The Kentucky Lion and Shabba Dabba Do at the American Continental Chess Championship 2023

The recent weather has seen dark and cloudy skies with periods of rain making it dark and dreary, which means perfect weather for watching Chess! Yesterday afternoon this writer/spectator sat glued to the screen watching two American Seniors, the Kentucky Lion, Gregory Kaidanov,

and Shabba Dabba Do, aka, Alexander Shabalov,

Alexander Shabalov celebrated his 50th birthday | Photo: Austin Fuller (

battle their opponents in the American Continental Chess Championship 2023. The game between Grandmasters Gregory Kaidanov and Alder Escobar Forero was the first to end. This was the final position after the players prematurely agreed to a draw:


It should be obvious white has an advantage. You know it, I know it, and Stockfish ‘knows’ it, too. It is incumbent upon the player of the white pieces to at least make an attempt to win the game, but, for whatever reason, Colombian GM Alder Escobar Forero decided to gift his opponent a Grandmaster draw. THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH CHESS! These premature draw eruptions with a board full of pieces are killing the Royal Game. If only 1/4 point were awarded to each player for making a draw do you think this game would have been agreed drawn?

GM Alder Escobar Forero (2443) vs GM Gregory Kaidanov (2559)
American Continental Chess Championship 2023
C78: Ruy Lopez: Morphy Defense, Arkhangelsk Variation

  1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 7. d3 Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. a3 d6 10. Ba2 Nb8 11. Re1 Nbd7 12. h3 c5 13. Nh2 Rc8 14. Nf1 b4 15. Ne2 d5 16. Neg3 dxe4 17. dxe4 c4 18. axb4 Bxb4 19. c3 Be7 20. Qe2 Qc7 21. Ne3 Nb6 1/2-1/2

Oh well, at least my attention could be turned to the Shabba game, in which The US Senior Champ played The Najdorf. Regular readers know how much I love the venerable Najdorf variation even if it was left behind long ago. You never forget your first love… I will admit to living vicariously through Shabba yesterday because, as David Spinks, or Big Bird, as he was called by some habitués of the Atlanta Chess Center, aka, the House of Pain, was fond of saying, “You gotta pull for SOMEBODY, man!” ( This spectator was living and dying in real time with Shabba. The analysis feature was not on as I sat their exercising my brain when deciding on the move I would make. Speaking of making something, my last cuppa Joe was percolated while spectating, so I was sippin’ the coffee while living vicariously.

GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (2616) vs GM Alexander Shabalov (2480)
American Continental Chess Championship 2023
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 b5 8. g5 Nfd7 9. a3 Bb7 10. h4 Be7 11. Be3 Nb6 12. Qh5 g6 13. Qg4 N8d7 14. h5 Ne5 15. Qg3 Rg8 16. hxg6 hxg6 17. Rd1 Rc8 18. Rh7 Rxc3 19. bxc3 Qc7 20. Bf4 Bxe4 21. Nxb5 axb5 22. Bxe5 dxe5 23. Bxb5+ Kf8 24. Qh4 Qxc3+ 25. Rd2 Bxa3 26. Qxe4 Bb4 27. Qd3 Nd5 28. Qxc3 Bxc3 29. Kd1 Bxd2 30. Kxd2 Ke7 31. c4 Nf4 32. Kc3 Rd8 33. Kb4 Nd3+ 34. Ka5 Nxf2 35. Rh4 e4 36. c5 e3 37. c6 Nd3 38. Re4 Ra8+ 39. Kb6 Rb8+ 40. Ka5 Ra8+ 41. Kb6 Rb8+ 42. Ka5 1/2-1/2

There was no doubt that white came out of the opening with an advantage and was in the drivers seat after 12 Qh5.

Position after 12 Qh5

I was actually pleased to see Shabba answer with 12…g6 because that was my choice. Unfortunately, later the Stockfish program disabused me of that notion, showing 12…0-0 as best. Now that is what you call “castling into it.” This is one of the reasons I was so fond of playing The Najdorf ‘back in the day’. Every game was like being on the knife’s edge.

15…Rg8 was not on my radar. Later it was learned two games, given below, had been contested with 15…Rf8. This spectator was contemplating 15…Qc7, with a view toward castling Queenside. Stockfish simply plays 15…Rc8. “Why did I not even consider the move?” I was asking myself later… I was expecting 17 f4, for obvious reasons, but the GM decided to move his Rook to d1, which was another move not on my radar…

When GM Forero played 18 Rh7 Stockfishy says the advantage was now with Shabba. SF says, “Inaccuracy. Bc1 was best.” If that’s the case, then why is there an arrow showing the best move being Rh4?! Inquiring minds wanna know. If you know, or if you know someone, anyone, who knows, then please leave a comment because this inquiring mind wants to know… Whatever… Shabba then sacked the exchange with 18…Rxc3, and the fight was ON! Yes, SF, too, woulda sacked the Rook…

I was expecting 19…Bxe4 and was flummoxed with Shabba’s choice of 19…Qc7. According to the Fish, the game was now even, Steven. In Chess one is either learning, or dead.

Position after 19…Qc7

Once again GM Forero had a chance to move the pawn to f4, attacking the proud steed ensconced on e5, but chose to play 20 Bf4, yet another move not consider by this spectator… At this point this squirrel did actually consider the move given as best by the silicon monster, 20…Nc4, but rejected it in favor of the move made by Shabba, Bishop takes Pawn on e4.

GM Forero then sacrificed his Knight on b5 when playing 21 Nxb5, and there was then blood all over the board, and the pieces, while drippin’ over the sides of the board. This viewer was LOVIN’ Chess LIFE! This is the way Chess was meant to be PLAYED! The Fish would have simply played 21 a4…

Position after 21 Nxb5

With 33 Kb4 GM Forero let go of the rope with one hand…

When playing 35 Rh4?! the GM let go of the rope with the other hand… White was sooooooooooooo BUSTED! In addition, the General of the white army was low on time. ‘Back in the day’ one would have felt comfortable wagering his net worth on a win for the Black pieces. Unfortunately, those daze are gone…

Position after 35 Rh4

With the ill chosen RED MOVE of 36…e3?? (“Blunder. Nd3 was best.” Stockfish) Shabba jettisoned much of his advantage. Then he stepped into it with the other foot by playing 37…Nd3?! (Inaccuracy. Rc8 was best.) The game ended with a repetition. Shabba let that fish offa the hook.

