I would like to know what are all the most frequent transpositions between the two following openings:


The Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 6. Nf3 Bb4:

  [StartPly "12"]

  [FEN ""]
  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Bb4


The Nimzo-Indian Defence:

  [StartPly "6"]

  [FEN ""]
  1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4


Please try if possible to provide the list of all the transpositions sorted from the most common to the rarest.


Edit: I found two transpositions which seem to be very common ones.

Both of these two lines:

    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. exd4 dxc4 9. Bxc4
    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7. O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 cxd4 9. exd4

Transpose into this line:

    1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 7. Bd3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 O-O 9. O-O

But there are maybe more transpositions.

1 Answer 1


There are indeed a couple of transpositions from the Nimzo-Indian to the Panov variation of the Caro-Kann and they occur sometimes in practical games.

Using a database of chess games, they can be filtered by searching simultaneously on:

  1. The position after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4
  2. "B10-B19", i.e. the ECO-code of the Caro-Kann.

After finding the games where an actual transposition occured, they can be put in a tree-like structure to count the transpositions.

Using ChessBase Mega Database 2015, 91 games are found, for which both players have a FIDE rating of 2200 or more. Then, the found games were put in a ChessBase tree-file (.ctg).

The most common transpositions found this way are:

  1. 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 d5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.exd4
  2. 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 (see 1)
  3. 4.e3 c5 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Bd3 (see 1)
  4. 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 0-0 (see 1)
  • In your first line, 5. Nf3 is played only 9.6% of the time and 5...cxd4 is played only 2.3% of the time. In your second line, 6...cxd4 is played only 2.6% of the time. So the two lines that you give are definitely not "the most common transpositions".
    – Fate
    Jun 14, 2015 at 4:00
  • 1
    Indeed, 5.Nf3 is not the most common move. However, the statistics you mention aren't necessarily relevant, as they apply on all the games and not on the games where there is a transposition. Anyway, my answer is incomplete and incorrect, so I will edit it. Furthermore, I would like to add that any statistics will strongly depend on the used database.
    – Maxwell86
    Jun 14, 2015 at 8:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.