Naroditsky's Blitz Repertoire

ChessOpeningStrategyChess PersonalitiesAnalysis
How to get a MESS if you are a great tactical player?

Learn to get chaotic opening positions with attacking chances like one of the best tactical players, Daniel Naroditsky.

In this article, I examine Naroditsky's opening Repertoire that he used in 2023-2024 in Blitz and Bullet games. I used only public information that anybody can find on the website
If you enjoy his concept, try it out, but be careful if you are uncomfortable playing messy positions!


Daniel Naroditsky's opening repertoire is quite broad. He played many systems and partially shares a repertoire with Olexander Bortnyk. In this article, I've decided to avoid adding lines in Jobava London or Alekhin. We will deal with them when I publish an article about Bortnyk's repertoire.
Even though Danya has a vast opening repertoire, he still plays some lines consistently besides the ones mentioned above.

Black: KID + Najdorf - sharp openings where black gets a stable position with chances for the attack.
White: 1.e4 followed by unique lines that give attacking prospects.

The logic of the concept:
1. Danya's lines should lead to either attacking or messy positions where his great tactical vision and time management can pay off.
2. The King is primarily safe; Naroditsky rarely chooses positions with long-term positional advantage but with the King being in danger.
3. Openings should give clear patterns without a variety of strategic plans. This is important in 1+0 or 3+0 time controls because it allows quick moves with less necessity to recall the reaction.

White 1.e4

Against e5, one of Naroditsky's approaches is the fianchetto. If black plays d5, the white gets easy-to-remember patterns and active play. In case of more maneuvering games, white can try to create an attack on the kingside. In g3 systems, it is easier to do than in mainlines of e4-e5.

In the case of the French, the choice is 3.Nd2. One of the important points of this concept is that in the case of closing the center, white gets a very straightforward plan (I especially like the Qe2-Qe3 idea!). After 3...c5, the position opens up (which is not typical in French). Also, you can often get a similar structure in c3 Sicilian, so you will quickly get quite a lot of experience and knowledge about these structures.

If Black plays Caro, then Naroditsky plays all kinds of systems, but the most common choice is the Fantasy Variation (3.f3). Positions are often pretty wild, so make sure you remember your theory!

When black goes for Sicilian, Danya mainly combines Bb5 lines with Alapin. I decided to analyze Alapin because, in the case of Bb5 lines, it is hard to track the concept, and there are all kinds of lines. Alapin is a common weapon by great blitz players like Naroditsky, Bortnyk, Zhigalko, etc. This file also shows what makes Danya's Alapin unique—for example, the Bb5+ line followed by Bc4 against Nf6-d6.

In the case of the Sidelines, Naroditsky mostly plays mainstream lines. For example, Bd2 is against the Scandinavian, and h4 lines are against the Pirc. I noticed that Danya doesn't have a consistent line against Alekhin, where he often plays e5-Nc3 and other random lines. I suggested a line there that would fit the concept pretty well.

Black: Najdorf

Even though Najdorf is a highly complex opening, you can divide studying into a few parts. Dealing with an English attack or Bg5 is quite difficult; in the case of all other alternatives (except Bc4) - you can play e5 followed by standard placement of pieces: Be6-Nd7-Be7 and then learn typical ideas and reactions.

Against Bg5, Naroditsky plays the system that Giri popularized in his course. The point of the e6-Be7-Nd7-Qc7 concept is to get a position where you don't need to memorize many lines to stay in a game. Also, black have similar reactions against most of white plans.

Against English attack, Danya goes for an interesting concept a5. Even though engines absolutely hate it, Naroditsky wins almost all of his games. Probably, that happens because of a lack of knowledge from the opponents. Also, the positions are quite messy, with many tactical resources, even if the evaluation jumps to +2. However, I wonder if Naroditsky would still play this line if people knew a4-Bb5-Kb1-f4! Idea.

The approach against lines besides Be3&Bg5 is standard without significant deviations: 6...e5. It is also worth mentioning that after white jumps on d5 and black takes it, you get similar patterns as in KID, with a potential pawn storm on the Kingside coming. Obviously, you can find KID in this article as well.

Against Sidelines, there are no unique lines as well except the Alapin. In this case, Danya plays the gambit system 2...d5 followed by Nf6. There are not that many aggressive systems for black against Alapin. Considering that Danya plays Alapin himself, we would gladly take his advice on an active reaction against that opening!

Black: KID

Against Classical systems, Naroditsky prefers the exd4 approach. Positions themselves can sometimes be a bit suspicious, but they remain tricky. Even if white avoids immediate danger, black can often get sharp tactical positions after f5. Recalling everything will take time for the opponent, and you will likely enter messy positions with the time advantage (which often happens in Danya's games).

Aganist Fianchetto Danya plays the old-fashioned Nd7-e5 and adds a spice souse with Qa5. The idea is to target central pawns quickly and hope that white misses one of the standard tricks. If that mission fails, black can always return to the hedgehog strategy of staying on the last three ranks of the board.

Against h3, the approach is connected with closing the center, followed by the attack via the queenside. Because playing f5 is difficult in h3 lines (due to g4), putting pressure on the Queenside after Nc5-c6-a4-a4-Qa5 is a standard approach. Even though sometimes engines can give up to +1, the position is full of tricks.

There are rarely distinct concepts against Rare lines, such as Saemish and others. However, I tried to select the ones that fit the concept well or were played the most often. The idea of Nc6-Na5 against the Saemish looks particularly fun with many tricks!

What is interesting about deviations on first moves is that it seems that Danya does not necessarily play the KID. On the contrary, you can see d5-Bg4 against b3 or early c5 against London. These lines are quite venomous and pretty easy to grasp.

Bonus! What to do against Naroditsky?

Even though it is hard to "guarantee" the outcome, I tried to select the lines where you get the highest chance of not being surprised.
P.S. If you want to know what to do against Jobava London or Alekhin - stay tuned for my article about Bortnyk's concept. In that upcoming article, I will consider some of the differences between the approaches of these two great blitz players.

For white, I decided to add not one but two suggestions! One against Sicilian and one against the KID. You can choose one that better fits your repertoire. In both of these lines, the black's position looks quite sad, so maybe Danya will change it in the future.

For black, to my surprise as well, I'm going to suggest French!? It seems that in all other cases, predicting the outcome is quite difficult, while in French, it is super likely that you will face one of the lines I added to the file. You can be either solid there or quite aggressive and tricky - that's totally up to you!

  • The special offer for individual coaching is available until the end of June. Book a 30-minute free call with me, during which I will give repertoire suggestions that fit your style and descriptions of your weaknesses. This call is available for the first 5 people who contact me (no places left - stay tuned for the next article).

GM Gordievsky Dmitry