Fast and Furious: Najdorf with 6.Be3 and 8...h5

by Robert Ris
2/27/2020 – Returning to the Sicilian Najdorf, IM Robert Ris examines an early h5 idea. On-demand and free to watch from 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET / 13:00 EST) for a limited time (or forever for ChessBase Premium account holders. To chat when Robert is live, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows. In the diagram, it's Black to play!

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


Najdorf 6.♗e3 e5

The move 8...h5 had an enormous rise in popularity around the year 2006-2007 when expert Veselin Topalov started implement this idea into his repertoire. Black aims to slow down White's attacking aspirations on the kingside, but at the price of weakening his own position.

In this hour we will have a look at the ins and outs of this complex variation, though following the footsteps of the leading experts from the White side like Peter Leko and Leinier Dominguez are certainly a good start improving your understanding. They prefer the sharp 12.0-0-0 over castling kingside. Inspired by the recent game Aryan vs Donchenko from the Gibraltar tournament, I decided to have a closer look and used the idea at the first opportunity! I will share the key ideas for both sides by going through some recently played model games.

The live show is free to watch and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

Warming-up: Black's 14...♝e7 is considered to be a mistake. Do you see why?


Move the pieces on the live diagram — solution below!

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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