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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is the Classical Sicilian that bad? (Read 7850 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #48 - 06/19/17 at 17:30:42
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You are right. 11...Bd7 really is a sideline (a very rare one). It would have been nice to make it work.

I've shifted my attention to:
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Qa5 12. Bc4 e5 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Qd3.

I discussed this a little in a post a couple days ago.

It's not a new line. In fact it is one of black's main lines. I was not optimistic at first, but I'm starting to like it for black.

There are a lot of nuances for both sides, so preparation and experience may pay good dividends.
  
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jdart
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #47 - 06/19/17 at 14:48:58
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Note though that 11. .. Bd7 is really a sideline: the most common move by far is 11. .. Qa5 (also possible is 11. .. a6).
  
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CarriedbyGg
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #46 - 06/19/17 at 11:37:46
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Jup. The positions after 12 e5 look very prospectless for Black and what the main problem is: it's just sooo easy for White to calculate that far! And it's not hard to assess this position as better for White, either.
Most people that play the Sicilian and are reasonably educated should at least know that these Bxf6, Qxd6 stuff often results in good compensation for Black and therefore should rather refrain from doing that, which means they will start calculating e5 pretty soon and that's where the fun ends, right?
  
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mn
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #45 - 06/19/17 at 03:52:21
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It does look like Black has a few decent options against 12 Bxf6, and indeed 12 e5 appears to be the real issue.
  
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jdart
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #44 - 06/19/17 at 02:31:11
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It looks like after some fairly deep analysis (Stockfish 8 to depth 40) that Black has some equalizing lines after 13. .. Bh4. Both 14. exd6 Qa5 and 14. exd6 Bc6 appear to work. In the former line Stockfish likes 15. a3 instead of Pruijsser's 15. Qe5, although Qe5 may be ok too with correct play. (Note too I am not saying the computer is infallible here: take with a grain of salt).


« Last Edit: 06/19/17 at 11:04:15 by jdart »  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #43 - 06/17/17 at 01:14:57
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Well the line I considered for black:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Bd7 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Bd3! Rfe8 is suffering, as detailed by MN.

Alex Yermolinsky covers many lines in his book. Here is one found on pg 75.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Qa5 12. Bc4 e5 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. Qd3. The play up to this point seems natural. Black has not had to contort himself to stay in the game (at least not yet). Alex explains his game against Michael Adams in detail. He suggests a few more moves as possibly most precise: 15...Bg4 15. Rdf1 Rac8 16. Bxf6 Bxf6 17Bb3.

There are some tactics under the surface. For example Alex mentions the natural 16Bb3 Rxc3! 17Qxc3 Qxc3 18bxc3 Ba3ch 19Kb1 Nxe4 with advantage to black.

After 17Bb3, black might reply with Bh4, or Be6, or R(f)d8. Besides 17Bb3, white can consider 17Kb1 and 17Nd5.

I rather like the lines where black plays Be6 allowing Bxe6 fxe6. Black gets control of central squares with his doubled e pawns and the open f file can prove beneficial.

Yermolinsky present the moves ...Bg4 and ...Bh4. This bishop duo on the king side looks odd to me, but it seems they can gum up the works in white's hoped-for attack.

Working with Stockfish, it seems that black can get chances. However, practice has favored white. So I suggest that players of the black pieces prepare. Try to get a feel and understanding for this line before your first game.
  
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mn
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #42 - 06/14/17 at 19:58:23
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I feel like White should be at least a little better here objectively, and I think Black faces a thankless practical task:

1. White was more space (which you mentioned)
2. White has a better Bishop
3. Black's King looks more likely to come under attack than White's.

After 17 Rhe1 Be6 18 Kb1 (18 Re3!?) 18...Rec8, while I assume you wouldn't advocate playing the ...Rc5/...b5 plan automatically, here's an example of what can happen if Black does:

19 Re3 Rc5 20 Rg3 b5?! 21 Qe3 Kh8 22 Rf1 (followed by Rf4-h4)

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Point being, White's attack has the potential to develop a lot more quickly, as the ...h6 hook gives him a target (which Black lacks on the Queenside).

Of course, Black can always try to bail out with something like 19...Qc5, when in addition to 20 Qf4, 20 c3 is probably good, as any ending like this:

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is clearly thankless for Black.
  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #41 - 06/14/17 at 04:29:43
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After
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Bd7!? 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Nxd5 exd5 16. Bd3!material is even and each side has a weak central
pawn. Both kings can come under attack. White has a little more space. So it sounds like it could be even if black proceeds with care.

