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Old Indian (A53)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6

Number of games in database: 1541
Years covered: 1890 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 43.5%
   Black wins 26.3%
   Draws 30.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Viktor Korchnoi  15 games
Wlodzimierz Schmidt  12 games
Margeir Petursson  10 games
Lawrence Day  41 games
David Bronstein  22 games
Kamran Shirazi  22 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Petrosian vs Simagin, 1956
Rubinstein vs Schlechter, 1918
M Bobotsov vs F Bohatirchuk, 1954
V Mikenas vs Bronstein, 1965
J Corzo vs Capablanca, 1913
Marshall vs Lasker, 1914
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 page 1 of 62; games 1-25 of 1,541  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. J Holzwarth vs J Bauer  0-147 1890 Kolisch MemorialA53 Old Indian
2. Von Scheve vs W Paulsen ½-½47 1892 DSB-07.KongressA53 Old Indian
3. Salwe vs Chigorin 0-133 1906 Lodz (Match)A53 Old Indian
4. Marshall vs Chigorin 0-130 1906 OstendeA53 Old Indian
5. Marshall vs Chigorin  ½-½38 1906 15th DSB Kongress (Nuremberg)A53 Old Indian
6. Tarrasch vs Chigorin  ½-½49 1906 15th DSB Kongress (Nuremberg)A53 Old Indian
7. W C Palmer vs F E Hamond 0-126 1906 British ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
8. E Cohn vs Chigorin 1-037 1907 KarlsbadA53 Old Indian
9. Metger vs Mieses  0-142 1907 It (b)A53 Old Indian
10. Salwe vs Mieses 1-031 1907 It (b)A53 Old Indian
11. F G Jacob vs Mieses  1-038 1907 Ostende-BA53 Old Indian
12. Swiderski vs Mieses  0-125 1907 Ostende-BA53 Old Indian
13. Teichmann vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½45 1907 Ostende-BA53 Old Indian
14. W John vs Nimzowitsch ½-½29 1907 Ostende-BA53 Old Indian
15. O Bernstein vs Burn 0-133 1909 St PetersburgA53 Old Indian
16. Marshall vs W Moorman 1-050 1909 22nd New York State Chess Association ChampionshipA53 Old Indian
17. Tartakower vs Znosko-Borovsky  ½-½68 1909 St PetersburgA53 Old Indian
18. Salwe vs S Von Freymann 1-047 1909 St PetersburgA53 Old Indian
19. Salwe vs Tartakower 1-061 1910 HamburgA53 Old Indian
20. Rotlewi vs Bogoljubov 1-025 1910 WTZGSz 10th anniversary tournamentA53 Old Indian
21. B Kostic vs Burn  ½-½25 1911 KarlsbadA53 Old Indian
22. J Esser vs H Baudet  0-134 1912 NED-ch02A53 Old Indian
23. J C Reeders vs J W te Kolste  0-125 1912 NED-ch02A53 Old Indian
24. J C Reeders vs H Baudet  ½-½44 1912 NED-ch02A53 Old Indian
25. J Corzo vs Capablanca 0-137 1913 HavanaA53 Old Indian
 page 1 of 62; games 1-25 of 1,541  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-11-05  azaris: <Averageguy> What's wrong with the QGA? Have you looked at the Old Benoni after 1.d4 c5 2.d5 e6 3.c4 Nf6, or the von Hennig-Schara Gambit in the Tarrasch 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nc6.

Then there's the Vulture (1.d4 c5 2.d5 Nf6 3.c4 Ne4):

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss...
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss...
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss...

Dec-11-05  Dudley: Hmm- Low theory yet aggressive? Hard to find things like that. My best shot at it would be something like the Leningrad Dutch, or if you a gambiteer the Albin counter gambit which I find annoying to play against. It seems easy to play for Black but I could be wrong.
Dec-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Astardis: Why is it called Old Indian in the first place? What's old in it? And if there is something old, what would be the new?> In fact, new-indian openings is another name for queen indian (Panov Estrin, Pachman, ...).

In addition to <Benzol> info: Old Indian was a Chigorin invention, who also invented KID, but did not trust KID enough to play it out of the starting blocks. Towards the WW2, OI acquired a cult following in Ukraine thanks to mostly F. Bohatirchuk. Then, Boleslavsky and Bronstein made KID/OI into a mainstream weappon. But even they often entered KID via the OI lines because of the very same reasons laid out by Chigorin: they wanted to avoid the lines like the Saemish.

