December 1, 2011

Sicilian PGN File Najdorf Variation

[>>Return to the Main Page of the Sicilian Defense]
[>Return to the Sicilian Najdorf Description]

The Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense chess opening being large to learn, on this page you can download a special PGN file on the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian. The following is more information on the Najdorf PGN file, download link and more explanations.

The Najdorf PGN file includes 74 games on the Sicilian Najdorf variation. Of them: • 9 games were played by Bobby Fischer in 1956-1971; • 9 games were played by Garry Kasparov in 1994-2005; • 56 games were played by FIDE chess players rated 2250 and above in 2011.

The games were sorted by the playing lines of the Najdorf: • English Attack 6.Be3; • Main line 6.Bg5; • Najdorf 6.Be2; • Najdorf 6.Bc4; • Najdorf 6.f4; • Najdorf 6.g3; • Najdorf 6.h3. The games were analyzed by a computer program at the end of the opening phase.

To recall, the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense includes these moves:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6

To download the Najdorf PGN file, click the link below:
Sicilian Najdorf PGN File (61 KB)

Note. To read the above Najdorf PGN file, you will need a PGN Viewer computer program. See Lesson 16, which explains how to download a decent freeware PGN Viewer Program.

November 3, 2011

Sicilian Defense Najdorf Variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the Main Page of the Sicilian Defense]

If you are a chess beginner, this page will give you an initial information on the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense. Find data on the Najdorf variation, see chess video on the Najdorf. Special PGN files on this variation will be provided later on a separate page.

The Najdorf variation is number one variation of the Sicilian Defense. This variation of the Sicilian is very popular at the chess master level and at the top level of chess. It was very popular among many World Chess Champions including Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov.

It is named after the Polish-Argentinian Grandmaster Miguel Najdorf (born Mieczyslaw Najdorf, 1910-1997) who contributed a lot to the variation. The Najdorf is one of the sharpest variation of the Sicilian Defense and not easy in learn because of many decent lines of play.

Variation Name: The Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense
Moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
ECO Codes: B90-B99

By popularity, White has 3 most common answers (6.Be3, 6.Bg5, Be2) and 4 less common (6.Bc4, 6.f4, 6.g3, 6.h3). The White answer 6.Be3 is officially named the Byrne (English) Attack, the 6.Bg5 answer is unofficially called the Main Line, and 6.Bc4 is the Fischer-Sozin Attack.

To understand in a visible way the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense, to get a general picture and presentation of this variation, and to study the most common playing lines of the Najdorf, you are recommended to see the following video:




• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Note. Having seen one video may be not enough to learn it. Because the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defense is large, there will be published special PGN files. The Najdorf PGN files will be placed on a separate page of this chess openings blog. Thanks!

September 12, 2011

Sicilian Defense

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[*See all Open Games: Open Games - One by One]

This page will help you learn the Sicilian Defense chess opening. Find data, description, main lines and variations of the Sicilian in part I. See video under the name of "Sicilian Defense Main Variations" in part II. Find more links on this chess opening in part III.

Part I. Sicilian Defense Data and Description

Opening Name: Sicilian Defense
Opening Type: Semi-Open Game
Move Order: 1.e4 c5
ECO Codes: B20-B99

The Sicilian Defense was invented by Giulio Polerio in 1594. This chess opening was first named as Sicilian Defense by Jacob Sarratt in 1813. The Sicilian Defense is the most popular chess opening in chess. It is organic, beautiful, and best defense for Black.

Because of this, sometimes White avoids the Sicilian Defense by starting the game with 1.d4... There are 3 main lines that cover 70% of all the Sicilian play as follows. 1st Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 ~ 30%. 2nd Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 ~ 25%. 3rd Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 ~ 15%.

The Sicilian Defense has many variations. The Najdorf, Dragon and Scheveningen are the most common. They run via 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6. The following is the list of 15 main Sicilian variations - in the order of popularity. You can see these variations in the video below.

• Najdorf variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6, B90-B99.
• Dragon variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6, B70-B79.
• Scheveningen variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6, B80-B89.

• Rossolimo Attack variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, B30-B31.
• Classical variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2, B58-B59.
• 2.Nf3 e6 variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6, B40-B49.

• Sicilian Counter-Attack variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4, B40.
• Closed variation [3.g3]: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3, B24-B25.
• Grand Prix Attack variation [3.f4]: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4, B23.

• Alapin variation: 1.e4 c5 2.c3, B22.
• Smith-Morra Gambit variation: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3, B21.
• Grand Prix Attack variation [2.f4]: 1.e4 c5 2.f4, B21.

• Steinitz variation: 1.e4 c5 2.g3, B20.
• Keres variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Ne2, B20.
• Wing Gambit variation: 1.e4 c5 2.b4, B20.

Part II. Sicilian Defense Video Main Variations

This video on the Sicilian Defense includes 3 parts. Part I is a general description of the Sicilian Defense. Part II shows 3 main lines of playing the opening. Part III shows 15 main variations of the Sicilian. To see the video, click the Play button below:




• If the opening video hasn't shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player's handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Part III. Sicilian Defense More Links

More links on the Sicilian Defense chess opening will be placed here as soon as possible. They will show how to correctly play the main variations of the Sicilian Defense. Thank you for you patience!

