Aron Nimzowitsch (Ārons Ņimcovičs; born Aron Niemzowitsch and also known as Nimzovich) (7 November 1886 – 16 March 1935) was a Latvian-born Danish unofficial chess grandmaster and a very influential chess writer. He was the foremost figure amongst the hypermoderns.
During the 1917 Russian Revolution, Nimzowitsch was in the Baltic war zone. He escaped being drafted into one of the armies by feigning madness, insisting that a fly was on his head. He then escaped to Berlin, and gave his first name as Arnold, possibly to avoid anti-Semitic persecution.
Nimzowitsch eventually moved to Copenhagen in 1922 (some sources say 1920), which coincided with his rise to the world chess elite. He obtained Danish citizenship and lived in Denmark until his death from cancer in 1935. He is buried in Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen.
Nimzowitsch never won against Capablanca, but fared better against Alekhine. He even beat Alekhine with the black pieces at St. Petersburg 1914. One of Nimzowitsch's most famous games is his celebrated Immortal Zugzwang Game against Sämisch at Copenhagen 1923. Another game on this theme is his win over Paul Johner at Dresden 1926. When in form, Nimzowitsch was very dangerous with the black pieces, scoring many fine wins over top players.
He wrote three books on chess strategy: Mein System (My System) (1925), Die Praxis meines System (The Practice of My System) (commonly known as Chess Praxis), and Die Blockade (The Blockade). The last of these has just been reissued in a volume containing both the German original and the English translation published by Hardinge Simpole. However, much that is in it is covered again in Mein System. It is said that 99 out of 100 chess masters have read Mein System; consequently, most consider it to be Nimzowitsch's greatest contribution to chess. It sets out Nimzowitsch's most important ideas, while his second most influential work, Chess Praxis, elaborates upon these ideas, adds a few new ones, and has immense value as a stimulating collection of Nimzowitsch's own games, even when these games are more entertaining than instructive.
Nimzowitsch's chess theories flew in the face of convention. While there were those like Alekhine, Emanuel Lasker, and even Capablanca who did not live by Siegbert Tarrasch's rigid teachings, the acceptance of Tarrasch's ideas, all simplifications of the more profound work of Wilhelm Steinitz, was nearly universal. That the center had to be controlled by pawns and that development had to happen in support of this control — the core ideas of Tarrasch's chess philosophy — were things every beginner thought to be irrefutable laws of nature, like gravity.
Nimzowitsch shattered these assumptions. He discovered such concepts as overprotection (the least important of his ideas from a modern standpoint though still interesting and sometimes applicable), control of the center by pieces instead of pawns, blockade, and prophylaxis — playing to prevent the opponent's plans. He was also a leading advocate and exponent of the fianchetto development of the bishops. Nimzowitsch also formalised strategies using open files, outposts and invasion of the seventh rank, all of which are widely accepted today. Others had utilized such ideas in previous years, but he was the first to knit them together into a cohesive whole.
International Grandmaster Raymond Keene writes that Nimzowitsch "was one of the world's leading Grandmasters for a period extending over a quarter of a century, and for some of the that time he was the obvious challenger for the world championship. ... [He was also] a great and profound chess thinker, second only to Steinitz, and his works-Die Blockade, My System and Chess Praxis-established his reputation as one of the father figures of modern chess." GM Robert Byrne called him "perhaps the most brilliant theoretician and teacher in the history of the game."
Many chess openings and variations are named after Nimzowitsch, the most famous being the Nimzo-Indian Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) and the less often played Nimzowitsch Defence (1.e4 Nc6). Nimzowitsch biographer Grandmaster Raymond Keene and others have referred to 1.Nf3 followed by 2.b3 as the Nimzowitsch-Larsen Attack. Keene wrote a book about the opening with that title. All of these openings exemplify Nimzowitsch's ideas about controlling the center with pieces instead of pawns. Nimzowitsch was also vital in the development of two important systems in the French Defence, the Winawer Variation (in some places called the Nimzowitsch Variation; its moves are 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4) and the Advance Variation (1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5). He also pioneered two provocative variations of the Sicilian Defence, both regarded as dubious today: the Nimzowitsch Variation, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6, which invites 3.e5 Nd5, similarly to Alekhine's Defence, and 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 d5?!
Nimzowitsch was annoyed by his opponents' smoking. A popular, but probably apocryphal, story is that once when an opponent laid a cigar on the table, he complained to the tournament arbiters, "he is threatening to smoke, and as an old player you must know that the threat is stronger than the execution".
Nimzowitsch's vanity and faith in his ideas of overprotection provoked Hans Kmoch to write a parody about him in February 1928 in the Wiener Schachzeitung. This consisted of a mock game against the fictional player "Systemsson", supposedly played and annotated by Nimzowitsch himself. The annotations gleefully exaggerate the idea of overprotection, as well as asserting the true genius of the wondrous idea. Kmoch was in fact a great admirer of Nimzowitsch, and the subject of the parody himself was amused at the effort.
Also, Hans Kmoch had written a manuscript containing some of the following excerpts of his nine years with Nimzowitch:
Nimzovitsch's colleague Tartakower observed of him, "He pretends to be crazy in order to drive us all crazy."
Threat of Litigation and Patent Value: What Technology Managers Should Know: Under the Strategy Employed by Patent Dealers, Patent Value Is Driven by the Threat of Litigation-The Higher the Threat of Litigation, the Greater the Monetary Value of the Patent
Mar 01, 2013; Historically, patents have been deployed primarily in the service of two fundamental strategic purposes: to sustain exclusion...