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Nimzo-Indian, Samisch (E24)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 a3 Bxc3+ 5 bxc3

Number of games in database: 775
Years covered: 1924 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 35.0%
   Black wins 40.4%
   Draws 24.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Friedrich Saemisch  12 games
A R Saleh Salem  11 games
Lev Gutman  11 games
Mikhail Tal  6 games
Michael John Haygarth  5 games
Yevsei Polyak  4 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Lilienthal vs Capablanca, 1935
Botvinnik vs Tal, 1961
Kotov vs Keres, 1950
Lilienthal vs Ragozin, 1935
T C Fox vs Timman, 1970
Botvinnik vs Kotov, 1946
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 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 775  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Norman vs R P Michell 0-1481924Hastings 1923/24E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
2. A Kramer vs G Machate 1-0431926Silesian Master TtE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
3. N Alekseev vs Zrustek  0-1301926Ural Region championship-sf 2E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
4. A Chistiakov vs Barulin  1-0371927Ch Khimik clubE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
5. G Norman vs Yates 0-1381927Hastings 1927/28E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
6. Saemisch vs Reti 1-0691928DortmundE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
7. Saemisch vs J Engel 1-0251928BrnoE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
8. W O Cruz vs J de Souza Mendes  1-0411928BRA-chE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
9. Kmoch vs Saemisch  ½-½301928BrnoE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
10. Kmoch vs J Engel  0-1571928BrnoE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
11. Kmoch vs Capablanca ½-½371928BudapestE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
12. P Johner vs C Ahues  0-1411928Berlin Cafe KoenigE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
13. Saemisch vs Gruenfeld  ½-½431928Berlin Cafe KoenigE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
14. M Szebarszin vs N Kosolapov  1-03319283rd Ch RSFSRE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
15. S Slonim vs Surin  1-0271929Ch Moscow (Trade Unions)E24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
16. Noteboom vs A Gibaud 1-033192922nd Kent CCA CongressE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
17. Alekhine vs M Fox 1-0901929Bradley BeachE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
18. F E Hamond vs W Fairhurst  0-1371929British ChampionshipE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
19. Saemisch vs Yates  ½-½481929KarlsbadE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
20. Saemisch vs Capablanca 1-0621929KarlsbadE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
21. Saemisch vs Gruenfeld 1-0481929KarlsbadE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
22. Saemisch vs K Rozic  1-0691929Rogaska SlatinaE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
23. J Wolpert vs M Blieden  1-0171930South AfricaE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
24. E Maksimovic vs Flohr  0-1301930Prague ChampionshipE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
25. Kmoch vs J Araiza Munoz  ½-½291930San RemoE24 Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
 page 1 of 31; games 1-25 of 775  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-06-03  Bears092: fun little miniature...

5...Ne4 6. Qc2 Qh4?? 7. g3 Qg4 8. f3

Oct-23-03  Helloween: 5...c5 is the line that makes this one very tough to play effectively as White. Black has much better pawns and is ahead in development.
Nov-17-05  blingice: OMG, I drew Little Chess Partner w/ this opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are 10 traps 'n zaps in the E24 Saemisch Nimzo-Indian:
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <WTHarvey> Great puzzles! Thanks for the link. A few typos:

1c) Scheffner-Oeljeklaus - no White Queen (presumably Qd1)

2c) Perez-Vallejo-Pons - Bf3+ (not Bf6+)

2e) Schmehl-Schmidt - Qd6+ (add check)

For 2d) Biro-Bokros please consider adding the continuation Qxf3 Nf4+ to fully explain the solution.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: <tpstar> Thanks! I'll try to be much more careful in the future.
May-18-08  holland oats: I love playing the black side of the Nimzo-Indian, especially in blitz games. Its very solid, and its easy to get in some tactical fireworks if white slips up. Check out this trappy E24 blitz game I played as serves as another example of why not to accept the double rook sacrifice!

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 b6 6.Nf3 Bb7 7.e3 c5 8.Bd3 d6 9.Qc2 Nbd7 10.O-O Bxf3 11.gxf3 Nh5! 12.Bxh7? Qg5+ 13.Kh1 Qh4? 14.Qe4 Nf4?! 15.Qxa8+ Ke7 16. Qxh8?? Qh3! 17.Rg1 Qxf3+ 18.Rg2 Qxg2#

Jul-24-08  Alphastar: I play this as white with excellent results.
Jul-24-08  jaybugg13: Seems like a nicely balanced opening, wonder why it's not played at high levels much anymore?
Jul-24-08  Alphastar: <jaybugg13> because the antidote has been worked out - see line E25.
Aug-07-12  Tigranny: Love this with White. Just beat somebody yesterday with it. Also my favorite way to play the Nimzo-Indian with White.
Nov-11-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Nimzo-Indian, Samisch
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. a3 Bxc3+ 5. bxc3

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

Aug-11-14  erasmus: Are there any (good) books/articles out there about playing the Sämisch variation with White?
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <erasmus> If you don't get a reply here, try the Chess Book Forum (User: ChessBookForum) - someone there might be able to help you.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Another possibility is to contact <parisattack> at his forum, for he would likely be familiar with such an animal, if there is one.
Aug-20-14  erasmus: <SwitchingQuylthulg><perfidious> Thanks for your replies! I will follow your suggestions.
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: This variation has definitely fallen out of fashion since there are no games listed in the CG database that have been played w/ this variation since 2017.: white is a GM who beat a GM so since black is a GM in this game & black had a rating that’s a good bit higher than white’s rating, that shows that this variation is playable for white. Although I think the classical variation (4.♕c2) is most likely the best variation for white
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: < eternaloptimist: This variation has definitely fallen out of fashion since there are no games listed in the CG database that have been played w/ this variation since 2017.>

I see games through 2023.

We saw 4.e3 0-0 5.a3 in the recent world championship. Ding Liren vs Nepomniachtchi, 2023

Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <keypusher> What happened is I looked at the “RECENT” game mentioned under the diagram on this page: Opening Explorer & it’s a game from 2017. Apparently it means recent & not most recent. I stand corrected. I really enjoyed the match between Ding & Nepo. I’m happy that Ding won it!

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