it contains pracitcal examples to "my system") any good - or comparable to bobby fishers 60 games ? And does it contain such Nf3/b3 games as well ?

  • 2 years ago


    Can someone please explain the motive behind 49. Bh8 in the Nimzo-Wolf game?

  • 2 years ago


    22. Nxe5 in the first game against Rubinstein. I wish I could play a move like that once. Thank you for all the instructive games. Now I see that Nimzowitsch was truly a special player.

  • 2 years ago


    Not a great article!! why are there no notes after the moves in each game to help the weaker players understand.. putting games like that is not the biggest help.

  • 2 years ago


    Awesome games!

  • 2 years ago


    Great article, thanks!

  • 2 years ago


    Thank you very much, im trainning a 9 year old very talented kid and we are studyng "My System". I will show him this article hext class. Cheers

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