More Than The Basics About Nimzo-Indian Defense

Nimzo-Indian Defense is probably one of the best chess openings that players use. Aron Nimzowitsch worked on and researched in depth this opening (since 1920) and it is fair enough that took his name in the repertoire of the top chess players worldwide. It’s amazing that the popularity of this opening has increased over time and all the great players use it. In this article, you will learn more than the basics of Nimzo-Indian Defense through examples and some amazing games.

Introduction to the Basics of Nimzo-Indian Defense

The main line of the Nimzo-Indian Opening are the following moves: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4


The plan of Black is to strike at e4 square and prevent it from becoming an outpost square. It is already under pressure from the Knight at f6 square, while the Knight at c3 square is pinned. Black can either move a pawn at d5 or perform a fianchetto in the queenside. Let’s check this example:

The positioning reminds us the Queen’s Gambit and I have written an article about the Accepted one and the Declined one that you can check them out. White can move his pawn to e4, but Black has the same deployment and he has 2 pawns in the battle at the center of the board. On the other hand, White wants to take advantage of his pair of Bishops and try to open the game. Let’s see several theoretical variations.

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical Variation

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Leningrad Variation

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Saemisch Variation

Illustrating game

In order to help you understand better the Nimzo-Indian Opening, I have prepared some great games that have been played by World Champions and other top players. I believe those games will help you improve your opening and your middlegame. As always, I encourage you to find the essence of each move and don’t just memorize moves.

Nimzo-Indian, Rubinstein System

Nimzo-Indian, Rubinstein System

Nimzo-Indian Defense, Leningrad (…b5 gambit)

Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation

Nimzo-Indian: Saemisch variation

Final Thoughts

The Nimzo-Indian Opening is definitely an important part of the game. In fact, I like this opening so much that I use it frequently when I am playing chess. Please don’t hesitate to comment and share this article, if you have found value in it. Also, check my other articles about chess sets and chess strategies. Enjoy playing chess.

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