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Aron Nimzowitsch
Number of games in database: 577
Years covered: 1896 to 1934

Overall record: +263 -110 =197 (63.4%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 7 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Four Knights (37) 
    C49 C47 C48
 Reti System (36) 
    A04 A06
 French Defense (29) 
    C02 C11 C01 C00 C12
 English (17) 
    A18 A15 A16 A13 A10
 English, 1 c4 e5 (14) 
    A28 A20 A27 A25 A21
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D02 E10 A50 D05 D00
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (43) 
    C01 C17 C15 C13 C11
 Queen's Pawn Game (39) 
    A46 D02 A45 D05 D04
 Caro-Kann (32) 
    B13 B16 B12 B15 B10
 Nimzo Indian (30) 
    E32 E23 E22 E21 E20
 Uncommon Opening (19) 
    B00 A00
 Queen's Indian (18) 
    E15 E16 E12 E18
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Hakansson, 1922 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Alapin, 1914 1-0
   P F Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1926 1-0
   A E Post vs Nimzowitsch, 1905 1/2-1/2
   H K Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs E V Nielsen, 1930 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Marienbad (1925)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   Dresden (1926)
   London (1927)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   San Remo (1930)
   Hamburg (1910)
   Kecskemet (1927)
   Bled (1931)
   Karlsbad (1907)
   Semmering (1926)
   Karlsbad (1911)
   Karlsbad (1923)
   Baden-Baden (1925)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Legend Nimzowitt by Gottschalk
   Chess Praxis (Nimzowitsch) by Qindarka
   Nimzovich: Chess Praxis by setuhanu01
   N O P Players by fredthebear
   Hypermodern chess: Aron Nimzovich by Reinfeld by nikolaas
   mi sistema de nimzovich by LESTRADAR
   Annotated games by Nimzovitsch by macaoui
   Annotations by Various Authorities & Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Nimzowitsch's System In Praxis by mw1975
   Move by Move - Nimzowitsch (Giddins) by Qindarka
   Bled 1931 by JoseTigranTalFischer
   Bled 1931 by Benzol
   Bled 1931 international tournament by cuendillar
   Aron Nimzowitsch's Best Games by KingG

   Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923
   Nimzowitsch vs Hakansson, 1922
   Nimzowitsch vs Alapin, 1914
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911
   Maroczy vs H Suechting, 1905

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(born Nov-07-1886, died Mar-16-1935, 48 years old) Latvia (federation/nationality Denmark)

[what is this?]

Aron Nimzowitsch, born in Riga, Latvia in 1886, came to prominence in the chess world just before the First World War. He was Russian Champion in 1913 (jointly with Alexander Alekhine) at St.Petersburg. He won a string of international events in the mid-1920s which led him to challenge Jose Raul Capablanca to a World Championship match in 1925, but negotiations dissolved after monetary backing could not be found. He took first place at Copenhagen (1923), Dresden (1926), Karlsbad (1929) and Frankfurt (1930).

Nimzowitsch's chess theories flew in the face of convention. He had a lengthy and somewhat bitter conflict with Siegbert Tarrasch over which ideas constituted proper chess play. While Tarrasch refined the classical approach of Wilhelm Steinitz, that the center had to be controlled and occupied by pawns, Nimzowitsch shattered these dogmatic assumptions, and proposed the controlling of the center with pieces from afar. In this way, the opponent is invited to occupy the center with pawns which thus become the targets of attack. This idea became known as the hypermodern school of chess thought.

Nimzowitsch, along with other hypermodern thinkers such as Richard Reti, revolutionized chess, proving to the chess world that controlling the center of the board mattered more than actually occupying it. Nimzowitsch is also a highly-regarded chess writer, most famously for the 1925 classic My System, to this day regarded as one of the most important chess books of all time. Other books include Chess Praxis which further expounds the hypermodern idea, and the seminal work The Blockade explores the strategy implied by his famous maxim, "First restrain, then blockade, finally destroy!"

As a profound opening theoretician, Nimzowitsch has left a legacy of variations, many of which are still popular today. The Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.♘c3 ♗b4) is named after him, as are several variations of the French Defense. He also is credited in part for the Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29) Variation (1.e4 c5 2.♘f3 ♘f6), the Nimzovich-Larsen Attack (A01) (1.b3), the Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 ♘c6), and many others.

