Latest Updates:
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Topic Tools
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is the Classical Sicilian that bad? (Read 19581 times)
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #61 - 03/23/18 at 02:59:05
Post Tools
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5!? a6!?. The best source I've found on this is FIDE Chess B60-65, 1997, pgs 11 to 14. twenty years old. This is indeed a well forgotten line.

There are several alternatives. FIDE Chess answers 7Be2 with Bd7 leading to equality. But I like 7Be2 Qa5. Not mentioned is 7Bc4. Here to black can play 7...Qa5. FIDE Chess analyzes 7Nb3 to equality. In general moves line Nb3 or Be2 seem non-critical in the Richter-Rauzer (RR). 7f4 is interesting. FIDE Chess gives 7...Ng4! as their favored line. They also consider 7...Qb6 slightly better for white (I'm not sure), and 7...Bd7 equal (again I'm not so sure).

FIDE Chess devotes 29 (!) columns to 7Bxf6 gxf6. Most RR players have come to grips with this revised pawn structure and are too scared. After 8Bc4 Qb6 9Nde2 g6 or 9...Qxb2, we get interesting positions. I have not evaluated this personally, but SF initially favors black. Many columns are devoted to 7Bxf6 gxf6 8Be2. Again, I don't think Be2 and 0-0 ideas are too dangerous for black. There is also 7Bxf6 gxf6 8Nb3. Again, a retreating move like Nb3 does not seem to critical, although there is nothing wrong with white trying it out.

7Bxf6 gxf6 8Qd2 seems like the right RR way for white to play, given that he traded on move 7. Here, somewhat surprisingly for me, FIDE Chess finds equality for black in each of the four columns examined.

Saving the best for last: 17 columns on 7Qd2 Nxd4 8Qxd4. FIDE Chess examines 8...e5 and 8...Qa5. 8...e5 9Qa4 seems to favor white.

7Qd2 Nxd4 8Qxd4 Qa5. On move 9, Bd2, f4, and Bxf6 are considered. FIDE Chess only claims an advantage after Bxf6. Personally, I'm a skeptic of the un-prompted Bxf6 in the Rauzer unless, so perhaps white should re-consider 9Bd2 9f4 and also 9Qd2.

Two columns for 7Qd2 Nxd4 8Qxd4 Qa5 9Bxf6 gxf6 100-0-0 Rg8 11Kb1. Here black FIDE Chess continues with 11...f5, but black has move 11 alternatives, e.g. Bg7 Bd7 and Be6. After 11...f5 12Nd5 Be6 13exf Bxf5 14Bc4 FIDE Chess says white has the initiative. Stockfish rather prefers black after 14...Rg4.

Considering the many, many satisfactory lines in the Classical Sicilian, the only question that remains is:  Does "best play" give white the advantage? As far as I can tell, the answer is no.

There certainly is some theory on the Classical Sicilian, but I think there is even more theory in the Najdorf, Dragon, and other lines. So, all in all, I think the Classical Sicilian is worth playing to get your opponent on his own in a relatively solid, but still unbalanced line.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
IsaVulpes
Full Member
***
Offline


No.

Posts: 192
Joined: 12/09/07
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #60 - 03/23/18 at 00:48:44
Post Tools
Surely 6. ..a6 can't exactly be "the new kid on the block"?
At that point you're either arguing Najdorf players should go for 6. ..Nc6 against the 6.Bg5 mainline (which is currently chosen in ~2% of games), or willingly playing an inferior variation?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #59 - 03/23/18 at 00:41:28
Post Tools
"Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?" Or, why play the Classical Sicilian?

The Classical Sicilian starts after the moves:  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6. White has many reasonable 6th moves that lead to interesting positions with about equal chances: Be2, Be3, g3, f3, f4, h3. I often see Be2 and Be3.

A better move for white is the aggressive 6Bc4. At first black responded with 6...e6, later black added 6...Qb6 to his options. Both moves are O.K., but black has been outscoring white with the Benko variation, 6...Qb6!? for several years! So far nothing to complain about.

The real challenge comes from 6Bg5, the Richter-Rauzer. Once again, a lot of IM/GM attention was focused on e6. This leads to many tricky lines. I've looked at several, and will probably do so in the future. It's hard to shake white's advantage if he plays precisely.

The success of the Benko variation in the Sozin, 6Bc4 Qb6, has shaken me from my lazy ways (black moves of e6 Be7 0-0 against everything). Maybe the inherent logic of the Classical is piece development. But rather than 6...Bd7 or 6...Qb6, I've been looking at 6...a6 with appropriate follow-up (Qa5, Qb6, etc.)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #58 - 02/23/18 at 20:57:55
Post Tools
In the Richter Rauzer I always thought that 6...a6 was as reasonable a move as the Larsen variation, 6...Bd7. Yet 6...a6 didn't seem to get any respect. I'm glad to say that ChessPublishing has given it a little attention. What should we call it? The Rodney Dangerfield variation? The RauzerDorf? From ChessPublishing:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5!? a6!? 7. Qd2 Nxd4!? 8. Qxd4 Qa5 9. f4 e5!? 10. Qd2 Be7 11. f5 b5 12. Bxf6 Bxf6! 13. O-O-O O-O 14. h4 Bb7 15. Nd5 Qxa2 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. Qh6 Qa1+ 18. Kd2 Qa5+ 19. Kc1 Qa1+ with perpetual check.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #57 - 11/04/17 at 20:45:10
Post Tools
Many posts have encouraged black to play the Kozul variation. I was put off on that a few years ago by the advent of the English attack from that variation. I don't think the English attack is a refutation, just one more headache for black.

