Sometimes against Sicilian Najdorf (or french) defense I play like this:

[FEN ""]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf5 Bxf5 8. exf5 d5 9. Bg5 d4 10. Ne4 Be7

My plan in this opening is somehow playing like Yugoslav attack, specially by opening an open line in queen side and pushing pawns into the king side of black and going for O-O-O, but I usually fail against players with rating in my range in normal game but usually I win against player with similar rating to me in blitz game by use of this handmade opening.

Question: Is there a name for this opening? Is it a very weak opening? and more important than this, if I don't want to play passive against e5 in different variation of Sicilian (e.g, when my knight is at d4) what should I do?

P.S: Maybe Be3 seems to be silly, but my intention is motivating to pushing e5 (by black), to use open line of f7 by my white bishop later in the game. Many players are thinking about possible fork pawn, or they see weakness in my move and they do e5.

2 Answers 2


6. Be3 against the Najdorf Sicilian is called the English Attack.

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3

6. Be3 is no weak move! It is a strong move and has been played by World Champions like Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand.

In your game, after 6...e5 you played 7. Nf5. But 7. Nf5 is known to be a weak move, becaue Black has the strong reply 7...d5. One sample variation is as follows -

   [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

   1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nf5 d5 
   8. Bg5 d4 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nb1 Qb6 11. Nd2 Qxb2

You mentioned that you would like to put more pressure on Black's kingside, but in the English attack you cannot do that immediately. Note that the Najdorf Sicilian is a very robust opening and it's not easy to immediately put pressure on Black's kingside (as I briefly also mentioned here). In the English Attack, the pressure is slowly built up with a sequence of moves like f3 and g4 as this line demonstrates.

   [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

   1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 
   8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O Nbd7 11. g4

You should go through some of the games provided on the link I gave you to see how this attack works.

  • 2
    Thanks for very fast response, do you have some references as well to read through about more active playing against e5? e.g In your reference for English attack seems the option is to do Nb3, but I want to play more active and put more pressure on blacks king side. Sorry I had actually two question in one. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 22:11
  • 3
    7.Nb3 actually generally leads to an active game that puts pressure on Black's kingside more than 7.Nf3. 7.Nf3 is a more peaceful, positional move. For one thing, it blocks White's f-pawn so he can't play f3 and g4.
    – dfan
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 22:56
  • @dfan, it would be a nice if you also extend your comment to provide a new answer, having different answers which are covering different points of view always is nice. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 8:54
  • I partly covered dfan's comment when I mentioned that White's plan is to play f3 and g4. Obviously, with the knight on f3, you can't play f3! :) Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 13:49
  • I said to explain it in more detail because he said is peaceful. Why the only (?) possible attack option is f3? and consequence problems can be answered. I know that everyone can read through them in books, ... but these are specific enough to be explained here. And having different answers for one question is more healthy. Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 14:57

Actually I don't prefer Nf5 as it gives black a strong center, instead, Nf3 or Nb3 should be better.

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