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ry6n 44 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian Najdorf Hi There,

I am a new user of the najdorf and am trying to understand more about this strong opening. I am using what I consider the main line:

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. cxd4 Nxd4 4. Nf6 Nc3 5. a6 Bg5 6. e6

Is anyone aware of any good sites out there that discuss this opening and its variations in detail? I want to understand why I am making some of the moves and getting a better overview.

I hope we have some najdorf buffs out there!

Cheers,
Ryon.
alberlie 8 ( +1 | -1 )
there's something wrong with your notation: you got nothing to capture on d4 ;o)
ry6n 665 ( +1 | -1 )
Correction !! :O) Hehehe, Sorry about the notation, it was meant to be as follows, below is an article that i found while scouring the web...

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3....

Cheers,
Ryon.


The Najdorf Sicilian
Bob Ciaffone

What is the opening of choice for chess grandmasters in meeting 1.e4 players? Of course, it is the Sicilian Defense 1...c5. The reason is this opening produces sharp chess, where the value of every move is heightened, punishing the imprecise and the unwary. There is more chess opening literature about the Sicilian defense than any other opening. There are many Sicilian variations, but the most complicated, and the favorite of both Kasparov and Fischer, is the Nadjorf Variation. I used to play the Nadjorf back in the sixties, but switched to the Scheveningen defense in the mid-seventies, and played it for the better part of the quarter-century afterwards.
The Scheveningen Defense is characterized by black pawns on e6 and d6. Black has several routes to reach this formation. My favored choice has usually been (after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3) to play 2e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6. This move-order, or its twin 2d6 and 5e6, gives up black control over the g4 square rather early, enabling white to play the dreaded Keres Attack, 6.g4. Therefore, many Scheveningen players prefer the Nadjorf order of 2d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6, intending to reach the characteristic small center formation by playing e6 only at the sixth turn. This is the preferred method of the greatest chessplayer of all time, the ex-World Champion Gary Kasparov.
There is only one major drawback to the Nadjorf route to the Scheveningen; the sharp white move 6.Bg5. If black already has the move e6 in, Bg5 is an innocuous system, because black can simply break the pin by Be7. But in the Najdorf move-order, 6.Bg5 is a heavyweight move. Black normally replies 6e6, so the Nf6 is pinned for the moment. Now, after whites nearly automatic 7.f4, the road splits into several paths. The move 7Be7 is usually considered the main line, but these days the sharp attempt to grab a pawn with 7Qb6, the Poisoned Pawn Variation, is blacks most frequent choice at the highest levels.
A few months ago, I read an interesting theoretical article in the Dutch publication New in Chess about an important innovation for black in the super-sharp Polugaevsky Variation, inaugurated with 7b5. The Polugaevsky has always been considered a bit dubious by theory. I studied the Polugaevsky intensely, but eventually came to the conclusion that theorys conclusion was indeed correct, even though the reasoning used was not. Even so, I acquired a taste for these early b5 lines, because black is counter-punching right away against the queenside castling lines of white. There is a related variation with 7Nbd7 that is very interesting, where black prepares the b5 advance. I found that theory has not crystallized on this line, and it is still played by top players. After a couple of months of intense study, I decided to use the Nadjorf move-order in the 2001 Chicago Cup Memorial Day weekend tournament. Here is what happened.
In the second round of the tournament, I had black against a 2000-rated player. He played the 6.Bg5 line against my Nadjorf, which continued 6e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 b5, reaching the jumping-off point in the 7Nbd7 line where each side has major decisions to make. My opponent chose 10.Bd3, the solid positional move. (The sacrifices 10.e5 and 10.Bxb5 are both important lines, likely leading to a draw if both sides wend their way through the maze with best moves. The Michigan master Vasik Rajlich, now living in Budapest, has played a couple of recent games on the cutting edge of the latest theory, scoring 1.5 points in two games with 10.e5 against strong players.)
My game against 10.Bd3 now went 10Be7 11.Rhe1 Bb7, transposing to a line in the 7Be7 variation where black can pat himself on the back for getting there without having to face the powerful g4 move. Yet a lot of fierce chess lies ahead in this essentially even position.
Even with the benefit of my huge openings library, I am not sure at this moment what the best move for white is here. He can play 12.Nd5?!, but that is probably too bold. The most popular move is 12.Qg3. My opponent played 12.Qh3!?, which has also seen a number of outings. Here is a diagram of this position:

