100 ( +1 | -1 ) Nimzovich VariationWith Kramnik out of Wijk aan Zee, the potential for Petrovs dropped dramatically. So I was surprised yesterday to see Bacrot essay one in round three against Topalov. Topalov replied with the Nimzovich Variation of the Petrov: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nf3 Nxe4 5 Nc3 Nxc3 6 dxc3. Toppy went on to win thanks to Bacrot's bumbling, but it got me thinking: I've been seeing this variation pop up more and more frequently, and in the highest levels of chess.
I found 32 top-level games (2600+) that featured this variation in 2005, with a remarkable record of +11 =19 -2. And of course, these are not hack players: Topalov, Svidler, Anand, Leko, Karjakin, etc. have all given it a whirl. So my question is, is this now the hot "anti-Petrov"? I'd never really been afraid of it, but Topalov's performance yesterday gave me some pause.
It's got a lot to recommend it: it sidesteps much mainline Petrov theory and offers the possibility for opposite castling and the pawnstorms that may ensue. Does anyone here have experience with this line?
36 ( +1 | -1 ) wellmaybe they figure: if you play the Petrov you want a draw so let the guy at least work for it. The sideline you mentioned will probably not be better for white then the mainline but is not yet explored 15 moves into it so plenty to discover yet and leads, at first glance, to different positions then the mainline. And if recent performances of Topalov showed us anything, it is that he can go for a win in any position.