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Lajos Steiner vs Miguel Najdorf
Warsaw (1937), Warsaw POL
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Nov-26-04  nfazli: is this game the first recorded sicilian,najdorf variation??
Nov-26-04  acirce: No, far from it, could be Yates-Tartakower, Budapest 1926.
Nov-26-04  tomh72000: B Rabar vs Bogoljubov, 1941 is the earliest game classified as a Najdorf in the database, unless I have missed something.
Dec-23-04  stuck: <acirce> I cant find Yates-Tartakower Budapest 1926. Would you upload the game please? I'd love to see the first Najdorf. You can really tell how theory has advanced since the 1940's

The earliest I can find on chessgames clessified B90-B99 (Najdorf) is the following.

Dec-24-04  acirce: <stuck> According to and if I have entered the moves correctly, here:

Yates-Tartakower, Budapest 1926

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Nde2 g6 8. O-O Bg7 9. Qe1 O-O 10. f4 Nb4 11. Kh1 Kh8 12. Be3 Ng4 13.Bg1 f5 14. Rd1 Nxd3 15. cxd3 e5 16. h3 Nf6 17. fxe5 dxe5 18. d4 Nxe4 19. dxe5 Qe8 20. Nxe4 fxe4 21. Rxf8+ Qxf8 22. Nc3 Bf5 23. Bd4 Re8 24. Nxe4 Bxe5 25. Bxe5+ Rxe5 26. Qc3 Qe7 27. Rd5 Bxe4 28. Rxe5 1-0

Unusual move order but a Najdorf it is, although it wasn't called that back then.

Feb-05-05  aw1988: Ba3# must have come as a nasty shock.
Feb-06-05  Saruman: This "Bodens mate"-pattern is very pretty.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: Ironically, 32.Bd2 was ment to over-protect c3. But, after 32...bxc3!, White still can not escape. The variations are pretty:

I. 33.bxc3 Ba3 # (game)

II. 33.Bxc3 Bg5+ 34.Rd2 Rxf1+ and mate follows <iron maiden>.

III. 33.Qxc3 Qxc3+ 34.Bxc3 (34.bxc3 Ba3#) Bg5+ and either 35.Bd2 Rc8# or 35.Rd2 Rxf1#.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <11...Qc7!> a witty excuse from the pin.

<13.Nd5!?> a thematic sacrifice for dynamic considerations; not sure if it is completely sound here

<19.Qe8?> lets Black bishop out to f5; I think White has no real chance afterwards

Feb-07-05  Seraphina: As far as "earliest" goes... Maybe not the Najdorf, but at least it's the earliest with the e5 Qc7 idea that Polugayevsky has saddle us with. Otherwise, I find the game very exciting, I must say, Najdorf must have had nerves of steel, esp. between moves 15 and 23.
Feb-07-05  Seraphina: Having said that... the sac on d5 is not exactly sound. i think Najdorf copuld have simply taken the knight. Anything against that move???
Mar-05-05  Ultra: <Seraphina:> Very sound move. If Black takes the Knight right away White collects it with the Bishop on B2 and also receives the Rook on A8 or the Bishop on A7. Gaining a pawn for his time and effort.

I am not as sure about the sacrifice, however.

Mar-25-05  bangkokgambit: Well, I felt that the attack of white was quite systematic comparing with Black but after 28.c3 everthing went worse for white.
May-17-05  Montreal1666: <acirce:
Unusual move order but a Najdorf it is, although it wasn't called that back then.>

Does anyone know then when was the opening named and why not "Sicilian Tartakower"?

May-17-05  hintza: Openings are usually named after the player that first popularised them and played them regularly with success rather than the first player to actually play them.
May-17-05  Montreal1666: <hintza: Openings are usually named after the player that first popularised them and played them regularly with success rather than the first player to actually play them.>

Thanks for the explanation, but this sounds a bit unfair!!!

May-17-05  hintza: I don't think it's unfair. Several players played Alekhine's Defence before Alekhine did, but it was the great Russian that was first to show over several games its potential as a sound and perfectly viable defence to 1.e4.
May-17-05  Montreal1666: Well I don't mean that it is unfair in this particular case. After I have seen the "the Polish Immortal" game; I think he deserves to have many many many chess openings and streets and Bridges and ... under his name. That game is unreal!!! The number of people in the history of chess who could produce such a masterpiece is very very limited.

But in general, regarding the openings there should defenitely be a recognition for the person who played an opening for the first time. Maybe they can go with and "X-Y" system where X is the person who played it for the first time and Y is the person who worked it out.

May-17-05  aw1988: Then you have my favorite game (or my second favorite game, I have not decided) as black. You on one hand have Lasker, who was not even the first to play it; on the other hand you have Sveshnikov, who made it popular and showed the resources; on the other hand (or if you prefer, foot) you have Pelikan, which is apparently what it looks like.
Oct-11-05  AlexanderMorphy: Great mate by Najdorf, Steiner didn't see it coming or else he would have resigned...actually why is the sicilian najdorf named after it because he was successful with it?
Dec-17-05  Acrylion: You know it's an all-time mate when even the person replaying the game is totally blown away and caught unaware from the brilliance!!!
Feb-23-07  BipolarFanatic: <Seraphina: .. Najdorf must have had nerves of steel, esp. between moves 15 and 23.> Well, you need nerves of steel in many variations of the Najdorf anyway. But it's a great defense if you know how to play it! - see Fischer, Kasparov etc.
Mar-12-09  TheKhaotik: This is the Scheveningen! why does the description state it is the Najdorf?
Mar-12-09  chessman95: <TheKhaotik> That's not the Scheveningen, it's a transposition into the main line of the Najdorf. That line's usually reached with 5...a6 6.Bg5 e6, but in this game black's 5th and 6th moves are switched. These variations transpose a lot.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: The History of a Variation.

Najdorf in his book; 'Life and Games' game 7 mentions that here.

click for larger view

9.Bxe6 as played in A Matanovic vs Gufeld, 1969 is better and winning (I also found on here Parma vs Szabo, 1968 with the same 9.Bxe6 sac) but leaving the 60's and jumping to 2017 we find maybe the 9.Bxe6 is a draw. B Adhiban vs Nepomniachtchi, 2017 Nepo's 12...Nb8 being a TN.

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