The Nimzo-Indian with Rubinstein’s move 4.e3

by ChessBase
3/26/2008 – After 4.Qc2 and 4.a3 in the last two weeks our lecturer Dennis Monokroussos today looks at a move introduced by the great Akiba Rubinstein, 4.e3. The game we look at is Taimanov-Averbakh from the famed 1953 Candidates tournament. It’s well worth watching, at 9 p.m. ET = 3 a.m. CET in’s Broadcast room. The show is free.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

This week we’ll continue our brief series on the Nimzo-Indian with a look at a different pawn structure than we’ve seen in the two previous games. After a look at 4.Qc2 in week one and 4.a3 last week, we turn our attention to Rubinstein’s move, 4.e3. Our game this week – Taimanov-Averbakh from the famed 1953 Candidates tournament – once again sees White gaining the bishop pair in the opening, but the resulting position differs dramatically from the other games. One big difference is that the center is more open, especially for Black, than it is in the other games; on the other hand, White doesn’t lag in development (as he did in the 4.Qc2 game) and his queenside structure (especially the c4 pawn) isn’t nearly as weak (by comparison to last week’s 4.a3 game). This time around, there’s a whole new set of problems to address!

The great Akiba Rubinstein, who introduced the move 4.e3

Happily, we’ll be in very good hands as we learn the game’s lessons. Mark Taimanov, the game’s winner, is one of the legendary figures in the development of this opening from the White side, and he was at this time coming into his peak form. His opponent, Yuri Averbakh, is no slouch either – obviously, as this was placed in a Candidates tournament. Adding to the instructional value, both Taimanov and Bronstein have offered commentary on this game, and of course I’ll had what I can as well. Further, the game isn’t merely of theoretical interest; it’s both a fascinating tactical struggle and a fine illustration of the power of opposite-colored bishops in the middlegame.

It’s well worth watching, and to do so is simple: just look for the Taimanov-Averbakh game at 9 p.m. ET/3 a.m. CET in’s Broadcast room and you’re set – the show is free.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).

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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

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