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Aron Nimzowitsch
Number of games in database: 577
Years covered: 1896 to 1934
Overall record: +263 -109 =198 (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 (14) 
    D02 E10 D05 A50 D00
With the Black pieces:
 French Defense (44) 
    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 Systemsson, 1927 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Alapin, 1914 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
   H K Mattison vs Nimzowitsch, 1929 0-1
   Nimzowitsch vs Salwe, 1911 1-0
   Nimzowitsch vs Alekhine, 1926 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Dresden (1926)
   Frankfurt (1930)
   Karlsbad (1929)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   Marienbad (1925)
   London (1927)
   Kecskemet (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
   mi sistema de nimzovich by LESTRADAR
   Annotated games by Nimzovitsch by macaoui
   Legend Nimzowitt by Gottschalk
   Bled 1931 by Benzol
   Bled 1931 international tournament by cuendillar
   Favorite Games from (1917-1943) by wanabe2000
   New York 1927 by Benzol
   Aron Nimzowitsch's Finest Hour! by AgentRgent
   Nimzowitsch best games by mark jc. Garado
   San Sebastian 1912 by Archives
   "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 577  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. E Cohn vs Nimzowitsch 0-130 1904 Coburg AC41 Philidor Defense
4. Nimzowitsch vs Hilse 1-065 1904 CoburgC25 Vienna
5. Vidmar vs Nimzowitsch 1-048 1904 Coburg AD02 Queen's Pawn Game
6. Nimzowitsch vs Duras 1-055 1904 Coburg AB15 Caro-Kann
7. P Kaegbein vs Nimzowitsch 1-042 1904 Coburg AD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
8. B Gregory vs Nimzowitsch 1-036 1904 Coburg AA30 English, Symmetrical
9. Tarrasch vs Nimzowitsch ½-½71 1904 Nuremberg - Casual gameD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
10. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-019 1905 MunichB15 Caro-Kann
11. Nimzowitsch vs Schlechter 0-126 1905 ViennaB22 Sicilian, Alapin
12. A E Post vs Nimzowitsch ½-½98 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
13. Nimzowitsch vs Albin 1-038 1905 ViennaB02 Alekhine's Defense
14. Nimzowitsch vs Fahrni 0-136 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BB22 Sicilian, Alapin
15. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-133 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
16. Nimzowitsch vs L Forgacs 0-152 1905 Vienna Masters TournamentC45 Scotch Game
17. Swiderski vs Nimzowitsch 1-032 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
18. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-042 1905 MunichC47 Four Knights
19. Nimzowitsch vs Reggio  ½-½42 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC47 Four Knights
20. F J Lee vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½61 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BD02 Queen's Pawn Game
21. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch 1-030 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC25 Vienna
22. Nimzowitsch vs W Cohn 1-024 1905 Barmen Meisterturnier BC42 Petrov Defense
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 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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: < JimNorCal: Was Nimzo as good as Capa or Alekhine? No.
Did he play entertaining and instructive chess? Yes. Thanks for your contributions, Aron Nimzovich. You are part of what attracts us to, and keeps us playing, chess.>

Hear, hear! Indeed, while we have a lasting treasure of beautiful games from all three gentlemen, Nimzo's legacy extends some deeper, IMHO. He helped breath new life into the game when it was beginning to go a little stale.

And, of course, he was "Blessed with a catchy prefix" - Evans. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: <parisattack> For the thick among us like me, can you explain Evans' comment?
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: (Larry) Evans edited Modern Chess Openings (MCO) 10 (1965). In the introduction to the chapter on the Nimzo-Indian he led off with that comment about Nimzovitch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Shams: Ahh. I see. Yes, the short vowel/long vowel combo is punchy.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: <offramp: He would have been so totally ahhihilated by either of them> I'm sure many thought the same of Euwe.... <it would have stopped him publishing books> And chess would have been much poorer had that been the case.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Nimzo, of course, was proud to be more of a thinker than player. But his practical strength should not be totally mocked either: While Nimzo did have relatively big negative scores against <Capa, AAA, Vidmar>, he also posted positive scores against such as <Lasker, Euwe, Reti, Spielmann, Tarrasch, Maroczy, Janowski, Marshall, Mieses, Flohr, ...>


(And he posted either tied or competitive-though-mildly-deficit record against <Duras, Rubinstein, Schlechter, Bogo, Teichmann, Bernstein, ...>)

All in all, a competitive record to be certainly be proud of.

Jan-07-14  ForeverYoung: to Gars: have a dictionary at hand to clear up a word once in a while. I mostly play through the games (laying off of the intros) and follow his notes. the games, by the way, are top notch!
Jan-21-14  RedShield: Nimzo would understand:
Mar-01-14  john barleycorn: A nice read:

Aron Nimzowitsch. How I became a Grandmaster

Mar-01-14  john barleycorn: Nimzowitsch on Capablanca:

<The best consolidator of all times is surely Capablanca (he elevated the art of prophylactic maneuvering to unbelievable heights). But Capa is a sportsman, a man without nerves, with completely balanced psychics.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I happened to be looking at the Kevin Spraggett page. Spraggett is currently rated 2557. He does not like <My System>.