Sicilian Defense Najdorf Variation [text, video]
Sicilian Najdorf PGN File [pgn download]
Sicilian Defense Dragon Variation [text, video]
Sicilian Defense Scheveningen Variation [text, video]

September 5, 2011

French Defense | Tarrasch Variation 3.Nd2

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the French Defense Main Page]

Designed for chess beginners, this is to give initial knowledge on the Tarrasch variation of the French Defense chess opening. The Tarrasch variation 3.Nd2 of the French Defense is popular enough. It is the 2nd most common variation of the French, after its main line 3.Nc3.

The Tarrasch variation of the French starts with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2... It is ECO codes C03-C09. At the beginning, White makes slight delay to support the center with his knight from d2. The 2nd White knight may also temporary land on e2. Later, the knights usually jump aside.

The Tarrasch variation of the French is a delicate opening with good chances for the both parties. The typical White moves are: e5, c3, Bd3, Nd2-Nb3, Ne2-Nf3. The typical Black moves: c5, Nf6, Bd6 or Be7, later Nc6. Usually, White and Black castle kingside.

Black tries to undermine the White pawn structure... The Tarrasch has 4 main lines according to the Black answers: • 3... Nf6 ~ 40%; • 3... c5 ~ 30%; • 3... dxe4 ~ 10%; • 3... Be7 ~ 5%. The most popular line: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6...

To see in a visible way the Tarrasch variation of the French Defense and to learn how to correctly play its 4 proven lines, you are recommended the following video. This video must give you a proper understanding of the Tarrasch variation of the French:




• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Thank you for your interest in learning chess openings!

June 7, 2011

French Defense | Main Line 3.Nc3 or Paulsen variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the French Defense Main Page]

Designed for chess beginners, this is to give initial knowledge on the main line 3.Nc3 of the French Defense. This line starts 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3. Unofficially, the line is called the main line 3.Nc3 - But officially, it is the Paulsen variation of the French Defense.

The line 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 is called Main Line because 40 percent of the French games start like that. The line is very popular at the chess master level and at the top level of chess today. And the following is more information on it - very short in reading.

The main line of the French Defense gives decent opening possibilities for both White and Black. Maybe this is one of the reasons of great popularity of this way of playing the French. After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3, Black has the following 3 main options to continue:

• Winawer (Nimzovich) variation, 3... Bb4.
• Classical variation, 3... Nf6.
• Rubinstein variation, 3... dxe4.

To see in a visible way the main line of the French Defense and the Winawer, Classical, and Rubinstein variations, you are recommended to see the video below. This video will show the most common proven lines of the French Defense on the topic covered:




• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Thank you for visiting and learning chess openings!

May 5, 2011

French Defense | Advance Variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the French Defense Main Page]

Designed for chess beginners, this is to give initial knowledge on the Advance variation of the French Defense. The Advance is one of the most playable variation of the French Defense. Read below data and description on this variation and see chess video on the Advance.

Variation Name: Advance variation of the French Defense.
Variation Moves: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5.
ECO Code: C02.

The French Advance is interesting in play, with mutual chances. White moves 3.e5 to get some space, and Black tries to undermine on d4. Mostly, the game runs 3... c5 4.c3. Usually White castles kingside and Black queenside. The following is 2 Main Lines of this variation:

Line 1: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Qb6 6.a3 [or 6.Be2]...
Line 2: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.a3 c4 [or 6... f6]...
The above-mentioned 2 Main Lines are popular at the grandmaster level.

The following is other 4 ways to start the French Advance variation:
Way 1: 3... c5 4.c3 Qb6...     Way 2: 3... c5 4.Nf3 Nc6...
Way 3: 3... b6 4.c3 Qd7...     Way 4: 3... Nc6 4.Nf3 Nge7...

Below is the chess video on the Advance variation of the French Defense chess opening. The video consists of the following 3 parts. Part I is introduction. Part II shows how to correctly play 2 Main Lines. Part III shows next 4 common ways to start the Advance variation:




• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Thank you for visiting and learning chess openings!

April 19, 2011

French Defense | Exchange Variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the French Defense - Main Page]

Designed for chess beginners, this is to give initial knowledge on the Exchange variation of the French Defense, which is one of the most playable variation within this chess opening. Please find below the data, general description and a chess video about this variation.

Variation Name: Exchange variation.
Variation Moves: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5.
ECO Code: C01.

The French Defense, Exchange has reputation of simple, "symmetrical" and drawing variation. After 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 (the designated moves of this variation), the most common answer for Black is 3... exd5. The most common lines of the Exchange variation are the following 5:

• 3... exd5 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Nf3...
• 3... exd5 4.Bd3 Bd6 5.Ne2...
• 3... exd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3...

• 3... exd5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5...
• 3... exd5 4.c4 Nf6...
The last line breaks "the symmetry" of the Exchange variation.

