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Aron Nimzowitsch
Number of games in database: 576
Years covered: 1896 to 1934
Overall record: +263 -109 =197 (63.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games
      Based on games in the database; may be incomplete.
      7 exhibition games, 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 C00 C01 C12
 English (17) 
    A18 A16 A15 A13 A12
 English, 1 c4 e5 (14) 
    A28 A20 A27 A21 A25
 Queen's Pawn Game (13) 
    D02 D05 A50 E10 D00
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (43) 
    C01 C17 C15 C11 C13
 Queen's Pawn Game (40) 
    A46 D02 D05 A45 D04
 Caro-Kann (32) 
    B16 B13 B10 B15 B12
 Nimzo Indian (30) 
    E32 E22 E23 E21 E20
 Uncommon Opening (19) 
    B00 A00
 Queen's Indian (18) 
    E15 E12 E16 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
   Nimzowitsch vs Systemsson, 1927 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Rubinstein, 1926 1-0
   A E Post vs Nimzowitsch, 1905 1/2-1/2
   P F Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911 1-0
   H K Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Alekhine, 1926 1-0

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

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Nimzovich: Chess Praxis by setuhanu01
   Guess-the-Move Chess: 1920-1939 (Part 2) by Anatoly21
   Hypermodern chess: Aron Nimzovich by Reinfeld by nikolaas
   Legend Nimzowitt by Gottschalk
   Annotated games by Nimzovitsch by macaoui
   mi sistema de nimzovich by LESTRADAR
   Bled 1931 by Benzol
   Bled 1931 international tournament by cuendillar
   Favorite Games from (1917-1943) by wanabe2000
   New York 1927 by Benzol
   San Sebastian 1912 by Archives
   Aron Nimzowitsch's Finest Hour! by AgentRgent
   Nimzowitsch best games by mark jc. Garado
   "Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal" by Keene by

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

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Aron Nimzowitsch
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(born Nov-07-1886, died Mar-16-1935, 48 years old) Latvia (citizen of 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 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) 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.Nf3 Nf6), the Nimzovich-Larsen Attack (A01) (1.b3), the Nimzowitsch Defense (1.e4 Nc6), and many others.

Wikipedia article: Aron Nimzowitsch

 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 576  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Nimzowitsch vs NN 1-018 1896 Riga, LatviaB01 Scandinavian
2. B Blumenfeld vs Nimzowitsch 1-029 1903 BerlinC45 Scotch Game
3. Tarrasch vs Nimzowitsch ½-½71 1904 Nuremberg - Casual gameD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
4. E Cohn vs Nimzowitsch 0-130 1904 Coburg AC41 Philidor Defense
5. Nimzowitsch vs Hilse 1-065 1904 CoburgC25 Vienna
6. Vidmar vs Nimzowitsch 1-048 1904 Coburg AD02 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Nimzowitsch vs Duras 1-055 1904 Coburg AB15 Caro-Kann
8. P Kaegbein vs Nimzowitsch 1-042 1904 Coburg AD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
9. B Gregory vs Nimzowitsch 1-036 1904 Coburg AA30 English, Symmetrical
10. Nimzowitsch vs Fahrni 0-136 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
11. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-133 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
12. Swiderski vs Nimzowitsch 1-032 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
13. H Wolf vs Nimzowitsch ½-½30 1905 Vienna Masters TournamentC63 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense
14. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-019 1905 MunichB15 Caro-Kann
15. Nimzowitsch vs Reggio  ½-½42 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
16. Nimzowitsch vs Schlechter 0-126 1905 ViennaB22 Sicilian, Alapin
17. F J Lee vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½61 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BD02 Queen's Pawn Game
18. Nimzowitsch vs Albin 1-038 1905 ViennaB02 Alekhine's Defense
19. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-030 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC25 Vienna
20. Nimzowitsch vs W Cohn 1-024 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC42 Petrov Defense
21. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-152 1905 Vienna Masters TournamentC45 Scotch Game
22. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-042 1905 MunichC47 Four Knights
23. H Caro vs Nimzowitsch 1-036 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BA34 English, Symmetrical
24. W Schwan vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½44 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BA02 Bird's Opening
25. Nimzowitsch vs Przepiorka ½-½25 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
 page 1 of 24; games 1-25 of 576  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 73 OF 73 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-23-15  cunctatorg: Point taken; however I had mostly in mind such games AS the famous Nimzowitsch-Rubinstein (Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack; Semmering, 1926) compared to the also famous Fischer-Mecking (Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack; Palma de Mallorka IZ, 1970) or his games versus Grigory Levenfish and the one versus Siegbert Tarrasch in the Advance Variation of the French etc. etc. After all, Nimzowitsch most famous victories against "C-class" players are his games (as Black) against Paul F. Johner of Switzerland (Dresden, 1926) and against Friedrich Saemisch (Copenhagen, 1923) and I wonder: where are the blunders of Johner and Saemisch?!? Of course these players committed errors (or mistakes?) and that was a necessary condition for their defeat, however these ... errors weren't the sufficient condition also, Nimzowitsch's superb, profound, lovely and original play was the sufficient condition!... Of course too, his win against Em. Lasker (Zurich, 1934) isn't about a game versus some "C-class" player.

By the way two more comments:
a) Bobby Fischer deliberately payed homage to the Hypermoderns and particularly to Nimzowitsch during his celebrated parade through the Chess World from 1970 to 1972, he played twice the Alekhine, once the Benoni and once the Pirc Defence and his very game with Mecking speaks for itself... b) Kevin Spraggett is a truly great Grand-master of the game, however it is possible that he envies the incredible success of Nimzowitsch's teachings...

Mar-23-15  cunctatorg: Three corrections: i) ... Nimzowitsch's most famous victories against "C-class" players ..., ii) ... he played twice the Alekhine, once the Benoni and once the Pirc Defence during his 1972 WC match against Boris Spassky and his very game with Mecking speaks for itself... iii) ... the incredible success of Nimzowitsch's teachings ... but this isn't Fischer's way; Bobby Fischer chose to pay homage instead of launch projectiles of envy!...
Mar-23-15  RookFile: Bobby Fischer chose to win the game. If he could have done with the Tarrasch, he would have. He was just thinking about what he needed to do to beat Spassky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <and against Friedrich Saemisch (Copenhagen, 1923) and I wonder: where are the blunders of Johner and Saemisch?!? Of course these players committed errors (or mistakes?)>

They sure did. Here's Johner-Nimzowitch after 8 moves.

click for larger view

Here is the same game after 15 moves.

click for larger view

How did that happen? A whole series of stupid decisions from White.

P F Johner vs Nimzowitsch, 1926

As for the Saemisch game, I'll quote myself and Kasparov.

<keypusher: The "ghost" is the threat of the knight coming to c4. Instead of the miserable 13. Nxc6, Saemisch could have met 12...Nc6? with 13. Nxd5: 13....Nxd4 14. Nxe7+ Qxe7 15. Qe3 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Qb7+ 17. f3 Nf5 18. Qf2 Nh5 19. Bd2 Qd5 20. Bc3 b4 21. e4 Qb5 22. a4!? Qxa4 23. Bd2 Ne7 24. Qf5 <and Black does not have clear equality.> Kasparov.

Earlier, White could have gotten a clear advantage with 9. e4.

It has a lot of competition, but this is still my pick for the most overrated game in the history of chess. There are games where "one player plays, the other applauds." Here, though, not satisfied with clapping, Saemisch actively assists his opponent. >

Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1923

Incidentally, Nimzo's score against Saemisch was +9-1=0 and against Johner +4-0=1. Compared to him, they were indeed C-class players.

