The Najdorf (part 1) ⎸Sicilian Defense Theory

The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense (B90 – B99) is one of the sharpest, most heavily analyzed and most fun variations in all of chess. It can lead to completely mental positions which not many humans can completely understand.

If you lack knowledge in the basics of the Sicilian Defense you should watch this introductory video:

The opening was named after Miguel Najdorf, the legend of Polish and Argentinian chess. A player who’d been active in the top of world chess for fifty years. Legends such as Fischer or Kasparov, or, lately, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, have employed the opening as their favorite weapon against 1.e4.

The Najdorf starts after the moves:

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc6 a6 – the move a6 signifies the variation

White has quite a few sensible responses. In this video, part one, I covered three most popular lines and the 6.f3 sideline. The other variations are coming in part 2.

6. Be3 – the English Attack. This is one of the most popular lines in all of chess. It results in crazy attacking positions with white striking on the kingside and black doing the same on the queenside.
6. Bg5 is the main line of the Najdorf. One of the most popular variations which occur from it is the poisoned pawn variation, in which black grabs the b2 pawn and hopes to survive the onslaught.
6. Be2 – the Opocensky or classical variation
6. f3 – a solid sideline for white which combines some features of the Prins Sicilian with the Najdorf.

Players whose games you should study: Garry Kasparov, Bobby Fischer, MVL, Peter Leko, Boris Gelfand, Veselin Topalov, Vishy Anand

Notable Games: Adams vs Kasparov, 2005, Fischer vs J. Sherwin, 1957, Topalov vs Kasparov, 1996


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