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Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line (B99)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6
7 f4 Be7 8 Qf3 Qc7 9 O-O-O Nbd7

Number of games in database: 1669
Years covered: 1955 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 43.5%
   Black wins 28.5%
   Draws 28.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Milan Matulovic  13 games
Jan Timman  12 games
Bruno Parma  10 games
Walter Browne  35 games
Nick de Firmian  19 games
Jan Hein Donner  18 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Kholmov vs Bronstein, 1965
Velimirovic vs Ljubojevic, 1972
Navara vs J Helbich, 1998
Keres vs Fischer, 1959
Smyslov vs Fischer, 1959
D Minic vs Fischer, 1970
<< previous chapter next chapter >>

 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,669  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A Shagalovich vs E Chukaev  1-0551955URS-ch qf VilniusB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
2. Lutikov vs V Zurakhov  ½-½201955RSFSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
3. C van den Berg vs M Ujtelky 1-0311955NED-CSRB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
4. Y Kotkov vs Shamkovich  1-043195616th Ch RSFSRB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
5. Estrin vs A Lukin  ½-½241956Moscow Championship semifinalB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
6. Y Vasilchuk vs L Lugantsev  ½-½421956Moscow Championship qfB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
7. R Maric vs D Djaja  0-1571956Yugoslav ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
8. F Rubio Aguado vs Najdorf 0-1331956MontevideoB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
9. P Santos Isain vs R Cantero  ½-½261956MontevideoB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
10. A Conrady vs M Rantanen  0-1261956Moscow Olympiad qual-3B99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
11. W Ader Hausman vs M Rantanen  0-1381956Moscow Olympiad Final-BB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
12. V Mikenas vs Aronin 0-1331957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
13. Boleslavsky vs Aronin  ½-½221957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
14. Keres vs Aronin  ½-½411957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
15. A Bannik vs Petrosian 1-0261957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
16. Tolush vs Aronin 1-0331957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
17. V Mikenas vs Spassky 0-1431957USSR ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
18. M R Vukcevich vs Ivkov  ½-½151957Yugoslav ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
19. Keres vs J Behrensen  1-0291957Mar del PlataB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
20. E Lazarev vs Y Kots  0-1331957Ukrainian ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
21. E Paoli vs V Nestler  1-0281957Italian ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
22. I Branicki vs M Vukovic  1-0311957PortorozB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
23. Ragozin vs Spassky 0-1611957URS-ch sf LeningradB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
24. Suetin vs Tolush  ½-½371957URS-ch sf LeningradB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
25. A Nikitin vs Suetin  0-1601957URS-ch sf LeningradB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
 page 1 of 67; games 1-25 of 1,669  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: It's a few months old now, I forgot to post it back then, here's my only attempt so far, which failed miserably. I tried to fight, tried with some tricks, but I was playing against a much better opponent, who played superbly:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.fxg5 Ne5 13.gxf6 Nxf3 14.gxf3 Bf8 15.Rhg1 (<Azarov-Predojevic, Torino 2006 went: 15.f4 Bd7 16.f5 O-O-O 17.Kb1 Kb8 18.fxe6 fxe6 19.Rhg1 Bc8 20.e5 dxe5 21.Nf3 Bc5 22.Rg7 Qb6 23.f7 Bb4 24.Nd2 Bxc3 25. Nc4 e4 26.Nxb6 Bxg7 27.Bxd8 Rxd8 1/2-1/2, while Brenjo-Ardeleanu, Backa Palanka 2002, went: 15.Rhg1 Bd7 16.f4 Qc5 17.Nce2 O-O-O 18.Rg7 e5 19.Nf5 Bxf5 20.exf5 Qe3+ 21.Kb1 exf4 22.Bc4 Qh3 23.Bf2 Qxf5 24.Bd5 Kb8 25.Rxf7 1-0>) Bd7 16.f4 Qc5 17.Be2 b5 18.a3 Rb8 19.f5 (<I think this was the critical moment for me in the game. Here, I considered 19.Rg3, 19.Rd3, 19.Kb1 or 19.Rg2 as well, but in the end I went for the wildest one. It was a hard decision, maybe I went wrong, but other moves probably don't help in the long run.>) b4 20.axb4 Qxb4 21.Nxe6 Bxe6 22.fxe6 fxe6 23.f7+ Kd7 24.Bxa6 Rh7 25.Rgf1 Qxb2+ 26.Kd2 Qb4 27.Bd3 (<I think it was around here that I was getting desperate, but I decided to try and hold on, come what may>) Bg7 28.Bf6 Bxf6 29.Rxf6 Rf8 30.Rb1 Qd4 31.Rb7+ Kc8 32.Rc7+ Kb8 33.Rf1 Qe5 34.Nb5 Rg7 35.Rc6 Kb7 36.Rc7+ Kb6 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: I just finished this, again I perished in style :-)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.O-O-O Nbd7 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.fxg5 Ne5 13.gxf6 Nxf3 14.gxf3 Bf8 15.Rhg1 Bd7 16.f4 d5 17.e5 O-O-O 18.Be2 Kb8 19.Bh5 Bc8 20.Rd3 Rh7 21.a3 Bd7 22.f5 exf5 23.Nxd5 Qc5 24.Ne7 Ba4 25.Bd1 Bxe7 26.fxe7 Rc8 27.Bf6 Re8 28.Rg2 Rxe7 29.Bxe7 Qxe7 30.Nxf5 Qxe5 31.Rg8+ Ka7 32.Nd6 Bd7 33.Bf3 Rg7 34.Rxg7 Qxg7 35.Bxb7 Qg1+ 36.Rd1 Qxh2 0-1