6 Qe2 Versus The Najdorf Sicilian

Although I would like to write that the best was saved for the last post concerning the venerable Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defense it would be far more accurate to classify it as exactly the opposite, as it could possibly be the worst move to make against the Najdorf. In the Stockfish vs Stockfish game that follows the best Stocky can do is move the Queen to the d3 square two moves later, which at least moves the Queen out of the way for the bishop. Fishy did not play the move g3, which would be the obvious way to play, as is done in the 2 Qe2 variation against the French.

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qe2

e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. Qd3 Be7 9. Be2 O-O 10. O-O Nc6 11. a3 d5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 Bxd5 14. Rd1 Bxb3 15. Qxb3 Nd4 16. Qd3 Qc7 17. c3 Nb3 18. Rb1 Rad8 19. Qe4 Nxc1 20. Rbxc1 g6 21. Bf3 b6 22. Qb7 Qxb7 23. Bxb7 a5 24. Kf1 Kg7 25. Ke2 f5 26. f3 Bg5 27. Rb1 h5 28. Rxd8 Rxd8 29. Rd1 Rxd1 30. Kxd1 1/2-1/2

I had seen enough to declare the moribund game a draw. If you have been having trouble when facing the Najdorf maybe you should consider playing 6 Qe2 as a way of potentially making a draw…

PR. Watson vs Alec Aslett
Event: Combined Services-ch
Site: England Date: ??/??/2002
Round: 7 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Qe2 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.Bg5 Nbd7 9.g3 Qc7 10.Bg2 Rc8 11.O-O-O Bc4 12.Qd2 b5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.exd5 Bxb3 15.axb3 h6 16.Be3 f5 17.h4 Be7 18.Kb1 Nf6 19.Bh3 g6 20.h5 O-O 21.hxg6 Ne4 22.Qd3 Nc5 23.Bxc5 e4 24.Qd2 dxc5 25.d6 Bxd6 26.Qxd6 Qg7 27.Bxf5 c4 28.Bxc8 1-0

Winshand Cuhendi Sean (2406) vs Martin Nayhebaver (2450)
Event: Dunajska Streda GM 2017
Site: Dunajska Streda SVK Date: 06/24/2017
Round: 1.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qe2 e5 7.Nf5 d5 8.Bg5 d4 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Nd5 Qd8 11.Qg4 g6 12.Qg3 Nd7 13.Nxd4 Qa5+ 14.c3 Bd6 15.Nb3 Qd8 16.O-O-O Nf6 17.Qd3 Bb8 18.Qe3 Nxd5 19.Rxd5 Qe7 20.h4 Be6 21.Rd2 O-O 22.h5 a5 23.hxg6 fxg6 24.Qc5 Qf7 25.Qb5 b6 26.Qc6 Bc7 27.Bc4 Bxc4 28.Rd7 Qf4+ 29.Nd2 Bf7 30.Qxc7 b5 31.g3 Qg4 32.Rh4 Qe6 33.Rd5 Qf6 34.Rxe5 Rac8 35.Qe7 Qxf2 36.Rxb5 Rfd8 37.Qg5 Rxd2 38.Qxd2 Qf1+ 39.Kc2 Qxb5 40.Qh6 Qe2+ 41.Kc1 Qe1+ 42.Kc2 Qf2+ 43.Kc1 Qe1+ 44.Kc2 Qxg3 45.Qxh7+ Kf8 46.Qh8+ Ke7 47.Qxc8 Qxh4 48.Qc5+ Ke8 49.e5 Qe4+ 50.Kd2 Qd5+ 51.Qxd5 Bxd5 52.b3 Ke7 53.Ke3 g5 54.Kd4 Ke6 55.c4 Bh1 56.a3 g4 57.b4 g3 58.Ke3 Kxe5 59.b5 Kd6 0-1 contains only 48 games in which the player of the white pieces chose 6 Qe2. There is a reason.

With this post the series on the Najdorf ends. With the series of posts I attempted to give an overview of the most popular Chess opening. If you are contemplating playing the Najdorf, or want to know how to play against it, there is enough material, if you replay each and every game, to obtain an excellent overview of the venerable Najdorf. It really is

because Stockfish provides the theory and provides the practice. Good luck with that!

The following video does NOT contain anything concerning 6 Qe2, but does present 6 g3 TWICE, which makes me wonder…why…

The Najdorf: Lesser Played Sixth Move Alternatives

In this ongoing series on the venerable Najdorf variation we have come to the last four moves having been played in triple digits: 6 Qf3 (254); 6 h4 (247); 6 a3 (229); and 6 Qd3 (110). I am giving it to you straight, with no chaser, today. Or as my friend Brian McCarthy was fond of saying, “Just give me the MEAT!” (

6 Qf3

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qf3 g6 7. Bc4 Qb6 8. Nde2 Bg7 9. Bb3 Nbd7 10. Nf4 e6 11. O-O Qc6 12. a4 O-O 13. a5 b5 14. axb6 Qxb6 15. Be3 Qb8 16. Nd3 Bb7 17. Ra4 Bc6 18. Rb4 Qc7 19. Bd4 Rfc8 20. Ba4 Bxa4 21. Rxa4 Nb6 22. Ra2 Nfd7 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qd1 Nc4 25. Ne2 a5 26. b3 Ncb6 27. Nd4 Kg8 28. Qa1 Nc5 29. Nxc5 Qxc5 30. c4 a4 31. bxa4 Qxc4 32. a5 Nd7 33. h3 Nc5 34. Rc1 Qa6 35. Rb1 Nxe4 36. Rb6 Qc4 37. Rc2 Nc3 38. Rxd6 Qd3 39. Rxc3 Rxc3 40. Nb5 Qxb5 41. Qxc3 Qxa5 42. Qxa5 Rxa5 43. h4 Ra4 44. g3 h6 45. f3 Kg7 46. Rb6 Kf6 47. Rb5 e5 48. Rb6+ Kf5 49. Rb7 f6 50. Rb6 h5 51. Rb8 Ra3 52. Kg2 Ra2+ 53. Kf1 g5 54. hxg5 Kxg5 55. Rg8+ Kh6 56. Rh8+ Kg6 57. Rg8+ Kf7 58. Rh8 Ra3 59. Kg2 Kg6 60. Rg8+ Kh7 61. Rf8 Ra2+ 62. Kh3 Kg7 63. Rb8 Kg6 64. Rb7 Rf2 65. Rb3 Kg5 66. Ra3 Rf1 67. Kg2 Rc1 68. Ra8 Rc2+ 69. Kh3 Rf2 70. Ra3 Kf5 71. Rb3 1/2-1/2

