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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Dismantling the Sicilian (Read 29856 times)
mn
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #83 - 09/13/17 at 22:47:53
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I'm not sure I agree with Qf3 being harmless in the 5...a6 line. 7...Bb4 8 Nxc6 bxc6 9 Bd3 (or 9 Qg3) looks pleasant for White (although perhaps we should take this to another thread  Cheesy )
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #82 - 09/13/17 at 20:41:39
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If 6.Nxc6 isn't strong then everyone would play 5...a6.  I actually do think that Black gets a lot in return for the 5...a6 move.  First, there is 6.Be3 Nf6, with extra options against the English Attack (which I personally like for Black).  There is also 7.Qf3 Bb4! when I don't think that White has much of anything, unlike after 5...Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3. 

Against other moves you can obviously transpose to a "main line" with 6...Qc7 if you'd like, but against the Classical as Kylemeister noted, heading for a Scheveningen might be a little better than usual for Black (or at least keep more options open).  There is also the original Taimanov idea of playing ...Nge7 or ...Nxd4 followed by ...Nge7-c6 in some Classical move orders (I wouldn't play them against everything). 

Like all move order nuances, there are pros and cons.  But if Black has nothing to worry about after 5...a6 6.Nxc6 I see absolutely no reason for him not to play it, as he can either transpose into 5...Qc7 lines or advantageously avoid the move (such as after 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qf3?! Bb4!) without negative repercussion that I'm aware of.
« Last Edit: 09/13/17 at 23:08:48 by ErictheRed »  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #81 - 09/13/17 at 19:39:42
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Regarding 7. e5, I was reminded that in an update of some months ago GM Roiz considered 7...Qc7 8. Bf4 dangerous for Black.

Regarding Be3/Be2, there is the point that leaving the queen on d8 can provide extra options in the Classical Schevy.  (Vlastimil Jansa had a discussion of some of that stuff in Dynamics of Chess Strategy, and I recall noticing his former student David Navara playing that way.)
  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #80 - 09/13/17 at 19:39:05
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Does 5...a6 give any extra options against White's classical Be3/Be2 setup (compared to 5...Qc7)?

The few times I've considered taking up the Taimanov, the Classical has been a big issue. I tried just going into the Classical Scheveningen, but didn't like the positions at all. They just felt too passive for my taste. And in some of the ...Bb4 lines it looks like White is playing for two results.
  

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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #79 - 09/13/17 at 19:27:09
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I suspect because you're allowing the (fairly critical) 6 Nxc6 variation without getting all that much in return.

You get extra options against the English Attack, but it's not clear these are any more effective than the normal lines. As far as I understand you still have to deal with the Be3/Qf3 stuff, and 5...Qc7 6 Ndb5 just isn't very good.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #78 - 09/13/17 at 17:24:37
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Thanks, Bragesjo. I wonder, though : if it's really all that simple for Black, why does almost everyone play 5...Qc7? The whole point of that move order was to avoid the difficult 6.Nxc6 lines. If those variations really are fine for Black, then everyone should start playing 6...a6 again for the reasons I gave in my last post.
  
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bragesjo
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #77 - 09/13/17 at 08:44:43
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Yes it was the line I meant. I am not shure if whites position is that easyer to handle, Attacking the flexible thought it was difficualt for white to come up a sensible plan. I have also played this line vs a friend i blitz games and I used to scrore good untill he  started to play Kf8.

About  7 e5 I have never seen this recommended for white in any of my books.
Attacking the flexible writes that it was once popular but nowdays it has practically dissapered from tournamnets.
The seem to think that the critical posiotion arrises of 7 .. Qc7 8 Qe2 Ne7 9 f4 c5 10 Ne4.
They wrtite that black get considereable chanses for an attack after 10 .. Nf5 11 Bd2 Bb7 12 0-0 Qc6 13 Ng3 Nd4 quating a game from 2013.
Attacking the flexbile went for Be3 intending Qf3 and transposing to mainlne if black plays Qc7.

"Modernized the Open Sicilian" did also not play the Nxc6 system.

I my view whites two most promesing lines vs Taimanov is either the modern 6 Be3 a6 7 Qf3 or the g3 system.
The traditional English  attack is not as dangereus as it used to be in the line  and plan recommended by "The most flexible sicilian".
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #76 - 09/12/17 at 17:29:57
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bragesjo wrote on 09/11/17 at 20:10:45:
Most of my books went for Nxc6 and I have played it in a few games as well. However the recent "Attacking the flexible Sicilian" shows improvments for black in 11 .. Kf8 where they think that white has nothing special so therefore they went for an other line.


There is also 7.e5, if I'm understanding your post correctly (I think you mean after 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Re1 Be7 10.e5 Nd7 11.Qg4). 

Theory changes over the years, but if I were White and wanted a line against the "old" Taimanov move order that would last forever, I'd choose 6.Nxc6 bc and then vary between 7.Bd3 and 7.e5, depending on mood and current theory.  It's hard for me to believe that White doesn't have at least a slight edge and easier-to-play position in those lines. 

Still, the only time someone played this way against me in a tournament game, I won a nice, scrappy game against a 2350 player, so I have fond memories of it.  If I remember correctly, it went 11...g6 12.Bh6 Rb8 13.Rb1 Rb4! 14.Qe2 Rh4!, or something similar.  White has plenty of ways to try to improve, though.

