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Nimzovich-Larsen Attack (A01)
1 b3

Number of games in database: 2729
Years covered: 1851 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 38.0%
   Black wins 33.6%
   Draws 28.4%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Vladimir Bagirov  93 games
Bent Larsen  47 games
David Ian Calvert  37 games
Raymond Keene  8 games
Mark Hebden  7 games
Ulf Andersson  6 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs Ulf Andersson, 1970
Fischer vs Mecking, 1970
Bagirov vs K Grigorian, 1976
Larsen vs Spassky, 1970
Larsen vs Najdorf, 1968
J M Bellon Lopez vs Smejkal, 1970
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 page 1 of 110; games 1-25 of 2,729  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M van 't Kruijs vs K de Heer 1-0271851AmsterdamA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
2. B Suhle vs Anderssen 0-1251859BreslauA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
3. H Czarnowski vs E D'Andre 0-1161867ParisA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
4. Magnus vs E Schallopp 0-1311868Hamburg blindfold simulA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
5. Owen vs V Green 1-0311870BCA-03.Challenge CupA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
6. Owen vs Blackburne 1-0621870BCA-03.Challenge CupA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
7. Owen vs De Vere 0-1431872BCA-04.Challenge CupA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
8. R Smith vs C M Fisher 0-1271873Fisher-Smith MatchA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
9. A Skipworth vs Burn 0-1361875Challenge CupA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
10. W Paulsen vs Von Bardeleben ½-½401892DSB-07.KongressA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
11. W Paulsen vs Tarrasch 0-1481892DSB-07.KongressA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
12. E N Olly vs E Delmar 0-1491893New York Impromptu TournamentA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
13. E N Olly vs F J Lee 0-1331893New York Impromptu TournamentA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
14. E N Olly vs Pillsbury  0-14518936, New YorkA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
15. E Delmar vs H Helms 0-1321894BuffaloA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
16. Maroczy vs Charousek 0-1341896BudapestA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
17. E Delmar vs Pillsbury 0-1641901BuffaloA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
18. W Winter vs M Marchand  ½-½361920matchA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
19. M Romi vs A Muffang  1-0371922ParigiA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
20. Koltanowski vs Colle  ½-½291923rapid playA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
21. Koltanowski vs Colle 1-0411923rapid playA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
22. Koltanowski vs Colle  ½-½411925Brussels MatchA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
23. A Duenmann vs W Von Holzhausen  0-1711926DSV KongressA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
24. M Romi vs A Nogues Acuna  ½-½3419271st olm finalA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
25. Nimzowitsch vs W Winter 0-1451927LondonA01 Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
 page 1 of 110; games 1-25 of 2,729  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-13-09  Open Defence: well a strong analyst on our team suggested 12.Qe2 but it did not win the vote... same as 16.Ba4
May-19-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: I like Jonathon Rowson's comments about 1.b3 on the ChessPublishing.com website:

"The only problem is that 1.b3 is not a great move. It is not even a good move in fact, because Black has numerous ways to develop his pieces and castle without losing either space or structure. However, it is not a bad move, and you can play it with one or two supporting ideas, an open mind, and some freshness, there are chances to cause problems for the opponent, perhpas no less so than with main lines."

May-19-10  black.pr0jekt: 1. g3 is better,
Jul-29-10  xombie: I am discovering that 1. b3 is a fun opening. It may not be objectively the best, but it often gives variety and rich play -you can transpose into any number of reversed formations, the English (after c4 etc) , Dutch (if black plays f5-incidentally, f4 is interesting too after that), Nimzo/QID (against d5/c5), French (after e3, Nf3, e5-e4, Ng1-e2-f4), Sicilian (after d7-d5, c4, dxc4). They are all extremely fun to play if one likes to wait and trip one's opponent).
Aug-13-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: Nothing from 1936 to 1952. I wonder why. Did Larsen single-handedly revive this? I notice Benko likes it too.

I played it recently at a local tournament and surprised my higher-rated opponent who has consistently defeated me.