I think black does best to play 16...Rfe8!?
White can defend with either rook.
If 17. Rde1, ...Bf5! seems Ok.
If 17. Rhe1, I recommend 17...Be6. After a typical 18Kb1, R(e)c8 intends Rc5 followed with ...b5.

Either way, a typical tense RR game ensues.

So now all we need is are reliable answers to 9f3 and 9Nb3. That shouldn't be too hard.  Smiley
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #40 - 06/12/17 at 18:54:36
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After 6. Bg5 e6  7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Bd7 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Nxd5 exd5, black is OK if white plays the obvious move 16Qxd5. Black can respond with Bg4 or Bc6 with a good game despite being a pawn down.

Unfortunately 16. Bd3! seems to favor white somewhat, as far as I can tell.
  
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mn
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #39 - 06/11/17 at 22:11:49
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Fair point. I suppose in the version without ...h6, Black would do better to take on b2 instead of ...Bd4, but that looks like it leads to a Rook ending that's better for White.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #38 - 06/11/17 at 21:55:02
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There is an Informant monograph (FIDE chess) on B60-5.

Glenn Wilson did some great analysis. 15...Qb6!? can be used against both 15Qb4 and 15Qe3. Still 15Qb4 a5!? has a certain RR charm.

I would love to do without h6. But consider the following line:

6. Bg5 e6  7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 h6 11. Bh4 Bd7 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Qxd6 Bc6 14. Qxd8 Rfxd8 15. Bb5 Bxc3 16. Bxc6 Bd4 17. Bxb7 Rab8 18.c3 Be3+ 19. Kc2 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Rxb7

Isn't it nice to have luft?
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #37 - 06/11/17 at 21:21:51
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FreeRepublic wrote on 06/11/17 at 21:05:15:
FIDE put out a little book on B60-5. They covered this, but without h6 Bh4.


FIDE?  I thought you might be referring to an Informant monograph, but as far as I know they didn't do B65.  (They're still offering B66 and B67-69 ...)
  
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mn
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #36 - 06/11/17 at 21:11:09
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FreeRepublic wrote on 06/11/17 at 21:05:15:
I think black has to include h6 Bh4.


I was about to suggest the opposite, actually - does Black necessarily have to throw in ...h6, potentially weakening the Kingside and giving White the extra option of 11 h4 - ?
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #35 - 06/11/17 at 21:05:15
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Of course you're not convinced. It is an absurd line. If 15...Bc6, then 16Ne4 as you suggested. 15...a5 seems better.

FIDE put out a little book on B60-5. They covered this, but without h6 Bh4. I think black has to include h6 Bh4. They suggested ...a5 Qb3, end of analysis. It seems to me that capturing the b pawn is more natural.

So to recap:
6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. O-O-O O-O  9. f4 h6 10. Bh4 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 Bd7 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. e5 Be7 14. exd6 Bf6 15. Qb4!? a5!

And now 16. Qxb7 Bxc3 17. bxc3 Rb8 18. Qc7 Qf6 unclear.
  
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mn
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #34 - 06/11/17 at 20:58:16
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Ah, I've found the answer to my own question.

The slightly paradoxical 15...Qb6! when:

A) 16 a3 Qe3+ 17 Kb1 a5! (17...Bxc3 18 Qxc3 Qxc3 19 bxc3 is possible as well) 18 Qe4 (18 Qb3 Qxf4=) 18...Qc5 and Black has a serious initiative.

B) 16 Qxb6 axb6 and now:

   B1) 17 Ne4 Rxa2 18 Nxf6+ gxf6 19 Bc4 Ra5 - despite Black's mess of a structure, I don't see a clear way forward for White.

   B2) 17 Bb5 Bxb5 18 Nxb5 gives back the pawn in exchange for breaking the blockade on the d7 square. However, after 18...Rxa2 19 c3 Ra5 followed by ...Rd8 and ...Rd7, I don't see any problems for Black.

   B3) 17 Bc4 Bc6! (I think this is more accurate than 17...Bxc3 18 bxc3 Bc6 because now 19 Rhe1!; White can ignore the threat to his g2 pawn, because without the Bishop on f6, the d-pawn is far more dangerous.) 18 f5!? (18 Rhg1 Bxc3 19 bxc3 Ra4=), and now a sample variation could go 18...Bxc3 19 bxc3 exf5 20 Rhe1 b5 21 Bd5 Rfd8 22 Kb2 Kf8 23 Re7 Bxd5 24 Rxd5 Rxd6! 25 Rxf7+ Kxf7 26 Rxd6 f4 with an ending that should be okay for Black.

This can also be played if White tries 15 Qe3 instead of 15 Qb4, as after 15 Qe3 Qb6!, I don't really think White has anything better than taking on b6.


  
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