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Shock and Awe 1 - Destroying the Najdorf
GM Danny Gormally

28 October 2016

No possible opening is safe from “SHOCK AND AWE”. Firstly we’re going to take on the most popular Sicilian of all, the Najdorf. I managed to find a funky way of taking on this opening where there’s very little theory.

Often I’ll speak to a player about a game and they’ll say how they played the c3 Sicilian or the Bb5 check variation, anything to avoid playing one of the main lines. I’ll say fine but why aren’t you taking the Sicilian head-on? What they’re afraid of is spending hours learning all the vast amount of theory associated with the main-line Sicilian.

For example, there are vast tracts of theory just on the Bg5 Najdorf. John Nunn brought out a book in the 1980s on the Bg5 variation which was the size of a telephone book. It’s perfectly understandable then that most players, even grandmasters don’t want to be drawn into a memory battle. Which is why in this “SHOCK AND AWE” series my intention is to present the reader with deadly opening surprises to destroy their opponents with that don’t require vast amounts of memorization.

To sum up, 6. Qe2 is a good start in our Shock and Awe series. White avoids well trodden paths and intends to play aggressively. The plan is simple, develop the bishop to e3 and g5 and castle queenside. You can also watch out for e5 flicks (which can be bolstered further with f4) and if everything else fails, the old kingside pawn assault with g4-g5. What you have to be careful about is lines where Black tries to sacrifice the exchange on c3. This rarely wins for Black in any case, but it does create disturbing amounts of counterplay.

About the Author
GM Danny Gormally

Danny Gormally is a talented English Grandmaster. He lives in the bustling market town of Alnwick, somewhere near Scotland.

Danny’s first DVD for Ginger GM, Improve Your Practical Play was released in September 2013.