1. b3 Nf6 2. Bb2 d5 3. e3 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. Nf3 e6 6. 0-0 Bd6 7. d3 0-0 8. Nbd2 Re8...

at this point I noticed my opponent writing ??? on the "Opening" line of his scoresheet. I knew I had him confused then.

9. Re1 e5 10. e4 d4 11. Nc4 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. c3 dxc3 14. Bxc3 Re6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Qe2 Qe7 17. Nxd6 cxd6 18. Qe3 Nd7 19. Rac1 d5 20. Bb2 h6 21. exd5 cxd5 22. Rc7 d4 23. Qe4 Bxf3 24. Qxf3 Re8 25. Rxa7 Qb4 26. Re2 Nf6 27. Qb7 Qxb7 28. Rxb7 Nd5 29. a4 Nf4 30. Rd2 e4 31. dxe4 Rxe4 32. Ba3 d3 33. Bb4 Rc8 34. a5 Rc1+ 35. Kh2 Rc2 36. a6 Nd5 37. Rxd3 Nxb4 38. Rd8+ Kh7 39. a7 Ra2 40. a8(Q) Rxa8 41. Rxa8 Kg6 42. Ra4 1-0

I ran this through Fritz and it was fairly even up until close to the end. I was actually worried after 32...d3 - he could have put a rook on c2 and e2. I think 36...Nd5 was the crucial mistake, allowing me to remove the d-pawn and queen my a-pawn.

There were mistakes throughout by both of us (I didn't like 32. Ba3 for instance, but couldn't think of anything better), but I'm pleased at the result. I had never beaten this player before and he's done very well in our tournaments. I'll have to keep it up as I may get a 2100 player next time!

Nov-21-11  DiscoJew: Greetings all, I am from Canada.

So this seems to happen to me a lot, just before the opening of the day I start studying the line...like max a week or so I am looking by chance- at the opening of the day...sometimes very deeply, then *Poof* the opening of the day appears just days later...I am serious! does this ever happen to anyone else out there? I am starting to wonder how I can put this to work for me... :)

Disco

Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Do the chess clocks freeze up, during the winter months?
Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <DiscoJew> <I am starting to wonder how I can put this to work for me... :)>

Maybe by spending more time on this site? :-)

Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: I was just watching a documentary on the War of 1812. It seems there was a three prong land invastion of Canada, but all three prongs failed. Go Leafs!
Nov-21-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: <HeMateMe> It was a small time invasion, even by 1812 standards. An unnecessary one, too. As most of the others have been ever since then.

And, yes it did fail miserably. Some 3 hundred Americans were taken prisoners, I think. For a brief while.

Jun-01-12  BadKnight: i have been experimenting with 1.b3 for a while, and i have found it very fun to play, especially in shorter time control.
Jun-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Wild Bill: Larsen's Opening: Game of the day, June 15, 2013

I played against this online in the last month. My opponent used his first four moves to fianchetto both Bishops, while I had a center pawn duo and was in the process of fortifying it. I won.

<The boilerplate way of stating the principles of a hypermodern opening is that it is not necessary to occupy the center, but to control it and that the center can be controlled at a distance by pieces.> However, Nimzovich also had something to say about a pawnless advance that anybody who is tempted to the above statement of principles too literally should pay heed. My opponent did not and spent the entire game in hot water.

(Position after <11...e4:)>


click for larger view

At the end of the game, White had a devastating material disadvantage in spite of the fact that I didn't develop my King's Knight until the very end of the game (an aspect of the game of which I am not proud).


click for larger view

Here Black played <24...Ne7,> threatening to play <25...Ng6> diverting his Knight from the protection of g2, a square Black needs to force mate. The game concluded <25.Ne6 Rg2+ 0-1>

Nimzovich's original idea was to play a Queen's Indian in reverse <(1.Nf3 d5 2.b3> followed with an early <e2e3).> Although never popular, this is better than Larsen's idea of simply starting <1.b3>, when Black may play <1...e5> if he wishes and follow that with <...d5> on the second or third move. Black get a free hand in the center and equalizes without difficulty.

