Saemisch Variation against the Nimzo-Indian Defence
We are happy to present the first opening course by the Indian grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta - Saemisch Variation against the Nimzo-Indian Defence.
The starting position of the database arises after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3
The Saemisch Variation is one of the most aggressive setups against the ever-reliable Nimzo-Indian. It was popular in the early 80s when Kasparov won a few games with it but later with the help of the engines black players understood how to attack the weaknesses on c3-c4 but last few years Carlsen has been using it quite successfully in the online rapid format which gave a huge lift to this line.
After 4...Bxc3 5.bxc3 we get the most important of the entire course.
Black will try and put pressure on the c4-pawn with ideas like c7-c5, and b7-b6 followed by Ba6 in combination with Nc6-a5, Whereas white gets a massive centre and two bishops against it.
Here Black has four options and almost against everything we play f2-f3 followed by e3-e4.
Usually, our idea would transpose into some of the lines in the system with 4.f3 which will give us some edge as Black is not as flexible as in the aforementioned line.
In almost all the variations, GM Gupta tries to provide almost unexplored and creative solutions. This approach makes the entire repertoire very practical.
The database consists of 6 theoretical chapters, 4 model games, Memory Booster, Strategy Booster, and a Video Version (2 hours Running Time).
Below, we shall take a brief look at the different chapters.
Chapter 1 deals with Black's systems based on ...c7-c5. The critical position of the chapter arises after 5...c5 6.f3 Nc6 7.e4 d6.
At this point, instead of the traditional 8.Be3, Gupta suggests the relatively unexplored 8.d5!?. It turns out that this continuation is heavily underestimated by the theory. In his analysis, the author shows how White can create practical problems for his opponent.
Chapter 2 is dedicated to Black's attempts to put pressure on the c4-pawn by means of the manoeuvre...Nc6-a5 followed by ...Ba6. The central position of the chapter is being reached after 5...b6 6.f3 Nc6 7.e4
Now, Black faces a choice between two options - 7...Ba6 and 7...Na5. While both moves are likely to transpose, the former option provides White with extra possibilities. In the positions where the pin created by 8.Bg5 is not working, Gupta prefers to defend the c4-pawn by means of Bd3 followed by Qe2. In many cases, After covering the c4-pawn, White can start thinking about a central expansion.
Chapter 3 deals with the position arising after 5...0-0 6.f3
The current chapter covers two knight moves - 6...Nh5 and 6...Ne8. The idea behind these moves is to open the way of the f-pawn. In both cases, the author goes for an ambitious approach. According to his analysis, White gets an advantage in these lines.
From Chapter 4, Gupta starts dealing with one of the most important systems - 5...c5 6.f3 d5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.dxc5
This is probably the most important tabiya of the entire variation. White's inferior pawn structure is compensated by a powerful bishop pair. His next move is going to be e2-e4. In this position, 8...Qa5 is by far Black's main line. The current chapter, however, deals with the alternative 8...f5. In his annotations, Gupta shows that White can rely on advantage after 9.Nh3 followed by either Nf4 or e2-e4.
The critical move 8...Qa5 is covered in Chapter 5. The first critical position arises after 9.e4.
At this point, Gupta examines 5 continuations - 9...Nxc3, 9...Qxc3, 9...Nc7, 9...Ne7, and 9...Nf6. The line with 9...Nf6 is objectively Black's most challenging option. Even here, however, Gupta shows how White can get a risk-free endgame and create practical problems.
The last Chapter 6 is dedicated to the setups with ...d7-d5. The most important position here arises after 5...d5 6.e3 0-0 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Bd3.
This is another typical structure where White wants to go for Ne2 followed by 0-0 and f2-f3. The idea of this setup is to prepare the central break e3-e4. Black in return tries for b6-Ba6 and play on the light squares. Practically speaking, White's play is easier since he is playing for a mate.