Najdorf Poisoned Pawn Move after Qb6?

Atos wrote:

If you want to avoid Poisoned Pawn it's probably best to play 6. Bc4 or 6. Be2 instead of 6. Bg5.

I don't want to avoid it - yet.  I'm first trying to learn about it.  Thematic tournament. 

Amanultra wrote:

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.

Oooh, nice. 

Shakaali...that's informative. 

mateologist.  I have no idea what your entire post is saying. 


Estragon...that's a strong sentiment.  You don't like the other options besides 8 Qd2? I definitely have no desire to study the line thoroughly as you and LaskerFan have suggested is necessary...I'm just playing a themed tournament and was hoping to see why White allows for the theft of his b pawn with the database's offered moves...or how it is recovered.  Or why it's poisoned...

LaskerFan...I appreciate the staunch and thorough response. 

So, in essence...8. a3 keeps the b pawn and isn't too bad a move for White?


Prawn...lovely as it is, I'm not going to be playing it as Black.  I need White wins.  lol


you said, you do not want avoid it but yet you do not want to study the lines against it! you just want to understand why white sacs the pawn! makes no sense to me but i will give it another shot! white sacs the pawn because the "dynamics" in the position favor him! black must survive the "attack" that is sure to follow.( i am no expert but current theory says that he "can")


The 8.a3 line worked on a 1770 player.  He made a sad face, but not before nabbing my rook. 


But people tell me one thing is b3 a good option?


It's in that 10e5 line, nearly fourty years after Fischer game, that top players have recently started finding new ideas. For a short period of time, posioned pawn even looked busted.


If you don't want to play the PP variation there's plenty of other solid lines available, so I don't see a problem here.  I recently read but can't remember where the Najdorf PP is practically a forced draw nowadays if both players (or just White?) know a lot of the theory behind it.

Database:  Master Games        
movegameswhite wins / draw / black wins
7...Be7 2,168
45.3% 22.1% 32.5%
7...Qb6 1,814
37.4% 26.4% 36.3%
7...Nbd7 836
44.1% 23.1% 32.8%
7...Qc7 714
32.6% 27.6% 39.8%
7...b5 479
45.5% 18.6% 35.9%
7...h6 275
42.2% 22.9% 34.9%
7...Nc6 225
35.6% 25.8% 38.7%
7...Bd7 80
36.3% 28.8% 35%
7...Qa5 5
80% 20%
dhananjaygodse wrote:

But people tell me one thing is b3 a good option?

I wondered this, since at hobbyist level I'd expect a player to think that was the quickest, safest way to keep b pawn. Didn't find a single example at ( so I guess it's another one of those "so obviously bad that no one's tried it" things that I keep running into.

I did an online analyze, and it just suggested

8. b3 Be7

9. Bc4 O-O

And I'm like, okay? I guess I prefer black here but why is this so awful that no one has tried it?


Look up 'weak squares' in your strategy book.


Aye b3 is awful at birth, Nb3 or a3 better if don't want to gambit b pawn.


From the diagram above, I see that the one defender of ce has been removed and so if I saw this, perhaps Black plays that sudden and unexpected move (just kidding) of Qb4 and now nearly any move by White save Bd2 is going to put White in some interesting waters. for example, Qd2 sees Nxe4 hitting at the Queen and the Knight is lost minimally. In fact, it seems like any Queen move forces Nxe4 even if White tries to be bold and go for some idea like Bxe7 since the c3 Knight gets picked off by his counterpart with the potential discovery looming and allowing Black to play Re8. I agree I would like Black's position here as well.

Then again, I only looked at the diagram for a few seconds but that b4 weaknes as glaring no matter how or when Black chooses to pick away at it.


(Reply is to TwoMove, still reading v69's helpful note)

Understood. I guess my real question is: Say, I'm black, and some silly blunderbuss does this. I want the thrill of making himher pay for it!

Be7 and O-O don't exactly seem like severe punishment.

Does the hammer come down later? My brief glance at a "Weak squares" article gives me ideas like

... d5, ... Ba3 [or ...e5, takes/takes, ...Bb4/Ba3]

... Nc6, ... Nb4


Good insight as well Dallas. The point underlying that the b4 square is able to be hit at too much by too many pieces to be of any real valueand the dark squars are as weak as if BLack got in Qxb2 with the excpetion that thre is obviously an extra pawn on the board.

vengence69 wrote:

Qb4 and now nearly any move by White save Bd2 is going to put White in some interesting waters. for example, Qd2 sees Nxe4 hitting at the Queen and the Knight is lost minimally.

I'm having trouble following this. Bd2 is not a legal move after Qb4. I read "save" as "other than", i.e. "any move other than Bd2 is going to put W..."

I do the value of Qb4, and was going to include it in the "guesses" above, but I feared someone would say that it's more important to develop the N first


Ouch you are right, i thought the Bishop wa unobstructed when i looked at it. Anyway, Black may get his opponent to crap bricks with nearly any set of moves to hit b4 and c3 from the pawn advance.


After 8.b3? white can forget castling long, while castling short isn't easy, either. Black may play any reasonable developing move (Nbd7, Nc6, Be7) with a good game, although 8...Qa5 also looks annoying for the first player. I'd rather play 8...Nc6, inviting a "Botvinnik setup" when white takes on f6, but it's just a matter of personal taste.


if you are materialistic you can always go for 6.f4 6.Bc4 6.Be3 6.Be2 or even 6.h3! which is supirsling pretty good