He died of pneumonia on March 16, 1935 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Wikipedia article: Aron Nimzowitsch

Last updated: 2017-11-07 00:31:33

 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 577  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nimzowitsch vs NN 1-0181896Riga, LatviaB01 Scandinavian
2. B Blumenfeld vs Nimzowitsch 1-0291903BerlinC45 Scotch Game
3. Tarrasch vs Nimzowitsch ½-½711904Nuremberg - Casual gameD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
4. E Cohn vs Nimzowitsch 0-1301904Coburg AC41 Philidor Defense
5. Vidmar vs Nimzowitsch 1-0481904Coburg AD02 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Nimzowitsch vs Hilse 1-0651904CoburgC25 Vienna
7. B Gregory vs Nimzowitsch 1-0361904Coburg AA30 English, Symmetrical
8. P Kaegbein vs Nimzowitsch 1-0421904Coburg AD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
9. Nimzowitsch vs Duras 1-0551904Coburg AB15 Caro-Kann
10. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-0191905MunichB15 Caro-Kann
11. Nimzowitsch vs Schlechter 0-1261905ViennaB22 Sicilian, Alapin
12. Nimzowitsch vs Albin 1-0381905ViennaB02 Alekhine's Defense
13. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-1521905Vienna Masters TournamentC45 Scotch Game
14. H Wolf vs Nimzowitsch ½-½341905Vienna Masters TournamentC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
15. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-0421905MunichC47 Four Knights
16. Nimzowitsch vs Spielmann ½-½36190507, Munich mC45 Scotch Game
17. Nimzowitsch vs Przepiorka ½-½251905Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
18. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-0301905Barmen Meisterturnier BC25 Vienna
19. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-1331905Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
20. A H Pettersson vs Nimzowitsch 0-1301905Barmen Meisterturnier BC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
21. Nimzowitsch vs I Kopa 0-1541905Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
22. H Caro vs Nimzowitsch 1-0361905Barmen Meisterturnier BA34 English, Symmetrical
23. Nimzowitsch vs Reggio  ½-½421905Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
24. A E Post vs Nimzowitsch ½-½981905Barmen Meisterturnier BD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
25. Nimzowitsch vs J Perlis 0-1361905Barmen Meisterturnier BB40 Sicilian
 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 577  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nimzowitsch wins | Nimzowitsch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 75 OF 75 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-16-16  Granny O Doul: Now you've gone and woken him up.
Jun-20-16  bamonson: keypusher: <WhiteRook48: Nimzowitsch once played a game of live chess against Capablanca. The pieces were humans, and Capablanca's queen was a comely film actress. He sensed that the Cuban wanted to retain her on the board at all costs, so he would have a chance to meet her later. Slyly, Nimzowitsch constantly tried to force an exchange of queens, to which the the champion spurned at great disadvantage. It may have been the only time "Nimzo" ever had "Capa" on the run.> Assiac tells a similar story, but with unnamed chess masters. Supposedly whoever is smitten with the chess queen notices that the "pieces" are leaving after they are removed from the board, so he decides to keep the queen on at all costs, moving her to and fro and getting a worse position all the time. He finally resigns and runs to the queen and asks her out for dinner. She says, no, she's "dead beat" from moving around so much and is going home to bed.

The only living pieces game of Capablanca's I know of is this one, which was apparently pre-arranged.

Capablanca vs H Steiner, 1933"


I'm curious where Whiterook48 found this anecdote. I found the same anecdote, worded a little differently, by George Koltinowski in one of his Chess Chat columns from September 1966. He also claims it was Nimzovich and Capablanca in the living chess match, but does not cite where this information came from, just that it was a "pre-war" game. Kolty was entertaining but not known for getting his facts straight.

Assiac, by contrast, is a much more reliable historian. He cites the story as from the "NEW STATESMAN AND NATION" but does not give a date, though clearly it was pre-1951. Presumably he would surely have mentioned Capa and Nimzovich had they been mentioned in the article.

Anyone have additional information?

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: It is a hoax. Aron and Jose did not play that live game.
Jun-21-16  bamonson: TheFocus: It is a hoax. Aron and Jose did not play that live game.

I'm not sure 'hoax' is the right word. I agree Nimzo and Capa didn't actually play *this* game. I think it's more apt to be two different stories meshed together. What I'm looking for are the original sources. I cited one, the "NEW STATESMAN AND NATION" but there must be something else.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: <The great mobility of the King forms one of the chief characteristics of all endgame strategy. In the middle game the King is a mere 'super', in the endgame on the other hand - one of the 'principals'. We must therefore develop him, bring him nearer to the fighting line> - Aron Nimzowitsch.

