Best book for Najdorf as black

Blinsk

Hi everyone, I'm wondering what the chess.com community thinks is the best book for the Najdorf as black.  I've been playing the dragon and the accellerated dragon, but I'm interested in adding the najdorf to my repetoir, specifically I'm interested in the 6... e5 lines, as opposed to the more scheveningan style lines.

If anyone can offer suggestions I would be greatful.

Thanks

ThrillerFan

I myself have been switching back to the Najdorf as Black as well.

Based on the books I own, and the reviews of more recent books, the following is what I'd recommend getting versus avoiding (I'm not including books written in the 20th century - too old and theory unreliable):

1) Mastering the Najdorf - Arizmendi and Moreno - This book has good reviews, and I've gone thru parts of it.  I personally don't care for the lines it recommends against 6.Bg5 (the 7...Qc7 lines), however, I do use parts of it for other lines, like 6.Be2.  It's not "beginner level" analysis for someone new to the Najdorf.

2) Starting Out: Sicilian Najdorf - Richard Palliser - This is one of two books I'd recommend to a first time Najdorf player as it does more explaining of the ideas rather than just shooting out reams of lines.

3) Play the Najdorf Sicilian - James Rizzitano - This is the other book that is recommendable to someone new to the Najdorf.  It's NOT a repertoire book.  It gives objective analysis at the 10,000 foot level of each of the various lines, mainly dealing with ...e5 except where unplayable (i.e. 6.Bg5 or 6.Bc4).  The reason it's not a repertoire book is that both White and Black score about evenly throughout the book, and against 6.Bg5, it's not like it gives just 1 line for Black.  It covers 7...Nbd7, 7...Qc7, 7...Qb6, and even 7...b5.

4) The Sharpest Sicilian - Georgiev and Kolev - I personally have never even browsed this book, but I can tell you that I have never been a big fan of the format of any books published by Chess Stars.  I do own some of the other books by the same publisher, including "The Safest Sicilian" (which is on the Taimanov for Black).  From what I heard, it mainly advocates the Poisoned Pawn and ...e5 lines against non-Bg5 and non-Bc4 lines.

5. The Cutting Edge - Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 - Pavlovic - I own this book.  It is VERY DENSE in analysis, so if you are a first timer, not recommended, but if you get to say, a 2000 level and have decent experience with the Najdorf or with 6.Be3 against the Najdorf, this has some very useful analysis and ideas in the mid-teens, so only really worth if it you face high opposition.  Lower opposition will leave book long before this analysis becomes relevant.

6. Winning with the Najdorf Sicilian - Andriasyan - I have seen mixed reviews with this book.  Many long-time Najdorf players don't seem to like the format of the analysis, especially some of the choices against the English Attack and Sozin.  It also advocates the Poisoned Pawn against 6.Bg5 and supposedly tries to give some new ideas around moves 14 to 22, so again, only relevant if you are facing high opposition.

7. Chess Developments: Najdorf Sicilian 6.Bg5 - Kevin Goh Wei Ming - A pretty big review was written on this on chess.com.  It is another objective book, not a repertoire book, that gives White everything he needs to know to play 6.Bg5 with confidence, and gives deep analysis on all of Black's popular lines today in order to give Black the opportunity to absorb many of the newer ideas in this opening, both for himself and for his adversary. 

I definitely plan to get the last one in the list in the very near future as if I were to stick this time with the Najdorf, the 6.Bg5 lines of the Najdorf would be where my repertoire overlaps (i.e. playing it from both sides), as no matter what your repertoire is, there will always be at minimum one opening you must be able to play from both sides, even if that's the Grob (as rare as the Grob may be, you could still face it as Black - I have faced it 3 times in my 2300 game history over the board).

TheOldReb

Very interesting/informative post Thriller . #5 is of special interest to me since 6 Be3 has become so popular , and not only against the najdorf .  I have also been thinking of taking up the najdorf , as black , in my tourney chess ( OTB ) .  For decades I have been alternating between the sveshnikov and classical sicilians as black . As white when faced with the Najdorf I have played mostly 6 Bg5 lines and 6 Be2 and had decent results with both . I may pick up one or two of your recommended books to add to my library .   Thanks . 

Blinsk

Thanks Thriller!  I'm not sure where I fall on the "beginner scale".  I'm about 1500 USCF at the moment, so I wouldn't consider myself a total beginner in chess in general, but I haven't ever spent a period of time where I played the najdorf exclusively.  (I've had phases of my chess career where I will play particular openings exclusively for maybe a month or two, but never so with the najdorf.)

ThrillerFan
Blinsk wrote:

Thanks Thriller!  I'm not sure where I fall on the "beginner scale".  I'm about 1500 USCF at the moment, so I wouldn't consider myself a total beginner in chess in general, but I haven't ever spent a period of time where I played the najdorf exclusively.  (I've had phases of my chess career where I will play particular openings exclusively for maybe a month or two, but never so with the najdorf.)

I would say go with one of the two beginner books.

Keep in mind, when I say "beginner", I mean beginner at playing the Najdorf, not a beginner at chess.  You could be rated 2200 after playing 1500 games of 1.d4 as White while as Black you've played the Semi-Slav and Latvian Gambit, and you'd still be a beginner at the Najdorf Sicilian (especially because you wouldn't have faced it as White either if you are a 1.d4 player)

MiddlegamerUmesh

Binsk! You are a diamond member - there's a nice series there by Shankland which would be a good start

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... Starting Out: Sicilian Najdorf - Richard Palliser ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626175558/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen87.pdf

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... Mastering the Najdorf - Arizmendi and Moreno ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627082353/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen67.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Mastering_the_Najdorf.pdf

ilovesmetuna
the Najdorf is really all i know. i gave up playing the Poisoned Pawn because i won every time i used it and decided to preserve its 100% record. i have invented a line against 6.Be2. i call it the tuna variation. it goes like this. sorry about the lack of a board, my iPad can't do it. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 Nbd7 7.0-0 b5 the tuna variation 8.Be3 Bb7 9.f3 Rc8 10. Qd2 Rxc3 white can deviate but you get the idea, lost count of how many games i have won with this.
kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... Play the Najdorf Sicilian - James Rizzitano ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627053855/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen138.pdf

http://www.gambitbooks.com/pdfs/Play_the_Najdorf_Sicilian.pdf

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... The Sharpest Sicilian - Georgiev and Kolev ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627101750/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen96.pdf

https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/1523.pdf

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... The Cutting Edge - Sicilian Najdorf 6.Be3 - Pavlovic ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627063241/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen145.pdf

https://www.qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/CuttingEdge2-excerpt.pdf

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... Winning with the Najdorf Sicilian - Andriasyan ...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626232217/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen171.pdf

https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/982.pdf

kindaspongey
ThrillerFan wrote:

... Chess Developments: Najdorf Sicilian 6.Bg5 - Kevin Goh Wei Ming ...

https://www.everymanchess.com/downloadable/download/linkSample/link_id/263/

kindaspongey

Grandmaster Repertoire 6 - The Sicilian Defence by Lubomir Ftacnik

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627053855/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/hansen138.pdf

https://www.qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/GM6-The-Sicilian-Defence.pdf

kindaspongey

The Najdorf in Black and White

https://www.mongoosepress.com/catalog/books/najdorf.html

BitRubbish

Chessable have a really good Sicilian Najdorf book for black. It is GM Rafael Leitao's Sicilian Najdorf