Perhaps I should give up, but I'm not, maybe only players that are very good play the h6-g5 line.

Mar-09-10  rapidcitychess: What about the Goteborg? Instead of Qc7 you play h6 followed by g5. It is a blasting Kingside gambit! How do you play this line?
Mar-09-10  Shams: <rapidcitychess> very carefully.
Mar-10-10  rapidcitychess: <Shams>

The main lines and strategies would be much more useful.

Mar-10-10  Shams: <rapidcitychess> Sure, I understand. I think you'll find people can be quite helpful. I know a little bit about the line and would be happy to share.

But Mohammed's gotta come to the mountain, you know? You've been a member for five weeks and I don't know how serious you are. Best to do a little work and then ask a question that shows you've given at least a modicum of thought. The basic ideas behind the Gothenburg are quite simple, and can be found on many webpages and, likely, youtube videos.

Post some lines (with FEN diagrams if you please) and specific questions and we'll be happy to help. Sound good? Then we know you're for real.

Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: <Shams> Sure.
<1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 e6 7 f4 Be7 8 Qf4 Nbd7 9 O-O-O h6 10 Bh4 g5!?>

click for larger view

(Sidenote I am a Christian)

Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: The Questions are : What are the main lines? What compensation does black have? How does white deal with this?
Mar-11-10  Shams: <rapidcitychess><(Sidenote I am a Christian)> I'll refrain from further aphorisms drawn from the Saracens, how about that?

I think that you have confused two similar lines in the Najdorf. The FEN you have shown looks more typical of a Browne variation, though usually the moves Bd3 and …Qc7 are thrown in before black expands on the kingside. From your diagram 11.fxg5 is met by …Ne5 hitting the queen; next black's Nf6 will usually hop to g4 and black plays to recover his pawn on g5. The variations are very complicated and I'm not au courant enough to say much more.

The famous Gothenburg line involves a quicker …h6 and …g5 where the after fxg5 black's king knight drops back to d7, still exploiting the pin on the g5 pawn but from another angle. Obviously the d7 square must not be occupied by the queen knight for the king knight to drop back there. Anyway, the difference is that in this position:

click for larger view

White can (and, if he wants any advantage, should) snap right away here: 11. Nxe6 fxe6 12.Qh5+ Kf8.