Below is the chess video on the Exchange variation of the French Defense. The video runs 3 minutes 41 seconds and consists of 2 parts. Part I is introduction. Part II will show you how to correctly play 5 Proven Lines of the French Exchange.




• If the opening video hasn’t shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player’s handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

March 30, 2011

French Defense

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[*See all Open Game chess openings: Open Games - One by One]

Designed for chess beginners, this is the main page of the French Defense on this chess opening blog. Find data and general description of the French Defense in part I, the "French Defense: General Information" video in part II, and more links to this opening in part III.

I. French Defense: Data and Description

Opening Name: French Defense
Opening Type: Semi-Open Game
Moves Order: 1.e4 e6
ECO Codes: C00-C19

After the Sicilian, the French Defense is the 2nd most popular semi-open game. It was named after an 1834 correspondence match between London and Paris. During it, a French chess player insisted to try 1... e6. White usually presses on kingside and Black on queenside.

The next is the answering statistics to the French Defense:
• 2.d4 ~ 80%. • 2.d3 ~ 10%.
• other moves ~ 10% (2.Nf3, 2.Nc3, 2.Qe2, 2.b3, 2.c4, ..).

The following is 5 main (most common) variations of the French Defense:
• French Defense, Exchange variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 - C01.
• French Defense, Advance variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 - C02.

• French Defense, Tarrasch variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 - C03.
• French Defense, Paulsen variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 - C10.
• French Defense, Winawer (Nimzovich) variation: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 - C15.

To see the French Defense in a visible way, please find the video below.

II. French Defense Video: General Information

The video will show the designated moves of the French Defense, ECO codes, general description, answering statistics, 5 most common variations, and the most common line. The video consists of 4 parts and runs 3 minutes 16 seconds. To see it, click the Play button below:




• If the opening video hasn't shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player's handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

III. French Defense: More Links

More links on this chess opening will follow on. And they will show how to correctly play the main variations of the French Defense... Thank you!

French Defense, Exchange Variation [text, video]
French Defense, Advance Variation [text, video]
French Defense, Main Line 3.Nc3 or Paulsen Variation [text, video]
French Defense, Tarrasch Variation 3.Nd2 [text, video]

March 14, 2011

Caro-Kann | Classical Variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the Caro-Kann Defense - Main Page]

This is to give initial knowledge on the Classical variation of the Caro-Kann Defense. Please be informed that the Classical variation is the 4th most popular variation of the Caro-Kann. You can find below the textual description and a chess video on the Classical variation.

Variation Name: Classical variation.
Variation Moves: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5.
ECO Code: B18.

The variation is the classics of this chess opening. The Classical variation is considered "the most correct" Caro-Kann Defense. The White knight on e4 is under attack after 4... Bf5 and the Classical variation has 2 play lines: with 5.Ng3 (main) and with 5.Nc5 (rare).

The line 5.Ng3 mostly runs 5... Bg6 6.h4 h6 - then this variation line goes as usual development for the both parties. White usually makes long or short castle while Black long. The typical moves are h4, Nf3, Bd3 for the White player and h6, Nd7, Qc7 for the Black player.

The line 5.Nc5 is rare because Black can easily get at least equal position, sometimes with an initiative. Within this variation line, Black may answer 5... Qc7, 5... Nd7 or attacking the White knight with b6 or e5. You can see this in Part III of the video which follows.

Watch the video below to get an idea of what is the Classical variation of the Caro-Kann. The video consists of 3 parts. Part I is introduction. Part II will show how to play a most common line with 5.Ng3. Part III will show how to play a proven line with 5.Nc5 and more.




• If the opening video hasn't shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player's handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

March 8, 2011

Caro-Kann | Advance Variation

[*See all lessons: Chess Openings for Beginners]
[>>Return to the Caro-Kann Defense - Main Page]

This is to give initial knowledge on the Advance variation of the Caro-Kann Defense. Please be informed that the Advance variation is the 3rd most popular variation of the Caro-Kann. You can find below the textual description and a chess video on the Advance variation.

Variation Name: Advance variation.
Variation Moves: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5.
ECO Code: B12.

The variation is named Advance because the White pawn e2-e4 moves (advances) later on e5. Usually, it is not recommended to move a chess piece twice at the opening, but moving twice here is OK because of extra space. Black has to begin the chess game in a small room...

There are 2 play lines of the Advance variation - with 3... Bf5 (main) and with 3... c5 (rare). With 3... Bf5, White usually answers 4.Nf3 or 4.Nc3. Black plays 4... e6 and may develop the g8 knight on e7, g6. Black must be ready to play h6 or h5 to hide the Bf5 bishop.

With 3... c5, White may answers 4.dxc5, 4.c3, or 4.Nf3. With 3... c5, Black is going to undermine the White base pawn on d4. The typical Black moves here are Nc6 and e6. Under correct play, Black must get equal opening positions within the both lines of the Advance...

Watch the video below to get an idea of what is the Advance variation of the Caro-Kann. The video consists of 3 parts. Part I is introduction. Part II will show how to play a most common line with 3... Bf5. Part III will show how to play a proven line with 3... c5.




• If the opening video hasn't shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player's handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.