This could be a good speed chess weapon, but I can't recommend it in a more formal game where one gets more time to contemplate a move.

Jun-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: 1. b3 is probably just as good as 1. c4, 1. Nf3 or 1. g3 - although it has always looked a bit off-balance to me. The old Larsen-Spassky game is a warning to white hypermodern players to not make aimless and passive moves.

The core books for studying 1. b3 seem to be:

1) 1. b3! - Odessky, an especially well-organized and readable volume.

2) Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack - Keene

3) Nimzo-Larsen Attack - Jacobs/Tait

4) Larsen's Opening - Wall

Transpositions to the Bird or Bird-like positions with a white f4 and also the Reti are obviously possible.

Jun-15-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: The Bird-Larsen Attack (1. f4, 2. b3) - Soltis should probably be added above, although it is not one of Andrew's finest efforts.

Curiously this line was played by Alfred Christensen in the late 1930s, but he moved on to the Stonewall setup later.

Just BTW if you want to see what an outstanding opening book is like, get a copy of R.E. Robinson's 1.P-KB4. To my mind it sets a standard [it was written in the early 1950s] that is today seldom met or matched.

Sep-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
1.b3

Sep-17-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Penguincw: Opening of the Day Nimzovich-Larsen Attack
1.b3>

Almost zero interest in openings here on CG.com. :( The Forum at chesspublishing is very active.

Mar-29-14  waustad: Today Eva Moser sprung a Nimzo-Larsen on Tanya Sachdev that was out of book WRT this database on move 4. The downside of this approach is that inaccuracies are frequent when one is playing on increment for many moves. Sachdev's attack was a success. http://live.sf-deizisau.de/?g=2&r=10
Apr-10-14  Wyatt Gwyon: <<parisattack:> 1. b3 is probably just as good as 1. c4, 1. Nf3 or 1. g3 - although it has always looked a bit off-balance to me. The old Larsen-Spassky game is a warning to white hypermodern players to not make aimless and passive moves. The core books for studying 1. b3 seem to be:

1) 1. b3! - Odessky, an especially well-organized and readable volume.

2) Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack - Keene

3) Nimzo-Larsen Attack - Jacobs/Tait

4) Larsen's Opening - Wall >>

Lakdawala just cranked out another volume -- this one on the NL.

http://www.jeremysilman.com/shop/pc...

I've been working my way through Odessky's book, and I gotta say it's one of the oddest and most enjoyable opening books I've ever read.

May-09-14  Chris321: I think to play out centre pawns too early is probably what white wants for target purposes in this opening esp the black e5 pawn.If you dont commit early say with Nf6 it makes it harder on white.I think if you have to play a centre pawn in reply to 1b3 then use your d pawn rather than epawn...well thats just my 2 cents worth.
Aug-17-14  vrusimov: Actually, e5 is the critical test of 1. b3. As a 1.Nf3/g3/b3 player, d5 is the move I most like to see because the transpositional possibilities are endless if you have a good grasp of the Rauzer Formation, Maroczy Bind, KIA, Catalan/Bg2/c4 lines and Bird transpositions via f4. The e5 player can cut across all of this with Nc6/Bd6/e5/Qe7/f6 setups. Lakdawala recommends 5.f4, which can get extremely sharp, while GM Smirnov recommends a setup with Nbd2 and Ne2, coupled with d3-e4 and a later f4 break.
Oct-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I agree on 1. ...e5. Actually, the mainline after 4 ...Bd6 looks just dreadful for White.
Oct-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I hated seeing 1...e5 against 1.b3, and changed to 1.Nf3 and 2.b3 when I wanted to play this.
Oct-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I think that's the way, <TheFocus>. You don't buy much by holding back Nf3. If you want to play f4 - do the Bird!
Oct-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <parisattack> it is the only way to prevent 1...e5, but I used to also play the Bird with b3 to follow.
Oct-22-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: There's a reason Kramnik plays 1. Nf3! At least if Black wants to play ..e5 he has to hoist it with ...d6.
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