Trying to play like Nimzowitsch

So recently I decided to splash out on my first chess book! When deciding which one to go for, I browsed the forums a little, and one thing most people seemed to agree on was that Nimzowitsch's book "My Sytem" was a classic when it came to positional and strategical themes. Since my play tends to lack in strategical subtlety, I thought, not bad for a tenner.

So far I'm pretty pleased with it. I've read the first few chapters, played through some of the example games. The main themes so far are pretty basic - about the centre, development, the open file, and play on the 7th and 8th ranks - but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't learnt a few things. The games he includes are such simple, positional masterpieces as well, utilising the themes incredibly effectively.

I decided to play a couple of 10 minute games just focusing on playing positionally if possible, trying not to calculate too much (which is my usual style) just to try and emphasise the positional themes in the style of Nimzo! Of course it didn't quite come together quite as in the example games, but I'd say the second game in particular demonstrates some of the ideas. I went 1.5/2.

So much to this second game that I didn't see under the blitz conditions - but the main lesson to take from this I think is the idea at the 25th - White obviously has a great position, verging on winning - but I needed to see that Qd3 idea is the best way to continue. Thanks for reading! Thoughts welcome.


  • 4 years ago


    Thanks for the comment ghostofmaroczy. I'm not sure either how well this Nimzovichian style of play will merge with how I play - I'm not a massive fan of "simple" positions and it seems to me that Nimzovich likes to simplify a lot to gain a small positional advantage, which he tends to exploit as if it is a wide, gaping hole in the defence, but I can't see myself able to exploit so little anywhere near as effectively. Interesting.

  • 4 years ago


    The first chess book I purchased was My System.  I also tried to play like Nimzovich.  I wish you success trying to play like Nimzovich.  Myself, I found that a bum steer.  It was probably my own misinterpretation that was the problem, though.

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