One for the new year!
The following OTB-game was played in Jyväskylä. Time control was 10+10 minutes. Blixt game has it’s own good sides. The quality of the game will decrease and the amount of mistakes will increase but the game itself can be exciting and interesting. So it was this time too. The quality of the game is - let’s say moderate - but there were many interesting points why I wanted to analyze this game.
Venkat V. - Eero R.
10+10 min, Jyväskylä 5.1.2010
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Noa variation [E34]:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4
Nimzo-Indian defense. This opening was introduced by Latvian grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) to master-level chess in 1920’s.
Black can now also transpose to Queen’s Gambit with 3…d5.
This is the Classical Variation or Capablanca Variation. Alternate moves:
4. Qb3 (Spielman Variation)
4. a3 (Sämisch Variation)
4. Bg5 (Leningrad Variation)
4. e3 (Rubinstein Variation)
4. Nf3 (Kasparov Variation)
4. g3 (Fianchetto Variation)
4. Qd3!? (Mikenas Variation)
4. Bd2!? (A move which is mostly used by amateurs)
This is called Noa variation. Josef Noa (1856-1903) was a Hungarian master. (I don’t know whether the variation is named after him.) This move was a favourite of Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-95). The position is similar to some variations of Queen’s Gambit declined where the bishop is in b4. Now 5. Nf3 would lead to QGD: Ragozin variation except the queen is situated in inferior square c2.
Black has also other possible moves here.
4…c5 (Berlin variation)
4…Nc6 (Zürich or Milner-Barry variation)
Grandmaster Mark Taimanov (b. 1926) in his book Nimzowitsch-Indisch. Sämisch-System bis Leningrader System (1983) comments that this move (5. Bg5) is inaccurate. What is a right place of the bishop: is it on the king’s side or on the queen’s side? It looks that the bishop does not have any sensible things to do on the king’s side. The only plan is to exchange it to black’s knight but is that a good idea? More natural would be to keep it defending the back ranks (in d2 perhaps). This move is better when played a move earlier (see Leningrad Variation above).
According the database of Chess Assistant Light 6 the most popular moves in here are:
a) 5. cxd5
b) 5. e3
c) 5. a3.
5. e3 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 O-O 9. a4 cxd4 10. cxd4 Ne4
11. Be2 Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Nxd2 13. Qxd2 dxc4 14. Bxc4 b6 15. Bb5 Qxd2+ 1/2-1/2,
Capablanca-Nimzowitsch, Berlin (1928).
5…dxc4!? 6. Nf3 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. g3 a6 10. Bg2 Ra7 11. 0-0 Rd7 and black defends his extra pawn in a strong position, Capablanca – Nimzowitsch, Bad Kissingen (1928).
After this move black has a minor advantage. White can also exchange his bishop to knight (5. Bxf6) although it seems better to avoid the exchange.
6…g5 7. Bg3 Nc6
7…Ne4 was also possible.
A tactical mistake which costs a pawn. Now black will get a clear advantage. Better was 8. e3 which would protect the pawns in c4 and d4.
8…Nxd4 9. Qd3 Nc6 10. Nf3 Ne4 11. a3 Bxc3+ 12. bxc3 Qf6?!
Eero accidentally touched the queen and intended to take the pawn from c3 but then noticed that it was protected. According the general rules of the game he now had to move his queen.
13. Bxc7 g4!
A poisonous strike which will win the pawn in f2.
14. Nd4 Nxf2 15. Qe3 Nxh1 16. Nxc6?!
When material is lost it’s not wise to do more exchanges. Exchanging makes it easier to your opponent to win the game.
16…Qh4+ 17. Kd2?
17. g3? is not good because black just takes the H-pawn.
Correct was 17. Bg3 Nxg3 18. hxg3 Q- and white can save his knight.
17…bxc6 18.g3 Qg5 19.Bg2 Nf2 20.Bf4 Qf5 21.Qxf2 In this position white lost on time. (0-1). Black has more material (pawn and rook vs. bishop) but white have a bishop pair. However the isolated c-pawns and e-pawn gives black the upper hand. Black’s position generally is better than white’s.
Mark Taimanov: Nimzowitsch-Indisch. Sämisch-System bis Leningrader System (1983). Berlin: Sport-Verlag Berlin.
Chess Archaeology / opening database