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chris21 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Defining the poisoned pawn. I have a question about the poisoned pawn variation of the Najdorf.

Once black has played 7...Qb6 can the game safely be described as the poisoned pawn variation? Or does white have to allow the b pawn to be taken with 8.Qd2 for it to classify?

Would the game still count as a posoned pawn if white played 8. Rb1 for example?

Thanks for any help:)
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hoss 12 ( +1 | -1 )
i think white has to allow the pawn to be snatched and black has to take for the opening to be considered the poisoned pawn variation
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chris21 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks hoss.

Any other opinions?
gambitnut 10 ( +1 | -1 )
I looked it up in MCO-13 MCO lists it as the poisoned pawn variation after Qb6
and gives two variations, giving up the pawn with Qd2
and Nb3.
chris21 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks gambitnut.

Any mention of 8. Rb1? Because if white doesn't allow the pawn to be taken it can't really be called the poisoned pawn can it. But all my books mention it being the poisoned pawn after 7..Qb6.
atrifix 16 ( +1 | -1 )
All lines after 7... Qb6 are considered ECO B97, if that's what you're wondering, but ECO only attaches the "Poisoned pawn variation" label to lines that continue 8. Qd2 Qxb2.
macheide 61 ( +1 | -1 )
The Najdorf Poisoned... Pawn Variation happens only when white gives his b2 pawn. This is obvious.

This was a great favourite defense of Bobby Fischer. White develops very quickly but black has an extra pawn (and quoting Silman: "Maybe it's ugly, but is mine...:)"), which is in fact a sort of life insurance: If black can stop the white's initiative and simplify the position, the extra pawn begins to weight. Fischer was a master of the defense (a great admirer of Steinitz) and a super endgame player, so he feels like a fish in the water in this fascinating variation.


gambitnut 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Rb1 appears to do nothing except tie the rook down to
a defensive task on an awkward square. If you want
to keep the pawn, Nb3, blocking the queen's path to
the pawn, is much better.
buddy2 18 ( +1 | -1 )
poison Is it poison if you don't take it? Does a falling tree make a noise if no one is there to hear it? Can God make two mountains without an intervening valley? How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?