chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Sicilian, Najdorf (B90)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6

Number of games in database: 8850
Years covered: 1926 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 37.7%
   Black wins 30.8%
   Draws 31.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Peter Leko  102 games
Alexey Shirov  102 games
Viswanathan Anand  96 games
Boris Gelfand  127 games
Loek van Wely  96 games
Veselin Topalov  81 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs J Sherwin, 1957
Topalov vs Kasparov, 1996
Judit Polgar vs Anand, 1999
Karjakin vs Anand, 2006
Adams vs Kasparov, 2005
Movsesian vs Kasparov, 2000
<< previous chapter next chapter >>

 page 1 of 354; games 1-25 of 8,850 
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. Yates vs Tartakower 1-028 1926 BudapestB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
2. O Tenner vs Kupchik 1-059 1928 Manhattan Chess Club-chB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
3. C Lafora vs J van den Bosch 0-157 1930 Hamburg ol (Men)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
4. Factor vs Fine  ½-½32 1936 US ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
5. W Kunerth vs K Poschauko  1-043 1938 KrakowB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
6. K Plater vs I Grynfeld  1-048 1938 KrakowB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
7. B Rabar vs Bogoljubov 1-042 1941 MunichB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
8. B Rabar vs Stoltz 0-140 1942 MunichB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
9. M Zvirbulis vs Keres 0-138 1945 RigaB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
10. Kashdan vs Kotov 0-138 1945 USSR - USA Radio MatchB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. O Kaila vs Book 0-132 1947 HelsinkiB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
12. Aitken vs M Raizman  1-080 1947 Hastings 1946/47B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
13. W Adams vs M Pavey  1-029 1948 49th US OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
14. P Poschel vs A Sandrin  ½-½50 1949 50th US OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
15. H Hickman vs A Sandrin  0-140 1949 50th US OpenB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
16. Levenfish vs Aronin 1-041 1950 Ch URS (1/2 final)B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
17. E Paoli vs Smyslov 0-134 1950 VeniceB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
18. G Kramer vs H Rossetto ½-½41 1950 Dubrovnik olmB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
19. Aitken vs Tartakower 0-155 1950 SouthseaB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
20. K Kopetzky vs E Paoli  ½-½56 1950 ViennaB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
21. Lipnitsky vs Aronin  1-052 1950 USSR ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. R Hayes vs F Bohatirchuk  0-139 1951 VancouverB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
23. Tartakower vs E Klein  0-161 1951 Staunton memB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
24. N Kopilov vs Aronin  0-178 1951 USSR ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
25. Aronin vs O Moiseev  ½-½106 1951 USSR ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
 page 1 of 354; games 1-25 of 8,850 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-26-09  chessman95: By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen. (the correct move is Be7, because after h6 and Bh4 black has some tactics based on Nxe4!). Most people just transpose to the Najdorf Old Main Line or the Richter-Rauzer Attack: Opening Explorer
Mar-26-09  MaxxLange: <It's not like e5 is all that good of a move compared to e6 though>

agreed. I am only commenting on the historical motive for the line, 40 or 50 years ago

<I haven't seen any signs of the e5 lines getting any less popular>

their fortunes among GMs has been oscillating for a long time: theory says that both ways are fully principled lines for Black

<By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen>

Kasparov and Nikitin give, after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nf6 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 Be7:

7 Qd2

On 7 f4 h6 8 Bh4 there follows the combinational liquidation 8...Nxe4 9 Bxe7 Nxc3 10 Bxd8 Nxd1 11 Rxd1 Kxd8 12 Nb5 Nc6 13 Nxd6 Ke7 15 [sic] c3

Steiner-Najdorf 1935 "it can be shown that Blacks chances in the endgame are no worse"

7...a6 8 0-0-0 b5 9 Bd3

Mar-26-09  chessman95: <<By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen>

Kasparov and Nikitin give, after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nf6 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 6 Bg5 Be7:

7 Qd2>

7.Qd2 is okay because it covers the bishop and eliminates the tactics I was talking about. However, most people don't know about those 'traps' and just play Bg5 (?!) to try to transpose into something more common.

<<It's not like e5 is all that good of a move compared to e6 though>>

As I read that, it sounds a bit harsh. I did not mean that e5 is any worse than e6, but what I meant is that the moves are of equal strength so black should not be focusing all his moves on making e5 possible. It just happens to be the move that requires certain conditions to be met before it is sound.

