Nadanian Variation (D85)
The Nadanian Variation (sometimes called the Nadanian Attack) of the Gruenfeld Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Na4
The variation is named after the Armenian International Master Ashot Nadanian, who first employed it in 1996. His analysis was published in the 67th volume of Chess Informant.
The birth of the variation has caused major ripples in the chess world. One of the world's most authoritative chess editions New in Chess Yearbook printed on the front cover of the 45th volume the following: "A Revolution in the Gruenfeld: 5.Na4!?!". Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson wrote in his book Understanding the Gruenfeld that Nadanian "should be congratulated for seeing what everyone has seen, and thinking what nobody had thought".
The famous chess theoretician, Grandmaster Igor Zaitsev in 64 Russian chess magazine wrote:
The continuation 5.Nа4 of Armenian chess player Nadanian shakes by the extraordinariness. Yes, extraordinariness, because it is unusual among the unusual. A voluntary removal of the knight from the centre, yet that has gone on advantage? Therefore, the value of such centrifugal maneuver is beyond a simple theoretical novelty, in a certain measure it is a challenge to chess foundations, an attempt to grope new properties in two-dimensional chess space.
The variation's most devoted practitioner has been its eponym, Ashot Nadanian. Various famous players such as Swiss Grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi, Chinese Super-grandmaster Bu Xiangzhi, American GM Walter Browne, Scottish GM Jonathan Rowson, Russian GM Andrei Kharlov, Israeli GM Vitali Golod and Croatian GM Bogdan Lalić have employed it at some time or another, though few have made it their main line against the Gruenfeld Defence.
Gruenfeld, Nadanian Variation