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16. Counter the Nimzowitsch Defense – 1...Nc6

16. Counter the Nimzowitsch Defense – 1...Nc6

While the Nimzowitsch Defense is rarely played in classical games it’s become a popular surprise weapon in blitz and rapid time formats.

The ideas of the Nimzowitsch Defense are simple. 

Firstly, by playing Nc6, Black tries to provoke White into ‘showing their cards’. As Black hasn’t moved any pawns, the onus is on White to state their intentions.

Secondly, as 1...Nc6 is not a standard reply to 1.e4, many players get out of their opening preparation quickly, giving a practical advantage to Black – particularly for players rated 2,200 and below.

You can find the positions from this course below

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Additional reading: You may also find it useful to read our article about the Nimzowitsch Defense, which introduces many ideas that you'll find here. 

What you'll learn

  • The general upsides and downsides of the Nimzowitsch Defense.
  • Move by move, how to play and gain advantage as White.
  • How 1...Nc6 can transpose to openings and positions you’re already familiar with.
  • Why we believe 2.Nf3 is the best second counter to 1…Nc6.
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Students give this course an average of 5 out of 5 stars.

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Course 17 episodes (53 min)
Creators GM Avetik Grigoryan
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