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Nimzo Indian 4 Qc2: Bareev Variation [E32] by GM John Emms

The Bareev Variation is characterized by the early development of White's knight to e2, with the idea of moving the queen and playing Nc3 as quickly as possible: 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 Qc2 0-0 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 Qxc3 b6 7 Bg5 Bb7 8 e3 d6 9 Ne2 Nbd7. The c3-square is generally an excellent post for this knight, so White is justified in slowing down his development in order to fulfil this positional goal.

Here I'm going to focus on 10 Qc2 (10 Qd3 is the alternative) and some of the recent developments with this move:

Diagram after 10.Qc2

We begin with 10...h6 11 Bh4 c5 12 dxc5!?. This pawn capture is Morozevich's latest wrinkle, and an attempt to liven up White's chances because Black players have found a solid response to 12 Rd1 in the shape of 12...cxd4.

The "main line" after 12 dxc5 runs 12...bxc5 13 Nc3 d5 and now:

Diagram after 13...d5

14 Rd1 is seen in Morozevich-Moiseenko, Porto Carras 2011.

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