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Friday, January 19, 2018

Najdorf – Ragozin Classic, a Positional Q Sacrifice

Ragozin in 1960
    The following game has become a classic example of a positional sacrifice. At move 17 Ragozin sacrificed his Q for a R, N and P to arrive at a position which many people thought was lost for black because even very strong players there can be prejudiced in favor of the Q. However, in the resulting position black had a very strong position while Najdorf's Q remained in a passive position on a3 for 25 moves. Even the great attacking player Najdorf couldn't find any weaknesses in black's position that he could attack and all he could do was wait and see if he would ever get the opportunity to use his Q; he didn't.
The Great Najdorf

    This tournament was an important victory for Bronstein as it won him the Soviet Grandmaster title and put him on his was to challenging Botvinnik for the world championship. See my post on Bronstein HERE. He finished undefeated ahead of Szabo, Boleslavsky, Kotov, Lilienthal and Bondarevsky. Going in, Najdorf was a favorite, but he had a poor tournament and finished tied for 6th to 8th (out of 20 players) with Stahlberg and Flohr.

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