Aron Nimzowitsch (b. 7 November 1886--d. 16 March 1935) is the most
of the hypermodern
school of chess
, if not its
, which showed that
control of the center
did not necessitate occupation
of the center
. Thus he was a great theorist of chess openings
playing the Winawer variation
of the French Defense
Queen's Indian Defense
and the so-called Nimzo-Indian Defense
He also coined the delicious
phrase "the bishop bites on granite
He wrote down many of his ideas in the classic book, My System
Nimzowitsch was born in Riga, Latvia and emigrated
to Copenhagen, Denmark in 1922. There he wrote
the classic chess book My System.
His greatest victory came at Carlsbad in 1929, beating
Jose Raul Capablanca. Often, however, Nimzowitsch's need
to be unconventional outweighed his desire to win.
In particular he lost repeatedly to Alexander Alekhine.
Siegbert Tarrasch, a defender of the classical school,
said of Nimzowitsch, "He has a profound liking for ugly
opening moves." (Some would call Tarrasch and Nimzowitsch
archrivals, such was the passion with which they held their differing
Here is a lovely nugget of Nimzowitsch's writing:
The passed pawn is a criminal, who should be kept under lock and key.
Mild measures, such as police surveillance, are not sufficient. The
passed pawn has a lust to expand.
On occasion you find the spelling of his name as
Aron Nimzovitch (e.g. see the nodeshell). The spelling here,
Aron Nimzowitsch is what you find most often in
English-language chess literature.
Gritchka writes, "-witsch is a German transliteration
(although it really should be Nimsowitsch in
German to get the -z- sound),
-vitch is French, the English would be -vich."