Position after 12.Qh3
Up to this point I had followed my pregame analysis, and knew my position was reasonable, but had to play the rest by instinct and calculation rather than memory. I chose 120-0-0, removing my king from the center. This turned out to be the most popular move for black here, but it is probably not the best. White can reply to it with 13.a3, a good choice positionally once black has castled queenside, because then black can no longer take advantage of the weakness on a3 by an attack on the b-file.
However, my opponent had his own ideas. He sacrificed a piece for two pawns with 13.Bxb5?! axb5 14.N4xb5. Now I must remove my queen from c7. I chose 14Qb6? My analysis a week after the game with IM Jack Peters showed that my opponents sac was unsound, and could have been refuted with 14Qc5! and a black edge. However, after my error, a position arose of great interest, showcasing the volatility of positions in the 6.Bg5 Nadjorf. After 14Qb6?, my opponent ripped me open with 15.e5! dxe5 16.fxe5, reaching this position:

Position after 15.fxe5
Here, I realized that my intended 15Nd5? flat loses to 16.Bxe7 Nxe7 17.Nd6+ Kb8 18.Nxf7, winning the exchange and ripping through my position. So I thought there was no way to put up a fight until carefully examining 15Nxe5 giving back the piece. Black is down a pawn, but there is still a lot of play left. So our game went 15Nxe5 16.Rxe5 Rxd1 17.Nxd1 Nd7, and white has many choices. If he makes perfect moves, he gets an advantage. But he will lose the exchange for another pawn, so still has to play chess. My opponent actually continued 18.Qc3+ Bc5 19.Rxc5 Qxc5 20.Qxg7 Rf8 21.N5c3 Be4!, and I had an even position, which I went on to win.
How do I view my first try at the Nadjorf in a quarter-century? One can at least say that I had the opportunity to play the kind of sharp active game that I like. On the other hand, there is no telling how many months years of preparation are needed for me to feel completely comfortable in the line. But really, that is a chess decision we all face with black. Either try the solid Karpov approach of playing boring positions that do not offer much by way of winning chances, or the aggressive Kasparov approach of taking a serious risk going after the full point. For an amateur like myself, playing only for pleasure, the choice is easy. Take a chance and go for the throat.

paulberg 115 ( +1 | -1 )
Najdorf? Who are you playing the Najdorf against? Most Sicilian Gurus are rated 1700+ and still get nervous playing the Najdorf. So, if you're playing 1..c5 against your opponant, an 1100 to 1300 player wouldn't know how to play against a 1..c5 anyway. To play the Najdorf you need to at least make it to 5..a6. Most players on GK wouldn't know how get to move 6 successfully. After 5..a6 white has a number of options including 6.Bg5, 6.Be2, 6.Be3, 6.g3, 6.Bc4 and 6.f4. Each one of these options has again a number of lines for black to consider. This is the problem with the Sicilian. Most people don't understand it or play it well. At the very best your 1..c5 will just confuse your opponant as most beginner players are only accustomed to the standard e4e5 and other Italian Openings. 1..c5 will disrupt the all too common symmetrical and conservative opening.

I would recommend not following any particular line in the Sicilian and just play using general chess principles after 1.e4 c5. You'll probably learn more by experiencing the opening on your own than memorizing 30 or 40 lines (the number of lines you would need to memorize in order to play the Najdorf with any success).

Good Luck!
coyotefan 14 ( +1 | -1 )
5....g6 I have always considered 5...a6 a weak move. I play the Sicilian exclusively against 1.e4. You may want to look at my completed games for ideas.