The Nimzo-Indian Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4) is popular at all levels of chess, unsurprising as it gives Black a clear system of development and has proven itself to be perfectly sound over many years of practice.
A hyper-modern opening, Black intends to allow White to form a big center and attack it from the flanks later with moves like …c5. So how should White tackle Black’s setup? In his course “Grandmaster repertoire: 4.Qc2 against the Nimzo-Indian” GM Jan Gustafsson recommends 4.Qc2, a move he has used with considerable success and one that is fast becoming recognized as White’s best option.
With 4.Qc2 White protects the c3 Knight, keeps an eye on e4 (which both prevents …Ne4 and supports an eventual e2-e4) and vacates the 1st rank, allowing the Rooks to connect quicker.
In this preview, Jan looks at the line 4.Qc2 0-0 5.Nf3! c5 which is the most likely 5th move response if the second player is familiar with the 5.Nf3! idea. Now with the d4 pawn challenged, White’s best option is to capture on c5 and complete his development rapidly as described by Jan.
If you would like to find out more about this weapon against the Nimzo-Indian Defense, check out the full course here.