Mar-26-09  MaxxLange: no doubt

the first thing that K&N say about 6 Bg5 is this:

"Quite logical and very useful, but all the same this move is taken up infrequently . Its main drawback is [Black has too many choices, and can just play ...Nc6 with a Rauzer or ...a6 with a Najdorf]...

"Besides that, if both sides castle short, the Bg5 reduces White's attacking possibilities partly because whit must now be more careful in playing f2-f4."

However, some say to beware of disinformation in these old Soviet books. They definitely did not publish all they knew...

Mar-26-09  chessman95: This is what Opening Essentials Vol.1 had to say about the Bg5 Scheveningen: "Although this move has been the main line of the Najdorf for many years, it is not effective here because after 6...Be7 black has some tactics based on 7...h6, 8.Bh4, and 8...Nxe4!."
Mar-26-09  AnalyzeThis: <chessman95: By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen. (the correct move is Be7, because after h6 and Bh4 black has some tactics based on Nxe4!). Most people just transpose to the Najdorf Old Main Line or the Richter-Rauzer Attack: Opening Explorer >

It depends on what your objectives are. Sometimes masters take the white side of that situation and use it as a drawing weapon, welcoming the simplification that comes after the common ...Nxe4 idea. Sometimes the ...Nxe4 is good for instant equality, sometimes it gives black an advantage. If you want to win with black at all costs, you might have to try something different than this well known equalizing idea, in some positions.

Mar-26-09  chessman95: Hey "I like Jimmy Forgle" will you stop deleting posts?

<AnalyzeThis> I've never heard of that line being used as a drawing weapon before. Most of the books I've read have just dismissed it as "a mistake". I could see how it would be usefull if you didn't need a win though. I just think it's weird that more black players don't know the best line against it, although if white is looking for a draw as you suggested, then transposing to something "undrawish" might be a good idea. (There's nothing better than annoying you opponent, right?)

Mar-27-09  MaxxLange: What are they playing against 6 Bg5, if not the rather obvious ...Be7? ...Nd7? ...a6?
Mar-27-09  chessman95: <MaxxLange> Did you check this link? Opening Explorer
Mar-27-09  MaxxLange: thanks, I should have gone there first - h6, Nbd7, and the before-mentioned transpositions to Rauzer and Najdorf
Mar-27-09  AnalyzeThis: chessman95: Granted, this is a slightly different position, but nevertheless, Fischer at this point in match deliberately allowed ....Nxe4 because a draw was as good as a win to him.

Fischer vs Spassky, 1972

Mar-27-09  chessman95: <AnalyzeThis> Thanks for the game. My point was that in most of the games shown in the opening explorer, black tranposed to normal variations where white has the usual edge, instead of playing Be7 which is considered drawn. I assume that not all of these games were looking for a draw, so I then assume that most players playing black in those games just didn't know the "refutation". That was the point which surprised me.
Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen. (the correct move is Be7, because after h6 and Bh4 black has some tactics based on Nxe4!).> By the same token, it's amazing how many people have played 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2?! against me in the Najdorf, which is bad because of the same type of tactics you mention. 7.Qd2?! h6! 8.Bh4? Nxe4!. The best move is probably 8.Bxf6, giving up the two bishops, but White obviously can't be better in such a position, and is probably worse. Another alternative is 8.Be2, but again White loses the two bishops after 8...Ng4.

The fact that fairly decent players have played this line against me tells me that a lot of Najdorf players must not know this refutation, or else these guys would have stopped playing 7.Qd2 a long time ago.

Mar-29-09  chessman95: <<By the way, it's amazing how many people don't know the correct move against Bg5?! in the Scheveningen. (the correct move is Be7, because after h6 and Bh4 black has some tactics based on Nxe4!).> By the same token, it's amazing how many people have played 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2?! against me in the Najdorf, which is bad because of the same type of tactics you mention. 7.Qd2?! h6! 8.Bh4? Nxe4!. The best move is probably 8.Bxf6, giving up the two bishops, but White obviously can't be better in such a position, and is probably worse. Another alternative is 8.Be2, but again White loses the two bishops after 8...Ng4.>

Interesting tactic you speak of. I admit I've only had it played against me once and I haven't seen that 'refutation' (it was a blitz game). I guess the idea is to play a sort of English Attack with the bishop more active on g5 instead of e3, but as you showed after h6! white either has to give up the bishop pair or go a pawn down in that other line you gave.

