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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal? (Read 5240 times)
Stigma
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #14 - 12/07/17 at 08:40:09
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P.P.S: Actually, just following The Killer Sicilian is an attractive option as well; it's not like Tony's Kalashnikov lines are knife-edge memory contests for the most part. Though still a bit more theory than these lesser-known sidelines involve.
  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #13 - 12/07/17 at 06:25:09
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I was just informed that the recent Lakdawala "Move by Move" book on the Sveshnikov has a fairly long chapter on his specialty 6...h6, which he calls "the Ulfie" after Ulf Andersson.

Of course I thought of this thread. (Alas this "solid quick fix Sicilian" project of mine has been on the back burner since 2014; the few times I've played the Sicilian I've relied on my patchy Accelerated Dragon knowledge instead.)

Has anybody seen this chapter on the Haberditz variation (the proper name) and care to comment on whether it's worth getting? Most White repertoire books still say White just grabs the bishop pair and is automatically better in the ending, but I assume Lakdawala wants to challenge that.

P.S.: Another ...e5 Sicilian to throw in the quick fix mix: Last time I checked, Black was scoring well in OTB practice with the old Bird/Larsen variation (8...Be6 in the Sveshnikov instead of the Sveshnikov proper 8...b5).
  

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Stigma
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #12 - 08/07/14 at 07:13:42
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@ErictheRed No decisions yet, I was busy last night trying to decide if I'm really happy against the most dangerous Anti-Sicilians given 2...Nc6 (I think I am).

The ...h6 line seems a very decent alternative to the Löwenthal. I actually found some coverage of it here http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kaiss22.pdf by a certain Stefan Bücker! See section 3. The Haberditz Variation. And the Reinderman SOS article from 2004 he refers to must be the one I've seen before; I should be able to dig that one up.

It seems a good idea to have both the Löwenthal and the Haberditz available; they are strategically very similar, all the "Antis" are the same, and even if White ultimately gets some advantage against both, it makes me less predictable.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #11 - 08/06/14 at 21:04:55
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Stigma, any update in the last week?  Have you decided on playing one of these Sicilians, found any good study material, etc?
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #10 - 07/31/14 at 06:14:01
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kylemeister wrote on 07/31/14 at 01:16:48:
On a historical note, I recall that Spassky once supposedly struck a serious blow against this line vs. Gheorghiu, with 9. Nb5 Qxd6 10. Nxd6+ Ke7 11. Nf5+ Kf8 12. b3.  I see that in recent times Black has come up with 9...Rb8.

Another "old book line" which has been claimed to be better for White is 9. Qxe7+ Kxe7 10. Be3 followed by f3 and 0-0-0.


I think that 9...Rb8! in your first line is equal, or very near to it.

I'm not quite sure about the second line.  It seems that White must be better with the two bishops and Black's backward d-pawn, but things are never entirely simple in these types of Sicilians.  Okay, I wouldn't want to play Black against Karpov there, but it's hard to prove anything substantial and Black can improve the position of his pieces, rooks, launch a minority attack on the queenside, etc.  That might be White's best try, though.

In any case I'm not here to claim 100% equality for Black or anything, but I do think that this is better than the Lowenthal.

P.s. Look up the games of user "Kawas" on ICC for some good study material here.
  
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #9 - 07/31/14 at 01:26:17
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FWIW Vigorito had a positive impression of "the h6 line" and gave a broad-brush overview of Black's aims in that line.  As I recall Vigorito concluded that White is optically better but the position is probably about equal and Black can easily improve his pieces.
I briefly investigated "Sicilian for Noobs" systems and came up with the Basman-Sale variation, the Four Knights (as in Raetsky - Meeting 1e4 and Eingorn Rock-Solid from a 1d4 e6 2Nf3 c5 3e4 move order where the coverage is sorely lacking due to the rare move order), or some kind of O'Kelly 2...a6.  Both Basman-Sale and Four Knights seem to dissolve immediately into an IQP for Black where several minor pieces have been traded and the play seems rather dry.  My problem with O'Kelly was 3.Nc3 and it seemed to me Black has to play a big mainline.  I appreciate Eric's recommendation as it seems much more practical than the others.  As always this board is a great resource..  Cheers.
  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #8 - 07/31/14 at 01:16:48
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On a historical note, I recall that Spassky once supposedly struck a serious blow against this line vs. Gheorghiu, with 9. Nb5 Qxd6 10. Nxd6+ Ke7 11. Nf5+ Kf8 12. b3.  I see that in recent times Black has come up with 9...Rb8.

