The Double Fianchetto Solution

In my previous post I wrote that I will take a look at my games with black in the PRO Chess League. They were notable because the variation I used exceeded all my expectations and the positions I got very excellent.

It was one of those ideas that I have briefly looked at but never analysed properly. Since I decided that I would play the Nimzo against 1 d4 my choice was the …g6 idea in the QID after 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Bb7 5 Bg2 g6!? The good thing about this idea is that it can be universally used after 1 Nf3 as well, with a transposition very likely. I dubbed it The Double Fianchetto Solution and I wrote about it in more detail in my newsletter (if you’re interested, please sign up using the form on the right). That is what happened in my first game with it:



Not a bad start at all! Both the opening and the result were very satisfactory.

The second game was the biggest test. I played GM Vidit, rated 2689 at the time, who served as Anish Giri’s second in the Wijk aan Zee that finished just days before our game. I could expect some top-notch preparation and he didn’t disappoint.


A very lucky win for me and the opening could have gone better. As Capablanca used to say, one should play the openings that bring good results, irrelevant of the positions you get from them! And since black’s opening could be improved upon, I decided to continue to use the system.



I missed my chances, but the opening was a breeze again. The next two games can actually serve as a completion of the repertoire based on the double fianchetto as they showed how black can use the 2…b6 move order against various systems that white can play after 2 Nf3. I discovered this in the mid 00s when my repertoire was based on the Nimzo and the QID – playing 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 b6 gives black additional options agaist the London and Colle Systems because he can use the double fianchetto and obtain more dynamic play.



I felt under some pressure after the Grunfeld-like choice of 7…d5 (now I would prefer 7…d6) but there was never a clear way for a white advantage. And I won again!

The last game was a worse version than the London System as white played 3 Bg5, giving black a tempo with …Ne4.



Again smooth sailing for black! And a final 4.5/5 against such strong opposition is definitely an excellent advertisement for the variation. The practical point of playing it (it can be used against both 1 d4 and 1 Nf3) was the decisive factor in my choosing it. Another important aspect was the psychological – I didn’t mind getting equal and simple positions with several pieces exchanged, thus risking a draw against lower-rated players. The reason was that in rapid games mistakes happen in all positions so a chance to win the game will present itself even in the dullest of positions. Now that I think of it, perhaps this is applicable for classical chess as well…

Of course, if one wants to complete the repertoire then the Nimzo, the Catalan and the English 1 c4 need to be taken into consideration, but nowadays the trend is to avoid the Nimzo, so I expected people to allow me to play the line in this tournament. Personally I still feel that I need to prepare the line more deeply if I want to play it in long games, but it certainly showed great potential. For now, let’s keep my future opponents guessing!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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