Ron says: Steinitz was making that point decades before Nimzowitsch.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <The Life and Chess of Aron Nimzowitsch>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: Back in the 1990s, one of the coffee houses where I played chess got a new patron, and he read _My System_. That new patron then proceeded to overprotect in each of his first couple chess games! That seemed kinda silly to me.

But I got useful ideas from Nimzo. For example, the way to play against a hyper-modern defense is to occupy the center and over-protect it.

I was known as being skillful with my knights. When analyzing over the board, I look to see what I can achieve by moving the same knight in each of my next two moves. Or even in each my next three moves. I think that was in the spirit of Nimzo (and Petrosian).

Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Steinitz: "I make my King fight."
Nov-07-16  parisattack: Happy Birthday, Herr Nimzowitsch.

Tempus fugit but the ideas of the Stormy Petrel of Chess live on.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Stormy Petrel!!

One of my favorite players!!

And Player of the Day.

Nov-07-16  dashjon: Happy Birthday Herr Grossmaster
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Hypermodern Poem>

I bought a book by Nimzowitsch
But to me it made no sense
For I thought that a prophylactic
Was a form of French Defence.

J Hayes

Source: :)

May-27-17  RookFile: You can get all the benefits of Nimzo without the baloney just by studying Petrosian's games. Petrosian was stronger tactically and played more dynamically - but of course, prophylatic play, overprotection, etc. are very much to be found in Petrosian's games.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: You know, I always get a kick out of reading <RookFile>'s posts on Nimzowitsch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Quote of the Day>

"The <old dogmas>, such as the ossified teaching on the center, the worship of the open game, and in general the whole formalistic conception of the game, <who bothers himself today> about any of these? "

-- Nimzowitsch

May-29-17  Sally Simpson: Hi Rookfile,

The irony is that Petrosian picked up loads from Nimzovitch.

From an Edward Winter review of 'The Games of Tigran Petrosian, Volume I, 1942-1965,' compiled by Eduard Shekhtman

" His reminiscences repeatedly stress the influence of Nimzowitsch, whose Chess Praxis was the first serious chess book which he studied.

For Petrosian, that volume was ‘not a work of reference but a book kept under my pillow – a bedtime story for a chess child’"

I've thumbed through 'Chess Praxis' only playing over a handful of games.

But that kind of proven endorsement is encouraging. Here we have a player who we know got to be one of the greats and that book, in Petrosian's own words, helped a great deal.

Much better than a review on any recent primer book on chess. How will we ever know if it is any good till someone 40-50 later says "Yes, this book helped me tremendously."

I know Nimzovitch liked using 'baloney' but in some cases it does work.

I know I got the fact that it's not good to shed what imitative you may have by creating a weakness in the enemy position unless you can attack it.

His explanation that how will you know a man sitting down has severe limp unless you can throw something at him so he chases you. Finally sunk that one in.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: If I were to believe in re-incarnation, I would by now have a strong suspicion that <Rookfile> is in fact a Nimzo re-incarnate.
May-29-17  Nietzowitsch:

People who create their own drama deserve their own <karma>.

Jul-17-17  RookFile: The threat is always stronger than the execution.
Jul-18-17  RookFile: So I know that Petrosian studied from Nimzo. He did a good job of taking what was useful, and also adding a more dynamic content to his game than what Nimzo had.
Nov-07-17  parisattack: 'Blessed with a catchy prefix' - Larry Evans, MCO 10. Happy Birthday, Nimzo!
Nov-07-17  cunctatorg: Nimzowitsch's play was quite dynamic and dynamics and is a major request of "Nimzowitsch's System".

By the way I believe that the best, more successful (and even nigthmarish - ask Garry Kasparov of 1984 - example of Nimzowitsch-like play is not to be found at Tigran Petrosian's wonderful games but at the Karpov's ones...

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Fun fact (well, not fun for Nimzowitsch): Bent Larsen, whose name is linked with Nimzowitsch's in the <Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack>, was born in Denmark 12 days before Nimzowitsch died there.
Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: How funny that the list of "Notable Games" includes a spurious one! Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927
Nov-08-17  cunctatorg: Aron Nimzowitsch also had a keen sense of humor, therefore he would gladly agree with that ... misuse of the aforementioned, infamous, fictional game!
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