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The Knockout Nimzo

The Knockout Nimzo (Tony Kosten)
100 mins. ISBN 0-9542934-5-2.  £19.99/$29.95/€31,50

In this video Grandmaster Tony Kosten hacks a path for you through the jungle of opening theory. He presents a complete and powerful repertoire for Black against the main lines of the Nimzo.

The Nimzo-Indian Defence (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4) offers dynamic winning possibilities for Black that persist throughout the game. Black trades the bishop pair, but in return gains the tactical advantage of quick development, and often also saddles White with long-term pawn weaknesses.

Running time: 2 hours. VHS video, available in PAL or NTSC (details of which format is generally used in which country are available).

Quotes from Reviews

"What do you get for your money? A healthy 100 minutes of video, based around 13 "theme" games. There are also five "summary" sections, one at the end of each subset of games. The title is not just the usual cringe worthy hyperbole you find on videos, the emphasis is indeed on carrying the fight to white by utilising any lead in development black may come by.
Who is it by? It is written and presented by Tony Kosten, author of several good introductory opening books such as "The Dynamic English" and "Easy Guide to the Najdorf". One of his skills as an author seems to be the selection of a small but satisfactory repertoire from the wealth of material available on a complex and wide-ranging opening. He has also written in depth about the Nimzo in past years.
Who is it for? This is an introductory work, aimed at players who either just don't get along with books or who find it easier to digest and recall the more dynamic visual medium of the video. It is all very well getting 80 games for your money in a book as opposed to 13 on a video, but if you drop the book after chapter one, or cannot remember what you read a day later, you would have been better off getting the video. Another thing about videos is that if you have had a hard day and feel lazy, the video (a) sets the pieces back up (b) moves them for you and (c) turns the pages, all without any effort from yourself. Unfortunately, my copy neither made the tea, nor fetched a beer from the fridge, but maybe these features are available as an upgrade.
What is in it? The five basic sections covered are
(1) the less frequently seen choices, 4 f3, 4 a3, 4 Bg5;
(2) The 4 Nf3 system;
(3) The classical 4 Qc2 system;
(4) The main line 4 e3 with 5 Nf3 or 5 Bd3; and finally
(5) The main line 4 e3 with 5 Nge2.
So, pretty good coverage of the chief replies, and enough depth in each section to give you enough confidence to go out and have a crack at it. No game on 4 Qb3 or 4 g3, but do you really need them? The games are quality grandmaster stuff in general, featuring both Karpov and Kasparov at various points. Kramnik also appears, but only as the bad guy (White) who loses (ha!), but in a quick-play game. The games are also very recent, the oldest is from 1992 and run right up to 2003, so there is a crisp, fresh feel to it all. I found the section summaries a very useful idea, emphasising the key ideas and moves from each group of games. Tony Kosten does all the presentation, and is a very credible speaker, imbuing confidence. His tone is quite and rational; there is enthusiasm, but without the excited squeaking of a Ward or Norwood (well, OK, they get a bit keen at times). The production values were high, it has a more polished look and better sound quality than most opening videos I have seen.
Where does it belong? On your shopping list, if you are going to market for a new opening repertoire this season. Even if you later decide to get into the defence in depth, this is a good way to get introduced to it quickly." David G Smith, WEEKEND CHESS.

"...I certainly think that learning a new opening via a video is more fun and less time-consuming than by reading a book, as someone else has weeded out all the irrelevant material and chosen the most useful games to study. ... " Alan Sutton.

"English Grandmaster Tony Kosten has written the book on the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 ) and now he has made the videotape as well. In this well-prepared production, he provides a repertoire against the various main lines for White, and as is usually the strength of badbishop productions (GM Murray Chandler et al), provides a thorough grounding in the strategic concepts of the Nimzo. It will come as no surprise to experienced players that this often involves pressure on a weak doubled white pawn on c4. The main lines for White considered on the video are 4.f3, 4.a3, 4.e3, 4.Nf3, 4.Bg5 and 4.Qc2. Other rare lines, such as 4.Qb3 (played against me by an IM, however) you can probably handle on your own once you have absorbed the concepts on the tape. The main concepts emphasized by GM Kosten are piece activity and the strategic demolition of White's pawn structure when possible, and he is willing to sacrifice to further these ends. For example, after 4.Qc2 he recommends the immediate d5, rather than the common 0-0. In Kramnik-Kasparov (Moscow 1998) this led to an exciting struggle eventually won by black. Another little plus is his coverage of the line 4.Nf3 b6, which can easily arise as a transposition from the Queen's Indian. This is a dynamic line that will really help the average player. White can suffer major tactical demolition if he isn't careful, as in Malakhatko-Korobov (2001) which went 5.Bg5 Bb7 6.Nd2 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.a3 Bxc3 9.bc3 d6 10.f3 Nc6 11.e3 g5 12.Bf2 Qe7 13.Bd3 0-0-0 14.0-0 h5 15.a4 h4 and White was already in trouble. I found myself wishing that Kosten had made another tape covering the entire Queen's Indian and other white side lines, and perhaps he will some day. The Knockout Nimzo is a truly excellent production and comes highly recommended" Bill Whited, Chess Country.

"The material is well written, and production very slick." John Saunders, BCM.

"A pleasant and effective way to get up-and-running in the durable but ambitious Nimzo." Chess Monthly.



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