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Nimzovitch on overprotection and the bad bishop
So I am finally studying "My System," and low and behold Nimzovitch never mentions the good vs. bad bishop label. Granted, he devotes a lot of effort to the restraint of pawn chains and the freeing of offended bishops who have had to suffer restraint. But I am cautious about calling this an oversight and wonder whether Nimzovitch did not believe that labeling a bishop bad or good could be a reasonable consequence of his system which he defers to time and time again. The explanation I can think of would be that a bad bishop can still participate in the overprotection of a strong point and from that can derive strength and a meaningful role. Comments? I would greatly appreciate it if someone familiar with the book can fill me in on these points.
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good & bad Bishops
Were covered in some detail by Steintz and later Tarrasch. Nimzovitch wanted to cover new ground. You can hardly consider "My System" a complete system at all, it's part of a system, parts that Steintz hadn't covered in his writings. A book you might enjoy after you have digested "My system" and perhaps "Chess Praxis" is Raymond Keene's execellent book "Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal".
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Right, but why didn't the author make the g vs b bishop distinction? I'm curious because he is otherwise so thorough and likes to take credit for many things e.g. he claims he discovered "the theory of the open file."
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Interesting isn't it? I've several questions I'd like to ask Aaron Nimzowitsch! Perhaps the idea behind the good and bad bishop is so basic and had been explained so well by Steintz He just took it for granted that everyone would know about it. You might have noticed that at the beginning of the book his writing i8s less imspired you can actually catch him counting tempii like Tarrasch! lol You need only play through a few of his games to relize that counting tempi was not a natural part of his game.
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may help to understand Nimzowitsch a little bit better, if you know he was walking around with a business card saying: "contender for the world championship in chess" He held himself very high indeed! and so do I also, I think his influence on modern chess is tremendeous, especial when it comes themes around profylaxi and zugswang.
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Nimzo immigrated to Denmark from Riga. But his language is not easy. I had My System but one day sold it to a strong player who begged me to sell it to him. I got rid of the book gladly. After all Overprotection, Zugzwang, maneuvering etc. are things I already learned and assimilated. Now I bought Capablanca's Chess Fundamentals and Primer to chess, Manual of chess of Lasker and of course 300 Schach partien and the book of chess by Dr. Tarrasch. I prefer Capa for his crystal clear writing and Dr. Tarrasch the Praeceptor Mundi (also called Praeceptor Germaniae). They are the best teachers in my opinion. Alekine wrote 3 pro-nazi articles , in which he blamed Capa of leaving the brilliant chess in favor of a Jewish defensive game, which he learned in New York while studying there. Totally wrong.
The man with defensive game was Nimzo.
Actually we all have to know which style of play suits us best. I try to imitate Capa (somehow getting alive out of the opening, steering away of any danger in the middle game, waiting for the ending, which for him was the main part of the game). After reading what he has to say about endings, especially rook+pawn endings, I score many wins by endgame technique.
I am not saying Nimzo's books are useless ( I never read My Praxis), but the two mentioned + Lasker will help you more I am sure.
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Interesting stuff. I am enjoying the book for its content (Nimzo's attempt to give you a new way of looking at the game) as well as its historical interest. The author wastes no energy in attacking Tarrasch and defending himself from criticism, which all seems de trop coming from a man of his stature in chess history. I have to consistently remind myself that the author's talent went unrecognized for so long. So much for the question about good and bad Bishops; I guess no one will ever know!