I prefer playing this way as Black to dealing with the English Attack proper, the fashionable 7.Qf3, and the 5...Qc7 6.Ndb5 line.  I'm really surprised that more White players don't play 6.Nxc6, and can only conclude that most try to play the same system against 5...a6 as they have prepared against 5...Qc7. 
  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #75 - 09/11/17 at 20:10:45
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ErictheRed wrote on 09/11/17 at 19:47:03:
TN wrote on 09/11/17 at 08:52:39:
Out of interest, what do you think of Negi's 6.Nxc6 repertoire against the 5...a6 Taimanov? Kotronias & Semkov had some improvements over his analysis in 'Attacking the Flexible Sicilian' (where they recommend 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qf3, fwiw).


I admit that I'm not aware of Negi's analysis; I've put all of my opening/theoretical work over the past 2-3 years into my own book, more or less.  But 6.Nxc6! has been considered the best move in that position since at least the 1980s, various lazy White players notwithstanding (those that don't want to learn a separate system of play).


Most of my books went for Nxc6 and I have played it in a few games as well. However the recent "Attacking the flexible Sicilian" shows improvments for black in 11 .. Kf8 where they think that white has nothing special so therefore they went for an other line.
  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #74 - 09/11/17 at 19:47:03
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TN wrote on 09/11/17 at 08:52:39:
Out of interest, what do you think of Negi's 6.Nxc6 repertoire against the 5...a6 Taimanov? Kotronias & Semkov had some improvements over his analysis in 'Attacking the Flexible Sicilian' (where they recommend 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qf3, fwiw).


I admit that I'm not aware of Negi's analysis; I've put all of my opening/theoretical work over the past 2-3 years into my own book, more or less.  But 6.Nxc6! has been considered the best move in that position since at least the 1980s, various lazy White players notwithstanding (those that don't want to learn a separate system of play).
  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #73 - 09/11/17 at 08:52:39
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Out of interest, what do you think of Negi's 6.Nxc6 repertoire against the 5...a6 Taimanov? Kotronias & Semkov had some improvements over his analysis in 'Attacking the Flexible Sicilian' (where they recommend 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Qf3, fwiw).
  

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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #72 - 09/10/17 at 20:48:30
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As a long time 5...a6 Taimanov player, I think that White's best (if he doesn't want to transpose into another main line) is to simply play 6.Nxc6 bc and now either of 7.e5 or 7.Bd3.  Hardly anyone ever plays that way against me, though.
  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #71 - 09/10/17 at 19:09:37
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Thanks for that comment about 2...Nc6! It's very interesting. I will note that the statistics for the line he gives against the related Kalashnikov are not much better, though with proper play by white I think (referencing databases and Stockfish) the first player still retains some edge:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5
5. Nb5 d6 6. N1c3 a6 7. Na3 b5 8. Nd5 Nge7
9. c4 Nd4 10. Be3 Nxd5 11. cxd5

I would be interested in any improvements here, also.

The problems with the Pelikan line spill over to his suggestion against the Four Knights variation, because it transposes:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bf4 e5 8. Bg5

And here the Rossolimo is not an option.

Another potential issue is the Kupreichik variation, where the recommendation is:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Bd7 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2

After ...a6 black scores an amazing 60% in my database. The engines think white has an edge, so I wonder what's going on.

He does say 7. f3 followed by 8. Qd2 might be a better move order. But these both seem to score worse than 7. Nbd5 or 7. f4. I would humbly suggest instead of 10. h4 in his line, 10. g4:
7...a6 8. f3 Be7 9. 0-0-0 b5 10. g4.
« Last Edit: 09/10/17 at 22:06:43 by phonological_loop »  
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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #70 - 09/10/17 at 18:38:39
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phonological_loop wrote on 09/10/17 at 17:59:12:
I'm also not so hot on the line he gives against the Pelikan (Sveshnikov):
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5
9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3 Be6 12. O-O Bxd5
13. exd5 Ne7 14. c3 Bg7 15. Qh5.

Playing through my database, these are all the most popular moves for both sides. So I suppose it is the main line. However, white scores 49% in it, and wins only 17% of games.

What other lines deserve attention in the new edition?

I know very little concretely about the Sveshnikov, but it's arguably become a victim of its own success. A common view today is that the main line after 2...Nc6 is no longer 3.d4, but 3.Bb5. And no doubt the Sveshnikov is the main reason for that.

I wonder if even De la Villa will break with his principled Open Sicilian and recommend the Rossolimo? Probably not, but then he needs to find lines that he can claim give some chances against the Sveshnikov.
  

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Re: Dismantling the Sicilian
Reply #69 - 09/10/17 at 17:59:12
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I'm a club player returning to chess after a long break, and I really like this book. I'm very much looking forward to the new edition and have already pre-ordered it.

I didn't see much discussion of the actual lines given by de la Villa in this thread, so I thought I would note some omissions and potentially problematic points. I do this in anticipation of the new edition, where they will hopefully be covered!

Checking the Najdorf and Scheveningen recommendations against my database (and sometimes Stockfish) convince me that some updates are needed here, which is entirely unsurprising given the age of the book.

A more subtle point comes up in the coverage of a Taimanov Sicilian sideline, which I looked up after having it in a game yesterday. The suggestion is:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. f4,

and in the 77 games in my database white scores 65%. Play continues 7...Bb4 8. Bd3, and now de la Villa considers many moves, but not the most played move in my database, which is 8...e5. This is a curious omission. White still scores about 60%, though Stockfish thinks black has equalized.

(Out of curiosity, what is the best objective try for white in the 5...a6 Taimanov?)

I'm also not so hot on the line he gives against the Pelikan (Sveshnikov):
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5
9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3 Be6 12. O-O Bxd5
13. exd5 Ne7 14. c3 Bg7 15. Qh5.

Playing through my database, these are all the most popular moves for both sides. So I suppose it is the main line. However, white scores 49% in it, and wins only 17% of games.

What other lines deserve attention in the new edition?
  
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