Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Najdorf & other Sicilians.

Position from Keres-Winter, 1935. Black to move,
notice the attacking potential & communication between white's pieces.

The Siclian is the toughest defence for an improving e4 player to play against. Black's play is obvious- press the weak e4 pawn, increase the pressure on the c-file, stop white pushing e5/f5 easily.

White's advantage however is based on much more elusive advantages for an improving player, like using a semi-open d-file, forcing black to weaken support for d5 then using it as an outpost, knight sacs on e6 followed up by checks on the h5-e8 diagonal displacing the black King, and in some lines- a time advantage. The following games I've picked out of positional/middle-game/general books, which is how I like to study the openings. The first 5 are atypical Sicilians with black doing something unusual and Paul Keres & co showing some thematic attacking ideas, games 5-10 show ideas for white in more usual contexts.
  • Keres V Winter, 1935 (Art of Attack, Vukovic)
  • Keres V Najdorf, 1955 (Tactics in the Siclian, Nijboer & van der tak)
  • Suetin, Alexi (Theoretical) (A contemporary approach to the middlegame)
  • Lombardy - Quinteros, 1973 (Maxims of Chess, Collins)
  • Frericks - Essert, 1988 (Attacking Manual, Aagaard)
  • Radjabov-Rowson, 2004 (My annotation, white plays 8. Qd3! in the "poisoned pawn")
  • Tal-Gligoric, 1963 (The life & games of Mikhail Tal)
1. Keres - Winter, 1935. A really instructive game on weak points in the black camp and the coordination of Keres' white pieces. (From Vukovic's Art of Attack)

2. Keres - Najdorf, 1955. Another thematic Nd4 & Qh5+ linkup.

3. How openings develop: "The poisoned pawn variation",

  • On the left (black to play, fxe6 is a mistake), white has exactly the sort of complicated position he wants at the cost of the pawn. On the right (white to play), black, by hitting the unprotected h4 bishop with tempo, forces white to make-a decision- pacifying the position.

4. Lombardy - Quinteros, Manilla 1973: Brilliancy Prize. A nice example of how to attack the King that can't castle.

A video on the game:

5. Frericks - Essert, 1988
. There is a nice video on this game from Jacob Aagaard's "attacking chess manual" in the "attack the weakest point in your opponent's King position" section.

With the f6 knight removed, and black's dark squared bishop able to defend g7,
is the weakest square around the black king.

6. Radjabov - Rowson, 2004: An instructive gameplan based on the light squares for white. The variation is a poisoned pawn Najdorf with 8. Qd3 for white.
8. Qd3 in the poisoned pawn Najdorf.
Radjabov based his strategy on weakening the light squares.

6. Tal-Gligoric, 1963 (The life & games of Mikhail Tal)

to be continued......................!
  • Ehlvest - Kasparov, 1991 (How to play dynamic chess, Valeri Belim)
  • Spassky - Petrosian, 1969 (More Simple Chess, John Emms)
  • Fischer - Camara, 1970 (Planning in Chess, Janos Flesch)
  • Leko - Svidler, 2007 (Planning after the opening, Neil McDonald)
  • Borgo - Acs, 2000 (Excelling at positional chess, Aagaard)
  • Anand - Leko, 2006 (The art of planning in chess, move by move, McDonald)

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