A Nimzo-Indian Piece Offer

A Nimzo-Indian Piece Offer‎

NM GreenLaser
10 | Opening Theory

The Nimzo-Indian is considered a solid positional defense. However, the soundness of an opening is often tested by tactical problems. The line presented includes the offer of a piece by White. This has been played in only a few games. Black has both accepted and declined the piece. The games involved interesting play. The piece offered was the bishop on g5. After, Black’s h6, instead of retreating the bishop or capturing on f6, White played h4. This type of sacrifice was possible, and occurs in other openings, because Black has already castled and White has not. Therefore, White still has a rook on h1 and defies Black to open the h-file.

The games with this line are shown with notes. I hope that the spirit of the line is not obscured for readers by the annotations. There always seemed to be more and more possibilities worth showing. I had to stop and come to a conclusion. This is how chess theory progresses. Players prepare an idea, arrive at the scheduled game, and go with what they have. Later, others find more lines and the idea continues to be tested. Even after the latest conclusion reaches the books, testing begins anew. I believe that this sacrifice can be used to produce enjoyable chess. I would appreciate it if readers who try this line send their games to me.

The Nimzo-Indian begins with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4. The main variation presented here continues 4.e3 b6 5.Ng3 Ba6 6.Ng3 0-0 7.e4 Nc6 8.Bg5 h6 9.h4 with one exception. I included Knaak-Adorjan which has 8.Bd3 Na5 and then 9.Bg5 h6. That is the only game with that move order, but offers the same sacrifice. In the main variation, after 9.h4 there are three responses. 9...e5, 9...d6, and hxg5. Plachetka-Schneider, the earliest game, used 9...e5 10.d5. Ornstein-Eisterer went 9...e5 10.a3. 9...d6 10.Rc1 was Khalifman-Wahls and 9...d6 10.a3 was Handke-Becker. The sacrifice accepted with 9.hxg5 10.hxg5 g6 is followed by 11.gxf6 in Yrjola-Maki, and 11.e5 Nh7 Kg7 in Vaisser-Dautov and 12...Nxg5 in Hedman-Yemelin.

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