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Aron Nimzowitsch vs Theodor von Scheve
Ostend-B (1907), Ostend BEL, rd 14, Jun-03
Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack (A06)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-06-06  Gouki: i dont understand, why nimzowitsch wastes time by playing 2.d3, then 3.d4. why not play 2.d4 right away instead of this waste of time?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: Gouki who knows what goes on in the mind of chess geniuses? I guess the obvious answer is that Nimzowitsch did not want to his opponent to play either 3...d4 or 3...e5.
Aug-06-06  Gouki: the thing is, in typical beginners chess books they say that quick development of pieces and the control of the centre is essential. they also say that moving a piece or pawn twice in the opening is unadvisable.

why then does nimzowitsch move his pawn twice? its like giving black time, when usually in the opening, white has the initiative up until the middlegame where chances are even by both sides.

Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: 2. d3 is a classic "waiting move". Depending on how black plans to proceed the pawn might be best on d3. However, once black played Nc6, by playing 3.d4 White has in effect turned the game into a 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 with colors reversed. Nimzowitstch basically has forced black to play white, but in a weak line.

It's an interesting psychological ploy. For example if you know your opponent is an e4 player with white and a Sicilian player with black, playing 1. e3 c5 2. e4 forces your oppoenent to play the English vs your Bremen (supposing you play the Bremen vs 1. c4 you're likely to be much more comfortable than your opponent).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Gouki>

First thing to note is that the date of the game is 1907. Those were still the years of Nimzovich's first experimentations -- long before The Blocade, My System, Praxis; in fact, long before his 1911 polemics with Tarrasch, Alapin, and others.

The second thing to note is Black's second move -- <2...Nc6>. It (i) blocks in his own pawn on c7, but (ii) it prepares the immediate 3...e5. The former of the two implies that the d-pawn will be quite safe and cosy on d4; the latter of the two implies that the 3.d3-d4 will have strong prophilactic qualities as it discourages the said 3...e7-e5.

Third thing to note is that Nimzo now simply plays the defense side of the Richter-Veresov Attack (or Sarasota Game or whatever the name it realy is) with reversed colors. Now, Richter-Veresov is not an opening readily striking fear into defense's heart, at least not as much as the other 1.d4 openings do; see Opening Explorer.

The fourth thing to note is that the opening explorer's statistics indicates that the best reply was the 3...e7-e5, afterall.


And, as am writing this, it finally dawned on me to look if this game by any chance made it into 'Praxis'. In fact, it did; it is the game #3. Nimzo comments:

<<3.d4!> Because now is the enemy pawn c blocaded by the knight.>

<<3...e6> Nf6 was better.>

I hope this helps some.

Aug-07-06  Gouki: hmmmm...I think I get the gist of what you are saying, Gypsy and AgentRgent. Basically the fundamentals of opening theory were still in there experimental stages and not yet fully developed.

many thanks for the answers to my question :D

Aug-19-06  judymac: Gouki, perhaps Nimzowitsch wanted to see what his opponent was up to before going ..d4 After all if both GMs are good at the same opening, it sometimes pays to force your opposition to give away their intended attack/defence. I have played d3 then d4 myself when playing a stronger opponent, as I am better at fighting defensive/positional games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: I like this way of opening games. Often I did it by myself, especially against much stronger oponents. For example: 1. c3 e5 2. c4 and then playing my loved sizilian with reversed coloures, best ultra sharp. Or 1. e3 e5 2. e4 and then trying to come to a Marshall attack.

Black players often think White is a patzer with very nice psycho effects later on, when they realize too late , that this is not the case.

An other method is to open with 1. a3 or 1. h3. This is a slightly different method; the task is to come to a normal "reversed opening", later on trying to make use out of the "senceless" first move. This is espcially good if playing against theory-monsters

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