2016-02-16 - Update Line 497[October 10, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation – English Attack with 6… e5 7. Nb3

[Line 497 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3]

This line covers variations beginning with 7… Be7 and 7… Nbd7, as well as most White’s reactions after 7… Be6 (they do not include 8. f3, which can be found in our Lines 498-500). Another covered variation is the fashionable 8. h3 (with the idea 9. Qf3), played in Navara – Wojtaszek: this contemporary classic saw White King’s early walk to h8! Such bravery was eventually rewarded with a well-deserved win, and although Wojtaszek could have equalized, the game can still be regarded as a true modern evergreen.

The English Attack is undoubtedly one of the most popular lines in modern chess theory. It has what players of all strengths tend to appreciate: lots of tactical motives and plenty of chances to outplay a weaker opponent. These lines have thoroughly been explored, but they still contain a plethora of positions where one can rely on intuition, rather than deep computer analysis.

[Diagram: White to Move] S. Tiviakov – B. Gelfand, Elista 1998. Here is a position where Black’s early b5 can be met with a topical reaction, leading to White’s considerable advantage. How should he proceed?

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