Najdorf Defense

Najdorf Defense

The Najdorf Variation in the Sicilian Defense is the most popular line and has been favorited by some of the greatest chess minds that have ever played the game. It is aggressive and yet positional at times. It truly has something for every type of player and is important for every chess player to learn and study.

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6

Black plays an innocent looking move with 5…a6, however this is far from innocent. Black defends the very powerful b4 square, restricting the play of the two knights and the light squared bishop. This also allows for a b5 push from black, starting the attack on the queen side.

White has many different ways to respond to the Najdorf and over the years new ideas and lines have come about that have changed the way players respond to the Najdorf Variation.

Make sure you are familiar with the fundamentals of this variation or you will find yourself scrambling for your life.

Watch the video below to watch more detailed explanations of the opening, multiple variations, and extended lines.

Famous Games using the Najdorf Variation

Adams vs Kasparov, 2005

Karjakin vs Anand, 2006

Kramnik vs Topalov, 2005

Fischer vs J Sherwin, 1957

Topalov vs Kasparov, 1996