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1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7

1) Why 6... Nbd7 is not played by many players? Why they prefer 6... e6 only? I could not get the answer for this. Requesting experts to answer this question with detailed explanation & examples. Thanks in advance.

  • 7
    Hi, it seems you've never accepted an answer in any of your previous question posts! Accepting answers that have resolved your question(s) gives closure to a post and the discussions within, and it entices more people to consider answering your future questions. Thanks for considering it.
    – user929304
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 14:58
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    Why do you think it is not played a lot? 6...e6 is the traditional main line but 6...Nbd7 has been favored by MVL and used by Najdorf experts like Gelfand or Ivanchuk. The lines are very sharp and quite dangerous for Black though, which might explain why it is less popular at club level.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 16:29
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    I'm not an expert in the Sicilian but it appears to me that black loses flexibility by playing Nbd7 early. It is clear you are not planning to play e5 sveshnikov variation so there isn't a point of delaying e6. Sometimes you would want to bring your knight to c6. Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 17:10
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    Thanks Sir. I accepted all answers of my previous posts which I was not aware as I was new to this website and technical knowledge. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 14:05
  • I am happy with all your answers. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


6.Nbd7 is played and often the lines transpose. If Black continues to try and avoid e7-e6, his position, though solid, is less aggressive than the other lines.

Fischer said something like:

"The Sicilian is not a defense, but rather a vicious counter-attack!"

so with 6...e6 7.f4 Black has options like 7...Qb6 entering the Poison Pawn Variation, or 7...b5 entering the Polugaevsky Variation which are considered some of the sharpest variations in chess theory. Why spare White the worry of having to deal with either of these lines?

6...Nbd7 is playable and probably leads to equality as well but Black is delaying his counterplay if he avoids ...e6 for long. Some issues are that Black would like to play Qc7 and then has to worry about Nd5 when if Nf6xd5 exd5 results in a favorable structure for White.

  • Sir, I am happy with the answer. I am also thankful because I did lot of literature survey to get the answer. But in this post only I got the satisfactory answer. Hope that this post will also help others who have the thirst of knowledge like me. Thanks again. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 14:13

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