Nimzowich Defence

The Nimzowich Defence (or Nimzowitsch Defence) in the King Pawn Openings is Nc6 against e4, and had been a rarely seen line in modern play. However, it has been making a resurgence, at least at club level. It is under-rated and actually quite playable for Black, and will have good surprise value against an unprepared opponent. After all, an outstanding grandmaster named Nimzowich declared it sound many years ago!

The Nimzowitch Defence Against 1.e4

Diagram: Nimzowich Defence

There are two main variations of Nimzowich Defence, depending on whether Black plays e5 or d5 after White has taken the center. White usually plays “2.d4”, although it’s not the only viable White move here. The main variations after “2.d4” are therefore:

  • 2..d5
  • 2..e5
  • 2..e6

The Nimzowitch Defence with 2..e5

Diagram: Nimzowich Defence: variation with 2..e5

Note that White can play at least 3 options on the 3rd move:

For more about White lines, see: Anti-Nimzowitch Defence variations.

Transposition to the Scotch Game

White can choose to transpose to the Scotch Game with 3.Nf3. White might then play the

Scotch Game proper, or play the Scotch Gambit with 4.Bc4.

The Nimzowitch Defence with 2..d5

Diagram: Nimzowich Defence: variation with 2..d5

The Nimzowitch Defence with 2..e6

Diagram: Nimzowich Defence: variation with 2..e6

Other Nimzo Openings

Other chess openings have the name “Nimzowich” attached to them, including:

Related Chess Openings Topics

Read more about these related chess openings, strategies, chess puzzles, and other chess topics: