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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is the Classical Sicilian that bad? (Read 23219 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #76 - 06/12/18 at 00:28:49
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kylemeister wrote on 06/07/18 at 18:52:09:
s that with 8...Ne5 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f4 Nc6 11. g4?  I note that that was considered as leading to += back in NCO (Gallagher).


Pretty much. Except that he suggests 11Qe2 a6 and then 12g4.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #75 - 06/07/18 at 18:52:09
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FreeRepublic wrote on 04/14/18 at 15:45:46:
Max recommends 6...Qb6 7Nb3 e6 7Bf4!?


Is that with 8...Ne5 9. Be3 Qc7 10. f4 Nc6 11. g4?  I note that that was considered as leading to += back in NCO (Gallagher).
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #74 - 06/07/18 at 18:03:06
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I have played a number of games at standard time controls with a friend (I suppose you'd call them "training games") in the line 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 Qb6.

I don't remember the details, but we came to the conclusion that if Black plays ...e6, ...Be7, ...0-0 and plans ...Rfd8 followed by ...d5, he doesn't need to play ...a6 and the effective "extra" tempo is important (Black is OK).

Sometimes Black has to deal with ...Na4 ideas, but the knight doesn't do a lot on a4, especially if b6 isn't weak.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #73 - 05/19/18 at 05:49:09
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ChessPublishing gave a game that ended in a perpetual check after the moves:
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+
and also 15Kb1 Rfc8!?

However after 15Kb1 Rfc8 16g4!? white threatens a pawn roller, and it is not clear that black can obtain satisfactory counterplay.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #72 - 04/14/18 at 16:22:48
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I've suggested 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5!? a6!?. Then I thought the best moves are 7Qd2 Nxd4 8Qxd4 Qa5. An old FIDE Chess monograph continued with 9.Bd2, 9.f4, and 9.Bxf6

I downloaded the kindle version of the updated Dismantling the Sicilian by Illingworth and De La Villa, and was curious to see his recommendation for this rare line. He likes 9h4 and says ...e5 10Qd2 Be6 11Bxf6 gxf6 13g3 "is a poor man's Sveshnikov." He may be right! Then again, my old Stockfish engine computes little advantage for white after 12...h5.

Looking at the position after 12...h5, white has the better pawn structure and black has the two bishops. Perhaps this unbalanced position offers balanced chances.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #71 - 04/14/18 at 15:45:46
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gewgaw wrote on 04/10/18 at 17:43:38:
What about 6. ...Qb6?!!


I just downloaded the kindle version of the updated Dismantling the Sicilian by Illingworth and De La Villa. I recommend it highly.

Max recommends 6...Qb6 7Nb3 e6 7Bf4!?
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #70 - 04/10/18 at 21:54:30
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gewgaw wrote on 04/10/18 at 17:43:38:
What about 6. ...Qb6?!!


ChessPublishing (I think Federowicz and others) likes 7Be3!? as a response. 7...Qxb2?! 8Ndb5 offers more for white. After 7Be3 black can try 7...a6 then 8. Qd2! Ng4! 9. Na4 Qc7 10. Nxc6 and black can play either ...Qxc6 or ...Nxe3 with acceptable play IMO.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #69 - 04/10/18 at 19:05:28
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RdC wrote on 04/10/18 at 18:26:51:
You can play .. Nc6 and .. Qb6 as in 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nc6 7. f4 Qb6 . The problem is that the queenless middlegame after 8. Nb3 Qe3+ 9. Qe2 Qxe2 is by no means as easy to play as you might hope it would be.


An old book possibility is 7...Ng4.  But 7. Qd2 is the main move, I would think.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #68 - 04/10/18 at 19:00:36
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gewgaw wrote on 04/10/18 at 17:43:38:
What about 6. ...Qb6?!!


I was reminded of that having been played by a Dutch IM named Erik Hoeksema, though in annotating a game a couple of years ago (at the link, in Dutch), he referred to it as "deze 6...Db6 rommel" (approximately "this 6...Qb6 junk").  The game in question (like the Djukic-Kozul ones) transposed to 6...e6 7. Qd2 Be7 8. 0-0-0 0-0 9. Nb3 Qb6. 

http://gc1.groningercombinatie.nl/uncategorized/polak-hoeksema/      
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #67 - 04/10/18 at 18:44:53
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"Another sideline was just played by Kozul in all three Black games in a match against Djukic:  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cd 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Qb6.  Each time the continuation was 8. Nb3 Be7 9. O-O-O O-O, which transposes to an old major line (7...Be7 8. 0-0-0 0-0 9. Nb3 Qb6).

Yes, the Podebrad variation is very interesting and would be deserving of its own thread if the Classical were theoretically hot. I think black is fully O.K., if he plays precisely.

"the latest CBM recommends 8. Bxf6 gf 9. Nb3 ... sees an advantage for White in all lines." 

As you say. "Eh?"

We can get a maze of variations and games. I tried to follow along and came up with this game:

Montoliu Cervero, F-Bernal Moro, L TCh-ESP 2nd Div 2016 (Linares ESP) 1/2-1/2  Round 6 2016



Overall, I think white may be a bit better, but black has chances too.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #66 - 04/10/18 at 18:26:51
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IsaVulpes wrote on 03/23/18 at 00:48:44:
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)


You can play .. Nc6 and .. Qb6 as in 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nc6 7. f4 Qb6 . The problem is that the queenless middlegame after 8. Nb3 Qe3+ 9. Qe2 Qxe2 is by no means as easy to play as you might hope it would be.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #65 - 04/10/18 at 17:43:38
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Carlsen and Caruana used the classical Sicilian as a winning try in crucial games, but in both games White (Karjakin, Anand) had everything under control.

What about 6. ...Qb6?!!
  

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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #64 - 04/09/18 at 23:06:08
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Another sideline was just played by Kozul in all three Black games in a match against Djukic:  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cd 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 Qb6.  Each time the continuation was 8. Nb3 Be7 9. O-O-O O-O, which transposes to an old major line (7...Be7 8. 0-0-0 0-0 9. Nb3 Qb6).

On the other hand, the latest CBM recommends 8. Bxf6 gf 9. Nb3:  "Black would be doing well after 8.Nb3 a6, but Leonid Kritz recommends the intermediary exchange on f6. In the resulting typical Rauser positions our author sees an advantage for White in all lines."  Eh?
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #63 - 03/23/18 at 03:11:48
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IsaVulpes wrote on 03/23/18 at 00:48:44:
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?


Certainly not a new line, but perhaps neglected. The best analysis may be from the pre-computer era. I've loaded the ChessPublishing files into BookUp, which has its pros and cons. Anyway here is a comment from CP:

"Thomas Hendrich enquired about this Najdorf/Richter-Rauzer line, which has been mentioned by John Emms.

Black is currently in good health in a number of critical lines of the 6Bg5 variation (6...Nbd7 and the Delayed Poisoned Pawn spring to mind), but if he is keen to get a lower-rated opponent on to less familiar territory and away from any forced drawing lines, the text isn't such a bad choice. It does help if Black has some understanding of the Rauzer to play this line, but if he does there are definite chances to gradually out manoeuvre White."

Of course I have been looking at this from the Classical move order. One advantage is that 6Be3 is less critical as a response in the Classical Sicilian. In general, I think more players are preparing for the Najdorf than for the Classical.
  
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Re: Is the Classical Sicilian that bad?
Reply #62 - 03/23/18 at 03:01:38
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Correction:

FIDE Chess devotes 29 (!) columns to 7Bxf6 gxf6. Most RR players have come to grips with this revised pawn structure and are NOT too scared.
  
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