Adam’s Attack (B90)

Adam's Attack is a variation in the Sicilian Najdorf: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 and now 6. h3

Introduced by Weaver Adams during the middle of the twentieth century, this odd looking pawn move has mostly been used as a surprise weapon to combat the Najdorf. Should Black continue with 6...e5 anyway, White can respond with 7.Nde2 following up with g4 and Ng3, fighting for the weak light squares by playing g5. It is thus recommended that Black prevents g4 altogether with 7...h5.

Black can also employ a Scheveningen setup with 6...e6 followed by 7.g4 b5 8.Bg2 Bb7, forcing White to lose more time by defending the e4 pawn, since b4 is a threat. It was not until the early 2008 when an answer to Black was finally found. After 9.0-0 b4, White has the positional sacrifice 10.Nd5!, which gives Black long term weaknesses and an open e-file for White to play on. Since then, it has been popular on all levels of chess.

Weaver Warren Adams (April 28, 1901 – January 6, 1963) was an American chess master, author, and opening theoretician. His greatest competitive achievement was winning the U.S. Open Championship in 1948. He played in the U.S. Championship five times.

Adams is most famous for his controversial claim that the first move 1.e4 confers a winning advantage upon White. He continually advocated this theory in books and magazine articles from 1939 until shortly before his death. Adams' claim has generally been scorned by the chess world. However, International Master Hans Berliner in a 1999 book professed admiration for Adams, and similarly claimed that White may claim a winning advantage, albeit with 1.d4, not 1.e4.

Adams did not succeed in showing the validity of his theory in his own tournament and match play. His results suffered because he published his analysis of White's supposed winning lines, thus forfeiting the element of surprise and enabling his opponents to prepare responses to his pet lines. Future World Champion Bobby Fischer used the Adams Attack with success.


Sicilian, Najdorf 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6

Sicilian, Najdorf

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6

Study Games for Eco Code B90