7 Bc4 is a TN

Alan Pichot (2543) vs Jorge Zamorano (2315)
Event: 91st ch-ARG 2016
Site: Villa Martelli ARG Date: 07/19/2016
Round: 2.3 Score: ½-½
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qf3 g6 7.h3 Bg7 8.Be2 O-O 9.Be3 Bd7 10.O-O-O Nc6 11.g4 Rc8 12.g5 Nh5 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.Nd5 Bxd5 15.Rxd5 Qc7 16.Rd2 Qa5 17.a3 Qe5 18.c3 Qa5 19.Rd5 Qa4 20.Bd1 Qc4 21.Kb1 b5 22.Bc2 Rc7 23.Qd1 Be5 24.Rg1 Rb8 25.Rg4 Qc6 26.f4 Bg7 27.e5 dxe5 28.fxe5 Rcc8 29.Bb3 e6 30.Rd6 Qe8 31.Bd4 a5 32.Qf3 Bf8 33.Ra6 Ra8 34.Rxa8 Rxa8 35.Rg1 Ng7 36.Bc2 b4 37.cxb4 axb4 38.a4 Nf5 39.Bb6 Rxa4 40.Bxa4 Qxa4 41.Rg4 Qb5 42.Bd8 b3 43.Bf6 h5 44.Rf4 Kh7 45.Qd1 Ne3 46.Qd2 Nd5 47.Rf3 Qa4 48.Qd3 Qa2+ 49.Kc1 Qa1+ 50.Qb1 Qa4 51.Qd3 Qa1+ 52.Qb1 Qa4 53.Qd3 Qa1+ ½-½

For three games featuring, 14 Kb1; 14 Bh3; and 14 f5, see:

6 h4

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h4 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. g3 Be7 11. Qd2 Nd7 12. O-O-O Nf6 13. f4 Rc8 14. Bh3 O-O 15. Bxe6 fxe6 16. Rhf1 b5 17. a3 a5 18. fxe5 b4 19. Nb5 Nxe4 20. Qe3 d5 21. a4 Bc5 22. Nxc5 Qb6 23. Rxf8+ Rxf8 24. Nd4 Qxc5 25. Qe2 Rf2 26. Qb5 h6 27. g4 Qc8 28. g5 hxg5 29. hxg5 Nxg5 30. Kb1 Ne4 31. Rc1 Nd2+ 32. Ka2 Qc4+ 33. b3 Qxd4 34. Qe8+ Rf8 35. Qxe6+ Rf7 36. Qc8+ Rf8 37. Qe6+ 1/2-1/2

Bogdan-Daniel Deac (2609) vs Maxim Rodshtein (2673)
Event: 20th ch-EUR Indiv 2019
Site: Skopje MKD Date: 03/22/2019
Round: 5.3 Score: 0-1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h4 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Bg5 Be6 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.g3 Be7 11.Qd2 Nd7 12.O-O-O Nf6 13.f4 b5 14.Bh3 O-O 15.fxe5 dxe5 16.Qxd8 Raxd8 17.Rxd8 Rxd8 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.a3 Rc8 20.Kd2 a5 21.Kd3 Rd8+ 22.Ke3 a4 23.Nc1 Bc5+ 24.Ke2 Bd4 25.N1a2 Nh5 26.Rh3 Rf8 27.Nd1 Nf6 28.Nac3 Rb8 29.Kd3 Nd7 30.Ke2 Nf6 31.Kd3 Kf7 32.h5 g5 33.hxg6+ Kxg6 34.Rh1 h5 35.Rf1 Nd7 36.Ke2 Nc5 37.Rf3 Bxc3 38.Nxc3 b4 39.Nd1 Nxe4 40.Re3 Kf5 41.Rf3+ Kg4 42.Ne3+ Kg5 43.Nc4 bxa3 44.Rxa3 Rb4 45.Nxe5 Rxb2 46.Kd3 Rb4 47.Nf3+ Kf6 48.Nd4 e5 49.c3 Nc5+ 50.Kc2 Rb6 51.Ne2 Kf5 52.c4 Rb3 0-1

6 a3

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. a3 e5 7. Nf3 b5 8. a4 b4 9. Nd5 Bb7 10. Nxf6+ gxf6 11. Be3 Bxe4 12. Bd3 Bxd3 13. cxd3 f5 14. d4 f4 15. Bd2 Bg7 16. O-O O-O 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Bxb4 Re8 19. Bc3 Nd7 20. Qd5 Nb6 21. Qe4 Qd5 22. Ng5 Qxe4 23. Nxe4 Rec8 24. a5 Nd5 25. g4 fxg3 26. hxg3 Nxc3 27. bxc3 Rc6 28. Rfd1 f5 29. Nd6 Rf8 30. Rab1 Rxc3 31. Rb6 e4 32. Rxa6 e3 33. fxe3 Rxe3 34. Kf2 Ra3 35. Ra7 Bh6 36. Nb5 Ra2+ 37. Kf3 f4 38. g4 Re8 39. Rd3 Re3+ 40. Rxe3 fxe3 41. Re7 Rxa5 42. Re5 Ra1 43. g5 Bg7 44. Rxe3 Kf7 45. Nc7 Kg6 46. Ne6 Bb2 47. Rb3 Kf5 48. Rxb2 Ra3+ 49. Kg2 Kxe6 1/2-1/2

