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Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation (B92)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2

Number of games in database: 5469
Years covered: 1928 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 32.3%
   Black wins 32.2%
   Draws 35.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Vitaly Tseshkovsky  50 games
Natalija Pogonina  45 games
Vlastimil Jansa  40 games
Joseph G Gallagher  39 games
Boris Gelfand  37 games
Nick de Firmian  34 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Keres vs Kotov, 1950
Geller vs Fischer, 1962
Geller vs Najdorf, 1953
Unzicker vs Fischer, 1962
Pilnik vs Fischer, 1959
Unzicker vs Bronstein, 1955
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 page 1 of 219; games 1-25 of 5,469 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. L Isaacs vs Kupchik 0-14519282nd NCF CongressB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
2. A Desler vs J van den Bosch  0-1641930Hamburg OlympiadB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
3. N Lie vs J van den Bosch  0-1361931Prague OlympiadB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
4. Yates vs Noteboom  ½-½471931Prague OlympiadB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
5. B Koch vs Noteboom 0-1331931Berliner Schachgesellschaft-chB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
6. F Bohatirchuk vs Ragozin  0-1411934USSR Championship 1934/35B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
7. S Boros vs Z von Balla ½-½191935TatatovarosB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
8. Szabo vs E Steiner  1-0431936BudapestB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
9. D Rovner vs Alatortsev  1-0411938Trade Unions ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
10. M Green vs H Baker  ½-½301942United States ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
11. Kashdan vs H Baker 1-0201942United States ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
12. Stoltz vs K Junge ½-½501942SalzburgB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
13. P Schmidt vs Stoltz  1-0411942SalzburgB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
14. Lokvenc vs Opocensky  ½-½401943PragueB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
15. V Stulik vs Opocensky  0-1431945PragueB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
16. Yanofsky vs Opocensky  ½-½491946ArbonB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
17. R Broadbent vs Opocensky  0-1481946London AB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
18. Bronstein vs Opocensky ½-½311946Moscow-PragueB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
19. K Forster vs Kupchik 0-131194647th US OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
20. F Yerhoff vs Kupchik  0-141194647th US OpenB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
21. A Muffang vs Opocensky  ½-½341947FRA-CSRB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
22. K Galia vs C Kottnauer 0-1351947Schlechter MemorialB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
23. Z Kovacs vs C Kottnauer  0-1281947Schlechter MemorialB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
24. M Turiansky vs Opocensky  0-1431947Schlechter MemorialB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
25. L Watzl vs Szabo  1-0421947Schlechter MemorialB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 page 1 of 219; games 1-25 of 5,469 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-05  InitiativeCheck: <bombthebishop> Look up the Smith-Morra Gambit if you are not afraid of giving some material away for the initiative. Yes, against strong players you may find yourself getting squeezed but there are plenty of chances to mix things up a bit with this great attack. e4 c5 d4 cxd4 c3!? dxc3 Nxc3
Jun-09-05  hintza: It really depends on what kind of position you are comfortable with. The Closed Sicilian is a decent option too.
Jun-09-05  bomb the bishop: <hintza> thankyou for responding.. to answer your question: I like more open positions with the iniciative wether it be with material disadvantage but with compensation, or not.. that is why I do not like the closed sicilian its a little too defensive for my taste, and it gives black an equal game to quickly however, there is a possibility that I am looking at it from a very negative perspective, If I am, then someone correct me, please
Jun-09-05  hintza: The Closed Sicilian usually leads to a slower, more postional game so it probably isn't suited to your style. 2.c3 or the Smith-Morra Gambit are probably your best options. You could also look into the Bb5 systems, for example 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 (Rossolimo Variation) or 2...d6 3.Bb5+ (Canal-Sokolsky Attack / Moscow Variation).
Jun-09-05  bomb the bishop: very well, I will look into both of them, I have used the Canal-Sokolosky Attack in a national tournament and it did make me win the game I played it, so it is a possibility, thanks again
Jun-09-05  hintza: You're most welcome. There is also the Wing Gambit, 2.b4. I've never been sure what to make of that one though.
Jun-09-05  bomb the bishop: <hintza> Keres used it, succesfully against Eliskases in 1937 in a GM tournament however it is quite risky, Keres himself said that his oponent had a better position during most of the game, but he was lucky to find a brilliant combination that terminated the match and gave him a helpful win, it is too much a risk for me though, thanks
Jul-22-05  Robin01: I have always like e5 for black's sixth move here.
Jul-22-05  e4Newman: I've used ...e5 a fair bit myself in this and other similar positions. Sadly, it doesn't always work well for me :(
Jul-22-05  OneBadDog: In Emms Starting Out: The Sicilian, this line only has a 48% success rate for White.
Jul-22-05  hintza: <I have always like e5 for black's sixth move here.> Well 6...e6 transposes into the Scheveningen.
Jul-22-05  jamesmaskell: The Smith-Morra is covered in a fantastic book. Will track it down for you Monday from my local library, from its incredible 4 books! Its easy to learn in its main line but it has a number of variations. Give up a couple of pawns but be ahead in development is the idea behind it. I havent even learnt how to play the Sicilian properly but I know the Smith-Morra.

