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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3 (Read 24556 times)
TN
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #26 - 09/18/13 at 03:18:54
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TN wrote on 08/16/13 at 14:23:07:
Ah, you're thinking of the 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 which is completely equal according to my analyses.

However the recent game Kryvoruchko-Areshchenko, ch-UKR 2013 saw 8.h3 Be7 9.f4! (if White had played 8.Qd2 instead, Black might have ...Ng4 but now this is impossible) 9...exf4 10.Bxf4 and White won the game fairly quickly. In my analysis I couldn't find a route to equality for Black - if Black tries your 10...d5 idea White just plays 11.e5. That's why I think 8...h5 is illogical - Black wouldn't voluntarily play 10...h5 in Kryvoruchko-Areshchenko. 

Now that I think about it, what's wrong with trying to refine Kryvoruchko's idea with 6.h3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f4? If Black takes on f4 White is up a tempo on the above game, and if 8...Nc6 9.f5 White achieves the pleasant structure he aims for in the Qd2/f4 English Attack system. Maybe the answer to my question is 6...e6 7.g4 d5.  Wink


This last idea has now received a high-level test:



  

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Ametanoitos
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #25 - 08/29/13 at 08:29:49
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Yeap, it is h4. Silly me!
  
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MartinC
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #24 - 08/29/13 at 08:17:23
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I doubt white plays a3 on both moves 10 and 11 Smiley Is one h4 or something different?
  
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Ametanoitos
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #23 - 08/28/13 at 17:52:09
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Putting aside general considerations, the critical move order of the 6.h3 e6 Najdorf is 7.g4 Be7 8.Bg2 Nd7! As far i have analysed, White has nothing more that an "optimal pressure". With correct play Black is equal or even a tiny bit more than that. So, 8.g5! has become more topical lately. True, in the Keres Attack, i was talking mainly for the ...h6 h3 line as analysed by Bologan, but this is something entirely different. In fact we have an ...a6-Keres with an extra tempo for Black!

Continuing the above critical line (6.h3 e6 7.g4 Be7 8.g5!) 8...Nd7 9.Be3! (not need for h4 yet as there is the tactic with Nxe6+Qh5+ if Black takes at g5) 9...b5 10.a3 Bb7 11.a3, if i recall correctly (and if i didn't make a mistake in the above line as it comes from my memory) Georgiev proposed a plan with 11...Nb6! now (11...Nc6 was shown as bad by a game of Topalov, right?). I remember analysing this line and coming to the conclusion that after 12.Qd2 N8d7 13.O-O-O Rc8 the move 14.Kb1! is nice with the point that 14...Ne5 15.Qe1! Nc4 16.Bc1 holds nicely the Queenside for White who is ready to do now his pawn-pushing at the other side. If Black plays this plan a move earlier (say without moving the rook to c8 to win a tempo) White still plays in the same way: 13...Ne5 14.Kb1 Nc4 15.Qe1! getting ready for Be3-Bc1 and if 15...Nxe3 then 16.Qxe3 favours White as f4 comes quickly. 

I have no idea if the above is correct though as my Sicilian experience is not that great and everything i say shouldn't be taken as authoritative. I'd much more trust Markovich's opinion on this (or TN's or another strong player with Sicilian education) as trying to figure these things out with the help of the computer is not the best thing in the world. But, with what i have seen so far i am positive about White's chances.

So, in a way all that general considerations i made above are only what it is, generalities with little practical significance in this exact position.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #22 - 08/28/13 at 16:45:09
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Yes, but one might think that h3 is more significant when ...h6 has been played.  As far as I know, the Keres with 6...a6 7. g5 has generally been considered "+= with best play."  Can it really be that it is very difficult for Black to equalize when 7. g5 is replaced by 7. h3?
  
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LeeRoth
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #21 - 08/28/13 at 16:02:02
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Uhohspaghettio wrote on 08/28/13 at 14:22:06:
MartinC wrote on 08/28/13 at 08:36:10:
Also compare to the English attack say - that's quite like a Keres with the 'useless' move f3 thrown in. Still rather dangerous! Keeps everything more controlled Smiley


I think the f3 move is much easier to understand. It protects the e4 pawn, it prevents Ng4 hitting the bishop. It was said above that the point of h3 is to allow a quick g4 (I think Emms says the same), however in the Scheveningen you allow that anyway. To be honest I'm not sure any of us here fully understand the point of h3 at this point, though Ametanoitos may come close. 

edit: This is what Emms has to say on this whole variation which he gives less than half a page to out of his 188 page book: "6. h3 With a similar idea to 6. Rg1 - White continues his obsession with g2-g4 6. ...e6 7. g4 b5 8. Bg2 (or 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Be3 Bb7 10. f3 Nb6 and we have reached a kind of English Attack where White has played the useless h2-h3.)" And everything else Emms says about this variation has the bishop on g2 for the rest of it.  

So you have to know exactly what you're doing and be on the cutting edge of opening theory if you want to play that move meaningfully as white. Obviously just throwing in f4 at some point won't work as a critical opening.  
 


Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not following this discussion.  If you go back to Amet's point, the move 7.h3 is one of the main lines of the Keres Attack.  E.g., 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g4 h6 7.h3.  As Amet has already explained, White's idea is to consolidate the gain of space that he achieved with 6.g4, rather than to try to push Black off the board with an immediate h4/g5.  After 7.h3, White will often play for f4.  If achieved, White will have pawns on e4, f4, g4 and h3, and can then think about pushing further with any of e5, f5 or g5 depending on how the game develops.  To prevent White from achieving this set-up, the move ..g5 is a thematic Black response.      
  
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Uhohspaghettio
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #20 - 08/28/13 at 14:22:06
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MartinC wrote on 08/28/13 at 08:36:10:
Also compare to the English attack say - that's quite like a Keres with the 'useless' move f3 thrown in. Still rather dangerous! Keeps everything more controlled Smiley


I think the f3 move is much easier to understand. It protects the e4 pawn, it prevents Ng4 hitting the bishop. It was said above that the point of h3 is to allow a quick g4 (I think Emms says the same), however in the Scheveningen you allow that anyway. To be honest I'm not sure any of us here fully understand the point of h3 at this point, though Ametanoitos may come close. 

edit: This is what Emms has to say on this whole variation which he gives less than half a page to out of his 188 page book: "6. h3 With a similar idea to 6. Rg1 - White continues his obsession with g2-g4 6. ...e6 7. g4 b5 8. Bg2 (or 8. g5 Nfd7 9. Be3 Bb7 10. f3 Nb6 and we have reached a kind of English Attack where White has played the useless h2-h3.)" And everything else Emms says about this variation has the bishop on g2 for the rest of it.  

So you have to know exactly what you're doing and be on the cutting edge of opening theory if you want to play that move meaningfully as white. Obviously just throwing in f4 at some point won't work as a critical opening.   
 
  
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MartinC
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #19 - 08/28/13 at 08:36:10
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Also compare to the English attack say - that's quite like a Keres with the 'useless' move f3 thrown in. Still rather dangerous! Keeps everything more controlled Smiley

All these h5 ideas everywhere are starting to get annoying.
  
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Ametanoitos
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #18 - 08/28/13 at 07:20:32
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Gain space, complete development and then expand with f4-h4-g5 for example. At the contrary, in the classical Keres White expands too quickly and this (sometimes) gives Black counterchances with a ...d5 break for example which at the h3-Keres is not good due to the fact that there is a bishop at g2. 

If you analyse for example the positions shown in "Starting Out: The Scheveningen", Bologan's Open Sicilian DVDs (for now the best source of this line for White) and/or "Cutting edge vol 2", you'll see that it is very difficult for Black to equalise. Also see for example some Navara games with White. He is an expert at the Black side of the Scheveningen (Jansa school!) and so picking this with White tells something.
  
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Uhohspaghettio
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #17 - 08/28/13 at 02:29:56
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Ametanoitos wrote on 08/27/13 at 23:04:49:
"Useless" h3? I always thought that the h3-Keres is probably the most dangerous variation of the Keres Attack!

Also, i cannot understand why 6...e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.Bg5 is equal. White must be a bit better. OK, i understand that it is difficult to prove with concrete variations, but White's positional trumps appeals to me. Also, i won a nice ICCF corr game with White in a line my PC was screaming about equality.


Really, can you say the idea of it? I realize there are lines that include it, but could never work out the meaning behind that move.   
 
  
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #16 - 08/27/13 at 23:04:49
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"Useless" h3? I always thought that the h3-Keres is probably the most dangerous variation of the Keres Attack!

Also, i cannot understand why 6...e5 7.Nde2 h5 8.Bg5 is equal. White must be a bit better. OK, i understand that it is difficult to prove with concrete variations, but White's positional trumps appeals to me. Also, i won a nice ICCF corr game with White in a line my PC was screaming about equality.
  
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Uhohspaghettio
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #15 - 08/27/13 at 14:33:17
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After 6. h3 e6 7. g4 there is no need to play 7. ....d5, any developing move will do. When you play d5 or especially e5 in positions like this you are often committing yourself to highly accurate play. As far as I'm concerned the Scheveningen structure is the best way to play this and all similar openings. Even though black has played the Najdorf he has now every reason to repent and play 6. ...e6 and the best white gets is a Keres' attack with a useless h3 thrown in.   
  
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TN
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #14 - 08/16/13 at 14:23:07
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Ah, you're thinking of the 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 which is completely equal according to my analyses.

However the recent game Kryvoruchko-Areshchenko, ch-UKR 2013 saw 8.h3 Be7 9.f4! (if White had played 8.Qd2 instead, Black might have ...Ng4 but now this is impossible) 9...exf4 10.Bxf4 and White won the game fairly quickly. In my analysis I couldn't find a route to equality for Black - if Black tries your 10...d5 idea White just plays 11.e5. That's why I think 8...h5 is illogical - Black wouldn't voluntarily play 10...h5 in Kryvoruchko-Areshchenko. 

Now that I think about it, what's wrong with trying to refine Kryvoruchko's idea with 6.h3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f4? If Black takes on f4 White is up a tempo on the above game, and if 8...Nc6 9.f5 White achieves the pleasant structure he aims for in the Qd2/f4 English Attack system. Maybe the answer to my question is 6...e6 7.g4 d5.  Wink
  

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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #13 - 08/16/13 at 07:52:45
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The main point of h3 is to play g4, h5 prevents that. After h5 in the other najdorf line, white typically plays bg5, but that is no longer an option. The night is on b3 instead of e2, and it's not like b3 is a dream square for it.

Lines with an early f4 can often  be met with an early d5.
  
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TN
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Re: Sicilian Najdorf 6.h3
Reply #12 - 08/16/13 at 04:48:02
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I don't understand why Black would play 8...h5 in that position, since one of White's main ideas after 8.f3 h5 is to break with f4 later, and 8.h3 seems a useful extra move for when White plays f4. Perhaps he can even do it immediately with 9.f4.
  

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