Play the Bogo-Indian Defence - Part 2
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Welcome to the second (and final) database dedicated to the Bogo-Indian Defence.
Our starting position arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Nbd2
There is a small psychological paradox connected with this move. It is true that 4.Bd2 avoids any early commitments, and is likely to maintain the fluency of White's play. But at the same time we have seen that with a minimum of accuracy, Black usually obtains a rock-solid position with good chances of counterplay. After 4.Nbd2 things are more double-edged strategically. While the knight is not optimally placed on d2, White launches an open invitation to what he hopes to prove an improved Nimzo-Indian, by forcing the exchange on d2 with a2-a3, thus avoiding the doubled pawns on the c-file. But at the same time, the last move restricts White's choice of plans, allowing Black to more or less dictate the middlegame structure. Our repertoire continuation is:
Black does not mind giving up the bishops' pair as long as he will establish strong control along the h1-a8 diagonal. To identify the typical structures that will later arise, we should advance a bit along with one of the main lines. These structures can arise from several other opening variations, such as the 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian or the Queen's-Indian with an early ...Bb4+.
In this section, you will find 5 annotated games featuring typical ideas for Black.
White has two different setups in this structure - playing either g2-g3 or e2-e3.
The ideas of both are very well explained in the article. Below, you can take a look at one of the annotated games.
I feel that this is the system that corresponds best with the Bogo-Indian spirit. Black agrees to give up the dark-squared bishop and prepares to take control over the light squares. This is the most popular system, but by far not the only viable one.
Chapter 1 – 4.Nd2 b6 5.a3 Bxd2 6.Bxd2 Bb7 7.Bf4 and 7.b4
This is the first important crossroads in the variation. The current chapter is dedicated to two rare moves that White can try. My main line is based on 7.Bf4 which is not a very popular move as the bishop's pressure along the h2-b8 diagonal is relatively easy to neutralize. I also deal with 7.b4. Also, in this case, Black does not face theoretical problems.
Chapter 2 – 4.Nd2 b6 5.a3 Bxd2 6.Bxd2 Bb7 7.e3
This modest-looking move is, in fact, quite a sensible choice. White refrains from immediately activating the bishop and continues developing normally. If Black exchanges on d2, this will help White's development, and if not, the bishop could later emerge onto the long diagonal, after a retreat to e1.
Black should continue with the usual plan 7…0-0 followed by Ne4 and f7-f5. In such positions, understanding is more important than the knowledge of theoretical lines.
Chapter 3 - 4.Nd2 b6 5.a3 Bxd2 6.Bxd2 Bb7 7.g3
This is meant to be an improved version of the plan in Chapter 2. White leaves the diagonal open for the bishop on d2 and takes measures against ...Ne4 while also avoiding any danger for his king. But the main drawback of this plan is that it weakens the control over several light squares, such as c4, b5, and e4. Even though this sometimes implies a pawn sacrifice, Black's control over the central light squares offers him excellent play. The main line continues 7…0-0 8.Bg2 d6 9.0-0 Nd7
At this point, White has numerous options, but Black’s plan remains the same against all of them. His main idea is...Be4 followed by ... b6-b5, possibly sustained by ...a7-a5.
Chapter 4 – 7 - 4.Nd2 b6 5.a3 Bxd2 6.Bxd2 Bb7 7.Bg5
This is the most active continuation. By pinning the knight, White wishes to induce the weakening moves ...h7-h6 and ...g7-g5. But, as we will see, the bishop's exposure offers Black good counterplay.
The main line continues 7…d6 8.e3 Nd7
In Chapter 4, I analyze the rare 9.Bh4 and 9.Nd2. In both cases, Black tries to delay castling and quite often evacuates the king to the queenside. Afterwards, he can consider starting an active play on the kingside and in the centre.
Against 9.Qc2, 9.Be2 and 9.Bd3 which are analyzed in the next 3 chapters, Black plays h7-h6, g7-g5 followed by h6-h5 or Ne4 with a strong initiative on the kingside.
Chapter 8 – 14 – 6.Qxd2
This slightly paradoxical move, developing the queen in front of the bishop, is the most consistent. White intends to develop his bishop on the long diagonal, hoping that Black will play ...Ne4, when after Qc2 White would be a tempo up compared to similar lines in the 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian. Indeed, the queen reaches c2 after moving twice, while in the Nimzo-Indian it goes along the path c2-c3-c2. Of course, Black should play 6…Bb7 after which White faces a choice.
In Chapter 8, I analyze the rare move 7.b4 This doesn’t seem to pose any problems.
Chapter 9 is dedicated to the move 7.g3.
The reader already knows this idea from the article about the pawn structures and from Chapter 3.
I suggest two possible plans for Black.
One is to finish the development by means of 0-0, d6, Nbd7, etc… and the other is 7…Bxf3 8.exf3 d5
We reach an unusual position, with two knights against the two bishops and slightly better development, Black has chances to take advantage of White's weaknesses.
From Chapter 10 to 14, I examine the main tabiya of our line which we reach after the moves 7.e3 a5 8.b3 0-0 9.Be2 d6 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Bb2 Qe7
As explained earlier, Black does not have to hurry with ...Ne4. Instead, he displays his pieces harmoniously, maintaining the possibility of choosing his plan in accordance with White's. As we will see, most of White's natural continuations imply a small commitment and against many of them, Black can switch to ...Ne4 followed by ...f7-f5 anyway. Without having a clear plan yet, White would like to regroup with Rfd1, Rac1, Qc2, but this is not easy to achieve without allowing Black counterplay.
White tried numerous moves in this position. In this chapter, I analyze some of the rare tries such as 12.Rac1, 12.Rfd1, 12.Ne1.
Chapter 11 is dedicated to the move 12.b4
White plays a move which is part of his main plan in many lines while keeping the rooks' development flexible. But at this stage, it loses a tempo and weakens c4.
Chapter 12 is about 12.Rad1