IM Arthur Shen: An Opening Brilliancy 

It’s a New Year, and that means self-reflection and resolutions. I’ve been examining both my old games and my old opening files, and uncovered a fascinating old piece of analysis from nearly 5 years ago. The novelty in the file is truly peculiar and is a completely human idea – the computer was only used to verify its objective correctness. Unfortunately I was never able to play it over the board, and I remember the disappointment I felt when the novelty was played by super-Grandmaster Wojtaszek. To make up for never being able to spring my novelty on an unsuspecting opponent, I’ll share my opening analysis here. If you play the Najdorf variation for white or black, this might be of theoretical interest to you; if not, simply enjoy the beautiful variations!

(Najdorf file)

I hope you enjoyed delving into the complications of this opening variation as much as I did. From the fascinating piece sacrifice – playing Nc6-b4 with the sole intent of sacrificing itself on c2 – to the wonderful complications that arise after the sacrifice, chess’ richness and complexity is on full display. If only I could have played this novelty in a tournament game… well, I have never had the chance to, but I’ll take solace in sharing my beautiful discovery with you.


 Arthur Shen, from in Edison, New Jersey was born in 1997.  Shen became a FIDE master in 2009 and he currently is a International Master. Shen was the winner of 2011 U.S. Cadet Championship and tied for second in both the Liberty Bell Open (2015) and the 2015 High School Nationals. He has been a member of the USCF All-American Chess Team from 2010 – 2015. He has also been recognized by the U.S. Chess Trust as a 2014 Scholar Chess Player Award winner.

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