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Chess: Understanding the Sicilian Defense (Najdorf Variation) Part I1 e4Controlling the central square d5 plusnear-central square f5, and, openingup a diagonal for both the Queen andf1 bishop. 1 ... c5The d4 and b4 squares are now underBlack's influence, and his Queen alsogets breathing space along the a5-d8diagonal. 2 Nf3 White prepares for d4 so as tochallenge Black's hold on thatkey square.2 ... d6Shielding e5 from a prospectivee4-e5 advance. Please remember,the acquisition of e5 is acritical theme for the defense.This move also opens up adiagonal for the c8 bishop. 3 d4 cxd4 By trading his c-pawn for White'sd-pawn, Black guarantees pressuredown the half open c-file andchances to mold his central pawnmajority into a strong center.4 Nxd4 In return, White gains a developmentallead, the half open d-file and an edgein space.4 ... Nf6The e4 pawn now needs protection,and so White responds with:5 Nc3 5 ... a6Initiating the Najdorf Defense. Black achieves two goals withthis move:(i) He deters White's pieces fromintruding on the b5 square.(ii) He prepares for the ... b5 break,which, in turn, initiates queensideaction and makes room on b7 for thec8 bishop.
Chess: Understanding the Sicilian Defense (Najdorf Variation) Part V
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a66 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 f3 Nbd7 Line (English Attack)What's the game plan for White?White intends to acquire and dominate thevulnerable d5 square (Qd1-d2, O-O-O,followed by a timely Nc3-d5). To augmentthat objective, he also aims to destabilizethe f6 knight and subsequently eliminate itsd5 influence (g2-g4-g5/h2-h4/Rh1-g1). Finally,he wants to avail himself of the c5 square(Qd2-f2/Nb3-c5/Be3-c5), thanks to a more thanlikely Rd1-Qd8 x-ray, which prevents ... dxc5.
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