Dec-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Hmm- Low theory yet aggressive? > Maybe Chigorin QGD? Wild with active piece play. According to <IMDay> the true ancestor to indian systems. It has agresive lines that need to be played accurately, but, because seldom played at the superGM level, theory does not change much.
Dec-11-05  Akavall: I thought that 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2!? was the predecessor of the Indian systems.
Dec-11-05  Averageguy: <Akavall> That's the Chigorin variation of the French Defense, and it often leads to KIA positions for white. Thus I wouldn't be suprised if you were right.
Dec-11-05  Dudley: <Gypsy> Your comment reminds me that "low theory" taken literally is simply a line that doesn't have a lot of developed lines to learn and as you said doesn't change much because it is out of GM practice. I think that in my own mind, I tend to misconstrue "high theory" to mean "requiring exact play due to very active positions", such as the Max Lange attack or the Two Knights,and probably the Chigorin as you mentioned. So "low theory" doesn't really mean low effort, because misplaying sharp lines still results in a loss even if the opening is 150 years old. I don't even like the usage of the term theory- it implies some grand conception with broad implications like the Theory of Relativity, but as used in the chess world it is really more like cataloging obscure insects or something. We all want an opening line that is completely intuitive to play (none of that tedious studying) and has an absolutely devastating effect on our opponents, without risk to our own game. Otherwise, how would chess authors make a living?
Dec-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Akavall: I thought that 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2!? was the predecessor of the Indian systems.> That is a good point. Russians definitely consider French Chigorin as an early version of KIA.

To make a subtler distinction: I seem to recall that <IMDay> claims Chigorin QGD as being a key motivation for Nimzo's version of hypermodernism (control of center through active piece play) and thus for Nimzo/QID (new-indian) type of play.

Dec-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Dudley: ... I don't even like the usage of the term theory- it implies some grand conception with broad implications like the Theory of Relativity, but as used in the chess world it is really more like cataloging obscure insects or something.> Well said: a bit of cataloging, a bit of taxonomy, and we have a ... theory.

As for low-theory. Yes it often means a slow, sluggish system that one can play by seat of pants -- if need to be, that is. But what about low-theory openings for agresive players? Thus the thought of a defense like the Chigorin QGD occured to me.

Your post reminds me of Nimzo (in his Carlsbad 1929 book) bitching about Becker booking up on some ancient romantic openings lines, that Nimzo and co. forgot long ago. The way Nimzo rants about it, one would reckon that Becker farted in front of the queen of England or something equally unbecomming.

Dec-11-05  Dudley: Well I did run on a bit didn't I- guess I just had to get that off my chest. I feel much better now. Some things you just have to accept.
Dec-11-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <Dudley> Looking at the last paragraph of my post now, I realize that it could be interpretted as being quite rude. That was not at all intended! It was your <content>, the confession about playing romantic attacks, that reminded me of Nimzo's rant against poor Becker. I do thing highly of your post!
Dec-11-05  Dudley: Not at all, just goofing around. Chess players are probably some of the most opinionated people on earth, judging by some of the posts you see here, and Nimzo was probably extreme.
Dec-13-05  Averageguy: <Azaris><What's wrong with the QGA> I don't like the accepted lines with 3.e4. Thanks for your other suggestions though, I'll looke into them.
May-16-06  Henrik S. Hansen: Could someone please explain the general strategies for black in the Old Indian lines?

I'm talking about things like "push the b-pawn", "queen-side attack", important squares, etc.

Playing through master games do help somewhat in this regard, but it is not always obvious to me what the strategies behind the moves are.

Thanks.

May-16-06  borisbadenoff: I would say it resembles the King's Indian. Both normally have the d6 e5 pawn center. But in the Old Indian the king bishop stays on e7 instead of fianchettoing it on g7.

The Old Indian is a very solid, but more passive opening. And that's also why it's less often played nowadays because everyone searches for sharp black lines to bring white into trouble. But that's a question of taste. In the King's Indian Defence you have more dynamic possibilities and plan a longterm attack on white's seemingly stronger center position.

In the Old Indian you can keep your position closed and have a complex middlegame

For other reasons for the OI see also IMlday's post of Jul-31-04 on the Kibitz-Page 1 of this opening.

