modern school Chess
The hyper modern theorists, who occupied the centre stage
in the twenties of the last century, changed the game in
many ways. They tried to demolish the classical theories
with great determination and found their own way of developing
pieces in the opening and the middle game. For example,
they did not believe in direct occupation of the centre
with pawns and pieces. It is control not occupation of the
centre which the hyper moderns preached. The leading masters
of the school included Richard Reti, Gyuala Breyer and,
of course, Aaron Nimzowistch. It is their ideas and games
that left a profound mark on the development of modern chess
theory, though some of them are regarded redundant or obsolete
Nimzowitsch developed the theories of overprotection and
blockade and showed to the chess pundits that the collective
mobility of pawns was more important than their number.
His idea of 'prophylactic' moves is still the basis of many
The hyper moderns slowed down the pace of the game, as
they had no faith in direct attack. They laid down the principles
of positional play.
Small wonder, the hyper moderns produced some startling
games which represented a positional understanding far ahead
of their times. Nimzowitsch, in particular, was capable
of achieving unusually beautiful things over the board.
His game against Johner at Dresden, 1926, is perhaps still
the best example of 'blockade' leading to victory.
The theories that Nimzowitsch developed, and nurtured with
great care, were essentially based on paralyzing or reducing
the power of the enemy forces. A blockade, for instance,
can immobilize the enemy pawns and pieces. Once that goal
was achieved the master of blockade would aim his guns at
the 'static objects' with telling effect. The process of
blockading, of course, began with manoeuvring that would
'restrain' the enemy. So the plan was to restrain, blockade
and finally destroy.
Here is a classic example of a full-board zugzwang (compulsion
to move) that Nimzowitsch achieved in Copenhagen, 1923.
Black- Aaron Nimzowitsch [E06]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.Nc3 00 7.00
d5 8.Ne5 c6 9.cxd5 cxd5 10.Bf4 a6 11.Rc1 b5 12.Qb3 Nc6 13.Nxc6
Bxc6 14.h3 Qd7 15.Kh2 Nh5 16.Bd2 f5 17.Qd1 b4 18.Nb1 Bb5
19.Rg1 Bd6 20.e4 fxe4 21.Qxh5 Rxf2 22.Qg5 Raf8 23.Kh1 R8f5
24.Qe3 Bd3 25.Rce1 h6! 0-1