Pentala Harikrishna (2763) vs Anish Giri (2790)
Event: 4th Norway Blitz 2016
Site: Stavanger NOR Date: 04/18/2016
Round: 2.1 Score: 0-1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a3 e5 7.Nf3 b5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.a4 b4 11.Nd5 Nc6 12.Bc4 O-O 13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.Bd5 Bb7 15.Qd2 Rab8 16.O-O h6 17.Rfd1 Rfd8 18.a5 Ne7 19.Bxb7 Rxb7 20.Qe3 Rc8 21.Rd2 Rc6 22.g3 Qe6 23.Kg2 Rbc7 24.Rad1 Kh7 25.Qb3 Qxb3 26.cxb3 Nc8 27.Rd3 Rc2 28.R1d2 R2c5 29.Rd5 Rxd5 30.Rxd5 Rc2 31.Nd2 Rxb2 32.Nc4 Rxb3 33.Nxd6 Rc3 34.Nxf7 b3 35.Rd7 b2 36.Rb7 Rc7 37.Rxb2 Rxf7 38.Rc2 Nd6 39.f3 Nb5 40.Rc6 Rf6 41.Rc5 Re6 42.Kf2 Kg6 43.Ke3 Kf6 44.f4 g5 45.f5 Rd6 46.Rc8 Nd4 47.Rf8+ Ke7 48.Rh8 Nb3 49.Rh7+ Kf8 50.Kf3 Nxa5 51.Kg4 Nc4 52.Kh5 Nd2 53.Rh8+ Kg7 54.Re8 Nxe4 55.Re7+ Kf6 0-1

6 Qd3

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Qd3 e6 7. a4 e5 8. Nf5 Bxf5 9. exf5 h6 10. g4 d5 11. Bg2 d4 12. Ne4 Qc7 13. O-O Nbd7 14. c3 Nxe4 15. Qxe4 dxc3 16. bxc3 Nc5 17. Qc4 Be7 18. Bd5 O-O 19. Be3 Rac8 20. Rfd1 b6 21. Rab1 e4 22. Bxe4 Nxe4 23. Qxe4 Rfe8 24. Bxb6 Qxc3 25. Qd3 Qc4 26. Qxc4 Rxc4 27. Rd4 Rec8 28. h3 Rxd4 29. Bxd4 Rc4 30. Rb8+ Kh7 31. Bb6 Rxa4 32. Rb7 Re4 33. Kg2 f6 34. Ra7 Rb4 35. Be3 Bd6 36. Rxa6 Bf4 37. Kf3 Bxe3 38. fxe3 h5 39. Ra1 Rb5 40. Rg1 hxg4+ 41. hxg4 and I had seen enough…

Abdulla Gadimbayli (2315) vs Marc Esserman (2467)
Event: Budapest Spring Open 2017
Site: Budapest HUN Date: 03/24/2017
Round: 7.18 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qd3 e6 7.a4 Nbd7 8.Be2 Nc5 9.Qe3 g6 10.O-O Bg7 11.Rd1 Qe7 12.b4 Ncd7 13.Ba3 O-O 14.b5 Ne8 15.bxa6 bxa6 16.Rab1 Qd8 17.e5 Nxe5 18.f4 Nd7 19.Bf3 d5 20.Nc6 Qh4 21.g3 Qh6 22.Nxd5 exd5 23.Ne7+ Kh8 24.Bxd5 Nc7 25.Bxa8 Ne5 26.Nxc8 Rxc8 27.Bb2 Qxh2+ 28.Kxh2 Ng4+ 29.Kh3 Nxe3 30.Bxg7+ Kxg7 31.Bb7 Rb8 32.Re1 Nc4 33.Bc6 Rc8 34.Rb7 Na5 35.Bd7 Nxb7 36.Bxc8 Nc5 37.Re7 N5e6 38.Bxe6 Nxe6 39.a5 Kf6 40.Ra7 Nc5 41.Rc7 1-0

The Freak Attack Vs The Najdorf with 6 Rg1

Continuing with the series on the Najdorf we now come to those much lesser played sixth moves. shows only 482 games having been contested with 6 Rg1, which has scored remarkably well, albeit in a very limited sample size. There is no pretense with 6 Rg1. White immediately signals his intention to ATTACK! White gives up castling on the kingside in order to thrust his g-pawn forward. It is ‘Cave man’ Chess at it’s finest.

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Rg1 b5 7. a4 b4 8. Nd5 Nxe4 9. Bc4 e6 10. Qe2 Nc5 11. Bf4 Be7 12. Nxe7 Qxe7 13. O-O-O e5 14. Qf3 Ra7 15. Bxe5 dxe5 16. Nc6 Nxc6 17. Bxf7+ Qxf7 18. Qxc6+ Bd7 19. Qxc5 Rb7 20. Rge1 Kd8 21. Qc6 Rc7 22. Qa8+ Rc8 23. Qb7 b3 24. c3 Rc7 25. Qb8+ Rc8 26. Qa7 Re8 27. Qb6+ Rc7 28. Qb8+ 1/2-1/2

MVL is todaze leading exponent of the Najdorf Sicilian. Since he is an inveterate 1 e4 player he must face his favorite opening, which was something I was loath to do, so I played the Closed variation of the Sicilian Defense.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2784)

vs Liren Ding (2791)

Event: Opera Euro Rapid Prelim
Site: INT Date: 02/08/2021
Round: 14.2 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 b5 7.a4 b4 8.Nd5 Nxe4 9.Bc4 e6 10.Qe2 Nc5 11.c3 Be7 12.Nxe7 Qxe7 13.cxb4 Ncd7 14.Bd2 Ne5 15.Bb3 O-O 16.O-O-O Nbc6 17.Nc2 Rb8 18.Bc3 Ng6 19.g3 e5 20.Bd5 Qd7 21.f4 Bb7 22.Bb3 exf4 23.gxf4 Qf5 24.Qd2 1-0

Then there is Shabba, who gives Atlanta’s own Arthur Guo a lesson, albeit a long one, in how to attack the venerable Najdorf:

Alexander Shabalov (2528)

vs Arthur Guo (2286)