Jun-06-06  Kings Indian: Opening of the day! I think this is a fine opening, if black wants to he can easily transpose into a King's Indian Defence or he can do something else.
Jun-06-06  Bartleby: Another possibility is the Janowksi-Indian Defence, 3. Nc3 Bf5, and the Tartakower-Indian Defence, 3. Nf3 Bg4, both offbeat but interesting approaches to white's QP opening. They often end up resembling Pirc-type positions. If Black gets in ...e5 advantageously he can have a good game. A couple of games were David Janowski employs this opening:

Showalter vs Janowski, 1916

A nice win over the Kentucky Lion.

Alekhine vs Janowski, 1924

A good example how not to play this opening. 9. ... 0-0-0 is too optomistic, to say the least.

Keres vs Tartakower, 1937

A nice win over Keres (!) by that talented esotericist, Tartakower.

Gruenfeld vs Reti, 1922

Reti defeats Grunfeld here stylistically with Janowksi's innovation

Jun-06-06  Henrik S. Hansen: Interestingly, Bent Larsen published a repertoire book called "Solid Openings" in Danish, based on Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen variation (what else?) as the e4 response, and Old Indian as the response to d4, c4, Nf3, b3, etc. Quite a good book. It is a little dated now (from the early eighties, I think), but that doesn't matter too much since Old Indian is low-theory. I use his advice for the Old Indian, but I no longer play the Larsen-Bronstein variation of the Caro-Kann, it's too risky and probably near-refuted.
Jun-07-06  Henrik S. Hansen: Here is an Old Indian game I played today on ICC. I quite like it myself. I haven't analyzed it, so I'm not sure if I missed a forced mate or otherwise made bad moves. Feel free to comment, I'd love to hear your analysis and comments. White lost on time, but Black (me) was winning anyway.

The game:

[Event "ICC 2 4"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2006.06.07"]
[Round "-"]
[White "N.N."]
[Black "henriksh"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ICCResult "White forfeits on time"]
[WhiteElo "1304"]
[BlackElo "1256"]
[Opening "Old Indian defense"]
[ECO "A54"]
[NIC "OI.04"]
[Time "10:08:19"]
[TimeControl "120+4"]

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 d6
3. Nc3 Nbd7
4. Nf3 e5
5. e3 Be7
6. dxe5 dxe5
7. Be2 O-O
8. O-O c6
9. e4 a6
10. a3 b5
11. cxb5 cxb5
12. b4 Bb7
13. Bb2 Nxe4
14. Nxe4 Bxe4
15. Nxe5 Nxe5
16. Bxe5 Qb6
17. Qb3 Qg6
18. f3 Bf5
19. Rfe1 Bh3
20. Bf1 Rad8
21. Bc7 Rd2
22. Bg3 Bh4
23. gxh3 Bxg3
24. Re2 Rxe2
25. Bxe2 Be5+
26. Kh1 Bxa1
27. Bf1 Bd4
28. Bg2 Re8
29. Qd1 Bf2 (White forfeits on time) 0-1

Jun-07-06  borisbadenoff: <Henrik S. Hansen: Here is an Old Indian game I played today on ICC. I quite like it myself. I haven't analyzed it, so I'm not sure if I missed a forced mate or otherwise made bad moves. Feel free to comment, I'd love to hear your analysis and comments. White lost on time, but Black (me) was winning anyway.>

Maybe next time you could consider 6. .. Nex5 which would free your Bishop and put pressure on the c-pawn and the exchange of Knights is nothing you have to fear in my opinion even if after dxe5 the queen-exchange should follow.

From 7-9 at sometime you may play e5 to force white to retreat the Knight to d2 and occupy e5 yourself.

Up to move 21. a pretty equal game. Then you get an advantage but are lucky that white doesn't see 23. Qe3 Bxg3 24. hxg3 Qd6 25. g4 with clear advantage for white.

But the rest is optimal play with missed mate in 4 after but yours still wins (even mate in 9) 29. .. Qc2 30. Qf1 Re2 31. Qg1 Bxg1 32. Kxg1 Qg6 33. a4 (or any other move) Qxg2#

Jun-07-06  Henrik S. Hansen: <Maybe next time you could consider 6. .. Nex5 which would free your Bishop and put pressure on the c-pawn and the exchange of Knights is nothing you have to fear in my opinion even if after dxe5 the queen-exchange should follow.>

Yes, I see it. 6...Nxe5 looks better.

