Chess Openings for Beginners: Dealing with the Seirawan Attack

I am slowly building my opening repertoire and I feel comfortable with my opening as White (The English) as well as my defenses as Black against 1.e4 (the French). I am a bit more unsure when it comes to my defense to 1.d4 as Black. I just recently decided that my repertoire against 1.d4 would include the Nimzo Indian against 1.d4 1.Nf6 2.C4 e6 3.Nf3 and the Queen’s Indian against 1.d4 1.Nf6 2.C4 e6 3.Nc3.I still need to iron out my responses against the Torre, Colle and Tromposky…but until then I’ll just play logical moves against those openings.

While playing a game on FICS the other day I encountered the following move order 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Bg5 which to my chagrin was not covered in either my Nimzo or QID books. This is known as the Neo-Indian Attack or the Seirawan Attack.

The two most common responses for Black against the Seirawan attack are either 3…h6 or 3…Bb4+. Based on my use of the Nimzo-Indian against 1.d4, I am going to respond using 3…Bb4+ which has an insignificantly lower winning percentage than 3…h6 (36.8% versus 35.3%).

My biggest fear with 3…Bb4+ is that it does not address the pin on the f6 knight. This is addressed with 4…h6 placing the question to White’s bishop.

Here’s a sample game where the Neo-Indian Attack transposes into the Nimzo-Indian Leningrad variation:

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