Event: National Open 2019
Site: Las Vegas USA Date: 06/16/2019
Round: 9 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Rg1 Qc7 7.g4 e6 8.g5 Nfd7 9.h4 b5 10.a3 Bb7 11.h5 g6 12.Be3 Nc5 13.Qg4 Nbd7 14.O-O-O O-O-O 15.Kb1 Kb8 16.h6 Nb6 17.Nb3 Be7 18.Be2 Rc8 19.Rc1 Rhd8 20.Rgd1 Ncd7 21.f4 d5 22.exd5 exd5 23.Bd4 Nc4 24.Rf1 f5 25.gxf6 Bxf6 26.f5 gxf5 27.Rxf5 Rg8 28.Qf4 Qxf4 29.Rxf4 Bg5 30.Rf7 Bxc1 31.Kxc1 Nf8 32.Nc5 Rc7 33.Rg7 Rcxg7 34.hxg7 Ng6 35.Nd7+ Ka8 36.Bg4 Nge5 37.Nxe5 Rxg7 38.Be2 Re7 39.Nd3 Ne3 40.Bc5 Re6 41.Nf4 Re5 42.Bd4 Re7 43.Bd3 Nc4 44.b3 Re1+ 45.Nd1 Ne5 46.Bxh7 Nf3 47.Bf2 Rh1 48.Bd3 Ng5 49.Ne2 Bc8 50.Ng3 Rh2 51.Be3 Nf3 52.Be2 Ne5 53.Bd4 Nc6 54.Bf2 Ne5 55.Nf1 Rh7 56.Kd2 Bg4 57.Bxg4 Nxg4 58.Bd4 Kb7 59.b4 Rh3 60.Nfe3 Nxe3 61.Nxe3 Kc6 62.Kc3 Rh1 63.Nf5 Ra1 64.Kb2 Rf1 65.Ne3 Rf4 66.c3 Kd6 67.Kb3 Rf7 68.a4 Ke6 69.axb5 axb5 70.Kc2 Rh7 71.Kd3 Rh3 72.Ba7 Kd6 73.Bb8+ Kc6 74.Kd2 Rh8 75.Bg3 Rg8 76.Nf5 Rg4 77.Nd4+ Kb6 78.Bd6 Re4 79.Bc5+ Ka6 80.Kd3 Re1 81.Nf5 Rd1+ 82.Kc2 Rh1 83.Ne7 Rh5 84.Kd3 Kb7 85.Kd4 Kc7 86.Nxd5+ Kc6 87.Ne3 Rh4+ 88.Kd3 Rf4 89.Kc2 Rh4 90.Kb3 Kb7 91.Kc2 Rh2+ 92.Kd3 Rh4 93.Bd4 Kc6 94.c4 bxc4+ 95.Kxc4 Rh5 96.Ng4 Rh1 97.Ne5+ Kd6 98.Nd3 Rh4 99.b5 Re4 100.Nc5 Rh4 101.Nb3 Rh5 102.Bc5+ Kd7 103.Kb4 Ke6 104.b6 Rh8 105.Kb5 Kd5 106.b7 Rb8 107.Na5 Ke6 108.Ba7 Rg8 109.Nc6 Kd7 110.Bb6 Rg5+ 111.Ka6 Rg8 112.Nd8 1-0

GM Alonso Zapata’s Antiquated Openings

Current Atlanta resident Grandmaster Alonso Zapata

lost his first two games at the recently completed Charlotte Spring GM/IM Norm Invitational IM (B) by resting on his laurels.

GM Alonso Zapata (2341) vs FM Carlos Sandoval Mercado (2269)
Round 1 | 2023.03.16
B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 h6 10. Bf1 Be6 11. h3 Qc7 12. a4 b6 13. Nh2 Nc6 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. exd5 Nb4 16. c4 Nd7 17. Ra3 f5 18. Bxh6 gxh6 19. Qd2 Kh7 20. Qxb4 a5 21. Qd2 Nc5 22. Qc2 e4 23. f3 Bh4 24. Re2 Rae8 25. Kh1 Qg7 26. Ree3 Kh8 27. f4 Rg8 28. g4 Bf6 29. Rg3 Bxb2 30. Ra2 Bd4 31. Qd1 Bf6 32. Rgg2 Qh7 33. Rg1 Bh4 34. Rag2 Qf7 35. Be2 e3 36. g5 Ne4 37. Qd4+ Qg7 38. Qxg7+ Rxg7 39. Nf1 hxg5 40. Kh2 Bf2 41. Rh1 g4 0-1 (–im-b/round-1/mqOni1F0)

The Stockfish program used at will play 7 Nb3, as have over ten thousand other players according to, which is ten times more than those playing the weaker 7 Nf3. The following game, in which the player of the black pieces played the inferior 7…h3, was located. Obviously GM Zapata has had much practice with the line made famous by former World Champion Anatoly Karpov. Here is yet another example of an older player continuing to “go with what’cha know, Joe” in lieu of studying the opening and incorporating changes into one’s repertoire.

Alonso Zapata (2515) vs Gilberto Milos (2605)
Event: Yopal
Site: Yopal Date: ??/??/1997
Round: 7
ECO: B92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opovcensky variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nf3 h6 8.O-O Be7 9.Re1 O-O 10.Bf1 Qc7 11.a4 Be6 12.a5 Rc8 13.Be3 Nbd7 14.Ra4 Nc5 15.Bxc5 Qxc5 16.Nd2 Ng4 17.Qf3 Bg5 18.Nb3 Qc6 19.h3 Nf6 20.Rd1 Re8 21.Rb4 Rad8 22.Rb6 Qc7 23.g3 h5 24.Bg2 h4 25.g4 g6 26.Nc1 Nd7 27.Rb4 Nc5 28.Nb3 Bxb3 29.cxb3 Qxa5 30.Rc4 Nxb3 31.Ra4 Qc5 32.Nd5 Nd4 33.Qd3 Rc8 34.Bf1 Qc2 35.Nb6 Rc6 36.Qxc2 Rxc2 37.Rb4 Bd2 38.Ra4 Be3 39.Kh1 Rxf2 40.Nd5 Bg5 41.b4 Rc8 0-1

FM Terry Luo (2310) – GM Alonso Zapata (2341)
Round 2 2023.03.16
A89 Dutch, Leningrad, main variation with Nc6

  1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 d6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 8. d5 Na5 9. b3 c5 10. Bd2 a6 11. e4 b5 12. e5 Ng4 13. exd6 exd6 14. h3 Ne5 15. Ng5 bxc4 16. Ne6 Bxe6 17. dxe6 Re8 18. Nd5 Nac6 19. e7 Qb8 20. bxc4 Ra7 21. Rb1 Qc8 22. Bg5 Kh8 23. f4 Nf7 24. Nb6 Qc7 25. Qd5 Nxg5 26. Qxc6 Bd4+ 27. Kh1 Qxe7 28. fxg5 1-0–im-b/round-2/ScN8PQlO
  1. d4 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 d6 4. g3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Nc6 (Stockfish gives this move the dubious treatment with a ?! Books have been written, as have blog posts [], concerning the best move in the position. At one time 7…Qe8 was all the rage, with Grandmasters publishing books devoted to the move, which is now considered inferior to 7…c6. This is yet another example of an older player not doing his homework and going with a move with which he is familiar. The result speaks for itself) 8 d5 Na5 (It has been known for some time the move played in the game is inferior to the better Ne5. In numerical terms Stockfish shows that after the ill-fated 8…Na5 was played white was close to having a theoretically won game at +1.3) 9 b3 (SF now shows white having an advantage of +1.5, which is considered to be winning) 9…c5 (This move is not given a “?” or even a “?!” but it does show that white is now up by +1.8, which means a Grandmaster has played the opening so weakly he has a lost position PRIOR TO MAKING HIS TENTH MOVE!)

