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Renat Krylov
Renat Krylov

Discover the Secrets of My System by Aron Nimzowitsch: Download the Free PDF and Become a Better Chess Player

My System by Aron Nimzowitsch: A Chess Classic You Can Download for Free

If you are a chess player who wants to improve your game, you have probably heard of My System, a book on chess theory written by Aron Nimzowitsch. This book is considered to be one of the most important and influential books in the history of chess, as it introduced many new concepts and ideas that changed the way chess players think and play. In this article, we will tell you more about who Aron Nimzowitsch was, what his system was about, and how you can download a free PDF version of his book online.

my system aron nimzowitsch free pdf download


The Elements of Chess Strategy

The first part of My System is called The Elements, where Nimzowitsch explains the basics of his system. He regards the following as the elements of chess strategy:

  • The center: Nimzowitsch emphasizes the importance of controlling the center of the board, as it gives you more space, mobility, and influence over the rest of the board.

  • Play on the open files: Nimzowitsch advises to occupy and use the open files (the columns without pawns) with your rooks and queens, as they allow you to attack and penetrate your opponent's position.

  • Play on the seventh and eighth ranks: Nimzowitsch recommends to invade your opponent's territory with your rooks and queens on the seventh and eighth ranks (the rows closest to your opponent's king), as they create threats and pressure on your opponent's weak points.

  • The passed pawns: Nimzowitsch defines a passed pawn as a pawn that has no enemy pawns in front of it or on adjacent files. He considers passed pawns to be very valuable assets, as they can advance and promote to a queen or another piece.

  • The pin: Nimzowitsch describes a pin as a situation where a piece is attacked by another piece and cannot move without exposing a more valuable piece behind it. He considers pins to be very effective weapons, as they limit your opponent's options and create opportunities for tactics.

  • Discovered checks: Nimzowitsch explains a discovered check as a situation where a piece moves and uncovers a check by another piece on the same line. He considers discovered checks to be very powerful moves, as they can often win material or deliver checkmate.

  • Exchanging: Nimzowitsch discusses the principles of exchanging pieces, such as when to exchange and when not to exchange, what to exchange and what not to exchange, and how to exchange. He advises to exchange pieces when it benefits your position, such as when you have an advantage in material, space, or activity, or when you want to simplify the position or reach an endgame.

  • The pawn-chain: Nimzowitsch defines a pawn-chain as a group of pawns that are connected diagonally. He considers pawn-chains to be very important structures, as they determine the character of the position and influence the placement of the pieces. He also introduces the concepts of the base and the head of the pawn-chain, and how to attack or defend them.

The Positional Play

The second part of My System is called The Positional Play, where Nimzowitsch builds on the elements taught in the first part. In this part, he shows how to play for a positional advantage, using his hypermodern approach. Hypermodernism is a chess philosophy that challenges the classical principles of controlling the center with pawns and occupying it with pieces. Instead, hypermodernism advocates controlling the center with pieces from a distance and attacking it with pawns and pieces from the flanks. Some of the main concepts and ideas that Nimzowitsch introduces in this part are:

  • The prophylaxis method: Nimzowitsch defines prophylaxis as the prevention of your opponent's plans and threats. He considers prophylaxis to be an essential skill for positional play, as it allows you to maintain your initiative and avoid unpleasant surprises. He also introduces the concept of the threat is stronger than the execution, which means that sometimes it is better to create a threat than to carry it out, as it forces your opponent to react and lose time.

  • The overprotection principle: Nimzowitsch explains overprotection as the reinforcement of your key points and pieces with more than one defender. He considers overprotection to be a useful technique for positional play, as it gives you more stability and flexibility in your position, and creates opportunities for counterattacks.

  • The blockade technique: Nimzowitsch describes blockade as the immobilization of your opponent's pawns with your pieces. He considers blockade to be an effective strategy for positional play, as it restricts your opponent's mobility and activity, and creates weaknesses in his position.

  • The restraint strategy: Nimzowitsch defines restraint as the limitation of your opponent's space and mobility with your pawns and pieces. He considers restraint to be an important strategy for positional play, as it cramps your opponent's position and makes him uncomfortable and passive.

The Illustrative Games

The third part of My System is called The Illustrative Games, where Nimzowitsch presents 50 of his best games that demonstrate his system in action. In this part, he shows how he applied his concepts and ideas in different types of positions and against different opponents. He also provides detailed annotations and diagrams that explain his moves and plans, as well as his mistakes and blunders. Here is an example of one of his games:

[Event "Karlsbad"] [Site "Karlsbad"] [Date "1929.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Nimzowitsch, Aron"] [Black "Capablanca, Jose Raul"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E21"] [PlyCount "65"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6 5.e3 Bb7 6.Bd3 O-O 7.O-O d5 8.cxd5 exd5

This game was played in the Karlsbad 1929 chess tournament, one of the strongest tournaments of that time. Nimzowitsch was the winner of the tournament, while Capablanca was the former world champion and one of his main rivals. The opening was an English Symmetrical, where Nimzowitsch played his hypermodern system of controlling the center with pieces instead of pawns.

