It is astonishing that today’s most important system in the Sicilian starts with the unlikely move 5...a6. The move by the rook’s pawn does nothing for the development of the pieces, so why then does Black play it? Well, it is almost also useful to prevent White’s minor pieces from getting on the b5-square, and in addition it prepares a counter-attack on the queenside with …b7-b5. In certain circumstances there is the threat of ...b4 driving away the Nc3, which puts the e4-pawn under pressure e4. Seen like this, 5...a6 is a preparation for the attack on the white centre! The great rise of the Najdorf Variation – named after the Polish-Argentinian grandmaster Miguel Najdorf (1910–1997) – began in the 1950s. World champions Petrosian, Tal and Fischer played this opening, and Kasparov too was feared because of his precise treatment of the sharp Najdorf lines.