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The structures of the two title complexes are surprisingly different: The chromium complex 1 has an angular (ca. 112°) and the nickel complex an almost linear (ca. 168°) N[BOND]M[BOND]N arrangement. The two complexes can be prepared from LiNMesBMes2 and [CrCl2(thf)2] or NiBr2·5/3THF, respectively. The angular arrangement in 1 is presumably due to a widening of the Cr coordination by Cr[BOND]C contacts. Mes = 2,4,6-trimethylphenly.