In the Nimzo-Indian Rubenstein, there's a solid line for Black that begins thus:

[FEN ""]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 b6 5. Bd3 Bb7 6. Nf3 Ne4 7. O-O f5

Since I am Class A rated, I normally look for lines that class amateurs would tend to play against me and not IMs/GMs, etc. I think a lot of class amateurs would be really tempted to chop here with:

[FEN "rn1qk2r/pbpp2pp/1p2p3/5p2/1bPPn3/2NBPN2/PP3PPP/R1BQ1RK1 w kq - 0 8"]

1. Bxe4 fxe4 2. Nd2 Bxc3 3. bxc3 Qg5!?

Thus preventing the freeing break f3.

The question is: If we just look at the position here structurally, this is basically sort of a Wedge formation but with the difference being that my pawns are doubled and I don't have a traditional Wedge structure outpost on d5.

Since the opponent usually faces the more difficult time in the endgame vs. a Wedge formation, should I in general play this position like a traditional Wedge formation position with a possible kingside attack and generally trading down into a favorable endgame, or are there other nuances that make this type of position deviate from a traditional Wedge formation?

  • 3
    I'm not sure what you mean by a "Wedge formation". The only pawn structure that I've heard termed the Wedge formation is in the French Defense.
    – Andrew
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


While it's true that your 10. ... Qg5 prevents the freeing break 11. f3?? (due to 11. ... Qxe3+ followed by ... Qxc3), White could get away with 11. f4 in response if so inclined. If you respond by moving the queen, then white is no longer so cramped on the kingside and doesn't have to worry too much about an onslaught on that wing. If you respond with 11. ... exf3 12. Nxf3, your bishop has improved scope, but White has in effect achieved the freeing f3 break your tenth move was meant to prevent.

Maybe more problematic than 11. f4, though, is that White can play 11. Ba3! in reply.

[FEN "rn2k2r/pbpp2pp/1p2p3/6q1/2PPp3/2P1P3/P2N1PPP/R1BQ1RK1 w - - 0 11"]

1. Ba3!

This temporarily prevents castling, and things like 11. ... d6 12. c5 are in the air, when White can have further ideas of play on the b-file (and against your bishop on b7) with Rb1 and/or Qb3. It's not as though Black is in big trouble here, but I think there's no reason to speed up this queenside play with your 10. ... Qg5, especially since your move doesn't prevent a freeing f-pawn move after all. Better to wait a bit, perhaps, for a more opportune time to bring the queen into play.

I think you're absolutely right that Black should aim toward an attack on the kingside, but for the reasons just stated I think you should start off with the straightforward 10. ... O-O instead. It seems that White should still aim for the same kind of queenside play described above, but now you won't have any awkwardness involving castling (or needing ... d6 to achieve it and helping White to start opening up the queenside with c5). Now you'll try to get something going on the kingside while White does the same on the queenside, and unlike above it seems like the two armies are on a pretty even footing. After, say, 11. Ba3 Rf5 12. c5 Qh4,

[FEN "rn1qk2r/pbpp2pp/1p2p3/8/2PPp3/2P1P3/P2N1PPP/R1BQ1RK1 b - - 0 10"]

1... O-O
2. Ba3 Rf5
3. c5 Qh4

each side is doing its thing, and I do think that Black should have a comfortable endgame -- though I don't know that I'd use your word "favorable" for it -- if White should arrange for a queen trade to relieve pressure on the kingside.


Here's my two cents' worth (from a Class C player).

Players of a given level, at least below master, come in different "shapes and sizes." That is, one "Class A" player may be a 2000+ player in the middle game, and a Class B player in the endgame, while another one would be the reverse.

Perhaps you fit one or the other of those profiles. In that case, play to your stronger part of your game. Even if you don't, try to figure out if your opponent fits one of those profiles, and play to the WEAKER part of HIS game.

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