SIMPLECHESS

The 6 h3 Najdorf bandwagon!

GM Magnus Carlsen
The Najdorf 6 h3 [B90] by IM Richard Palliser

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 h3!? is as topical as ever, with Carlsen and Anand having now jumped on the bandwagon:

Position after 6 h3

We consider developments after all of 6...e6, 6...Nc6!? and 6...g6 in Anand-Nakamura, as well as the game continuation of 6...e5 7 Nde2 h5. The World Champion lands up obtaining a firm grip on d5, but Black should not mind the resulting positions and a great scrap ensues.

Of late White has also experimented with 7 Nb3 here, instead, reaching after 7...Be6 8 Be3 a position which also comes about via the equally semi-trendy 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be6 8 h3!?. Black should be OK here, but she doesn't respond in the best way in Kulaots-Gu Xiaobing and is put to the sword in brutal fashion on the kingside.

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