On the day of the famous "massacre" (USSR v. Argentina, WTC 1955) Najdorf had prepared this crazy line as a surprise weapon against the Soviets. I think three of the Soviet boards played right into it. All reached above position, at which point two of them left the boards, not to return until they saw how Kotov, their best opening theoretician, handled the position. After a long think here:

click for larger view

…Kotov banged out 13.Bb5! And his compatriots followed suit. Black was crushed on all boards. But years later Bobby found 13…Rh7! and it's a game again. As far as I know black is still just hanging on here. Good luck, you'll learn a lot about defense holding that.

So, why 13.Bb5!<?> Well, clearly the bishop is immune from immediate capture due to the threat of 14.0-0 mating, but why put it en prise to begin with? The answer is to eventually trade a knight on d7. Black's kingside defense demands at least one knight.

Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: <Shams>
Thank you.
Still, if white keeps going with Gxh6 what then?
Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: Whoops!
Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: Why Bxe6?
Mar-11-10  Shams: I'm confused. A move isn't a move unless it has a move number next to it. Come on now, you should put in more work than your interlocutor. :)
Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: <Shams> Sorry.
I keep on messing up.
Why does white play 11 Nxe6?
Mar-11-10  Shams: <Why does white play 11 Nxe6?> Because anything else allows ...Ne5 with tempo, uncovering the Bishop's protection of e6 and allowing ...Bxg5 next with comfortable equality. Black must be punished for his impudence, moving his kingside pawns like that, not handed equality on a platter!

Goading white to attack in this manner is, to paraphrase a crude American comedian, "like putting bacon on your ---- and teasing a pit bull." In that regard 11.Nxe6 basically says, "unleash the hounds".

Mar-11-10  rapidcitychess: Thank you Shams.
Mar-12-10  Shams: <rapidcitychess> No problem. Post some games you play in the line on my forum if you like.
Mar-12-10  rapidcitychess: <Shams>Could you play me using this line on your forum?
Mar-12-10  Shams: <rapidcitychess> it works better if you play others and confer with me. Otherwise I'm playing both sides of the line at the same time, which stronger players than I can do but which only leads in my case to poor instruction and poor play. :)
Mar-12-10  rapidcitychess: Thank you. Who do you suggest I challenge?
Mar-12-10  Shams: I'm sure you can find a game. Good luck.
Aug-13-10  rapidcitychess: First real game as white in this variation.

[Event "Team 45 45 League T46"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2010.08.13"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Rapidcitychess"]
[Black "gmlevanzov"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1557"]
[BlackElo "1454"]
[Opening "Sicilian: Najdorf, 7...Be7"]
[ECO "B98"]
[Time "18:00:25"]
[TimeControl "2700+45"]