B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (fianchetto) variation 6 g3

‘Back in the day’ there was a NM, Stuart Rundlett, who favored what he called the “quiet variation.” He said, “Be careful with the Najdorf because at any moment the quiet variation can quickly get loud.”

As previously in this ongoing series I let the Stockfish program at do its thing as I sat there watching it do its thing:

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. g3 e5 7. Nde2 Be7 8. Bg2 b5 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Nec3 Nb6 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. O-O Be6 13. b3 O-O 14. Bd2 Qd7 15. a4 bxa4 16. Nxa4 Nxa4 17. Rxa4 Rfc8 18. Re1 Bd8 19. Be3 Qc6 20. c4 Rcb8 21. Qd3 Bb6 22. Bxb6 Qxb6 23. Ra3 Qb4 24. Rea1 a5 25. Bf3 Bd7 26. Bd1 Bc6 27. Kg2 Qc5 28. R3a2 g6 29. f3 f5 30. exf5 e4 31. fxe4 gxf5 32. Bf3 fxe4 33. Bxe4 Rxb3 34. Qe2 Kh8 35. Bxc6 Qxc6+ 36. Kg1 Rab8 37. Rxa5 Rb1+ 38. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 39. Kf2 Qb6+ 40. c5 Qxa5 41. Qe8+ Kg7 42. Qe7+ Kg8 43. Qg5+ Kf7 44. Qf5+ Kg7 45. Qd7+ Kf6 46. Qxd6+ Kg7 47. Qd4+ Kg8 48. Qg4+ Kf7 49. Qf3+ Kg7 50. Qg4+ Kf6 51. Qf4+ Kg7 52. Qg5+ Kf7 53. Qf4+ Kg8 54. Qg4+ 1/2-1/2

It should come as no surprise that Maxime, MY MAN, Vachier Lagrave,

reigning king of the Najdorf, figures in both of the games in which a human player most closely followed the ‘Fish:

Anish Giri (2782) vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2789)
Event: GCT Blitz YourNextMove
Site: Leuven BEL Date: 06/15/2018
Round: 2.5
ECO: B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (fianchetto) variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2 b5 9.Nd5 Nbd7 10.Nec3 Nb6 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.O-O O-O 13.b3 b4 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.Qxd5 Be6 16.Qd3 Qc7 17.Bd2 a5 18.a3 bxa3 19.Rxa3 Rfc8 20.c4 Bd8 21.Rfa1 Qc5 22.b4 Qc6 23.bxa5 Bxc4 24.Qe3 Qb5 25.Qe1 Ra6 26.Qb1 Qxb1+ 27.Rxb1 Rca8 28.Rc1 Bb5 29.Rb1 Bc4 30.Rc1 Bb5 31.Bh3 Kf8 32.Rc8 Ke8 33.Rxa8 Rxa8 34.Bb4 Bc7 35.Ra1 Ra7 36.Bg4 g6 37.h4 h5 38.Bh3 Bd3 39.f3 Bb6+ 40.Kg2 Bc5 41.Bxc5 dxc5 42.Kf2 Bb5 43.Bf1 c4 44.Ke3 Kd7 45.Kd2 Kc6 46.Kc3 Kc5 47.Be2 Ra6 48.Rd1 Rxa5 49.Rd5+ Kb6 50.Bxc4 Ra3+ 51.Kb2 Bxc4 52.Kxa3 Bxd5 53.exd5 Kc5 54.Kb3 Kxd5 55.Kc3 f5 56.Kd3 e4+ 57.Ke3 Ke5 0-1

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (2778) vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2749)
Event: 2nd Du Te Cup 2018
Site: Shenzhen CHN Date: 11/06/2018
Round: 3.1
ECO: B91 Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (fianchetto) variation
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 e5 7.Nde2 Be7 8.Bg2 O-O 9.O-O b5 10.Nd5 Nbd7 11.Nec3 Nb6 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.b3 Be6 14.Ba3 Qc7 15.Qd3 Rfc8 16.Bb4 a5 17.Nxb5 Qxc2 18.Qxc2 Rxc2 19.Bxd6 Nc8 20.Rfc1 Rxc1+ 21.Rxc1 Nxd6 22.Nxd6 a4 23.Nc4 Rb8 24.Rc3 axb3 25.axb3 Be7 26.Bf1 g6 27.Rc1 Rxb3 28.Nxe5 Bf6 29.Nd3 Bd4 30.Be2 Rc3 31.Rb1 g5 32.Ne1 h6 33.Kg2 Rb3 34.Rd1 Bb6 35.Nd3 Ra3 36.Rb1 Ba7 37.Nb4 Rb3 38.Rxb3 Bxb3 39.Bg4 Kg7 40.h4 Bd4 41.Nc6 Bc5 42.Bf5 Kf6 43.f4 Be3 44.fxg5+ hxg5 45.h5 Kg7 46.g4 Bc4 47.Kf3 Bc1 48.Ne5 Bb5 49.Kf2 Bf4 50.Nf3 Bd3 51.Ke1 Be3 52.Kd1 Bf4 53.Ne1 Bb1 54.Ke2 Kh6 55.Nf3 Kg7 56.Nd4 Be5 57.Nc6 Bf4 58.Nb4 Kh6 59.Nd5 Bc2 60.Nc3 Kg7 61.Nb5 Bc1 62.Nd4 Bb1 63.Kf3 Bd3 64.Bd7 Ba6 65.Nf5+ Kf8 66.Bc6 Bf4 67.Bd5 Bc8 68.Nd4 Kg7 69.h6+ Kxh6 70.Bxf7 Kg7 71.Be6 Ba6 72.Bd5 Kf6 73.Ne6 Bd6 ½-½

