I play the nimzo Indian defence, and so in response to 1.d4 I play Nf6, planning on playing e6 and Bb4. However, if they follow up with any other moves, I am at a bit of a loss as to what to play. I tend to just play d5 and develop my pieces, but I was wondering if there was any other good opening I could use in response to that.

  • 4
    d5 and development sounds like a good opening already.
    – Annatar
    Dec 19, 2018 at 13:43
  • 5
    You should concentrate on understanding general chess ideas rather than learning specific opening moves; 2. e3 is not an aggressive continuation, so you have plenty of good choices that depends on your playing style.
    – Drako
    Dec 19, 2018 at 15:10
  • Assuming that this kind of reasoning has any value, as a Nimzo Indian player the move that makes more sense is 2...e6, and see what White is up to. Of course it's not a Nimzo Indian after 3.c4 Bb4+, since White can play Bd2 or Nbd2. Dec 19, 2018 at 18:24
  • @drako I prefer to learn the first 8-10 moves of the opening and then spend the rest of my time on tactics and general chess strategy. I find it helps to get off to a good start, which is why I asked this question. Dec 19, 2018 at 22:34
  • What do you play against 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 ?
    – Evargalo
    Dec 20, 2018 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


The Nimzo-Indian can be closely paired with The Queen's-Indian, or The Bogo-Indian, or much less closely paired with the Benoni.

Lets forget about the Benoni for now and focus on the other two options.

In the Bogo and Nimzo you see Black's Bishop going to b4. The general idea is to fight for the e4 square, but in some cases Black will trade the Bishop off and then put his own pawns on dark squares (d7-d6 and e6-e5). When you play an early d5 as Black you kill this secondary plan -- which is totally fine but something to keep in mind.

In the Queen's Indian you target e4 with Bb7 and the other Bishop usually goes to e7. Here you are also fighting for e4 and because you aren't taking out Whites Queen's-knight who usually will attack the e4 square, you need help of a pawn and d7-d5 is often played.

So, what's with the Benoni?

If White is avoiding c4 and Nc3 then they are playing slowly and it is not critical. If they play c4 but avoid Nc3, say 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 then many players like to play 3...c5! Since White has put their Knight on f3 a lot of aggressive lines with f2-f4 are avoided.

Nick De Firmian paired the Nimzo with the Benoni. Karpov paired the Nimzo with the Queen's Indian. Fischer sometimes played a hybrid of the Queen's Indian and the Nimzo Indian.

The smallest amount of theory to know would pair the Nimzo with the Bogo-Indian.

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