Bogo Indian Defense: Beat 1. d4

Are you looking for a weapon against 1. d4?

The Bogo Indian Defense is a solid approach if the white player tries to dodge the Nimzo. Let me show you how it works:

What is the Bogo Indian Defense?

The Bogo Indian Defense appears if white tries to avoid the Nimzo-Indian by playing 3. Nf3 after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6.

In the Bogo Indian Defense, black answers with 3. … Bb4+ anyway.

Bogo Indian Defense Main Position

The Bogo Indian Defense was named after Efim Bogolubov, who liked to play the opening during the 1930s.

Key Ideas of the Bogo Indian Defense

  • You give white the option to transition into the Nimzo-Indian after 4. Nc3
  • You are prepared to meet Bd2 with Qe7. The queen on e7 not only protects the bishop on b4, it also supports the move e5 in the future.

Main Lines of the Bogo Indian Defense

After Bb4+, white has three choices:

  1. Bd2
  2. Nbd2
  3. Nc3

4. Nc3 transitions into the standard Nimzo-Indian Defense, which is why we can skip this response for now.

The most common move is 4. Bd2, which you can answer with 4. … Qe7.

bogo indian chess opening

The main continuation for white here is 5. g3.

After the rather passive 5. e3, which you’ll face from time to time, you can achieve an easy-to-play and equal position after taking the Bishop on d2: 5. e3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 0-0 7. Nc3 d6 8. Be2 e5 9. 0-0 e4.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 08 26 um 16.42.24

Let’s go back to g3 – after 5. g3, you can respond with 5. … Nc6 6. Bg2 Bxd2 7. Nxbd2 0-0 and achieve a solid position.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 08 27 um 04.29.05

Black will try to play the pawn moves d6 and e5.

If white plays d5, we have achieved a pawn structure that is similar to the Kings Indian Defense, but more favorable for black, because the dark-square bishops have been exchanged. Black’s plan is to play f5 and start a kingside attack.

Let’s go back and look at the second option for white, 4. Nbd2.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 08 27 um 04.29.31

Black can respond with the quick financhetto: 4. … b6

Bildschirmfoto 2020 08 27 um 04.29.44

After 5. a3 Bxd2+ 6. Bxd2 h6 (preventing the annoying pin of the knight), black has a comfortable game.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 08 27 um 04.30.10

Is the Bogo Indian Defense a good opening?

The Bogo Indian Defense is a great opening. It can’t be refuted and promises black an equal game quickly.

The Bogo-Indian only appears if the white player wants to avoid the Nimzo-Indian. That means: In order to play the Bogo-Indian, you have to know the Nimzo-Indian as well.

If you liked this introduction, read our articles about the Scotch Gambit or Accelerated Dragon.