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I'm starting to develop an opening repertoire for black against d4. I've been playing the Nimzo-Indian, and I'm pretty happy with it, but white can avoid it simply by playing 3. Nf3.Is there any logic to which system I should play in response (QID, QGD, Blumenfeld, Benoni, Bogo), or do I just pick one?
I usually play 1. e4 as white, and I (usually) play Sicilian Sveshnikov against 1. e4 and 1...c5 against English and 1. Nf3, if that matters.
Karpov, Carlsen, Capablanca and Adams typically play QID.
The QID or bogo-indian are generally the ones people accompany their nimzo-indian with. I dont play either, but I guess they engender a similar style of positions. All the choices you listed are fine.As far as playing the sveshnikov goes, you could try the benoni and there is a chance that it could occasionally give you similar structures, though it wouldnt be so often. Playing the sveshnikov and benko usually after 3.nf3 I take on d4 and can get a structure that has some resemblence to the sveshnikov.
I prefer transposing into the Ragozin Defense (with the move order 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4).
Personally I have never liked the Queen's Indian...TOO positional for my tastes. The Benoni and Blumenfeld are possible, but are not my style and are very different from the Nimzo-Indian. i actually became a Nimzo player pretty recently, in the past going with the QGD and Noteboom Semi-Slav.
there is some logic to playing a benoni, as the knight on f3 prevents the scary f4 lines, but the safer option is the QID, or playing d5 to get a QGD
It is quite possible to play the QID aggressively, as Korchnoi, Karpov, and Ivanchuk have shown in any number of games.
QID has always been my main choice vs 3 Nf3, although I've played several different approaches over the years, so I am biased. But it has worked out well for me.
Alternatives might depend on the tournament situation. 3 ...d5 is a very solid QGD, 3 ...c5 enters the Modern Benoni. I've tried the Bogo a few times with mixed results, but it does not feel so comfortable for me.
Personal taste is a major factor. You will usually get better results with the positions you feel most comfortable and confident playing, no matter what theory currently favors.
Although QID is the standard go-to for Nimzo players, I've found the Benoni is also quite nice as a change-up. If you know white wants to fianchetto kingside anway, I believe the Benoni is even better in those lines.
3.Nf3 apart from the Queen's Indian leaves an option to go for the Benoni, the Bogo-Indian (rather unambitious, but perfectly safe opening) and, most importantly, for the sharp and reliable QGD Ragozin variation.
3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 = Semi-Tarrasch Defense, which is safe and sound
The Semi-Tarrasch is pretty much eveything else apart from safe and sound. The old mainline is a showcase for the classical h7 bishop sacrifice.
FirebrandX, the QID is the go-to for Nimzo players is a false stereotype. In many cases, the NID is the "alternative". There are a lot of Benoni players that will only play the Benoni thru the Nimzo-Indian move order to avoid the Taimanov Variation (also known as the Flick-Knife attack), which is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+. Instead, they will play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6, and answer 3.Nc3 with 3...Bb4 while 3...Nf3 or 3...g3 (at attempt at the catalan) would be answered by 3...c5, the former going into mainly classical lines of the Benoni, the latter going into Fianchetto lines.
FirebrandX, the QID is the go-to for Nimzo players is a false stereotype.
Actually it's a true stereotype. The Nimzo typically scores better for black than the QID, and I've often heard masters claiming they tend to avoid the Nimzo as white with Nf3. Another example is GM Jacob Aagard's chessbase DVDs, where he builds the entire repertoire around the Nimzo, and only 'aquiesses' to the QID when white plays Nf3 instead of Nc3.
On top of all that, my own ICCF archives show a resounding preference by black for the Nimzo, scoring literally the best performance in all games starting with 1.d4 and 2.c4.
So as much as you may personally prefer the QID, I'm not wrong when I say the general choice (if given to black) would be to go into a Nimzo instead of the QID.
Why not play c6, transposing to Semi-Slav?
Thanks everyone for all the advice,
It seems as though it really does come down to taste. I probably can't make a decision based on the rest of my repertoire. These d4 positions are so fluid in the initial stages. When I play Sicilian, I feel like I'm the one dictating the action, since I'm not afraid of anti-Sicilian lines. Against d4, I feel like I'm in a swamp of transpositions.
I was looking at the Blumenfeld, but it seems as though white can pretty much avoid that, too, just by meeting 3...c5 with 4. e3 instead of 4. d5. So then I would have to learn yet another system (Semi-Tarrasch?) to deal with that. Maybe I'll just play it safe with the QGD as an all-purpose defense for a while, until I feel more comfortable in these positions.
Pretty much any gambit one might consider playing, ways to decline the gambit are the least of your worries! (I'm not counting the QG, which I don't consider a real gambit).
I don't play the Blumenfeld, but 4.e3 wouldn't worry me at all!
Nice to know you like QGD, but c8-bishop remains bottled up.
I personally play c6, transposing into semi-slav, a dynamic opening
FirebrandX, the QID is the go-to for Nimzo players is a false stereotype.
FirebrandX, you obviously didn't understand what I said at all. Your claim was that the QID is the automatic go-to weapon for Nimzo-Indian players when they end up facing 3.Nf3, and I'm saying that that stereotype isn't true because not all Nimzo players will play the Queen's Indian if you play 3.Nf3, and to assume a Nimzo player would do that is crazy. That was where I was saying that some Benoni players will only play it via the Nimzo move order, and so while they will play the Nimzo vs 3.Nc3, it doesn't automatically mean they will play the QID against 3.Nf3, and that's where I made the Benoni point.
All of that has nothing to do with whether the Nimzo scores better than the Queen's Indian, like your counter claim to saying my statement is false.
If you play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5, yes White can play 4.e3, but nothing says you have to play into a Semi-Tarrasch. Continue with your Benoni Structure, playing d6, g6, Bg7, O-O (maybe not in that exact order), and White will have to open up at some point. If he never plays d5, and never moves e4 (weaking d4), then White will have nothing, nada, bopkis, and Black can build up on d4 and the Queenside, and have the better game, and even if he can't break thru with a win, it's a very easy draw. Thank White for playing such stupid chess!
Bogo Indian has been my favourite reply on 3. Nf3
Can anyone suggest a response to d4 that fits my repertoire?
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