Understanding the Sicilian Najdorf

 Chess: Understanding the Sicilian Defense
(Najdorf Variation) Part I

1 e4

Controlling the central square d5 plus
near-central square f5, and, opening
up a diagonal for both the Queen and
f1 bishop.

1 ... c5

The d4 and b4 squares are now under
Black's influence, and his Queen also
gets breathing space along the a5-d8

2 Nf3

White prepares for d4 so as to
challenge Black's hold on that
key square.

2 ... d6

Shielding e5 from a prospective
e4-e5 advance. Please remember,
the acquisition of e5 is a
critical theme for the defense.
This move also opens up a
diagonal for the c8 bishop.

3 d4 cxd4

By trading his c-pawn for White's
d-pawn, Black guarantees pressure
down the half open c-file and
chances to mold his central pawn
majority into a strong center.

4 Nxd4

In return, White gains a developmental
lead, the half open d-file and an edge
in space.

4 ... Nf6

The e4 pawn now needs protection,
and so White responds with:

5 Nc3

5 ... a6

Initiating the Najdorf Defense.

Black achieves two goals with
this move:
(i) He deters White's pieces from
intruding on the b5 square.
(ii) He prepares for the ... b5 break,
which, in turn, initiates queenside
action and makes room on b7 for the
c8 bishop.







 Chess: Understanding the Sicilian Defense
(Najdorf Variation) Part V
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6
6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 f3 Nbd7 Line (English Attack)

What's the game plan for White?

White intends to acquire and dominate the
vulnerable d5 square (Qd1-d2, O-O-O,
followed by a timely Nc3-d5). To augment
that objective, he also aims to destabilize
the f6 knight and subsequently eliminate its
d5 influence (g2-g4-g5/h2-h4/Rh1-g1). Finally,
he wants to avail himself of the c5 square
(Qd2-f2/Nb3-c5/Be3-c5), thanks to a more than
likely Rd1-Qd8 x-ray, which prevents ... dxc5.


  • 9 years ago


    Thanks littleman for the response and the additional information.

    I'll definitely include it in the post Smile

  • 9 years ago


    You have done well to explain some of the concepts of this opening mate....Smile Its pritty simple concept black plays for a powerful queen side attack and white more the kingside and of course it always ends up in the middle too and the center squares play vital roles ie. e4,e5,d4 and d5 in particular. Black uses his open c file to rain down his rook and queen and anything else that can put pressure there and the Bishop on b7 puts pressure in the middle and supports advancments of d5 and other ideas in that area. White of course tends to develop more kingside based attacks and watches out for blacks onslought too normaly f4 pawn would come out and light bishop on f3 or d3 are common i found depending on how they want to attack its quite the battle as one tries to break through the other and whoever does it best wins......Cool
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