Another "old book line" which has been claimed to be better for White is 9. Qxe7+ Kxe7 10. Be3 followed by f3 and 0-0-0.
  
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #7 - 07/31/14 at 00:18:45
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Stigma wrote on 07/30/14 at 23:42:56:
@ErictheRed: I know absolutely nothing about this ...h6 line; would you say it's as sound as the Löwenthal? I have a vague recollection of seeing a survey of a Sicilian with ...h6 in one of the S.O.S. books, but that may have been ...h6 even earlier.


I don't know much about the Löwenthal, but my gut says yes.  There's no refutation that I'm aware of and I think that ...h6 is a more useful move than ...a6 in these structures, if you can get away with it (i.e. it prevents Bc1-g5).  Some fairly strong players have played it from time to time.  Besides Cyrus Lakdawala playing it against a lot of USCF 2300-2550ish players (Masters up to IMs in games that don't make it to the databases), a lot of GMs have dabbled in it (Andersson, Agdestein, and Gheorghiu mostly I think). 

I'm no expert, I just have some notes from about 5 years ago and have always thought that I would play this way myself if I were looking for an offbeat Sicilian system.

You might say the main line is

Which is obviously very similar to the 7...Qe7 Lowenthal, but I like this better I think.  Obviously some lines can transpose, but I think that Black benefits by omitting the early ...a6.  After 9.Qd1 Black can play 9...0-0! for instance, instead of playing 9...a6 which would transpose to the Lowenthal.

Take my opinion with a grain of salt, though, as I've never played it myself outside of a few blitz games.
  
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #6 - 07/30/14 at 23:42:56
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Thanks all for your comments! I have been swamped with work today, but I really appreciate the help.

@TN: I certainly will look at both the online Illingworth survey and Yearbook 108, might even buy the yearbook just for this. How many pages does that particular survey span?

I'm aware of both the Accelerated Dragon and the Kan as options. In fact the AD is my second choice for this purpose at the moment; it is more theoretical, but on the plus side I already have some experience with it. And 2...g6 as an anti-Rossolimo move order is definitely a plus.

On the other hand, I don't feel the Kan fits the bill. 10 or 5 years ago you could play the Kan and expect White to be rather clueless, but today there is lots of sharp theory, and White players are better prepared, no doubt thanks to the repertoire books by Khalifman, the QC team and De la Villa, not to mention ChessPublishing! So I think of the Kan more as an unbalancing winning attempt (and may play it for that purpose if I expect my opponent not to be up-to-date on the theory). My main aim in this thread, on the other hand, is to find something really solid to throw at attacking maniacs  Smiley Defending against these aggressive types has been a clear weakness in my play lately. So maybe it's precisely a "Petroff of the Sicilian" that's needed! I don't think I could bring myself to play the actual Petroff, I have a distaste for any sort of symmetry in chess openings...

Btw. the so-called "Grivas Sicilian" is a third solid option I've considered, and I acquired Grivas' book on it a couple of weeks ago, but I expect it requires deep, thematic understanding of Scheveningen-type positions to play it successfully. So despite being low on theory, it may not really be a quick fix either.

@ErictheRed: I know absolutely nothing about this ...h6 line; would you say it's as sound as the Löwenthal? I have a vague recollection of seeing a survey of a Sicilian with ...h6 in one of the S.O.S. books, but that may have been ...h6 even earlier.
  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #5 - 07/30/14 at 09:58:40
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Indeed, that line is also covered by Sale in Yearbook 73, although I don't think he mentions the line considered to nearly put 4...Bc5 out of business. Again, it isn't a standalone system as White could play 3.Nc3 followed by 4.d4 to avoid it.