Mar-24-15  cunctatorg: Bobby Fischer deliberately paid homage to the Hypermoderns and particularly to Nimzowitsch during his celebrated campaign/parade through the Chess World from 1970 to 1972; he picked up the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack against a ... "C-class" player (!!) as Henrique Meching -compared to him- was and it worked fine 45 years after the original Nimzowitsch's game; however he didn't chose this shallow Opening against such players as Petrosian and Spassky; he just made use of the "Black version" of this set up, the Nimzo-Indian against them... And still, Nimzowitsch's play against Saemisch AFTER the the miserable 13th move of White speaks for his deep understanding of the position! I just also wonder how many of nowadays Grand-Masters would conduct with the superb Nimzowitsch's way his very game against Johner after White's 15th move... Of course these players committed errors but..
Mar-24-15  cunctatorg: Another victory of Nimzowitsch against a C-class player (one game that I find really charming and didactic) is Asztalos-Nimzowitsch (Caro-Kann Defence; Bled, 1931) in a variation of the Caro-Kann which should be credited to Nimzowitsch too; anyways, when I firstly saw this game, I was so impressed!...
Mar-25-15  cunctatorg: I just wanted to state that it's not a quite naive and shallow business for some nowadays Super-Grandmaster to defeat some nowadays International Master of a rating between 2,400 and 2,500 as many chess enthusiasts of this bright site tend to imagine; sure, Paul F. Johner, Lajos Asztalos, Hermann von Gottschall onjectively were C-class players and even -compared to our Aron- Friedrich Saemish ("this idiot"!...) was, therefore these "zeros" (!!) played passively and with cowardice the opening phase of these games, however (I insist about that) Aron Nimzowitsch had to conduct brilliantly and in some extremely didactic way the rest of the game in order to defeat them! Am I wrong about that?!?
Mar-30-15  TheFocus: <The beauty of a move lies not in its appearance but in the thought behind it> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <cunctatorg: Bobby Fischer deliberately paid homage to the Hypermoderns...>

I think Fischer was <at one> with the hypermoderns, when playing black. He loved attacking a load of white pawns in the centre! And even as white he tried to put as few pawns in the centre as possible.

May-09-15  TheFocus: <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.
May-09-15  TheFocus: <It is a well known phenomenon that the same amateur who can conduct the middlegame quite creditably, is usually perfectly helpless in the endgame. One of the principal requisites of good chess is the ability to treat both the middlegame and endgame equally well> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-10-15  TheFocus: <The knight of QB3 is under obligation, the moment the enemy gives him the chance, of undertaking an invasion of the center by N-Q5> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-11-15  TheFocus: <The passed Pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key. Mild measures, such as police surveillance are not sufficient> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-11-15  TheFocus: <No pawn exchanges, no file-opening, no attack> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-11-15  TheFocus: <The isolated pawn casts gloom over the entire chessboard> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <First restrain, next blockade, lastly destroy> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <Strategically important points should be overprotected. If the pieces are so engaged, they get their regard in the fact that they will then find themselves well posted in every respect> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <If in a battle, I seize a bit of debatable land with a handful of soldiers, without having done anything to prevent an enemy bombardment of the position, would it ever occur to me to speak of a conquest of the terrain in question? Obviously not. Then why should I do so in chess?> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <When I today ask myself whence I got the moral courage, for it takes moral courage to make a move (or form a plan) running counter to all tradition, I think I may say in answer, that it was only my intense preoccupation with the problem of the blockade which helped me to do so> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-15-15  TheFocus: <Chess strategy as such today is still in its diapers, despite Tarrasch's statement 'We live today in a beautiful time of progress in all fields'. Not even the slightest attempt has been made to explore and formulate the laws of chess strategy> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <Many men, many styles; what is chess but the intangible expression of the will to win> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <The defensive power of a pinned piece is but imaginary> Aron Nimzowitsch.
May-17-15  TheFocus: <Even the laziest King flees wildly in the face of double check> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
Jun-02-15  TheFocus: <It is when working under limitations that the master reveals himself> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
Jun-02-15  TheFocus: <The center is the Balkans of the chessboard; fighting may at any time break out there> - Aron Nimzowitsch.
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