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The Sicilian Najdorf is one of Black’s best and most combative responses to 1.e4. The Najdorf was championed by Fischer and Kasparov during their respective periods of dominance over the world chess scene, and has been used extensively by many other World Champions and elite GMs, including Anand, Gelfand, Topalov and Vachier-Lagrave to name but a few.
Despite the Najdorf’s obvious pedigree, many players are intimidated by the highly tactical and theoretical nature of some of its main lines. In Playing the Najdorf, IM David Vigorito shows that this need not be a problem, as he offers a complete repertoire for Black based on positional principles, offering sound recommendations which lead to a fighting game without turning the battle into a memory contest.
David Vigorito is an experienced International Master and a respected chess author and coach, who has had the Najdorf as the backbone of his repertoire for most of his career, making him ideally qualified as a guide to this opening.
544 pages - Published 11 December 2019
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-907982-65-1Joint winner of ChessPublishing Opening Book of the Year 2019
"Vigorito’s orientation towards helping the reader understand the opening pervades the book. He clearly explains the plans for both sides, as well as the tactics and positional points. He frequently explains which moves don’t work as well as those that do, which is often the best way to understand what is going on and to get to grip with the various subtleties that make this opening so rich. He does not seek to make the material appear simpler than it really is, rather he guides the reader every step of the way.
I highly recommend this book. It provides great coverage and excellent explanations. Even more importantly, at least to me, it is enjoyable to read and a pleasure to dip into. The size of the book might put some potential readers off but, if you want to understand this much-played opening, I don’t think there is a better guide."IM John Pigott, CHESS Magazine
"While the Najdorf may have a great pedigree, it also has a reputation as being complicated and requiring tremendous theoretical knowledge. While there is no free lunch in chess, American International Master David Vigorito, in 'Playing the Najdorf' makes the case that learning this opening is not as daunting as it might seem...
Another way the author makes this book more accessible is by including a large amount of explanatory prose. This is a big book, well over 500 pages, which enables Vigorito to explain things without leaving out theoretically significant material. Despite the serious subject matter this book is very readable."IM John Donaldson
American IM David Vigorito has written a very up-to-date, state-of-the-art repertoire book from Black's perspective. In form, it is flawless: clear, clear language and clean, understandable structure.
In terms of content, I am enthusiastic about the recommendations. Current developments have been observed, the various recommendations of various White repertoires have been dealt with and a comparison is always made with other previous Black repertoire publications. By always playing ...e5 where possible, the play against different variations can often be approached in a similar way. As a result, typical plans run through the entire book. I find this approach very good, because the Najdorf is incredibly theory-bound and it is hardly possible to remember all variations. However, you can fall back on familiar strands and ideas, even if you are no longer 'in the book'...
Overall, I can recommend the book to anyone who wants to play Najdorf or who already has it in their repertoire."FM Jasper Holtel
"Vigorito explains, and explains a lot and well. The reader learns the strategic aspects of the play and the reasons for his recommendations and assessments, as well as tips on why he should stay away from certain lines...
'Playing the Najdorf' offers Black an expert repertoire based on the Najdorf variation, which is made understandable to the reader in an advanced way and is well communicated. Numerous suggestions for innovations make the work interesting for the experienced player. Buying the book is recommended."Uwe Bekemann, Deutscher Fernschachbund