Perhaps the best Sicilian in terms of combining the 'quick fix' approach with objective strength is the Kan Sicilian. Another nice thing about it is that your opponent can't really move order you in the Anti-Sicilians; perhaps the only move order tricks White can try are 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 and 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be2, but they aren't a theoretical issue at all. If you want to really be tricky, you could include the O'Kelly (2...a6) as a surprise weapon for when you want to dodge the critical 5.Bd3 in the Kan and feel that your opponent won't know how to play a c3 Sicilian a tempo up (3.c3).

Anyhow, the main reason I didn't adopt 7...Qe7 myself is because it doesn't really put any pressure on White - even if White is completely unaware of the move, they can get into a middlegame with a symbolic advantage using common sense moves. Perhaps a good analogy would be that this Lowenthal system is a 'Petroff' of the Sicilian (only with a lot less theory).

I'd say the other good 'shortcut' Sicilian is the Accelerated Dragon (in terms of easiness to learn and play), but at a high level it runs into similar problems (that the Maroczy Bind is quite hard to win against). Not a problem at club level, of course - especially since there most people will play 5.Nc3 and bluff their way through some Be2, Bc4 or Nb3 system. And against Rossolimo players you can move order them with 2...g6.

Well, there are other options too - in the Sicilian there's room to please everyone, but only as Black. Wink

  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #4 - 07/30/14 at 09:21:07
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Another alternative for a low maintenance surprise weapon could be an idea from Paulsen (1.e4 c5 2.Sf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Sxd4 Lc5)

Sizilianisch für Müßiggänger by IM Valeri Bronznik
IM Sale wrote about it in New in Chess Yearbook 45
  
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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #3 - 07/30/14 at 05:34:24
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I know of three sources that cover 7...Qe7. In descending order of depth:

- Yearbook 108 ('Li Chao's Preference' by Alexey Kuzmin)
- ChessPublishing (annotations by Palliser)
- ChessVibes Openings (I don't remember which issue)

Some strong Chinese players (especially Li Chao) played this as a surprise weapon for getting a draw, but I think it offers enough winning chances at the club level. One thing Lowenthal/Kalashnikov players should keep in mind is that White can try to move order them out of their system with 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 (when 3...e5 or 3...g6 are the logical repertoire replies) and 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nge2 (when 3...e5 is inaccurate, so I'd go with 3...g6 or 2...a6).

PS I did a Google search for the system and also found the following: https://sydneyacademyofchess.com.au/easy-guide-lowenthal-part-2.

  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #2 - 07/30/14 at 04:41:15
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/30/14 at 02:24:08:
I don't know of a source on the 7...Qe7 Lowenthal, but your post reminded me of the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 h6!?, which is similar and, I think, very interesting.  Unfortunately I don't have a source for that, either, except some notes I put together with Cyrus Lakdawala years ago.  I just wanted to throw it out there in case you wanted to broaden your search for low-theory Sicilians.

I checked David Vigorito's video series for chesslecture on the Lowenthal Sicilian, and it seems he focuses on 7...Qf6.  There is only a brief mention of the position mentioned by Eric-the-Red.  i.e.,
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 h6 7.Nd6+ Bxd6 8.Qxd6 Qe7
  

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Re: Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
Reply #1 - 07/30/14 at 02:24:08
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I don't know of a source on the 7...Qe7 Lowenthal, but your post reminded me of the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 h6!?, which is similar and, I think, very interesting.  Unfortunately I don't have a source for that, either, except some notes I put together with Cyrus Lakdawala years ago.  I just wanted to throw it out there in case you wanted to broaden your search for low-theory Sicilians.
  
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Sources on the 7...Qe7 Löwenthal?
07/29/14 at 21:45:07
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Hello,

I've been looking for a solid, "quick fix" Sicilian I can add to my repertoire quickly, and thought of the Löwenthal.

I know there is good coverage in, for example the DW: Sicilians book, here on ChessPublishing and the Pinski/Aagaard Kalashnikov book, but it's all very much focused on the sharper 7...Qf6. So does anybody know of any good sources for 7...Qe7 out there?

For reference: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6 6.Nd6+ Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qe7.
  

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