Understand the Najdorf Structures - Part 1



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The Sicilian Najdorf is by far one of the most popular opening variations. This line combines complex positional ideas and endless tactical resources. That is why studying the Najdorf contributes to one's general chess understanding.
In this article, I cover 8 of the most important Najdorf structures. It is important to point out that this survey deals with middlegame positions which arise out of White's positional lines against the Najdorf.
The material is structured in the following way:
Explanation of the structure, model game, and test.

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This structure arises in the variation 6.a4 g6!? as White usually plays a4-a5 at some point, cramping Black's queenside. Since White enjoys a small space advantage, Black needs to exchange some pieces in order to free his position. One common idea for White is to play Nd5. In this case, after Bxd5 exd5, he can put pressure along the e-file. Black should keep the knights on the board, as the squares c5 and e5 are very stable posts. In order to drive the knights back from these squares, White should go for some concessions. The best scenario for Black is leaving White with the light-squared bishop, as this bishop is his worse minor piece.

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