24 ( +1 | -1 ) Avoiding the Poisoned Pawn in the SicilianAs White after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6, I'd like to play actively with 6.Bg5, but I don't feel comfortable playing the Poisoned Pawn after Black plays e6. I know both Be3 and Be2 are acceptable alternatives to Bg5, what are the respective points of each?
123 ( +1 | -1 ) Bg5, Be2, Be3, Bc4.....First, you can always play 8. Nb3 after 7. ..Qb6 if you don't like to play the "standard" 8. Qd2 or 8. a3. It's perfectly sound. 6. Be3 (and then 7.f3) are the first moves in the so-called "English attack". White then follow up with Qd2, 0-0-0 and launch an offensive on the kingside. It's a crude and agressive approach initially used against the Dragon variant (and basically killed it), but can also be highly dangerous for black in the Najdorf. The good news for white is that it's quite easy to play, the development is straight forward, and it explains much its popularity on all levels. 6. Be2 is the most solid reply to the Najdorf, white castles kingside, plays f4, Be3 and often then Qe1! planning an offensive on the kingside. Even though Be2 looks quiet move, it can lead to very violent positions, but needs better understanding on the Najdorf than 6. Be3 in my view. White has one more main move to consider in the sixth move and it's 6. Bc4, the "Sozin attack". It's surely one of the most dangerous system against the Najdorf, equally agressive as 6. Bg5 and was Fischers favorite weapon. The bishop normally falls back to b3 and white castles on kingside. White then puts pressure on the e6 pawn and all kinds of sacs become possible. Great fun to play. Not much, but hope this helps, cheers magna68