I will give several illlustrative games here - fairly
straightforward games from Capablanca, Alekhin, Korchnoi and
Karpov showing pawns mobile and dangerous, and the others (e.g.
Nimzovitch's) showing them stuck and vulnerable.
"The most important feature of the chess position
is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in
all phases of the game (opening, middlegame and
especially endgame). The primary constraint on a
Akiba Rubinstein made enormous contributions to the game of chess.
In the first place, our opening books contain Rubinstein's lines in
the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4
4.e3), the Tarrasch Defense (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3
c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3), the Four Knights' Game
(1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4) and the
French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4).
Secondly there is the legacy of his games, containing some superb
Polugayevsky, in the beginning of his book `Grandmaster
Performance', quotes some advice he was given when a young player:
"If you want to play well, in the first instance
study games. Your own and other peoples'. Examine them from the
viewpoint of the middlegame and the endgame, and only then from the
viewpoint of the opening. This is more important than studying
I've just been looking again at the Slav/Semi-Slav as a way to
defend 1.d4 -- much against my better judgment, as I prefer to avoid
fashionable openings, but presumably they're fashionable for a good
If you'd like a bird's eye view of the complex with some example games,
read on here.
This line gets its name from a simul. game that the American
amateur MacCutcheon played against Steinitz in 1885. After some
initial explorations by Tarrasch and Co., it was relatively neglected,
but opening theory is never still... Chistiakov
played it for decades, as has Volkov, and recently it has appeared
again in Korchnoi's games. It has also been
favoured by Ivanchuk and especially Morozevich who has found new
resources in many lines.
I've been woken from my dogmatic slumbers by some recent games, and
have reviewed what little I know about the French Defence, MacCutcheon Variation.
The curious may investigate further,
the faint of heart and weak of stomach should look away now.