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  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6

1) For 6. Bc4 Black can play immediately b5 and attack it. But almost all Grandmasters reply with 6....e6. Theory also stresses to 6....e6. Why not 6.... b5 to attack Bishop immediately as 5....a6 is already done? Is it not giving Black a strong attack against White? Hence, why Grandmasters are not playing early 6....b5 in their games? Expecting good answer. Thanks in advance.

marked as duplicate by fuxia, Phonon, Ywapom, Kortchnoi, Herb Wolfe Jan 22 at 4:14

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  • But for 6... b5 Engine plays 7. Bb3. Then I get confused with your answer and Engine's move. Which one to play in tournaments? – Club Player Jan 22 at 16:57
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6...b5 7.Bd5! Nxd5 8.exd5 leaves Black in trouble. The e-file has been opened and Black has to figure out how to castle before things get really heated. The c6-square is also a major weakness that White's d4-knight is ready to jump to at the right moment.

  • But for 6... b5 Engine plays 7. Bb3. Then I get confused with your answer and Engine's move. Which one to play in tournaments? – Club Player Jan 22 at 16:58
  • @Club Player My engine plays 7.Bd5 after thinking for a few seconds. Which engine are you using, and at what depth? – Inertial Ignorance Jan 23 at 2:58
  • I am using Fritz16 @ Grandmaster Level. – Club Player Jan 23 at 3:55
  • Grandmaster level is pretty broad since the top engines are 3000+. I'm running Deep Fritz 13 at depth 24, and it gives 7.Bd5 a +0.97 evaluation, while 7.Bb3 only gets a +0.71 evaluation. However, engines typically evaluate standard Najdorf positions too optimistically in White's favor. So 7.Bb3 isn't really +0.71, the engine is misevaluating (it would lead to a normal Sozin position which theory has determined is close to equal). Meanwhile, 7.Bd5 leads to a position outside of normal Najdorf waters, so the engine's evaluation is more trustworthy there. – Inertial Ignorance Jan 23 at 4:38
  • All in all, if you play 6...b5 you're just giving White a choice between 7.Bd5! and going for a normal Sozin with 7.Bb3 (which you would have gotten anyways if you played 6...e6). I don't think it makes sense to give White an extra option, considering this option is very nice for White. – Inertial Ignorance Jan 23 at 4:40

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