Bogo-Indian Defence

The Bogo-Indian Defense is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

Bogo-Indian Defense
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
e6 black pawn
f6 black knight
b4 black bishop
c4 white pawn
d4 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
e2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
f1 white bishop
h1 white rook
Moves1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+
Named afterYefim Bogolyubov
ParentIndian Defense
1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 e6
3. Nf3 Bb4+

The position arising after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 is common. The traditional move for White here is 3.Nc3, threatening to set up a big pawn centre with 4.e4. However, 3.Nf3 is often played instead as a way of avoiding the Nimzo-Indian Defense (which would follow after 3.Nc3 Bb4). After 3.Nf3, Black usually plays 3...b6 (the Queen's Indian Defense) or 3...d5 (leading to the Queen's Gambit Declined), but can instead play 3...Bb4+, the Bogo-Indian, named after Efim Bogoljubow. This opening is not as popular as the Queen's Indian, but is seen occasionally at all levels.

The Bogo-Indian is classified as E11 by the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (ECO).


White has three viable moves to meet the check. 4.Nc3 is a transposition to the Kasparov Variation of the Nimzo-Indian, therefore the main independent variations are 4.Bd2 and 4.Nbd2.


4.Bd2 is the most common line; the bishop on b4 is now threatened and Black needs to decide what to do about it.

  • The simplest is to trade off the bishop by means of 4...Bxd2+; this line is not particularly popular, but has been played frequently by the Swedish grandmaster Ulf Andersson, often as a drawing line.[1]
  • 4...Qe7 This is called the Nimzowitsch variation, defending the bishop, and deferring the decision of what to do until later. After 5. g3 Nc6, the main line continues 6. Nc3 Bxc3 7. Bxc3 Ne4 8. Rc1 0-0 9. Bg2 d6 10. d5 Nd8 11. dxe6 Nxe6 and the position is equal. Another alternative is 6. Bg2 Bxd2+ 7. Nbxd2 d6 8. 0-0 a5 9. e4 e5 10. d5 Nb8 11. Ne1 0-0 12. Nd3 Na6 and the position is equal.
  • David Bronstein tried the sharper alternative 4...a5, grabbing space on the queenside at the cost of structural weaknesses.
  • A more modern line is 4...c5, after 5.Bxb4 cxb4, Black's pawns are doubled, and a pawn has been pulled away from the centre, but the b4 pawn can also be annoying for White since it takes the c3-square away from the knight. In fact, one of White's major alternatives is 6.a3, trading off this pawn at once.
  • Simply retreating the bishop by means of 4...Be7 is also possible; Black benefits from losing a tempo since White's dark-square bishop is misplaced at d2. The line is somewhat passive, but solid.


4.Nbd2 is an alternative aiming to acquire the bishop for the knight or forcing Black's bishop to retreat. The downside is that the knight is developed to a square where it blocks the bishop, and d2 is a less active square than c3. The line is described in the Gambit Guide as "ambitious". Black's most common replies are 4...b6, 4...0-0, and 4...d5.

Monticelli TrapEdit

This opening gives rise to the Monticelli Trap.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Pedersen mentions Andersson's utilization of this line, noting he draws a large majority of the time, however Checkpoint, see Hansen's review of the Bogo-Indian CD, which notes that this is not always an attempt to merely draw.


  • Steffen Pedersen (1999). Gambit Guide to the Bogo Indian. Gambit. ISBN 1-901983-04-8.

Further readingEdit