<From 7-9 at sometime you may play e5 to force white to retreat the Knight to d2 and occupy e5 yourself.>

I agree. I overlooked that because White usually plays e4, not e3, which seems inferior, in the Old Indian.

<Up to move 21. a pretty equal game. Then you get an advantage but are lucky that white doesn't see 23. Qe3 Bxg3 24. hxg3 Qd6 25. g4 with clear advantage for white.>

Whoops, that would have been bad indeed! Nice variation, the moves you give seems forced, or Black loses material. The Bishop is trapped.

Thanks for the analysis, borisbadenoff!

Aug-03-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: <Henrik S. Hansen: Interestingly, Bent Larsen published a repertoire book called "Solid Openings" in Danish, based on Caro-Kann, Bronstein-Larsen variation (what else?) as the e4 response, and Old Indian as the response to d4, c4, Nf3, b3, etc. Quite a good book. It is a little dated now (from the early eighties, I think), but that doesn't matter too much since Old Indian is low-theory. I use his advice for the Old Indian, but I no longer play the Larsen-Bronstein variation of the Caro-Kann, it's too risky and probably near-refuted.>

I remember Larsen's small monograph on the Old Indian although I think it was from the 1970s. I am thinking your game with ...c6, ...a6 may have been on of Larsen's ideas? I like the Philidor/Old Indian/Lion/Gunderdam... but very little room for error for black was my experience.

Zoom probably Larsen's most famous opening repertoire book.

Oct-21-09  pugofcrydee: I played this opening last week!
Here it is on my chessclubs website...

http://www.padgatechessclub.co.uk/0...

Simcock (127) V McCarthy (143)

(3224568) Simcock,C - McCarthy,Damian [A55]
WDCL DIV 2, 15.10.2009
[McCarthy,Damian]1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d6 3.d4 Nbd7 4.Nf3 e5 5.e4 Be7 The old Indian, an interesting system i came up with myself when i was a kid without knowing it was a real opening! I hadn't tried to play it for years but during the week id been looking at some capablanca games where he played it so i thought i'd give it a whirl! 6.Be2 00 7.00 c6 8.Qc2 Re8 9.h3 Bf8 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Be3 Qc7 12.Ng5 h6 13.Nf3 Nc5 14.Rfd1 Ne6 15.Nh2 Bd7 16.Ng4 Nxg4 17.Bxg4 b6 18.Ne2 Rad8 19.Rd2 Bc8 20.Rad1 Rxd2 21.Rxd2 Rd8 22.Qc3 Rxd2 23.Qxd2 Nc5 24.Bf3? this move helps cost him the game later on 24...Be6 25.b3 Qd6 26.Qxd6 Bxd6 27.Nc1 f6 28.Kf1 Bf7 29.g4 Bg6 30.Bxc5 Bxc5 31.Nd3 Ba3 32.Ke2 a5 It feels like i ought to be centralising my king but i thought it was really important not to allow b4 33.Kd2 Kf7 34.Ke2 Ke6 35.Ne1 Kd6 My plan was always to try and get my king in on the dark squares but with the knight still on it isn't possible 36.Nd3 Bc5 37.Nxc5?? wow now i was really confident also note his bishop is tied to defending e4. The losing move 37...Kxc5 38.Kd3 Kb4 39.Kc2 Ka3 40.Kb1 b5 41.cxb5 cxb5 42.Bg2 a4 he blunders now with Bf1 but he was lost anyway 43.Bf1 Bxe4+ 44.Ka1 axb3 45.axb3 b4 wins the 2nd pawn 46.Bc4 Bc2 47.Bd5 Bxb3 48.Bxb3 Kxb3 01

Apr-08-10  Cushion: I think that the King's Indian is better then the the Old indian because the fianchettoed bishop discourages 11. f4 (in the mar de plata main line) but in the OI white could laugh off a KID like pawn storm so black can't punish white for playing d5.
Jan-05-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: I've just started to study the new book on the Old Indian titled :) The New Old Indian by Cherniaev/Prokuronov. The new idea is the old ...e4 motif. It certainly leads to some interesting looking positions; quite distinct from the way Larsen suggested in his monograph of the 1970s.

Soltis also did a monograph on the Old Indian. Apart from that and I think one other for which I cannot remember name/author not much on this defense in print.

One can build a repertoire off Philidor/Lion/Czech/Old Indian assuming such positions appeal to you.

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