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In the Najdorf:
Why? What are the reasons behind the different placement of the queen?
White plays Qf3 to discourage ...b5, due to the threat of e5...
Thats another thing I dont understand - if black wants to play Bd7 Nxd4 and Bc6, why show your cards with Bd7 first, surely play Nxd4 and then Bd7 Bc6 ? Is the issue that white plays Bxf6 and now gxf is forced due to the d pawn?
Frequently in the Richter rauzer (classical sicilian with Bg5) you do chop the knight on d4 to remove some of the tension. I personally do not favour the line in the diagram as a6 doesnt fit - Qa5 is better than Qc7 usually. Also you can sometimes recapture with the bishop on f6 and let the d6 pawn drop as a sac for activity. Not always, mind.
So a6 in the Richter Rauzer is no longer fashionable? I got these positions from the chess.com database, not sure how up to date they are.
The line I play would have Black castled instead of a6 and he would chop the knight here then play Qa5
d4-d5? Do what now?
You may prefer to play Qd2 against the Najdorf too, but after 5...a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qd2, there is 8...h6 when 9.Bxf6 gives the bishop pair without damaging the pawn structure (compare with the Rauzer), while 9.Bh4 runs into ...Nxe4!
I've switched to the line Karpov used to play
Which moves Conzipe? 8. Be3 and 9. 0-0 with 10 a4 ?
I think its the best way to play against the Najdorf. Target the weaknesses black has created with his stupid pawn moves ;)
What Conzipe was describing Karpov was playing in the 80's when he was still a 1.e4 player. Not considered very critical these days, but has worked well enough for me at my club player level.
I've switched to 6. Bg5 now, and am having more success.
In the Najdorf:lion in mach
In the Old Classical Sicilian:
The only difference between blacks set up is that Qc7 in one and Nc6 in the other. In response, white plays Qf3 against Qc7 and Qd2 against Nc6.
There is a forced draw after be7 h6 g5 line in bg5 najdorf? anyone to avoid this and still have the aggression (and be able to play for a win) of the bg5 najdorf?
That's news to me, the idea of trying to establish strong Ne5 in Nadjorf quite common. Usually involves sacing a pawn, and black certainly can't force a draw. There are quite a few lines where white can force draw if feels like it.
My answers are similar: In the Najdorf since Black's counterplay often revolves around b5-b4 to undermine white's control of the centre, it is useful to include Qf3 so as to have e5 in the air. In the classical sicilian, Black's counterplay is based on piece play, he exerts pressure on d4 so White typically bolsters his control over the centre with Qd2, 0-0-0 etc..
"Thats another thing I dont understand - if black wants to play Bd7 Nxd4 and Bc6, why show your cards with Bd7 first, surely play Nxd4 and then Bd7 Bc6 ? Is the issue that white plays Bxf6 and now gxf is forced due to the d pawn?"
This is something I didn't realise for a while. The answer is simply in general if you try to play Nxd4 Qxd4 Bd7.. then e5 is going to put Black's Knight in a dillema. So the move order is important.. Black needs to be able to play Bc6 so that in response to e5 he can simply tuck his Knight onto d7.