<The fact that fairly decent players have played this line against me tells me that a lot of Najdorf players must not know this refutation, or else these guys would have stopped playing 7.Qd2 a long time ago.>

This seems to be a commom trend in the Sicilian. I think a lot of people who play 1.e4 aren't really prepared for it, especially for the minor defenses, but also for some lines in the Sicilian. I play mostly the Najdorf against 1.e4 and I sometimes struggle as white against minor Sicilian lines that I don't play myself, so I'm sure I'm unaware of other such refutations. Thanks for pointing out that line though.

Mar-29-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  KingG: <Another alternative is 8.Be2, but again White loses the two bishops after 8...Ng4.> I meant 8.Be3 of course.

<Thanks for pointing out that line though.> No problem.

Apr-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  furrer: Is h5 worth anything in the english attack? I mean this variation: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 h5 as in Shirov vs B Lalic, 1996
Aug-06-10  Little Chest Partner: Hi fellows!

I have recently began making tutorial videos for the Najdorf Sicilian, here´s the first one of the series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxdQ...

They´re all for free, and soon I´ll upload even more, treating more advanced aspects. Any comments/concerns will be kindly received and, of course, may you enjoy them!

Oct-15-10  GilesFarnaby: Hi again! I´m Little Chest Partner (my account was suspended after I made a "love" comment to Aruna Annd), I just wanted to tell that I´m currently examining f3 (the English Attack main line) as a pawn-storming move for my YouTube video series, so if you want to take a look it begins here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrFH...

Not yet a very specialized look (that´ll come in some time nevertheless), but enough for most Najdorf lovers to learn!

Oct-15-10  GilesFarnaby: <furrer: Is h5 worth anything in the english attack? I mean this variation: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 h5 as in Shirov vs B Lalic, 1996>

h5 has a very good record for black (like many early profylactic K-side moves for black), partly due to the fact that slows considerably white´s pawn storm and also because is still regarded as off-beat and thus not very much studied (so this favours whoever studies it!)

In Rybka 4 op. book 9...h5 has a 2528 average performance for black, while the 0-0 mainline is 2508. Best way to answer for white is taking the long-term advantage (soon or later either f7 or g7 will turn into a weakness for black) and fight the center: if you block d5, and hopefully also f5 via h4, you´ll win the opening battle and have the advantage for sure.

And to finish let me point out that is also good (for white) to push a3 or a4 and finish with black´s aspirations of an attack while the K-side is partially blocked in favour of white: game is gonna turn very positional but as long as you don´t mind...

Aug-29-11  ProjectR: <Maxxlange>
So in the o kelly sicilian whats best instead of 3.d4 because even though i always run into problems,i still play either that or 3.Nc3 and black always gets his pawns rolling down that queenside causing me all kinds of problems !
Aug-26-12  Tigranny: Love it. Probably my favorite Sicilian with Black.
Dec-30-12  Tigranny: Actually, later I've tried it unsuccessfully, so I've given it up.
Dec-30-12  12.12.12: i find it funny that the inventor Miguel is not listed in the top three practitioners of this (his?) opening. :)
Dec-30-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: I do not think so, if you visit Najdorf's page Miguel Najdorf you will see that he played it 63 times.

Keep in mind, that Najdorf fled his country in WWII, and the world was kinda busy with something besides hosting chess tournaments.

On top of that, if you are playing white, would you really want to tempt fate by letting Najdorf play Sicilian Najdorf?

Aug-01-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  MarkFinan: I hoping to start playing the Najdorf as black against my engine "Droidfish" because i hate playing it as white for the simple reason i hate putting a Knight on b3! Am i really the only under 2000 rated player who thinks its a terrible square, in any opening for that matter, for the Kings Knight?? And also playing f3 in this variation (With a pawn) can get me in all kinds of trouble early on if I'm playing someone around my rating.. An early b5 as black and fianchettoing (If that's a word?) the light squared Bishop always gives me problems as white too! Yup. Ill be trying this as black more often :)
Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 14)
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 14 OF 14 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific opening and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies