Nimzowitsch Defense: Scandinavian Variation, Advance Variation

Aug 3, 2010, 4:37 PM |

In this blog, I aim to increase my knowledge of this opening, the ideas for each side and whether or not the opening is a viable option as part of my opening repertoire.

The game begins with: 1.e4 Nc6 (Nimzowitsch Defence) 2.d4 d5 (Scandinavian Variation) 3.e5 (Advance Variation)

The advance variation shows a couple of things:
1) White has committed to overextending his e pawn
2) Black controls the light squares whereas White controls the dark squares (in the centre)
I personally believe that playing Bf5 is the most accurate response, although Christoph Wisnewski believes this leaves the bishop exposed after Ne2. I am not sure how this exposes the bishop, but I assume he means that after Ng3 and Bd3, black has spent numerous tempi to trade off his bad bishop while white develops his knight. I however believe this justified because he trades a bad bishop for a good bishop, and the knight may not feel "at home" on g3 instead of f3.
The most commonly played move by masters after Bf4 is c3. This helps to solidify the pawn chain and due to black's knight being on c6, the c5 break seems less likely. Where white does not play c3, notice that Nb4 and c5 is possible.
Most players I have faced haven't even thought of these moves, so they choose more common developing moves which I have looked at in the next diagram. e6 is normally what black should play as his 4th move due to it activating the dark squared bishop and prevents e6 from white in the future:
The other 3rd move which black can play is the strange looking f6! This move attacks white strong centre straight away. The main response if f4 but this hasn't proved effective in practice as black wins nearly 50% of the time. Black, however, has 2 issues with this line. Firstly, should the bishop be pushed to f5 outside of the pawn chain or kept behind and try to get out via other means? This is because white can play Bb5 to pin the knight to the king which may be an issue in the future.
Responses to Bf5:
4. Ne2 - started
4. Nf3 - started
4. c3
4. Bb5
4. f4
4. others
For analysis: linksspringer, Conzipe
For allowing me to play against them: Nytik, youngpro