Understanding before Moving 58: "Hemmungsstrategie"

by ChessBase
12/20/2021 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 58th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman talks about Aaron Nimzowitsch and his famous "Hemmungsstrategie". | Photo: Tommy Grooten

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In episode 57 we talked about the doubled c-pawn in the Nimzo-Indian Defense. And who can tell us more about it than the inventor of this opening himself: Aaron Nimzowitsch! This headstrong gentleman who fought a long feud with dogmatists like Siegbert Tarrasch was very happy to play the opening that later came to bear his name.

Most of the ideas that Nimzowitsch discovered in these positions have survived to this day. He coined the term "Hemmungsstrategie" and in one of the most famous games of all time he illustrated this term to perfection.

Several grandmasters have indicated that the game Johner vs Nimzowitsch, Dresden 1926, had a great influence on developing the prophylactic thinking that modern grandmasters have in their arsenal. Nimzowitsch succeeds in completely restricting White's counterplay until White can do virtually nothing. Nimzowitsch then finished the game with a fine and energetic attack. In the diagram position he found a way to break through his opponent's defenses. Do you see how?


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