Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Bishops Beat the Nimzo!

Remind me never to play the Nimzo-Indian Defense against Arnold Denker.

US Championship, New York, 1944
White: Arnold Denker
Black: Reuben Fine
Nimzo-Indian Defense

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Bb4
4. e3 b6
5. Bd3 Bb7
6. Nf3 Ne4
7. O-O Nxc3

White sacrifices a pawn for a big lead in development.

8. bxc3 Bxc3
9. Rb1 Ba5
10. Ba3 d6
11. c5 O-O
12. cxd6 cxd6
13. e4 Re8
14. e5 dxe5
15. Nxe5 ....

The reason for the pawn sacrifice. White's pieces are centralized and active. Black's are crowded in a corner.

15. .....Qg5

A counter attack which White defends effortlessly.

16. g3 g6
17. Qa4 Qd8
18. Rfc1 b5

Black is crying for space and tries to return the pawn in order to continue an attack.

19. Bxb5 Qd5
20. f3 Bb6
21. Rc5! Bxc5

See Diagram

White goes with an exchange sacrifice, stopping any mate threat and maintaining a powerful bishop pair!

22. Bxc5 Rf8?!?!

Above my pay grade. Why not 22. .....Rc1 instead? Not that it changes anything. Maybe Black thought White would be content with just trading the exchange back with Bxf8. No such luck.

23. Bc4 Bc6
24. Bxd5 Bxa4
25. Bxa8 Resigns

Black thought he could counter-attack, trade off his badly placed pieces for White's powerfully placed pieces and keep that pawn for his trouble. No such luck.

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