Sicilian Najdorf - The Lethal Weapon by GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan

Sicilian Najdorf - The Lethal Weapon by GM Prasad and GM Panchanathan

GM arunabi
Mar 5, 2009, 12:00 AM |
90 | Opening Theory

This will be our first article aimed at guiding enthusiastic chess fans with useful opening ideas. Rather than focusing on deep calculation and analysis, our goal is to provide the readers with a better objective understanding of opening theory. Please let us know if there is a particular opening you'd like to see us discuss in our future articles.

Today we will be discussing one of the most popular openings of all time, The Sicilian Najdorf, named after the Argentenian Grandmaster Miguel Najdorf. Some great chess titans like Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov were fond of the Najdorf as black and employed it frequently with extraordinary results.

One of the best ways to understand an opening is to learn a couple model games. Let's take a look at a fairly recent game in which the endless resources available in this variation have been beautifully demonstrated by our current world champion, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand.

 


So here it is, the Sicilian Najdorf! The main idea behind this move is to guard the b5 square and prepare for a timely queenside expansion. Black also retains the option of playing his center pawn to e6 or e5 and his queen knight to c6 or d7 based on white's response.


A typical counter attack in the Sicilian with both white and black fighting for the vital d5 square.This position reflects some of the basic ideas of the Sicilian defense. With all his pieces developed, black goes all out after the white king and vice versa. Time is of great essence in these kinds of positions and attacking first means a lot more than material advantage.


The beginning of a beautiful and decisive combination prepared well ahead of time by black. This entertaining finish is also one of the main reasons for us to pick this game.


White has two extra pieces but there is no satisfactory defence against the enemy threats. Look at how all black's remaining pieces are in harmony with their attack against the white king. This is what we can call the relative value of pieces. White's extra Rook on h1 and Bishop on g2 are of no use in defending his King. The remainder of the game is just a sheer execution.

 

We consider this as a good model game for ideas in the Najdorf and we hope that it will help the readers in improving their understanding of the opening.
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