15...Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qh4 17.h3 Ng5 18.Rxc7 Nxh3+ 19.Nxh3 Bc8 20.Qf3 Be6 21.Bf5 Rf8 22.Bxe6 fxe6 23.Rf7 Rxf7 24.Qxd5 Rd8 25.Qb3 g5 26.e6 Re7 27.Bf6 g4 28.Bxh4 gxh3 29.Bxe7 h2+ 30.Kh1 Bxe7 31.g3 Rd2 32.Kxh2 Kg7 33.Kg2 Kf6 34.Rh1 Bd6 35.Rh6+ Ke7

Nimzowitsch played a brilliant attacking game, sacrificing a piece for two pawns and a strong initiative. He exploited Capablanca's weak king position and created multiple threats with his rooks, queen and bishop. He also used his passed e-pawn as a powerful weapon to open lines and create pressure. Capablanca defended tenaciously, but could not stop Nimzowitsch's attack. The final position is hopeless for Black, as he is down a piece and facing mate or heavy material loss.


This game is a great example of Nimzowitsch's system in action, as he showed his mastery of positional play, prophylaxis, overprotection, blockade and restraint. He also demonstrated his tactical skills and creativity in finding the best moves in complex positions. This game is considered to be one of Nimzowitsch's finest achievements and one of the best games of the tournament.


In this article, we have given you an overview of My System by Aron Nimzowitsch, a chess classic that you can download for free online. We have told you who Aron Nimzowitsch was and why his book is important for chess players. We have also explained some of the main concepts and ideas that Nimzowitsch introduced in his book, such as the elements of chess strategy, the positional play, and the illustrative games. We have also shown you an example of one of his games that demonstrates his system in action.

If you are interested in learning more about Nimzowitsch's system and improving your chess skills, we recommend you to download a free PDF version of My System online and read it carefully. You can find it on various websites, such as , where you can also find other books by Nimzowitsch and other chess masters. You can also watch some videos or read some articles that explain Nimzowitsch's system in more detail and with more examples.

My System by Aron Nimzowitsch is a chess classic that every chess player should read at least once in their life. It will teach you how to think and play like a master, using a hypermodern approach that challenges the classical principles. It will also inspire you to develop your own style and personality on the chess board. We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Happy reading and happy chess playing!


Here are some frequently asked questions about My System by Aron Nimzowitsch:

  • When was My System first published and in what language?

My System was first published in German as Mein System in 1925. It was originally written over a series of five brochures from 1925 to 1927. The first English edition was translated by Philip Hereford and published by G. Bell and Sons in 1929.

  • How many editions and translations of My System are there?

There are many editions and translations of My System, as it is a very popular and influential book. Some of the languages that My System has been translated into are French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Serbian, Turkish, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Some of the editions have been revised, updated, or annotated by different editors or authors.

  • What are some other books by Aron Nimzowitsch that are worth reading?

Some of the other books by Aron Nimzowitsch that are worth reading are:

  • The Blockade (German: Die Blockade), a book that focuses on the concept of blockade and its applications in chess.

  • The Practice of My System (German: Die Praxis meines Systems), a book that contains 109 of Nimzowitsch's games with his own annotations and explanations.

  • Chess Praxis (German: Schachpraxis), a book that is a sequel to My System and contains 109 more of Nimzowitsch's games with his own annotations and explanations.

  • What are some modern chess players who have been influenced by Nimzowitsch's system?

Some of the modern chess players who have been influenced by Nimzowitsch's system are:

  • Tigran Petrosian, a former world champion who was known for his defensive and positional style.

  • Bent Larsen, a Danish grandmaster who was one of the strongest players in the 1960s and 1970s.

  • Anatoly Karpov, a former world champion who was known for his mastery of prophylaxis and endgames.

  • Vladimir Kramnik, a former world champion who was known for his solid and classical style.

  • Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion who is known for his universal and flexible style.

  • How can I apply Nimzowitsch's system to my own chess games?

You can apply Nimzowitsch's system to your own chess games by following these steps:

  • Read My System carefully and try to understand the concepts and ideas that Nimzowitsch explains.

  • Study the illustrative games that Nimzowitsch presents and try to learn from his moves and plans.

  • Practice applying Nimzowitsch's system in your own games, either online or offline, against different opponents and in different positions.

  • Analyze your games and see how well you followed Nimzowitsch's system and what mistakes you made.

  • Repeat the process until you master Nimzowitsch's system and improve your chess skills.



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