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Play the Najdorf: Scheveningen Style--A Complete Repertoire for Black in this Most Dynamic of Openings Paperback – October 1, 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The Najdorf Sicilian is one of the most sharp, dynamic and popular openings that Black can play and is a firm favorite amongst the world¿s elite players, including world number one Garry Kasparov. From very early on, Black unbalances the game to a reach a position in which one can play for the win without exceptional risk.
The soundness of the Najdorf has never been seriously doubted, but some players can be put off by the ever-spiraling amount of theory amassed on this great opening. In Play the Najdorf: Scheveningen Style, however, Grandmaster and openings expert John Emms condenses this mountain to produce a workable black repertoire against all of White¿s possible options. Emms concentrates on lines where Black adopts a very early ..e7-e6, thus establishing the well-known Scheveningen pawn structure.
Play the Najdorf explains an opening championed by Garry Kasparov; is written by a renowned openings theoretician; covers all of White¿s main replies.

About the Author

John Emms is one of Britain's strongest Grandmasters and has represented England in various team tournaments. He has many works to his name, and is also a co-author of the very popular openings bible Nunn's Chess Openings.
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Product Details

  • Series: Everyman Chess
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857443233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857443233
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,534,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Allard on October 28, 2004
Grandmaster Emms does a commendable job in providing an ample slice of contemporary examples of master play to explain the primary strategic ideas for players of both the white and black pieces. The Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian Defense is arguably the most durable and least subject to fashion and fad of all of the semi-open variations. Emms is a seasoned grandmaster with an analgous mastery of the written word. For players attempting to decide how to play the Najdorf Sicilian, Emms' case is both sound and strong for adopting the a6, d6, and e6 pawn structure of the Scheveningen variation. As with any opening book, the student must build upon the lessons in this work by collecting and studying further high level game scores. This book is a fine template for that further study.
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I am a diehard Alekhine Defence player. I play it through habit... until i found this book. John Emms took me away from my beloved 1...Nf6 and plunged me into 1...c5. His analysis in this book really pushed me to expierience the schev/naj. And I did. Though, at the time i still consider the Alekhine my #1 defence, I have to say it was because of this book that i broke a ten year cycle of 1...Nf6. And i wasn't disappointed.
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Verified Purchase
"Play the Najdorf: scheveningen style" is great for people who like to play Scheveningen type positions, but want to avoid the dreaded Keres Attack (6. g4!?). This isn't a book you'll want to skim; you really have to work through the variations methodically to get the most out of it. Personally, I'm using this book as a starting point for my repertoire against the Open Sicilian because of the flexible move order (delaying the choice between e6 or e5, and whether to develop the Queen's Knight at d7 or c6).

For example, Emms tells the reader upfront that he plays 6.Bc4 as White, and his high opinion of this variation definitely shows. In the first chapter, he spends almost a full page detailing why 6.Bc4 is such an effective system, while 6.Be3 (considered the modern main line) only earned one paragraph. That section ended up convincing me that a Scheveningen set-up against 6.Bc4 is worth avoiding, so now I transpose into the Classical Sicilian with 7...Nc6 for plans based around Na5. Similarly, against most other lines, you can choose to stick with the Najdorf proper by playing 6...e5 instead of 6...e6 (effectively "Playing the Najdorf: Najdorf style"). It's really a matter of personal preference, and the flexible 5...a6 move order makes it possible.

The coverage of the 6.Be3 and 6.Be2 lines is very good. For me, this represents the core of my repertoire against the Open Sicilian. Much of it overlaps with D'Costa's book "The Sicilian Scheveningen: move-by-move." The two books complement each other well, because D'Costa uses a "full games" format that's helpful for seeing how typical Scheveningen positions unfold. The "variation tree" format of Emms's book is good for learning precise move orders, but not as helpful for getting a sense of the flow of the game.
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I'm not an expert in these lines so I'll just mention briefly that this is a typical high quality everyman book. Covers all the key white 6th move openings mainly of course the BG5. I tend to like the 5..a6 move so I purchased this book and am happy with it. Well written and a typical high quality everyman series book. I give it five stars.
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