Another alternative is using the Maroczy Bind, but I know nadda about that.

Jul-22-05  hintza: <Maroczy Bind> You can only play that in certain positions though.
Jul-22-05  jamesmaskell: Its an option instead of the Smith Morra.
Jul-22-05  hintza: In what way is the Maroczy Bind system an option instead of 2.d4?
Aug-02-05  waddayaplay: I am convinced this is the most sound respons to the Najdorf. I think some day when the fuzz about the velimirovich attack has gone out, peaople will come back to this opening. The Opocensky variant promises white a solid and safe game without any great risks.

I base this on the records of Geller and Karpov, who have never lost a game with it according to this databse.

Aug-04-05  jamesmaskell: This variation has been having a fair amount of play this year.
Aug-02-06  gambitfan: What do you call the Velimirovic attack ?

Is it 6 Be3 ??

Aug-02-06  MaxxLange: The Velimirovic attack is a system against the classical Sicilian, where Black plays an early ....Nc6.

White's setup is Bc4, Be3, Qe2, 0-0-0, and g4, possibly prepared by Rhg1.

It's possible for White to play for the same kind of attack against the Najdorf Sicilian, but it's not quite the same thing.

6. Be3 is usually called the English Attack, I think.

Aug-09-06  gambitfan: What do you call the <classical> Sicilian ?
Jan-13-07  Solid DD: <gambitfan> the classical sicilian is listed under <Sicilian-Richter-Rauser>. Hope that helps.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Position after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nf5 Bxf5 8. exf5

click for larger view

2 games was played, G Bertazzo vs N Pegoraro, 2001 and E Hintikka vs Mladen Gudyev, 1987 both with black winning the games.

I have not examined the 2 games in detail yet, but is the position 'weak' for white? Or behind on development? White's centre completely lacking of pawn?

Apr-18-07  KingG: <WannaBe> I'm not sure if White's position is that weak yet. Obviously in the long term Black's central pawns could give him the advantage. But for the time being Black is behind in develoment, and White's f-pawn could potentially be quite dangerous if White attacks on the K-side. White also has the two Bishops in a fairly open position.

Usually in the position after 7.Nf5?!, the simple 7...d5! is recommended, solving Black's opening problems, and giving him a comfortable game.

Jun-04-08  Xeroxx: Why is it called the "Opocensky Variation" he never seem to have played it?

Also its quite interesting that Geller never lost in this variation as white.

Jun-04-08  nescio: <Xeroxx: Why is it called the "Opocensky Variation"> Seems a misnomer to me. Probably because in the early 1940's Opocensky was a pioneer of the ...e5 Sicilian, which was subsequently taken up by Boleslavsky and Najdorf.

So Opocensky frequently got the above position with _Black_ and played here 6...e5 or 6...b5 and 7...e5.

Well, I suppose every variation has to have a name in's view.

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