[January 14, 2019] Updated Opening Line by Trajko Nedev:
Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation (incl. Zagreb Variation)

[Line 478 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 with 6. g3, 6. f3]

Two substantially different variations are the topic of our Line 478: sharp 6. f3 often leading to the English Attack, and the strategical Zagreb Variation (6. g3).

Black can continue after 6. f3 either with 6… e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Be3 (Line 497) or 6… e6 (Line 493), in both cases transposing to lines of the English Attack. There is also an independent line 6… Qb6, preventing White from playing Be3. White usually replies with either 7. g4 or 7. Nb3, and though this position is more sensitive to play with black pieces, Black is typically able to get a roughly equal game.

As a response to 6. g3 Black most frequently chooses one of the following options: 6… e5, 6… e6 and 6… g6. In the first case moves 7. Nb3 and 7. Nde2 are extensively investigated.

There is also nothing wrong with Black’s position after 6… e6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3 Qc7, where White’s plan typically involves a pawn advance on the kingside, while Black creates counterplay on the opposite side of the board.

[Diagram: Black to Move] V Anand – A. Grischuk, Mainz (rapid) 2005. Black has tactical means to get an advantage. How would you proceed?

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