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Evgeny Najer vs Ehsan Ghaem Maghami
FIDE World Cup (2005), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 1, Nov-27
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. English Attack (B90)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Why not 19...Rxd5 ?

In this game White plays the move 13.Na4!? made famous by Anand's win over Kasimjanov in San Luis, Anand vs Kasimdzhanov, 2005. In this game, Black plays 13...Qc8, which is an improvement over Kasim's 13...Rc8?!, but i still think 13...Qc7 might be better.

I like the way White plays in this game though. The plan is: play Nd5, once Black exchanges it, retake with the pawn, and then play Nc6, with a great position. To stop this, Black is forced to exchange queens in the game, and quickly becomes worse.

I play this variation against the English attack, and i'm becoming a bit worried by 13.Na4. Previously the position after 12...bxc4 was always thought to be good for Black, since White always played 13.Nc5, and Black had good chances of an attack down the b-file. 13.Na4 seems to be more dangerous, but i guess we'll need more games to see.

Nov-27-05  alicefujimori: <KingG> Because 19...Rxd5 is positionally wrong. After 20.Rxd5 Nxd5 21.Rd1 Nxe3 22.Nxe3 and the Knight will have a dominating outpost on d5 while the Black c and a pawns are very week. Not to mention Black's bishop looks so bad.

If 21...Nf6 then 22.Nxd6+ Bxd6 23.Rxd6 and the Black a-pawn falls.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: Ok, i agree, but what about the idea Be7-g5-d2 for Black? For example following your line, after 22.Nxe3, if Black plays 22...Be7, and then White plays the immediate 23.Nc4?!, then Black can play 23...Bg5+! 24.Kb1 Bd2, and i don't think Black is worse.
Nov-27-05  euripides: Another possibility is 19...Rxd5 20 Bg5 when White seems to win back the d pawn with superior piece activity in most lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <euripides> Yeah, 20.Bg5 looks dangerous, but Fritz suggests 20...Kd7!? 21.Nb6+ Ke6 22.Nxd5 Nxd5, with an equal position! I'm guessing this is because White's rooks have very little scope , and Black has a pawn for the exchange, with a superbly placed knight.
Nov-27-05  alicefujimori: <KingG> But after your 23...Bd2 we have 24.Nxd2 cxd2 25.Rxd2 Ke7 26.Rd5 and White's rook is quite dominating. But we need more analysis to see if White could win that endgame.

I think <euripides>'s suggestion is even better than mine though.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <alicefujimori> Sorry, i meant 23.Nd5!?(not 23.Nc4), as you suggested, so the knight can't take the bishop.
Nov-27-05  euripides: <King> yes that looks intersting - for some reason I though Bxf6 won the exchange. A critical line is <19...Rxd5 20 Bg5 Kd7> 21 Bxf6 Rxd1+ 22 Rxd1 gxf6. Now one possibility is 23 Nb6+ Ke8 24 Nd5 Bh6+ 25 f4 exf4 26 Kb1 f3 27 Nxc3 fxg2 28 Rg1 and Black looks fine. Or 23 Rd3 Bh6+ 24 Kd1 Bd2 25 Nxd2 cxd2 26 Kxd2 and again Black survives.
Nov-27-05  alicefujimori: Looks like 23.Nd5 immediately is not so good then. 23.Nc4 should be considered then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: 23.Nc4 0-0, and although White will regain his pawn, Black has ♗ v ♘, and a strong centre.
Nov-27-05  alicefujimori: I was just thinking. What about after 19...Rxd5 White plays 20.Bb6 planning to play Ba5 followed by Bxc3. Doesn't look like Black could do anything about this plan.

Although Black's position definitely is better than in the actual game. Looks like 19...Rxd5 might not be so bad after all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <alicefujimori> After 20.Bb6 Kd7 21.Ba5, Black has 21...Rxa5!?(similar to the exchange sac in the 20.Bg5 line above), 22.Nxa5 d5 with a decent position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <euripides> 21.Bxf6 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 gxf6 23.Nb6+ Kc6!(instead of the tame 23...Ke8), and i think Black is better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <euripides> Just to continue the line a bit: 23.Nb6 Kc6! 24.Nd5 Bh6+! 25.f4 Re8 g3 26.g3 exf4 27.Nxf4 d5!, and i think that Black's bishop vs knight, pawns on both sides of the board, extra pawn and more active king give him a large edge.
Nov-27-05  euripides: <king> yes 23....Kc6 is better; I had looked at the other king moves but missed this. I think after <21.Bxf6 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1 gxf6 23.Nb6+ Kc6 24.Nd5 Bh6+! 25.f4 Re8 26.g3 exf4> I might prefer 27 gxf4, but White is clearly worse.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: <alicefujimori: <KingG> Because 19...Rxd5 is positionally wrong. After 20.Rxd5 Nxd5 21.Rd1 Nxe3 22.Nxe3 and the Knight will have a dominating outpost on d5 while the Black c and a pawns are very week. Not to mention Black's bishop looks so bad.> It is not so bad for Black : 22... g6 23. Kb1 Kd7 24. Nd5-c3 with only a small advantage for White.

The key move is <euripides> 20. Bg5 giving White a clear advantage. That is why 19... Rd5?! is not so good as 19... Be7 actually played.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mateo: I think Maghami should have played 20... Rd5, and after 21. Rc3 White has only a small advantage. 20... e4? does not look good as this gives White the d4 square for the Bishop to attack the c3 pawn which is lost.
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Featured in the Following Game Collection [what is this?]
[Main Line] [8. ...Nbd7 - Nb6] [13. Na5!]
from Najdorf, English Attack by AdrianP

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