Nimzo-Indian Ambush

An unconventional game with a surprise ending.

Gem City Open, 1971.

White: R. Gifford
Black: Col. Sicherman

Nimzo-Indian Defense

1. d4 Nf6; 2. c4 e6; 3. Nc3 Bb4; 4. Qc2 c5.

This popular line challenges White's center early.

5. e3.

The line-opening 5. dc is more forthright.

5...Nc6; 6. Nf3 d5; 7. cd N:d5!?

This is playable because White has not yet played a2-a3. Black plays to unbalance the position.

8. Bb5 Qb6; 9. B:c6+ Q:c6; 10. Ne5 Qb5!

This unexpected move holds the a4–e8 diagonal and keeps White from castling.

11. dc B:c3+; 12. bc Q:c5; 13. Bd2.

White tries to hold the pawn, but ...

13...N:e3! 14. B:e3 Q:e5; 15. O-O Bd7; 16. Bd4 Qg5; 17. Rab1? Bc6; 18. f4.

With gain of time, White uses the open lines to mount an attack.

18...Qd5; 19. Rbe1 O-O; 20. f5! ef; 21. R:f5.

Black's kingside has no defenders. Can it be held?

21...Qd7; 22. Re3 Rae8; 23. Rg3 g6; 24. Rh5.

Trying to infiltrate on the h-file. 25. R:h7 is not a threat yet because of 25...K:h7; 26. Rh3+ Q:h3.

24...Re1+; 25. Kf2 Rfe8; 26. R5h3?

This loses at once. But Black threatened 26...Qe6, and 26. Rgh3 would have allowed 26...Qg4.

26...Qf5+! 0:1.

This looks like a blunder, because Black's g-pawn is pinned and does not protect the Queen. But 27. Q:f5 allows R8e2#. Or 27. Rf3 Q:c2+ and it's over.

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Col. George Sicherman [ HOME | MAIL ]