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  1. 12 Feb '10 15:18
    In this variation -

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. 0-0 Qc7

    What is the aim of Qc7?
  2. Standard member thesonofsaul
    King of the Ashes
    12 Feb '10 15:31
    Sorry. You lost me after 1... c5?
  3. 12 Feb '10 15:31
    wait a minute..... you're not the world champion
  4. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    12 Feb '10 15:33
    its the 6 ... e5 thing that always puzzles me:-(
  5. Standard member thesonofsaul
    King of the Ashes
    12 Feb '10 15:37 / 1 edit
    In all seriousness, though. If you don't think a move is the best for the position, do not make the move no matter what the books say. Moving by memory won't help you that much, mainly for the reason that you have come up with on your own--without understanding of a position you're playing at least partially blind.

    That said, I also don't think it will help you much to have a bunch of patzers on the internet blathering on about the pros and cons of this line. I suggest backing up in the opening. What was the point of all the moves before Qc7? Does Qd7 fit in with the plan behind all the moves? If you don't understand the point behind all the moves, then study until you do.

    There is no point that describes one isolated move, especially in the opening, with the exception perhaps of an opponents massive blunder. All the moves go together. Whatever the point is for Qd7 it already exists in the previous moves.
  6. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    12 Feb '10 15:47
    Originally posted by vishyanand
    In this variation -

    1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. 0-0 Qc7

    What is the aim of Qc7?
    In Beating the Sicilian 3 (1995) by GMs John Nunn and Joe Gallagher, they write that

    "At one time it was held that Black should prevent the active development of White's bishop at c4 and so this move was almost universal. But more recently 7. ... Nbd7 has become the most popular move"

    In Winning with the Najdorf(1993) by GM Danny King, he also remarks that the Queen supports the idea of ...Be6-c4 in some lines.

    The Queen also supports e5.

    Interestingly, as best I can tell IM Richard Palliser's excellent Starting Out: Sicilian Najdorf(2006) does not cover this exact line- understandable, given that there is a huge mass of theory, and he had to be selective.

    Hope this helps!

    Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian du jour
  7. 12 Feb '10 15:54
    I can see a couple of points to support Qc7. In order of importance:

    1) It prevents White from easily playing his bishop to c4, which may appeal to White since Black played his e-pawn to e5 rather than e6.

    2) It frees d8 for a rook, which makes the d-pawn more defendable and supports the d6-d5 break.

    3) It puts the queen on a half-open file. Black may be able to put pressure on c2 later.

    4) It eyes up an attack on h2.
  8. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    12 Feb '10 16:04
    Originally posted by peacedog
    its the 6 ... e5 thing that always puzzles me:-(
    This move appears in the Lowenthal, Sveshnikov, Kalashnikov, Lasker, Pelikan, and Boleslavsky systems, in addition to the Najdorf.

    In Winning with the Sicilian (1991) by GM Mark Taimanov, he offers an excellent general explanation in his coverage of the Boleslavsky:

    After 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cd 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 e5!? he writes

    "This energetic blow in the centre characterizes the plan of dynamic play developed by I. Boleslavsky. It's motives are polemical, in as far as they contradict the classical laws of strategy. It is evident that a backward pawn has now been created in the black camp (yes, on an open file as well!) and the central d5 square becomes a convenient outpost for White's pieces (according to a remark attributed to Lasker, a 'hole' in the pawn 'wall'. But against this Black gains time and space for the activation of his forces which, to the mind of the originator, to some extent compensate for the positional concessions. In short, play becomes of a dynamic and concrete nature, where each of the players have their trumps. Of course, Boleslavsky's plan is not new (La Bourdonnais had previously employed a similar motif on the 4th move and Lasker on the 5th), but it was he who shaped the controversial idea into a harmonious strategical system."

    I think it is a pretty good explanation, although when he wrote "in short..." I had to laugh a bit!

    Generally, Black hopes to trade pieces on d5 and force White to recapture there with a pawn, and then mobilize his kingside pawn majority a la the King's Indian, but White has in turn a queenside majority he can exploit. Game on!

    Paul
  9. Standard member peacedog
    Highlander
    12 Feb '10 16:12
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I can see a couple of points to support Qc7. In order of importance:

    1) It prevents White from easily playing his bishop to c4, which may appeal to White since Black played his e-pawn to e5 rather than e6.

    2) It frees d8 for a rook, which makes the d-pawn more defendable and supports the d6-d5 break.

    3) It puts the queen on a half-open file. Black may be able to put pressure on c2 later.

    4) It eyes up an attack on h2.
    That makes sense Fatlady, even I could get the what you are saying.

    Sorry to go of topic but what about the pawn to e5 move? I know its the move top GMs make(well 10 years ago it was) but what does it do, apart from making white retreat his knight? Seems a small reward for a long term weakness on e5/6.
  10. 12 Feb '10 16:29
    Originally posted by Fat Lady
    I can see a couple of points to support Qc7. In order of importance:

    1) It prevents White from easily playing his bishop to c4, which may appeal to White since Black played his e-pawn to e5 rather than e6.

    2) It frees d8 for a rook, which makes the d-pawn more defendable and supports the d6-d5 break.

    3) It puts the queen on a half-open file. Black may be able to put pressure on c2 later.

    4) It eyes up an attack on h2.
    Good points.I think second point must be the most important.Since,the whole idea is for black to play d6-d5,and white trying to prevent it.
  11. 12 Feb '10 16:56
    I've seen Black not go for the d5 break and still win the game. I don't play the Sicilian myself and I play 2.Nc3 against it as White, so I don't know a great deal about it. However I had a similar position last week which was arrived at via a Trompovsky (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5). I just left my pawn on d6 for the entire game - it was remarkably easy to defend, especially as White still had a d-pawn himself and so couldn't attack mine along the d-file.

    I think the most important thing about those Sicilian with e5 systems is that they really make White play actively, otherwise he is rolled over. It's not like the French Defence or the Caro Kann, where White can get a pretty good position by simply playing sensible moves - if he doesn't play the right plan against the e5 Sicilian he can find himself with a much worse position very quickly indeed. An excellent opening choice for Black if he thinks White is much weaker than him!
  12. 12 Feb '10 17:13
    thanks for sharing.