82. Play the Najdorf – Part 2

This recent game of mine, which was played in the team championships in the Hamburg area, will be able to illustrate many of the points I made in part 1.

You can also watch this game as a VIDEO.

[Event "Hamburg team ch"] [Site "?"] [Date "2022.07.04"] [Round "?"] [White "Neumann"] [Black "Wahls"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B82"] [WhiteElo "2122"] [Annotator "Wahls"] [PlyCount "42"] [EventDate "2011.03.20"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceVersionDate "2002.05.06"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 {My opponent opts for the
most popular line against the Najdorf.} e6 {The alternative 6...e5 is equally
good and was already played by me 27 years ago against Bologan.} 7. f4 $2 {
[#] The fact, that this normal looking move already leads to instant equality
for Black is an indicator for the high quality of the Najdorf Variation.
Better is 7.f3, while Perenyi's move 7.g4 can also be challenging in practical
terms.} b5 8. Bd3 Bb7 $11 {The vulnerability of the pawn e4 is the reason for
the inferiority of 7.f4?.} 9. Qf3 $6 {If I played this line with White, I
would choose a different move order and castle kingside before playing the
queen to f3.} (9. O-O Nbd7 $2 {Black has to play 9...Qc7
and only after 10.Qf3 could he play the knight to d7. In the game I didn't
need to move my queen to c7 in the initial stage of the opening and was able
to invest the tempo in the development of my kingside.} 10. f5 e5 11. Ne6 $1 fxe6 $2 (11... Qc8 12.
Bg5 (12. Nxf8 Kxf8 13. Qf3 $14) 12... Nb6 13. Nxf8 Kxf8 14. Re1 $14) 12. fxe6
Nc5 13. Bxc5 dxc5 14. Rxf6 Qd4+ (14... Qxf6 $2 15. Bxb5+ axb5 16. Qd7#) (14...
gxf6 15. Qh5+ Ke7 16. Qf7+ Kd6 17. Rd1 Kc6 18. Bxb5+ axb5 19. Rxd8 $18) (14...
c4 15. Rf7 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 O-O-O (16... cxd3 17. Qxd3 Rd8 18. Qf3 $18) 17. Qg4 Kb8
18. Bxc4 bxc4 19. e7 Bxe7 20. Rxe7 $18) 15. Kh1 gxf6 16. Qh5+ Kd8 17. Rd1 Kc7
18. Qf7+ Kb6 19. Be2 Qf2 20. a4 c4 21. axb5 axb5 22. e7 Bxe7 23. Qe6+ (23. Qxe7
$2 Rad8 $11) 23... Ka7 24. Qxe7 Qb6 25. Nd5 Qd8 26. Qc5+ Kb8 27. Qxb5 $18) 9...
Nbd7 10. a3 $2 {This move is too lame and allows me to secure an advantage
with Black after only 10 moves. As the Najdorf puts White under instant
pressure it simply doesn't tolerate recurring sloppiness. Necessary was 10.0-0,
but even then White would have to follow up with a couple of accurate moves in
order to maintain the balance.} g6 $1 11. O-O Bg7 $15 {[#] What you see here
is the ideal setup for Black's minor pieces in the Scheveningen-type Sicilian
(coined "Deep Sicilian" in earlier blog posts). With Black's bishop located
on g7, White is completely deprived of any serious attacking prospects. Black
is slightly better because his minor pieces are better centralized (both
bishops are occupying the long diagonal) and his pawn structure is superior.
He has a valuable pawn majority in the center, while White's queenside
majority is inactive and can even be subject to be attacked (the siclian
minority attack). In the Open Sicilian, Black's static advantage is normally
compensated by White's dynamic advantage, which often relates to his attacking
chances. As mentioned above, this compensation ceased to exist.} 12. Rae1 $6 {
I don't think that this move contributes much to White's position. After that,
Black's advantage is already close to clear.} (12. Qh3 O-O 13. Nf3 Re8 14. e5
Nd5 15. Nxd5 Bxd5 16. Rad1 $15) 12... O-O 13. Qh3 {By unpinning the e-pawn,
