Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking The Steam Out Of The Najdorf

By far, the Najdorf is one of the most fierce defenses available to Black, catering to some of the sharpest lines ever to arise within the game of chess. It is a defense that allows Black to counter quickly and fight for a win.

Unlike the French and Caro-Kaan defenses, the Najdorf is an opening that rarely eludes to drawish play. However, there are lines that White can play to force a draw in the Najdorf quickly, as demonstrated by the newly minted 2009 US Champion Nakamura; but both sides must play accurately or suffer immediate reprisal from their opponent.

Nakamura, Hi (2710)
Ponomariov, R (2727)
[B96] Sicilian Najdorf
City of Culture GM(6), 2009.07.13
Result: 1/2-1/2