Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

register now - it's free!
Efim Bogoljubov vs Aron Nimzowitsch
San Remo (1930)  ·  Nimzo-Indian Defense: Spielmann. Stahlberg Variation (E23)  ·  0-1
To move:
Last move:

Click Here to play Guess-the-Move
Given 7 times; par: 54 [what's this?]

explore this opening
find similar games 17 more Bogoljubov/Nimzowitsch games
sac: 18...Qc7 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If we are missing an important game, you can submit it (in PGN format) at our PGN Upload Utility.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with the default chess viewer, please see the Pgn4web Quickstart Guide.

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: 12...a4 is a wonderful move
Apr-09-05  fgh: Truly a great game by the master of strategy.
Apr-09-05  THE pawn: Indeed. Nimzo must be the stronger pawn handler...
Apr-09-05  Whitehat1963: Another excellent game from the Player of the Day.
Apr-10-05  fgh: From the 7th move, till the last one, the king's knight stays on c5!
Apr-30-05  aw1988: Beautiful.
Oct-31-05  rjsolcruz: whatever happened to bogoljobov's "... when i'm white, i win because i'm white"?
Oct-31-05  WMD: The quote is wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: I think white was slow in getting
a3 in. 9. a3 looks reasonable.
Sep-14-06  notyetagm: <ray keene: 12...a4 is a wonderful move>

Yes, the brilliant tactical point of Nimzowitsch's 12 ... a4!! is 13 axb4? ♘xb4 14 ♕b1? ♘b3#, a beautiful picturesque pure checkmate from the Black knights:

click for larger view

Oct-04-06  Tomlinsky: Taking a look at this game after many years and 12...a4 is such a peach. The move preceding it, 12.a3, on the other hand is complete dross. Bogoljubow completely misses the danger of the pawn advance.

The standard of Bogoljubow's play mystifies me at times. His games can be either exceedingly average or excellent.

Sep-24-08  Sem: Well, Capablanca once said of Bogoljubov: 'He plays pieces all over the board, but it's all shifting wood, all shifting wood.'
Mar-18-10  Chess Guevara: 23. exf8 = R+ says the chessmaster2000
Nov-20-11  indoknight: make me remember with Timman vs Kasparov, 1985
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: There's nothing wrong with 12. a3. 13. Nb5 is the howler. Why allow the exchange of Bishops and free up a5 for the sake of not exchanging a Knight that isn't doing much of anything on c3 or b5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Is 12...a4 really such a wonderful move?

What does it do to aid Nimzowitsch's position?

The bishop on b4 is still immune no matter which move Nimzowitsch makes on turn 12.

If the purpose of 12...a4 is to tempt Bogoljubov into blundering, it didn't work.

It would likely work on me, but not against world class opposition.

So on move 12, Nimzowitsch can afford simply to develop another piece, if he so wishes.

I doubt the move was made to "tempt a blunder," since any other move Nimzowitsch makes and leaves the bishop en prise would function as exactly the same temptation.

Oct-29-14  Karpova: <Jess>

Albert Becker annotations to the game (Wiener Schachzeitung, March 1930, pp. 76-77) may shed some light on the issue:

He critisizes 9.e3<?>, suggesting the manoeuvre <9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 0-0 11.b4 Ne4 12.Bb2> with excellent play. White hoped to execute the plan later, but he errs.

On 10.Be2, he notes that now <10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3> is meat with <11...a5!> (and plater possibly <...a4>) and this prevents <12.b4? axb4 13.axb4 Nxb4! etc.>.

11...a5 receives an <!>, and is called the initation of an ingenious attack.

12.a3<?> is called a decisive mistake, since the hole on b3 is perversive of White's play. He suggests <12.Nd4!> instead.

12...a4 receives <!!> and he gives two beautiful mating lines, if White takes on b4 on moves 13 or 14.

I do not know if Becker's analysis stands up to strong modern engines, but it's certainly interesting to see which plans a strong contemporaneous master like Becker identifies in that position.

A plan involving b4 was considered fine for White. On move 9, he could have tried it. It would not have been that easy on later stages. 11.0-0-0 was not annotated, but 11.0-0 may have been better.

12...a4 fixes the ♙ formation on the queen's side, where White's ♔ tries to find shelter. There is a hole on b3, the Black ♘s can make excellent use of. Black can now try to (and does so) to open lines on the queen's side (15...d5). Another ♙-break maybe to be taken into account sometimes would be ...b5 followed by ...b4. White is prevented from improving his ♙ formation, since the Black a-♙ immobilizes both White's a- and b-♙ (if the Black a-♙ was on a5, White could under some circumstances play b3 to have both, a- and b-♙ on the same rank and answer later ...a4 with b4). There is also the psychological effect of White having to worry about Black's possibilities all the time, e. g. now it's clear that he can play ...Nb3(+) whenever he wants - when will he, and which ♘, etc.? The tactical refutation of taking the ♗b4 is also beautiful - for sure, it was also immune after, say, 12...Bb7 (13.axb4 Nxb4). The point is not so much that only 12...a4 kept it immune, since other moves did so also, but the tactics themselves. After all, Black could have overlooked it and opted for 12...Bxc3 instead (although the move does not look bad to me, but the (hidden) tactics are delightful and in this case, they were gone).

Premium Chessgames Member
  WCC Editing Project:

Thanks <Karpova>!

That is an extremely helpful and informative annotation by Albert Becker, that gives a substantial answer to my question.

NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific game and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
Spot an error? Please submit a correction slip and help us eliminate database mistakes!
This game is type: CLASSICAL (Disagree? Please submit a correction slip.)

Featured in the Following Game Collections [what is this?]
justin study games
by jeta
MKD's Favourite Games
by MKD
ray keene's favorite games
by ray keene
by whiteshark
from Hypermodern chess: Aron Nimzovich by Reinfeld by nikolaas
chess master games
by Chess Guevara
(E23) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann, 35 moves, 0-1
from N O P Players by fredthebear
GlassCow's favorite games
by GlassCow
12 ... a5-a4!! is a stupendous move
from Nimzowitsch by notyetagm
by Frodo7
Trainning to a brilliant practice
by Antiochus
by gmann
Legend Nimzowitt
by Gottschalk
San Remo 1930
by suenteus po 147
Game 23.
from Dynamic Chess - R. N. Coles by rudysanford
from tmhasfun's favorite Nimzo-Indian games by tmhasfun
Witch's Wizardry
from The Mahabharat of Chess by lalla
Mil y Una Partidas 1914-1931
by K9Empress

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2017, Chessgames Services LLC