At he writes:
<[Nimzovich's] works are very famous, but, in my humble opinion, over-rated. I've read everything he has written (and spent a great deal of time thinking about what he said--I now regret having wasted my time), it is all very interesting and entertaining, but I think that, self-promotion apart, he almost never achieved in his tournament practice (i.e. his games) what he makes you believe he did in his books. It is really hard to find a game played from move 1 to the end where he even followed his own 'system' ! On top of this, his books are filled with many tactical oversights, and simply bad judgement. And a lot of the other stuff he wrote about is just pure 'technique'...and he did not 'invent' it, but he did try to make his readers believe he did...

Nimzovich was a great player ! No doubt about this...but his advice given in his books never even worked in his own time...not many players realize that his strength was due primarily due to his ability to play white ! With black he was a pigeon by comparison...and far too much of what he wrote was from the black side (again, he was trying to 'promote' the Nimzo-Indian -type systems). In fact, most of it is pure fantasy..

Had he stuck to the 'Réti' systems (i.e. the white side) in his books, then that might be another story..but then Réti's name didn't sound as satisfying to him as 'Nimzo-'.

There are some famous players who will swear by his books, this I acknowledge, but take my word for it, there are many, many more famous players who believe his stuff is second rate 'Eric Schiller ism'!

His name will always be associated with 'hypermodernism' and deservingly. But even most of the variations of the Nimzo-Indian defence that he played are known (and have been known as such for more than 50 years) to be simply bad. There is a famous game of his where he tried to provoke d5 by playing his rook to e6...just garbage ! The truth is that his position was already desperate, and he was willing to try anything...

This is not to say that he didn't win some nice games in the Nimzo... in fact he did play two or three really nice games (he was definitely a 2600+ player)...but they had very little to do with his 'system'... and most modern masters can do the same if they get the help that he got from his opponents !

I think that you will find it very difficult to find former 'Soviet' GMs to say anything nice about Nimzo's books; I think they mostly didn't like the very 'commercial' aspect of his books. And I think that maybe 'lack' of objectivity on Nimzovich's part played a role also..

Keene's book 'Nimzovich: A Reappraisal' is a very well written book, and amusing also. I recommend it.

But for most players I don't 'push' Nimzovich books...


ps but remember, Nimzovich fans, this is ONLY an opinion

IM Lawrence Day also commented'

<"I don't like Nimzo either.

Many of the ideas are ripped off from Tchigorin.

In those days, when he wrote, the idea was to raise fan money for a world championship purse.

Hence 'his' system, but the Soviets (knowing their Tchigorin) see thru the scam, imo">>

Scathing but reasoned criticism!

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

Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: A nice article by Peter Anderberg of Harmstorf called 'Vor 100 Jahren: München 1906 – Nimzowitschs erster Turniersieg' of December 14, 2006 (100 years ago: Munich 1906 - Nimzowitsch's first tournament success):

The game between Przepiorka and Nimzowitsch featuring the Riga variation has already been submitted.

Additionally, Rod Edwards' page:

Sep-13-14  ljfyffe: The beauty of a chess move lies not in its appearance, but in the thought behind it -- Nimzowitsch.
Oct-08-14  RookFile: Baloney. Beauty is beauty. Reshevsky was a champ at winning ugly. Nobody tries to be like him.
Oct-09-14  ljfyffe: Merely a quote from Nimzo...never said l believed in it!
Nov-07-14  newhampshireboy: I love Nimzo's games and he really kept my love for chess alive. Thanks Nimzo!
Nov-07-14  RookFile: Well, I like North Conway. Looking forward to another visit there someday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: Tempus fugit, Grandmaster. Your works and your ideas live on! Happy birthday to the stormy petrel of chess.
Nov-07-14  TheFocus: Happy Birthday, Aron Nimzowitsch!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Nov-07-13 <gars: My favorite Nimzowitsch quote: "why should I lose to such an idiot??" I do not know who was the idiot and whteher these were the exact words, but this is the spirit.>

Nov-07-13. <AgentRgent: The "Idiot" in question was Saemisch vs Nimzowitsch, 1925>

So that game marks the origin of the Nimzo-Idiot Defense?

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: No, that's the beginning of Nimzo-Now-Which Piece defence =))
Feb-02-15  sorrowstealer: Tal's foreward to My System at
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sorrowstealer> Funny, perceptive, and written with Tal's characteristic generosity of spirit. Thanks for posting it!

<The ideas that once seemed extravagant have been recognized and become common. Perhaps that's the role of any bright individual? Once, such concepts as centralization, prophylaxis, overprotection, blockade etc. were just recipes of the eccentric Nimzowitsch. But now they are commonplace, we may even call them platitudes. Back then, those recipes were just peculiarities of Nimzowitsch's chess individuality, but now, they are taught to youngsters. And there's nothing unusual in that, everything is simple. Revelations, dawn-ups, inspirations, discoveries available only to the brightest and most gifted individuals are valuable precisely because they become common and increase the average level. And the next genius begins from this level.>

Feb-02-15  john barleycorn: <sorrowstealer: Tal's foreward to My System...>

thanks, rewarding to read about my hero.

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