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

Since the move 6 h3 in the Najdorf is known as the “Adams attack” I went to to find examples of Weaver Adams playing the move named after him. This was the only game located:

Weaver Warren Adams

vs Max Pavey

Event: US op
Site: Baltimore Date: ??/??/1948
Round: 10 Score: 1
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 Qc7 7.g4 e6 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.Be3 Na5 10.Qe2 Bd7 11.Rd1 h6 12.Bc1 Be7 13.f4 O-O-O 14.O-O Kb8 15.g5 Ne8 16.h4 Qc8 17.f5 hxg5 18.hxg5 Nc6 19.fxe6 Nxd4 20.Rxd4 fxe6 21.Rf7 Qc5 22.Qc4 Qxc4 23.Rxc4 Bf8 24.g6 Rc8 25.Rxc8+ Kxc8 26.Bg5 Nf6 27.Bxf6 gxf6 28.g7 Bxg7 29.Rxg7 1-0

The opening moves were plugged into the Stockfish program used at and this was what came out:

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 8. g3 b5 9. Nd5 Nbd7 10. Nec3 Bb7 11. Be3 Be7 12. Bg2 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 h4 14. O-O Rc8 15. c3 O-O 16. Nxe7+ Qxe7 17. gxh4 Rc4 18. Re1 Qe6 19. f3 f5 20. Bg5 f4 21. Kh2 Nb6 22. Rc1 Rc6 23. b3 d5 24. Qe2 Qf7 25. exd5 Nxd5 26. Qxe5 Ne3 27. Qe7 Qxe7 28. Bxe7 Rfc8 29. Bg5 Rxc3 30. Rxc3 Rxc3 31. Bxf4 Nxg2 32. Kxg2 Rxf3 33. Re7 Rxf4+ 34. Rxb7 Rd4 35. Kg3 Rd2 36. a4 bxa4 37. bxa4 Rd4 38. a5 Ra4 39. h5 Rxa5 40. Rb6 Ra3+ 41. Kh4 Kh7 42. Kg5 Rxh3 43. Rxa6 1/2-1/2

11 Be3 is not shown at making the move a Theoretical Novelty of sorts, I suppose…


This game was played TODAY!

Giga Quparadze vs Jules Moussard
23rd European Individual Championship 2023 Last Round
B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Adams attack

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e6 7. g4 h6 8. Bg2 Be7 9. b3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qd3 Be6 13. O-O-O O-O 14. Kb1 b5 15. Ne2 Qc7 16. f4 exf4 17. Nxf4 Rac8 18. Nh5 Nxh5 19. gxh5 f5 20. Rhg1 f4 21. Bf3 Bf6 22. Rg6 Bxb2 23. Kxb2 Bf7 24. Rxd6 Qc5 25. Rd2 a5 26. Rg2 b4 27. Qd4 Qc3+ 28. Qxc3 Rxc3 29. Bg4 Re3 30. Ra6 Rxe4 31. Rxa5 Be6 32. Rf2 Re3 33. Ra4 Bxg4 34. hxg4 Rg3 35. Rxb4 f3 36. Rd4 Rg2 37. Rdd2 Rxg4 38. Rd3 Rgf4 39. a4 Kh7 40. a5 g5 41. hxg6+ Kxg6 42. a6 Kg5 43. Rd7 R4f6 44. a7 Kf4 45. Rf1 h5 46. b4 h4 47. b5 Ke3 48. Rb7 Ra8 49. b6 Ke2 50. Ra1 f2 51. Rb8 f1=Q 52. Rxf1 Rxb6+ 53. Rxb6 Kxf1 54. Rh6 Rxa7 55. Rxh4 Ke2 56. Rd4 Ke3 57. c3 Rb7+ 58. Kc2 Rh7 59. Rg4 Kf3 60. Rd4 Ke3 61. Kb3 Rb7+ 62. Rb4 Rh7 63. Rb5 Rd7 64. c4 Kd4 65. Kb4 Rd8 66. Rb6 Ke5 67. Kb5 Rc8 68. c5 Kd5 69. Rd6+ Ke5 70. Rd1 Ke6 71. Kb6 Rb8+ 72. Kc7 1-0 (

B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4

Todaze focus is on the sixth move of f4 versus the venerable Najdorf Sicilian. There are six thousand games contained in the database with the move, about half the number of the previous post, which focused on 6 Bc4. The next move according to the numbers, 6 f3, began this series because it is the choice of the Stockfish program utilized at “the reason for the internet,” at least as far a Chess is concerned, The database shows over five thousand games with 6 f3, but that is heading upward since it is the choice of the Fish.

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. f4 e5 7. Nb3 Nc6 8. Bd3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Kh1 h6 11. h3 Bd7 12. a3 Rc8 13. fxe5 Nxe5 14. Be3 Re8 15. Qe2 Be6 16. Nd4 Nh7 17. a4 Bg5 18. Bg1 Qa5 19. Rab1 Nf6 20. Qf2 Nh5 21. Bh2 Qb6 22. a5 Qc5 23. Ra1 Bf6 24. Nce2 Bd7 25. Rad1 Qxa5 26. g4 d5 27. gxh5 Bxh3 28. Bxe5 Rxe5 29. Rg1 Rxh5 30. Nf4 dxe4 31. Nxh5 Qxh5 32. Be2 Bg4+ 33. Qh2 Bxe2 34. Nxe2 Qf3+ 35. Qg2 Qh5+ 36. Qh2 1/2-1/2

Balaji Daggupati (2486) vs David Brodsky (2484)
Event: Saint Louis Congress GM
Site: Saint Louis USA Date: 05/22/2022
Round: 7.4 Score: 1-0
ECO: B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 e5 7.Nb3 Nc6 8.Bd3 Be7 9.O-O O-O 10.Nd5 h6 11.f5 b5 12.Qf3 Bb7 13.Bd2 Re8 14.Qg3 Kh8 15.Qh3 Kg8 16.Bxh6 gxh6 17.Qxh6 Nxd5 18.Rf3 Bg5 19.Rg3 f6 20.exd5 Ra7 21.h4 Ba8 22.hxg5 Rh7 23.gxf6+ Kh8 24.Qxh7+ Kxh7 25.Kf2 Qb6+ 26.Ke2 Nd4+ 27.Nxd4 exd4+ 28.Kf2 1-0

Vassily Ivanchuk (2710) vs Garry Kasparov (2805)
Event: Amsterdam VSB Euwe mem
Site: Amsterdam Date: 05/16/1994
Round: 4 Score: 1-0
ECO: B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f4 Qc7 7.Qf3 g6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.h3 e5 10.fxe5 dxe5 11.Bh6 Bxh6 12.Qxf6 O-O 13.Nd5 Qa5+ 14.b4 Qd8 15.Ne7+ Qxe7 16.Qxe7 exd4 17.Bc4 Nc6 18.Qc5 Be3 19.Rf1 Nd8 20.Rf3 Be6 21.Rxe3 dxe3 22.Bxe6 Nxe6 23.Qxe3 a5 24.b5 Rac8 25.O-O-O Rc5 26.Rd5 b6 27.Qg3 Rc7 28.Qd6 Rfc8 29.Rd2 Rb7 30.g4 Nc5 31.Qf6 h6 32.e5 Re8 33.h4 Kh7 34.h5 g5 35.Rd6 Re6 36.Qd8 Kg7 37.a3 a4 38.Kb2 Rbe7 39.Rxb6 1-0

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Lipnitzky attack

‘Back in the day’ the Najdorf variation with 6 Bc4 was called the “Sozin” variation, which was a favorite of Bobby Fischer.

Position after 6 Bc4

Times change and names change, but it is still called the “Bobby Fischer” variation by most players, but there are exceptions:

Stockfish vs Stockfish

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Nc3 a6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Qc7 8. Qe2 Be7 9. a4 O-O 10. a5 Nbd7 11. Bd3 Ne5 12. f4 Nxd3 13. cxd3 b5 14. axb6 Qxb6 15. Be3 Qb7 16. g4 e5 17. Nf5 Bxf5 18. gxf5 Rfb8 19. Rf2 Bd8 20. Rg2 Bb6 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Kh1 Kh8 23. Bg5 Bd4 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Qh5 Rg8 26. Rxg8+ Rxg8 27. Qh6 Qxb2 28. Qxf6+ Rg7 29. Qd8+ Rg8 30. Qf6+ 1/2-1/2

Prior to beginning this series I wonder what type player would feature prominently in coming closest to playing as many moves played by the Stockfish program used at Please note one of the following players was unrated at the time the game was played. What makes this game so remarkable is that it was drawn!

Sam Jay Orton vs Paul Obiamiwe (2065)
Event: BCF-ch 87th
Site: Millfield Date: 08/08/2000
Round: 8 Score: ½-½
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Lipnitzky attack
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.O-O Qc7 8.Qe2 Be7 9.a4 O-O 10.Be3 b6 11.Rad1 Nc6 12.Kh1 Ne5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Bc1 Rac8 15.f3 Nc4 16.g4 Rfe8 17.h4 d5 18.Bxc4 dxc4 19.Qg2 Red8 20.Be3 Ne8 21.g5 g6 22.Qg4 Ng7 23.Nde2 Nh5 24.Nf4 Nxf4 25.Bxf4 Qc5 26.h5 b5 27.hxg6 hxg6 28.Kg2 Bf8 29.axb5 axb5 30.Qg3 Bg7 31.Bd6 Rxd6 32.Qxd6 Qxg5+ 33.Qg3 Qc5 34.Qd6 Qg5+ 35.Qg3 Qc5 36.Qd6 ½-½

B90 Sicilian, Najdorf, Byrne (English) attack

Stockfish vs Stockfish

1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 h5 10. Be2 Qc7 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Nbd7 13. Na5 e4 14. c4 O-O 15. O-O Ne5 16. Bd4 Rfe8 17. Rac1 Bd8 18. b4 Qd7 19. fxe4 Nxe4 20. Qc2 Nf6 21. Kh1 Rc8 22. Qb1 b6 23. Nc6 Nxc6 24. dxc6 Rxc6 25. Bf3 d5 26. cxd5 Rd6 27. Rcd1 Nxd5 28. Bc5 bxc5 29. bxc5 Nc3 30. Rxd6 Qxd6 31. cxd6 Nxb1 32. Rxb1 g6 33. g3 Re6 34. Rd1 Kg7 35. h4 f5 36. Rd2 Kf6 37. Rd3 Bb6 38. Kg2 Re3 39. Rd1 Rc3 40. Bd5 Rc2+ 41. Kh3 Rc3 42. Kh2 a5 43. Bb3 Re3 44. Bc4 Rc3 45. Bb3 1/2-1/2

Jonas Buhl Bjerre (2549) vs Tor Fredrik Kaasen (2394)
Event: Offerspill Nordic Inv
Site: Oslo NOR Date: 08/23/2020
Round: 3.2 Score: 1-0
ECO: B90 Sicilian, Najdorf
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 Be6 9.Qd2 h5 10.Be2 Qc7 11.Nd5 Nxd5 12.exd5 Bf5 13.c4 Bh4+ 14.g3 Be7 15.O-O Bh3 16.Rfd1 b6 17.c5 bxc5 18.Nxc5 dxc5 19.d6 Bxd6 20.Qxd6 Qxd6 21.Rxd6 Nd7 22.Rad1 Ke7 23.g4 Ra7 24.Kf2 hxg4 25.fxg4 f5 26.Bg5+ Nf6 27.Bc4 Rb8 28.Bxf6+ gxf6 29.Re6+ Kf8 30.Rxf6+ Ke8 31.Rxf5 Bxg4 32.Rxe5+ Kf8 33.Rg1 Rg7 34.Ke3 Bh3 35.Rxg7 Kxg7 36.b3 Rc8 37.Re7+ Kf6 38.Ra7 Kf5 39.Rxa6 Re8+ 40.Kd2 Ke4 41.Rh6 Bg4 42.h3 Bd7 43.Rh5 Rf8 44.a4 Rf2+ 45.Kc3 Rf3+ 46.Kb2 Bf5 47.a5 Kd4 48.a6 Be4 49.Rh4 Rf8 50.Bb5 Rf2+ 51.Ka3 c4 52.a7 cxb3 53.Rxe4+ Kd5 1-0

Play the Sicilian: Najdorf #2 | Chess and Psychology – IM Dorsa Derakhshani