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  1. 24 Dec '07 05:55 / 2 edits
    Alright, so ever since I picked up 1.d4 I've had some annoyances when dealing with the 1...Nf6 lines, one that's really bothered me is the Nimzo-Indian, and I don't want to play the QID. So, I'd been trying the 4.f3 NID line as per !~Tony~!'s recommendation, but I've never really felt like I had any idea what was going on. So, when the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 came up in a game on RHP tonight (technically still in progress, but well out of the opening and unrelated to this topic now) arose I chose to play the move 3.a3!? (?!...?)

    Definitely not exactly a shocking or scary looking move, but I think it's probably very solid and turns up in DBs a few times. I had a chance tonight to look through some possible lines to see how it squares up as a reliable defense:

    3.a3 d5 (certainly seems to be the critical defense) - here's a line I think would be possible that I came up with:

    4.e3 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O which seems fine for white, I think play could continue with something like 8...b6!? 9.b4 Bb7 10.Nbd2 Qd7 11.Bb2 Rad8 12.Qc2 Ne8!?

    IDK though, that was just a quick line I tested out on my board at home. And it's definitely possible that there's a lot more theory on this 3.a3 line than I have realized, but I've never heard of or seen it before. Do you guys know anything about this move? Do you think it's a possibility to avoid the Nimzo-Indian with something that's going to be reliable?

    My other main concern was about transposition, it looks at least relatively likely to transpose into a lot of other main 1.d4 variations, is that a reasonable concern?
  2. 24 Dec '07 08:23 / 1 edit
    This could just lead to a QID where a3 is played instead of g3. What don't you like about the a3 variation of the QID?
  3. 24 Dec '07 09:36
    3. Nf3 avoids the Nimzo and seems to do a little more than 3. a3, which seems kind of pointless so early.
  4. Standard member JonathanB of London
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    24 Dec '07 10:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by cmsMaster
    ... 3.a3 d5 (certainly seems to be the critical defense) - here's a line I think would be possible that I came up with:

    4.e3 Be7 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 Nc6 8.O-O which seems fine for white,...
    Perhaps you could play 3. a3 and I doubt you'd necessarily come out of the opening worse but I don't see you getting an advantage either.

    In your line 7. ... Nc6 is not a good move. Black invariably wants to play ... c5 in these positions and that looks much better than developing the knight here.

    I'd say you're just a tempo down on an already slow version of the QGD.

    Having said that, 6. Nc3 instead of 6. Bd3 transposes to a known position (although it's also known to be entirely equal).

    Also, Black could try to play more dynamically with 3. ... c5 instead of 3. ... d5 (aiming for a Benoni structure where a3 is unlikely to be useful for White).

    If you REALLY want to avoid the Nimzo you could try 3. g3.

    Otherwise play 3. a3 if you want to ... just don't expect an opening advantage.
  5. 24 Dec '07 16:11
    Or you could go for:

    1.d4...Nf6
    2.Bg5

    ...and get into the Trompowsky. Whilst definitely not easy nor to everyones taste, it's something I've been attracted to for reasons I find hard to explain. It demands creative thinking and I love it's unbalanced asymmetrical nature.

    Here's a link to a Tromp game played by Ivanchuk:

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1338719