Opening Repertoire: The Sicilian Najdorf

Production House
Everyman Chess


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Opening Repertoire: The Sicilian Najdorf
Opening Repertoire: The Sicilian Najdorf Front Cover

The Sicilian Najdorf is one of Black’s most respected and popular responses to 1 e4. It was favoured by those two titans of the game, Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. And in the modern game, it features in the repertoire of many elite players.

This rich opening creates a wealth of opportunities for vigorous attacks, causing most games to be tense and engaging. The Sicilian Najdorf is that very rare thing – an opening for Black that is highly aggressive but is also recognised as being objectively sound.

In this book, FIDE Master John Doknjas and National Master Joshua Doknjas navigate through the main lines of the Sicilian Najdorf. They also provide the reader with well-researched, fresh, and innovative analysis.

Each annotated game has valuable lessons on how to play the opening and contains instructive commentary on typical middle-game plans. With thorough variations and explanations on pawn structures and piece placement, this book provides insight to both strong masters and less experienced players alike.

The format is ideal for the chess player keen to improve their game. While reading you are continually challenged to answer probing questions. This is a method that greatly encourages the learning and practising of vital skills just as much as the traditional assimilation of chess knowledge.

Carefully selected questions and answers are designed to keep you actively involved. It also allows you to monitor your progress as you learn. This is an excellent way to study chess while providing the best possible chance to retain what has been learnt.


1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 enters one of the most famous chess openings of all time. The Sicilian Najdorf is perhaps one of the most respected chess openings of all time, withstanding the test of time.

Played by most world champions and many top-level chess players, this opening scores only 51% wins for White. Making it the best performing move against 5.Nc3.

The Sicilian Najdorf was also categorised by GM Hikaru Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman (GothamChess) as being at the top 3 of most iconic “legendary” openings.

This category includes the most respected chess openings with the likes of the Ruy Lopez, Gruenfeld, and the Berlin Defense.

White’s plans provide a flexible approach, although it is instrumental to thoroughly understand the opening concepts due to its popularity in tournament play.

Let us check this “simple” game played by former world champions GM Bobby Fischer vs GM Mikhail Tal:


Let us reverse the question…

Have you heard of Garry Kasparov’s My Great Predecessors? What about Garry Kasparov’s Karpov vs Kasparov 1975-1985? Or even Garry Kasparov on Garry Kasparov Volume Series?

Certainly, I assume, although you are in for a treat if you haven’t!

Frequently acknowledged for publishing top-tier level content, Everyman Chess consistently cements itself as a premium quality publisher with the best rated books such as:
o Mastering Chess Strategy (recommended by IM Kostya)
o Capablanca: Move by Move (a classic recommended by GMs worldwide)
o Lessons with a Grandmaster (a written recording of the interactions between a club player and a Grandmaster).


Joshua Donknjas, besides a FIDE Master, is the former U-18 North American Champion. At 20 years of age, this book is the second he wrote for Everyman Chess – currently at three.

Gradually becoming an acknowledged author in the industry, with his help you will build a complete repertoire for White in the Ruy Lopez and stop fearing battling opening knowledge in tournament games.

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