Monday, 4 June 2007

Nimzo Indian Sämisch: a favourite idea

The Sämisch Variation of the Nimzo Indian gives rise to some spectacular attacking games. I've already talked about Euwe's brilliancy at Zurich 1953, and one of my wins from the Northumberland Quickplay Championships.

One of my best games with the variation was played in the Kent League back in 1995, where a Bronstein idea, pushing the f-pawn down the board, brought me a miniature victory against a strong opponent:

Roger Coathup - Colin Gentile (201 BCF, ~2260 FIDE), Kent League 1995

1 d4 Nf6; 2 c4 e6; 3 Nc3 Bb4; 4 a3 Bxc3+; 5 bc c5; 6 f3 0-0; 7 e4 d6; 8 Bd3 Nc6; 9 Nge2 Ne8; 10 0-0 b6; 11 f4 Na5;

Najdorf tried 11 ... Ba6 in this position in the 1950 Candidates against Bronstein but went down quickly to the same idea: 12 f5 e5; 13 f6 Kh8; 14 d5 Na5; 15 Ng3 gf; 16 Nf5 Bc8; 17 Qh5 Bxf5; 18 ef Rg8; 19 Rf3 Rg7; 20 Bh6 Rg8; 21 Rh3 1-0.

Black does better to play 11 ... f5 stalling White's f-pawn, after which the game takes on a completely different character.

12 f5 e5?!; 13 f6!

Nimzo Indian Saemisch Variation Coathup vs Gentile Chess

13 ... Nxf6?

After this Black is caught in a deadly pin on the half open f-file, and can't organise any reasonable king side defence. As we've seen in the Bronstein game, leaving the pawn on f6 also leaves Black in difficulty.

14 Bg5 Bg4

With Ne2-g3-h5 threatened, Black decides to exchange off the knight.

15 Qe1 Bxe2; 16 Bxe2 Re8; 17 d5 h6; 18 Bxf6 gf; 19 Qh4 Kg7; 20 Rf5 Rh8; 21 R1f1 Rc8; 22 Rxf6 Rc7; 23 Bh5 Rf8; 24 Bxf7 1-0

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.