The Immortal Overprotection Game


Found at wikipedia:

Nimzowitsch's vanity and faith in his ideas of overprotection provoked Hans Kmoch to write a parody about him in February 1928 in the Wiener Schachzeitung. This consisted of a mock game against the fictional player "Systemsson", supposedly played and annotated by Nimzowitsch himself. The annotations gleefully exaggerate the idea of overprotection, as well as asserting the true genius of the wondrous idea. Kmoch was in fact a great admirer of Nimzowitsch, and the subject of the parody himself was amused at the effort.


Anderssen started the sacrificial style, Morphy and Gruenfeld the pure attacking style, Steinitz the positional style, Tarrasch the scientific style, Lasker the style of styles, Capablanca the mechanical style, Alekhine a style as brilliant as sunlight. But it is a generally known fact that originality and modernism were introduced by me as my own personal inventions and enthusiastically imitated (without being fully understood) by the whole world of chess. For the ridiculously small sum of ten marks, the reader can confirm all this in my monumental work, My System, published by B. Kagan. Before my time, chess was so naive and undistinguished! One or two brutal opening moves, each one involving a vulgar, obvious threat, a common, banal sacrifice, a painfully elementary, bestially raw checkmate - such, more or less, was the course of chess games before my heyday set in. Then I appeared on the scene and the chess world paid heed. The hegemony of matter was shattered at a stroke and the era of the spiritual began. Under my creative guidance, the chessmen, hitherto nothing but highwaymen, pirates and butcher boys, became sensitive artists and subtle instruments of immeasurable profundity. But why waste words!--accompany me, dear reader to the dizzy heights of the following game.


This is fantastic!


Hahaha, this was wonderful. Thanks for sharing ! :)


Maybe not immortal, but this Grischuk game featured overprotection quite heavily.  Though he missed a tactic to go from slightly worse to unclear but slightly better than before at best due to white's most important minor piece being traded off.  When doing a find the move my plan the entire time revolved around finding a way to get rid of that piece but found that trying in most situations lost more material than it was worth.  Then I'd look at d5 breaks, which would often otherwise work if recapturing was forced, but wasn't. 

I'm giving the clean version since there are reams and reams of variations and sub variations.  When you see lines named B7c2274212 you know the analysis is simply rediculous.  And before inputting it I had to work it all out in my head.  So many potential captures, recaptures, counter threats, etc. It's the kind of game that takes days to properly play guess the move on.  If you spend a half hour on any game you're doing it wrong anyway. 


haha Nimzowitch vs Systemsson! At first i thought it was a joke....You know Nimzowitch featuring his ''System'' against ''Systemsson'' haha lol. Great game btw and also entertaining notes by Nimzowitch, though a bit haughty..




Nimzowich's annotations to his own games were often somewhat egocentric manic13


Thank's guys!  I own and read Nimzowitsches My System, The Blockade, and Chess Praxis long ago and the condescending tone of the annotation in the Immortal game here brought it all back.

When I've lost a few games in a row at a club or against Lucas Chess or Chess King, etc., I concentrate on overprotection in my next game.  I know it seems more like waiting for an opponent to make a mistake than trying to keep/gain the initiative, but there's a balance you can achieve that's frustrating for your opponents.

Here's a live game of mine played on where I'm White and elected to play the Giuocco Piano (Quiet Game) for the purpose of seeing how I'd do with easy development with overprotection and without a chance for a lot of surprises.  I kept a slight edge (according to Stockfish 8) throughout and neither side made a major error until my opponent's (Black's) move 28:



The Scandinavian "Herr" Systemsson lol...


I don't know why this got bumped but it is one of my favorite things ever created so yesssss

dpnorman wrote:

I don't know why this got bumped but it is one of my favorite things ever created so yesssss

Yasser linked it in an article


Yeah, over-protection is very valid.

It basically means: get more good factors that might not be useful now, but are potentially so in the future.

If you don't need to buy anything at the moment, does that mean you should not keep some cash in the bank?

So that, having more of something that could not be used currently is always good, however, less so than things you can use immediately.

You might never need to buy anything, you know, however, that rarely happens in practice.

In MickeyMD's game, 18...ef4 is a major mistake, I doubt SF does not see it that way.

Capturing with the rook is much stronger and white has quite some problems with defending the f pawn.



A sizeable part of overprotection is that each of the protecting pieces is independently free to move.


Great post, those annotations...trophies.png


In this game Nimzowitch played like a 1200+ player.


At least 5 '??'s played by white.


over-protection is crap


the seirawan effect.his satire blog misleads the kids.

Goram wrote:

the seirawan effect.his satire blog misleads the kids.

Please analysis the game by yourself first!


On the chessboard, lies and hypocrisy do not survive long. The creative combination lays bare the presumption of a lie; the merciless fact, culminating in the checkmate, contradicts the hypocrite.

Em. Lasker