1. e4 0:45:00 c5 0:45:36 2. Nf3 0:44:56 d6 0:46:16 3. d4 0:44:47 cxd4 0:46:56 4. Nxd4 0:45:28 Nf6 0:47:34 5. Nc3 0:45:44 a6 0:48:12 6. Bg5 0:45:01 e6 0:47:15 7. f4 0:44:38 Be7 0:47:18 8. Qf3 0:44:22 Nbd7 0:46:58 9. O-O-O 0:43:38 O-O 0:46:44 10. Bc4 0:44:04 Qc7 0:45:33 11. Bxe6 0:43:03 fxe6 0:44:17 12. Nxe6 0:43:42 Qc6 0:42:25 13. Nxf8 0:44:24 Kxf8 0:43:08 14. Nd5 0:43:29 Nxd5 0:41:47 15. exd5 0:44:11 Qc4 0:41:24 16. Bxe7+ 0:44:45 Kxe7 0:42:07 17. Rhe1+ 0:45:02 Kf8 0:40:37 18. Qe3 0:43:08 Nf6 0:36:59 19. b3 0:41:40 Qc7 0:31:27 20. h3 0:40:58 Bf5 0:31:38 21. Qd2 0:40:19 Nxd5 0:23:47 22. Kb2 0:40:14 Nf6 0:16:35 23. Qxd6+ 0:40:50 Qxd6 0:17:17 24. Rxd6 0:41:33 Rc8 0:16:18 25. c4 0:41:26 Ne4 0:14:42 26. Rd5 0:41:53 Rc5 0:10:41 27. g4 0:40:44 Rxd5 0:10:14 28. cxd5 0:41:27 Nc5 0:09:47 29. Kc3 0:40:15 Bg6 0:07:46 30. Kc4 0:38:58 b6 0:06:19 31. b4 0:38:08 Nd7 0:05:35 32. a4 0:37:02 Bf7 0:04:13 33. Kd4 0:36:16 Nf6 0:03:47 34. Re5 0:35:25 Nd7 0:03:20 35. Re2 0:34:41 Nf6 0:03:26 36. d6 0:34:50 a5 0:01:53 37. bxa5 0:35:09 bxa5 0:02:30 38. g5 0:35:13 Nd7 0:01:56 39. h4 0:34:00 Bb3 0:01:30 40. Rb2 0:31:30 Bxa4 0:01:43 41. Ra2 0:30:56 Bb3 0:02:02 42. Rxa5 0:31:29 Kf7 0:01:20 43. f5 0:31:26 h6 0:01:02 44. Ra7 0:31:34 Ke8 0:01:38 45. Ra8+ 0:30:55 Kf7 0:02:18 46. Ra7 0:30:52 Ke8 0:02:57 47. g6 0:31:11 Nf6 0:01:09 48. Rxg7 0:31:28 Bc2 0:01:40 49. Rf7 0:29:35 Ng8 0:00:57 50. d7+ 0:29:36 Kd8 0:01:40 51. Rf8+ 0:29:42 Kxd7 0:02:24 52. Rxg8 0:30:24 Bxf5 0:03:02 53. g7 0:31:08 Be6 0:01:36 54. Rh8 0:31:51 Ke7 0:02:14 55. g8=Q 0:32:32 Bxg8 0:02:58 56. Rxg8 0:33:16 Kf7 0:03:42 57. Rg2 0:33:53 Kf6 0:04:24 58. Kd5 0:34:37 Kf5 0:05:08 59. Rf2+ 0:35:21 Kg4 0:05:46 60. Ke4 0:35:06 Kxh4 0:06:25 61. Kf4 0:35:46 Kh3 0:06:49 62. Kf3 0:35:56 h5 0:07:05 63. Rf1 0:36:33 Kh2 0:07:34 64. Ra1 0:36:51 h4 0:08:04 65. Rb1 0:37:29 h3 0:08:42 66. Rb2+ 0:38:12 Kg1 0:06:19 67. Kg3 0:38:42 Kf1 0:06:17 68. Kxh3 0:39:24 Ke1 0:07:00 69. Kg3 0:40:09 Kd1 0:07:43 70. Kf3 0:40:52 Kc1 0:08:26 71. Rh2 0:41:35 Kd1 0:08:58 72. Ke3 0:42:14 Kc1 0:09:37 73. Kd3 0:42:57 Kb1 0:10:20 74. Kc3 0:43:40 ♗lack resigns

Please comment.

Dec-13-10  ivanchalk: Hello folks.I'm planning to add the sicilian najdorf to my repertoire.So may I inquire if Play the Najdorf Sicilian by James Rizzitano is a good book to start?
Dec-13-10  Bdellovibrio: I don't know, but a great person to ask regarding chess books in general is User: hms123 - scroll down to the forum and try posting your question there.
Mar-10-11  AdrianP: I have done a little bit of updating / reorganising of my game collection Game Collection: Najdorf 6. Bg5 for anyone who's interested.
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