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I tried to look through old articles but that was a mess - and was going to provide more information than I want to chew right now.
Can I get some of my fellow players to tell me what the idea is behind the Poisoned Pawn variation, and more important...how does White handle this oddity and why so many odd options for White? - continuation please?
I am seeing that after 7...Qb6, there are a few options.
8. Qd2 (looks scary)
8. Qd3 (still looks scary)
8. Nb3 (the one my simple chess logic wants to go with)
8. a3 (huh??)
a3 is a trap. after Qxb2 Na4! surprise! i like a3. Qd2 is solid and gains the open b file for the rook on a1. The Najdorf in general is scary. I play either of these two lines.
If you want to go into the Poisoned Pawn, then Qd2. (I am not sure if there is a good way of avoiding it once you reached this juncture but Nb3 and a3 are playable.) After Qxb2, the possibilities are Rb1 or Nb3, hoping to trap the Black Queen although it is far from easy. For something further you'll need the Opening Explorer.
the point is that you should be willing to give up your b pawn to keep blacks queen out of the game for some time. Fischer even got his queen trapped by spassky in 72. it was one of their match games in rejkavic
qd2 and qd3 should not look scarey to you. theres an endless number of lines in all sorts of openings where absolutely the only way to play logically is to let go of some material. if you are this nervous and materialistic then maybe you should play more timid openings, because this one is not suited at all.
a3 is a trap. after Qxb2 Na4! surprise! i like a3.
Yes but if Nc6 the White will have to play Nb3 anyway, so a3 might prove to have been a loss of tempo. (Although it does give the Black a nice opportunity to blunder.)
Oh boy, this sounds like fun. Bunches of it.
8. Qd2 (if I remember correctly, this is an idea of Paul Keres) Qxb2 is the absolute main line of the poisoned pawn and leads to some of the most heavily analyzed positions in the whole opening theory of chess. Not so long ago there seemed to be agreement among GMs that both 9. Nb3 and 9. Rb1 have been analyzed down to a draw and consequently 6. Bg5 was very rare in top level chess. However, recently there has been remarkable revival, but I don't know what exactly has changed. Anyway, 9. Rb1 seems to be the most popular nowadays when white oviously has compensation in the form of development advantage and also because it will not be so easy for black to finnish his development.
I think following your simple chess logic with 8. Nb3 can't be too bad if you want to avoid the most heavily analyzed lines. In general 6. Bg5 is extremely theory heavy line even inside the generally very theoretical Najdorf variation.
If you want to avoid Poisoned Pawn it's probably best to play 6. Bc4 or 6. Be2 instead of 6. Bg5.
my analysis (bxf6)! black "must " take the pawn either way his kingside pawn-structure is damaged. (Qxb2) Now white plays (Nb3) two points : the bishop at (f6) protects the (Nc3) the (Nb3) protects the (Rook). black must regain his piece so(Pxf6). now whites (Qd2) protects the (Nc3) . the black queen is blocked in and out of play (for awhile) the black king will not find a safe haven when he castles on either side of the board! please correct me if i am wrong! black must pay for i believe this "prematue" attack!
i agree with amanultra a3 gives you a temporary diversion with a nice pawn structure.
...also the English Attack.
I like a Sicilian Najdorf cause its a popular game, but like above position is strong concepts but if want give one pawn then Qd2 is a good move or Qd3 to protect center strong position or if you don't want pawn loss then b2-b3 or Ra1-b1, don't scary to move, and one more thing you have accurate move, its just chess play friend. Good luck!
Thank you very much!
You have got the terminologies slightly mixed up:
7...Qb6 8.Qd2 is THE Poisoned Pawn Variation - white allows black queen to take the b-pawn by 8...Qxb2 (Poisoned Pawn Accepted), then put black's queen out of commission for a few moves by 9.Rb1 or 9.Nb3. This line is highly complicated - some offshoots are drawish - do not expect somebody to make a predigested mixture for you - you will have to study the lines from database or books. The Poisoned Pawn Variation has not been "solved" yet! Both sides need to know a lot of theory (meaning memorizing the lines) to emerge from the position unscathed.
Black can decline to accept the b-pawn (Poisoned Pawn Declined) by 8...Nc6 at the last moment. White has 9.0-0-0, 9.Bxf6, 9.Nb3 (or 9.Nxc6) - current theory favors white.
White can play 8.Nb3 to avoid the complications of the Poisoned Pawn line. Black continues the development with either of 8...Nbd7, 8...Be7, etc. and has an easier game.
8.a3, as Amunultra pointed out, is a trap (8...Qxb2?? 9.Na4), but nothing more. It is actually anti-poisoned-pawn line, and black can develop normally with 8...Nbd7/8...Be7/8...Nc6 with an even game.
So either you have to spend lots of time with a database (or a dedicated book), or avoid it altogether. There is no other shortcut.
Ouch. 8. a3 Qxb2, 9. Na4 Qb4+, 10. c3 Qa3, 11. Nc2 does seem to win the black queen. I think sharp lines like that are why I gave up the Najdorf for the Dragon many years ago. :)
someone gave up the najdorf for the dragon because of sharp lines?
The position after 7...Qb6 is the most frequent position after 7 moves in most large databases of master games because it was played so often from the late '60s into the late '70s. The amount of theory is huge because for many years every tournament would see a new move in one line or another, often challenging the assessment of the entire line. The rich complications provided a very fertile ground for improvement, and recent developments show the verdict is not yet final on the line.
It's not the sort of thing you can play well with a quick tutorial. You will need to review many GM games over the years to see and understand the development of the theory. It is one of the most complex variations in all of chess.
It's exciting and fun to play, though. Basically White either wins by attack, forces a perpetual check, or is at the mercy of Black's extra pawn in an ending. Black also gains the two Bishops, at least temporarily, which can help turn the game around quickly if he survives White's assault.
Oh, and it should be added: if White contemplates playing any move other than 8 Qd2, offering the Poisoned Pawn, he should not be playing 6 Bg5, as suggested above by Atos.
8.Qd2 is a forced draw. That's why 6.Bg5 have lost interest at topel level chess
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