It is possible to put together an opening repertoire based on gambits, tricks and traps. 

The games may be fun, but the openings have a limited shelf-life and sooner or later it will become necessary to change them altogether. 
This applies to both the White and Black players. In the long run, it is undoubtedly better to learn a set of openings which have not only stood the test of time but will continue to do so. 
For example, the London System is currently enjoying an unprecedented run of popularity, but it is no secret that 1. d4 2. c4 remains more challenging for the second player than 1. d4 2. Nf3 3. Bf4 (or the even trendier 1. d4 2. Bf4). 
Furthermore, after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6, there is no point beating about the bush with moves other than 3. Nc3. The fact that some players prefer to play 3. Nf3 or 3. g3 just shows how unprepared they are to allow 3…Bb4 – the famous Nimzo-Indian Defense. 

The big battle for the vital e4 square will then continue for the rest of the opening and even some way into the middlegame. 
How should White continue? Perhaps it is time to dig in deep and to put some serious effort into combatting one of the best defenses to 1. d4 2. c4. 
Help is at hand, with the recent release of The Nimzo-Indian Bible for White: Volume 1 and Volume 2, by Milos Pavlovic. 

The author is quick to reveal his credentials: 

‘I have worked with the best, or perhaps it’s better to say that I have learned from the best; that’s how I can best describe this book, because I spent some time with Svetozar Gligoric in the early 2000s and the Nimzo-Indian was also present.’  
Indeed, Gligoric wrote the classic book Play the Nimzo-Indian Defence (Pergamon Press, 1985), which is still a very useful tome to this day. 

The first volume in this new, two-part series covers the highly respected Classical Variation (4. Qc2) and the much rarer 4. Bd2

Both lines are designed to prevent Black from compromising White’s pawn structure with a timely …Bxc3+, after which Black will usually gain serious play against the doubled pawns. 

4. Bd2 is an oddity, ‘for which basically I could not find an established name’, says the author, who goes on to christen it ‘the Tartakower-Duchamp line because Saviellly Tartakower played it often, while to my surprise Marcel Duchamp (who was also a famous French artist) played it too in the 1930s and indeed in a very good positional fashion against strong players.’ 

White is trying to obtain the bishop pair without allowing his pawn structure to be smashed up. 
The second volume focuses on 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3, the famous Rubinstein Variation

There are now so many ways for both sides to play that an expert guide is required – and hopefully that is what the reader will find in this book. 
Consider this as a rallying cry: forget about anything other than 2. c4 after 1. d4 and put aside the alternatives to 3. Nc3 after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6. Put in some serious study, play the best third move with an air of confidence and don’t be afraid take on the Nimzo-Indian Defense! 

Sean Marsh 

Sean Marsh
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