Volume 78 Learn to Play the Nimzo-Indian The Easy Way
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 Other move orders, such as 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.d4 Bb4, are also feasible. In the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings scheme, the Nimzo-Indian is classified as E20-E59.
This hypermodern opening was developed by Grandmaster Aron Nimzowitsch who introduced it to master-level chess in the early 20th century. Unlike most Indian openings the Nimzo-Indian does not involve an immediate fianchetto, although Black often follows up with …b6 and …Bb7. By pinning White’s knight Black prevents the threatened 4.e4 and seeks to inflict doubled pawns on White. White will attempt to create a pawn centre and develop his pieces to prepare for an assault on the Black position.
Black’s delay in committing to a pawn structure makes the Nimzo-Indian (sometimes colloquially referred to as the “Nimzo”) a very flexible defense to 1.d4. It can also transpose into lines of the Queen’s Gambit or Queen’s Indian Defence. The Nimzo-Indian is a very popular and well-respected defense to 1.d4 and has been played by every world champion since Capablanca. Indeed, White often plays 3.Nf3 to avoid the Nimzo-Indian, allowing him to meet 3…Bb4+ (the Bogo-Indian Defence) with 4.Bd2 or 4.Nbd2 rather than 4.Nc3.