So Kozul players must be prepared for both
1e4 c5 2Nf3 Nc6 3d4 cxd4 4Nxd4 Nf6 5Nc3 d6 6Bg5 e6 7Qd2 a6 80-0-0 b5
9f4
and
9f3
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #56 - 11/04/17 at 20:37:14
Post Tools
You are right. It was a hot topic, though I am not aware of a really strong reply.

After 1e4 c5 2Nf3 Nc6 3d4 cxd4 4Nxd4 Nf6 5Nc3 d6 6Bg5 e6 7Qd2 a6 80-0-0 Nxd4!? 9Qxd4 Be7, 10h4 scores very well for white. However, if black replies ...Qc7 (vs. e5) 11f3 b5, we get back to English attack lines that seem O.K. For example, 12Kb1 Bb7 13Qd2 Rc8 and black outscores white in my data base.

Statistical scores and computer evaluations both have their pitfalls. Like an ECO evaluation, they are not definitive. Still, it may point the way towards lines you might want to play.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4299
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #55 - 11/04/17 at 19:47:00
Post Tools
I seem to recall that that line was a hot topic about 20 years ago.  (Reminds me of a suggestion by ErictheRed to play stuff top players were playing back around that time.)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #54 - 11/04/17 at 19:20:39
Post Tools
I forgot to mention that this line is also covered in the Complete Richter Rauzer by Wells and Osnos pg 58-61.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #53 - 11/04/17 at 19:14:05
Post Tools
White has many 6th move alternatives in the Classical Sicilian, but in my opinion 6Bg5! is the most dangerous. 6Bc4!? is also aggressive. All other sixth moves, Be2, Be3, f4, g3 lead to interesting games with equal chances.

Alex Yermolinsky devoted a large proportion (50%?) of his Classical Sicilian book to 6Bg5. 6Bg5 is the move chosen for white in Experts vs. the Sicilian and in Dismantling the Sicilian.

As black, I've considered most of black responses. I've only recently turned my attention to the following line:
1e4 c5 2Nf3 Nc6 (or d6) 3d4 cxd4 4Nxd4 Nf6 5Nc3 d6 (or Nc6) 6Bg5 e6 7Qd2 a6 80-0-0 Nxd4!? 9Qxd4 Be7.

I'm somewhat encouraged by what I've seen. As black, I'm not expecting an easy game, but I do want my share of chances. Chess Publishing and other sources treat this line with respect.

White has two major plans: 10f4 and the English attack 10f3 (10h4 or 10Kb1 followed by f3). After 10f4 b5, the main line is 11Bxf6 gxf6 and now 12e5 and 12f5 are among the moves that have been played.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
RdC
God Member
*****
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 738
Joined: 05/17/08
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #52 - 09/09/17 at 09:48:44
Post Tools
TN wrote on 09/09/17 at 03:13:23:
Also, I worked on this ...Be7/...0-0 a couple of years ago but found some problem lines. It's better to play 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 in my opinion.


According to computer engines, the unlikely looking 11. .. b6 is the improvement in the Fischer game. That at least enables the Bishop to emerge at a6, even if it does block the retreat of the Queen.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
TN
YaBB Moderator
*****
Offline



Posts: 3396
Joined: 11/07/08
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #51 - 09/09/17 at 03:13:23
Post Tools
That hilarious game below:



Also, I worked on this ...Be7/...0-0 a couple of years ago but found some problem lines. It's better to play 7...a6 8.0-0-0 Bd7 in my opinion.
  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4299
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #50 - 09/09/17 at 01:40:29
Post Tools
FreeRepublic wrote on 09/08/17 at 21:39:16:
I played white in a speed game.

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 h6 10. Bh4,

I was surprised by ...a6.

It is a perfectly natural move and seems to lead to reasonable play. If there is a refutation, it was not immediately obvious to me.


Hmm, in a Russian opening encylopedia from the '90s, V. Osnos (who co-authored The Complete Richter-Rauzer with Peter Wells) awarded 10...a6 a question mark, giving 11. Nxc6 bc 12. e5 etc. from a game Matanovic-Sofrevski. 

(Side note:  I know of Sofrevski mainly from an account that he was prepared by Geller for a game against Fischer, which resulted in Fischer winning in 19 moves.)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #49 - 09/08/17 at 21:39:16
Post Tools
I played white in a speed game.

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 h6 10. Bh4,

I was surprised by ...a6.

It is a perfectly natural move and seems to lead to reasonable play. If there is a refutation, it was not immediately obvious to me.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
FreeRepublic
Junior Member
**
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 88
Location: Georgia
Joined: 06/08/17
Gender: Male
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #48 - 06/19/17 at 17:30:42
Post Tools
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.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
jdart
YaBB Newbies
*
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 14
Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 12/12/10
Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #47 - 06/19/17 at 14:48:58
Post Tools
Note though that 11. .. Bd7 is really a sideline: the most common move by far is 11. .. Qa5 (also possible is 11. .. a6).
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Topic Tools
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ Linked in reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo