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gibo 25 ( +1 | -1 )
absession with english attack In top level najdorf games of this year i have noticed nearly each time white plays the english attack. I remember not that long ago most popular was 6.Bg5, what is there absession with this line?
invincible1 10 ( +1 | -1 )
well I am one of the GMs who still plays 6.Bg5! always! Results in the most exciting games! What is the English attack? Is it f3/Be3 or Be2 !?
soikins 21 ( +1 | -1 )
english attack f3 and Be3. It is considered to be the best weapon aigainst Naidorf nowdays. Don't ask me why. This question can be answered only by people with ratings above 2650, but I doubt they will tell that to anyone :)
ccmcacollister 66 ( +1 | -1 )
The English Attack ... Back when I did the bulk of my Najdorf studies, this critter did not even have a name. Someone must have really done some work on the theory, if it is a favored
setup now. Because back in my day, days of yore, it was considered an inferior setup to play Be3 in conjunction with f3, whether Bc4 or elsewhere, by the authors I studied. With f3 considered too unaggressive vs non-Dragon Sicilians like the Najdorf. A formation you didn't play unless somehow forced into it. Wonder if it's truly improved or a currently favored fad. Have to restudy I suppose, before reutilizing the Najdorf. Can anyone tell me who the main developer(s) & proponent(s) have been?
soikins 99 ( +1 | -1 )
english variation The variation became very popular in 1999-2000. I still have the analysis GM Shipov wrote for back then. Some truly spectacular games where played in the variation when the top players discussed it. I remember that van Welly principially defended against it in Corus wijk aan Zee in 2000. He got beaten badly :( Kasparov played it as black against Anand and one interesting game was between Shirov and Anand in the 2 game Olympic exhibition match they played in year 2000 (at least I think it was then). It was in the fashion during the FIDE KO Wch (not the last one, but the one before). So back in 2000 all the top played it. Then there where couple of Super tournaments where black didn't play Sicilian at all and went for Caro, French and Ruy, but then the Sveshnikov era came and it still lasts... The is whay the English attack is considered to be good for white, but as I said -- only the great ones know... They have studied it till the endgame.
atrifix 79 ( +1 | -1 )
The reason 6. Bg5 has fallen out of popularity is that the Poisoned Pawn with ...Qb6 has been practically analyzed to a draw. When White tries to deviate from known paths, he often will end up with a disadvantage. Thus 6. Be3 has become very popular since it gives White enterprising play. I still like to play 6. Bg5 quite often, but will deviate with 6. Be3 on occasion.

Main proponents...try everyone in the top 10 (or top 100). Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand, Shirov, Leko, Morozevich, Topalov, Polgar...I think just about everyone has played the English Attack at one point or another, and most have many times. In the 1999-2000 period, 6... Ng4 was in vogue, but it now seems that that variation is not sufficient for equality, so recent efforts have switched to 6... e6 and (mainly) 6... e5.
gibo 49 ( +1 | -1 )
artiflix that an interesting point that the poisoned pawn variation is a draw for blck. I dont play 6.Bg5 so i dont know much about it, but i saw a game in New in Chess 2004/1 i think where white had a very strong win. White seems to have dangerous play for the pawn and the queen is far offside, but i dont know all that much about it. Perhaps that is why english is popular now as the main alternative 6.Bg5 is considered a draw. But also people play be3 be2-f3 and pawns on e4 and f4.
kris_kross 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Poisoned pawn > The reason 6. Bg5 has fallen out of popularity is that the Poisoned Pawn with ...Qb6 has been practically analyzed to a draw

That's total and utter nonsense.
tyekanyk 59 ( +1 | -1 )
I beg to differ The Poisoned Pawn has been analysed to such an extent that variations are either perpetuals or drawn endgames. And since avoiding 7...Qxb2 with 7.Nb3 isn't that well respected the GM's have turned to other lines. Namely the English Attack. It's biggest advantage is that in its starting days there was very little or no theory at all. So creativity and home analysis came into play. That's why it's so popular at higher levels of play. There are still things to discover as opposed to the over-played 6.Bg5, which had it's hey-day in the 80's. The same goes for 6.Be2. Now 6.f4 is another story altogether.
gibo 4 ( +1 | -1 )
yes tyekanyk, what do you have to say about 6.f4?
ccmcacollister 91 ( +1 | -1 )
Thx Soikins & Atrifix for the info on English Attack Opponent & proponents. A virtual Who's Who of players I have not gotten to study yet! Except for Kasparov & the Polgar sisters. Maybe Seen one game of Anand.

But Thanks to Atrifix, I'm still trying to Unbust the Qa5 Dragon first! :-) Before any Najdorf. Lucky I play the Bc4 Fischer lines, where I'm sure there is play & untested lines remaining, vs the Najdorf.

Do recall back when I reviewed Bg5 lines in 80's. Many were going with the line playing Bg5, f4, g4, Bxf6, g5, f5 with WT sac (or pseudo-sac i think) or that g5 pawn. And some playing the line Qf3,Qh3 before any f4 played. And Spassky-Fischer with Nb3 supposed to be such a revitalization of the ... Qxb2, Nb3 PP. Oh how things change, huh? Makes Chess agreat game.

Chess960 will never be more than a fun, mindbending diversion to me, I'm sure ! There is just so much yet to be found, in the standard game, IMO. And then there's Bughouse !!?!!
atrifix 115 ( +1 | -1 )
The poisoned pawn (with 8... Qxb2) has not been completely exhausted. However, many of the main lines have. For example, I believe the line with 10. f5 Nc6 has been completely analyzed to a draw. The fact is that in the relatively untested lines, Black's performance has improved a great deal over the past decade or so, so that now these lines are more or less avoided by most GMs.

The line with 7... Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. 0-0-0 Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5 is considered good for White. Both 13... Nc5 and 13... Bxg5+ should lead to a White advantage (if current theory holds--around +/-). However, first you must be sure the opponent is going to play 7... Be7 and not 7... Qb6!

6. Be2 is not really well regarded these days, since 6... e5 seems sufficient for Black to equalize. If White wants to get into a Schevenigen he should do it with 6. Be3 and follow with Be2 (or play g4 and go into a Keres Attack).

6. f4 is an interesting, relatively less played continuation that is now the 'positional' way to play against the Najdorf. 6. Bc4 is another alternative. All well and good, I suppose, but most prefer to attack more directly with the 6. Be3 lines. For now, it seems the 'best' move is 6. Be3, which is why you see so many GMs playing it.
soikins 21 ( +1 | -1 )
soikins Theory of the English attack develops as we speak. van Welly went for it aigain in todays Melody Amber tournaments game against Ivanchuk. Needles to say -- King Loek lost again. Stubborn guy...