The Nimzo-Indian is an extremely popular and reliable defence, upon which most world champions have relied at some point in their careers. Black controls the vital e4-square with his pieces, and retains total flexibility with his central pawns. By playing 4 f3, White challenges Black's idea head-on. Either Black grants White control of e4, or else he must commit his pawn to d5, whereupon White can begin concrete action in the centre. The result is sharp, forcing play of a type that is rare in the early stages of most Nimzo-Indians. 4 f3 is an excellent choice for ambitious players who are willing to prepare carefully, as it can be used to steamroller opponents who have not worked out an accurate response.

The 4 f3 Nimzo enjoyed a period of great popularity in the early 1990s, following a number of spectacular victories by the teenage Alexei Shirov. However, good responses were found and the line's popularity declined. A number of players quietly worked away at revitalizing 4 f3, and it is now once again a potent weapon. Following its period out of the limelight, it has now regained its surprise value, which will be greatly valued by club players wishing to spring 4 f3 on their opponents.

Yuri Yakovich is an experienced grandmaster and renowned trainer from the Russian city of Samara. His numerous tournament victories include three consecutive triumphs at Santo Antonio during 1999-2001. Yakovich has played the 4 f3 Nimzo-Indian frequently during his career, and has made important contributions to its theory. This is his second chess book for Gambit; see also The Complete Sveshnikov Sicilian.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

"This variation promises interesting play and unbalanced positions. If this suits your opening philosophy and you like playing with energy, the opening and this book may interest you." - Michael Mulford, Georgia Chess

"The whole seems a good mixture of practical variations, analysis and text. I recommend the book to creative players, who will endeavour to enrich this not yet deeply explored variation with new ideas." - Jerzy Konikowski, Fernschach International

"Something for dynamic creative players, who possibly also strive to find new ideas in openings for themselves!" - FM Gerd Treppner, Rochade

"Everyone who is interested in 4 f3 as white or black will be well cared for by this book." - Schachmarkt

"Yakovich deals with all the main lines comprehensively, divides the material into logical and easily digestible chunks, and includes a healthy dose of new ideas. ... Yakovich's text is the first book to really deal with the 4 f3 variation in any detail...and so if you absorb the ideas presented by Yakovich, then you will inevitably be as well prepared as possible to play the 4 f3 Nimzo. ... even if established theory denotes the 4 f3 variation as equal, GM Yuri Yakovich includes many fresh ideas and variations that challenge established theory, so even well-prepared players that defend the black side may struggle." - Eddie Dearing, Weekend Chess

"This book is absolute must reading for 4.f3 Nimzo players and aggressive players who play 1.d4 and are looking for something to play after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6." - John Donaldson

"...overall this is an impressive theoretical survey on, and advocation of, 4 f3!?; a line which still appears to contain a fair drop of poison at all levels." - Richard Palliser