[August 22, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Aleksandar Kovačević:
Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation – English Attack with 6… e5

[Line 495 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 without 7. Nb3]

While move 7. Nb3, covered in Lines 497-500, is usually connected with the plan of f2-f3, Qd2 and O-O-O, with double-edged positions, move 7. Nf3 is more strategically oriented. The idea of placing the Knight on f3 is to allow the light-squared Bishop to go to c4 (and later to b3), trying to exploit the weakness of the d5-square. Apart from 7… Be7 (Line 497) Black sometimes opts for 7… Nc6 or 7… Be6, but 7… Qc7 is certainly the main alternative. By playing 7… Qc7 Black prevents his opponent from executing the initial Bc4-b3 plan. White often proceeds with 8. a4 (later followed by a4-a5), thus seizing some extra space on the queenside. The games in this line typically continue with 8… Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. a5 Be6 11. O-O h6, where Black usually has sufficient resources to reach equality.

[Diagram: White to Move] B. Bok – G. Gajewski, Fagernes 2014. Black’s plan is Qc8, trapping the Rook on b7. What is the best reaction from White that secures him a big edge?

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