In the Spielmann Nimzo-indian, the position after this completely reasonable line makes the position seem that Black is winning. However, the engine evaluation gives the position as equal. What sort of compensation does White have that justifies the engine's decision.

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1.d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qb3 c5 5.dxc5 Nc6 6. Nf3 Ne4 7. Bd2 Nxc5 7. Qc2

Where Black has a dynamic advantage in the form of active pieces and more development.

  • 6
    Black is winning? Are you sure you posted the right moves?
    – bof
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 9:47
  • 3
    After 8.Qc2 in the diagrammed position White has managed to develop 4 pieces, while Black has managed to develop 3 pieces. I don't know why anyone would assume that this is indicative of an advantage for Black, let alone a winning position.
    – Scounged
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Is Black really that much (or at all?) ahead in terms of development and piece activity?

Just counting, there are three minor pieces developed on each side, plus the White queen, while Black is to move and can castle. Pretty equal. Black's three minor pieces surely are active at the moment, but are White's much worse? I don't think so.

Most importantly though, if we look a little bit ahead, White has much more straightforward moves to improve his position. A direct a3 will more or less force Bxc3, obtaining the bishop pair for White (with one of them on an open long diagonal to boot). The Nc5 is then in danger of being chased away by b4. Black can answer ...a5 or ...f5 (supporting e4 as a new outpost), but both moves create new slight weaknesses in a pawn structure that is already slightly weakened by trading away the "good" bishop.

Black cannot do much against moves like e3, Be2, 0-0 or Td1, either. Not breathtaking, but all very solid and natural. Meanwhile, Black's main break ...d5 is not without danger (for example, if it's played too soon after the exchange on c3, White may discover an attack on the loose Nc5 by cxd5 and Bxg7, netting a pawn).

I won't claim that White in turn has a real "advantage". If Black plays well, the game will still be about equal. But I'd actually prefer to play White.

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