White could now play f4-f5.} (13. Kh1 $6 Rc8 14. Qh3 Nc5 15. f5 exf5 16. exf5
Re8 $17 {Black's pieces are very active. He will be able to seize the bishop
pair or exploit the pressure against the pawn g2. White also has to be careful
with his first rank.}) 13... e5 $1 {Depriving the white pawns of their
dynamics is simpler than 13...Re8.} 14. Nf3 $6 (14. fxe5 Nxe5 $1 $146 15. Nf3 (
15. Bg5 $2 Neg4 $17) (15. Kh1 $2 Qc8 {Black doesn't mind to exchange queens,
as his static advantage would be overwhelming.} 16. Qh4 Qg4 {White's queen is
being ruthlessly stalked.} 17. Bg5 Qxh4 18. Bxh4 Nfd7 $17) 15... Nfg4 16. Nxe5
Nxe5 17. Rd1 Rc8 18. Qg3 (18. Bh6 $4 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 Ng4 20. Qf4 Qb6+ 21. Kh1 Ne3
$19) 18... Re8 $15 {Black's advantage is about 0.6 pawn units.}) 14... exf4 15.
Bxf4 Qc7 {[#] Now, White's e-pawn is a nice target on the half open file.} 16.
Kh1 (16. Bh6 Rae8 17. Qh4 (17. Kh1 Re7 $17) 17... Re7 18. Ng5 {This pattern
might work in other openings, but here the point h7 is safely protected.} (18.
Bg5 Rfe8 19. Kh1 Qc5 20. Re2 Re6 $17) 18... Rfe8 19. Re2 Qc5+ 20. Kh1 Re5 {
Dissolving White's aggressive cluster.} 21. Bxg7 Kxg7 22. Nf3 R5e6 $17 {White has a weak
e-pawn, a bad bishop and a slightly vulnerable king.}) 16... Rfe8 $2 {It's
better to place the queen's rook on this square, as Black then has the option
to follow-up with ...Nh5 and ...f7-f5 later down the road.} (16... Nh5 17. Be3
Rae8 18. Qh4 Nc5 19. Bd4 Qe7 20. Qf2 Nf6 $17) (16... Rae8 17. Qh4 Nh5 18. Bg5
Nc5 {White's position is under strong pressure.} 19. Kg1 (19. g4 $2 {This is
tactically refuted.} Bxc3 20. bxc3 f6 21. gxh5 (21. Bh6 $2 Ng7 $19) 21... fxg5
22. Nxg5 (22. Qxg5 $2 Nxe4 $19) 22... h6 23. Rxf8+ Rxf8 24. Nh3 g5 25. Qg3 Nxd3
26. Qxd3 Qc5 27. Kg2 Qxa3 $19) 19... h6 (19... Qb6 $5 20. Qf2 b4 {Exposing
White's b-pawn.} 21. axb4 Qxb4 $17) 20. Be3 f5 {Here you see the advance,
mentioned in my comments after 16...Re8?!.} 21. exf5 Nxd3 22. cxd3 Rxf5 23. Ne4
{White has to neutralize the strong Bb7.} Bxe4 24. dxe4 Rf6 {[%csl Re4] Now,
the pawn e4 will be very vulnerable.} 25. Qg4 Kh7 26. Bd2 Rfe6 27. b4 Qb6+ 28.
Kh1 Qc6 29. Nh4 Qc2 30. Re2 Qd3 $17) 17. Bxb5 $2 {My opponent might have been
sucked into executing this incorrect sacrifice by the lack of prospects of his
position.} (17. Qh4 Nc5 18. Bg5 Nfd7 19. Bh6 Bxh6 20. Qxh6 Ne5 $15 {Black has
the better pawn structure and superior minor pieces. 21.Ng5? would run into 21...f6 22.Rxf6? Ng4-+ }) 17... axb5 18. Nxb5 Qxc2
(18... Qc6 19. Nxd6 Ba6 20. c4 Bxc4 21. Rc1 Rxe4 $19 {also works, as after} 22.
Nxe4 Nxe4 23. b3 {Black can answer} Bxf1 24. Rxc6 Nf2+) 19. Nxd6 Rxe4 $1 {
[#] Stopping White's dreams of a potential e4-e5 push.} 20. Bg5 $2 {In the
meanwhile, my opponent was down to 5 minutes on his clock, which lead to this
final mistake.} (20. Nxe4 Bxe4 {The engine evaluates this position as 4,5 pawn
units plus for Black. White has problems with the active Black minor pieces, his
vulnerable king and the weak pawns on the queenside.} 21. Ne5 (21. Bc1 $2 Bd3
22. Rg1 h5 23. Be3 Ng4 24. Qh4 Be4 25. Rgf1 Nde5 $19) (21. Nd2 Bd5 22. b4 Qc6
23. Rc1 Qb5 $19) 21... Nf8 (21... Bd5 $19) 22. Bg5 Re8 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Rxf6
Rxe5 25. Ref1 Bd5 26. b4 Re3 27. Qg4 Re2 $19) 20... Rxe1 21. Rxe1 (21. Nxe1 Qe2
$19) 21... Bd5 {As everything is well protected, resigning was now the right
thing to do.} 0-1

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