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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen... (Read 5762 times)
MNb
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #31 - 09/19/17 at 08:22:42
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kylemeister wrote on 09/17/17 at 00:06:31:
I wonder if Kasparov has addressed that in a specific way.

Yes (or perhaps rather implied it) according to my memory, which is notoriously unreliable. Plus the memory is from about 30 years ago.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #30 - 09/17/17 at 01:34:51
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I still think that you need to be a fairly high-class player to be able to break all of those rules like "get castled quickly, " etc.  There are plenty of opportunities for dynamic counterplay in those modern lines, start with those that sees Black rapidly developing his entire kingside and I suspect that your results will improve.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #29 - 09/17/17 at 00:06:31
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MNb wrote on 09/16/17 at 22:32:43:
You are aware of the fact that Karpov made Kasparov switch to 5...a6 because of the Keres Attack?


I wonder if Kasparov has addressed that in a specific way.  As far as I know the only actual Keres he contested against Karpov was the first game of their first match (which was drawn and has been given as equal out of the opening). 
  
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MNb
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #28 - 09/16/17 at 22:32:43
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SouthofGrey wrote on 09/16/17 at 07:01:42:
But the games of Kasparov are what really drew me to this opening

You are aware of the fact that Karpov made Kasparov switch to 5...a6 because of the Keres Attack?
  

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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #27 - 09/16/17 at 09:38:38
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I'd say that Llaneza Vega-Giri looks like pretty classical stuff in terms of what Black would like to attain in the Schevy.
  
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SouthofGrey
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #26 - 09/16/17 at 07:01:42
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I've been looking at games very slowly. There seem to be an awful lot of tactical bombs here that Black needs to be aware of but the positions are interesting.



Apparently this Qh3 maneuver is a lot more dangerous than it looks and the pawns are as vulnerable as anything else in these positions. I'm not really used to looking at the board this way unless I'm doing tactics puzzles...

I can see why people suggested the modern Scheveningen now and how staying in the center seems to require you to have a really good eye for tactics. But the games of Kasparov are what really drew me to this opening and so I'm going to keep trying to play this way. I don't think my opponents will play this aggressively right now but it's still really interesting to learn these tactics.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #25 - 05/06/17 at 17:14:55
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Right, you're still playing chess, whatever opening you're playing.  Too many people seem to get caught up in the "I'm playing the Najdorf!" or "I'm playing the King's Indian!" style of thinking, which makes them forget about things like basic development and king safety.
  
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LeeRoth
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #24 - 05/03/17 at 19:31:57
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I too think the modern lines are easier to start with than the classical lines.  But that doesn't have much to do with leaving your king in the center.  Neglecting your king is a no-no, whichever form of Scheveningen you play.

In the classical Scheveningen, one of the more famous examples is Lasker-Pirc, Moscow 1935.  Pirc left his king in the center to get his queenside play going.  And got crushed for it:






          
  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #23 - 05/02/17 at 20:59:03
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Another small tip for the original poster: if you want to stick with the Scheveningen, play the lines in Pritchett's book, which generally have you castling early and delaying ...a6.  Playing in Najdorf-style (as you appear to be doing) is much more sophisticated and difficult, and more likely to end in an opening disaster with your king stuck in the middle of the board.
  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #22 - 05/02/17 at 19:43:19
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One small tip, study anti sicilians carefully as well since at club level the open sicilian is very rare. Open sicilians becomes more common when opponents has heiger rating.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #21 - 05/01/17 at 18:30:43
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Acck, how did that second position come about?  You've got to get yourself castled and develop pieces quickly, all of the "rules" of general opening play still apply.  Sometimes strong players can bend the rules by delaying kingside development in favor of ...b7-b5, ...Bb7, ...Rc8, etc., but even at the top level they're flirting with disaster if they misjudge things. 

In general in the Scheveningen, you want to play ...e6, ...Nf6, ...d6, ...Be7, and ...0-0 pretty quickly.

Also in your first example, let's not forget about general chess principles.  With 7.e5? White gave up control of the d5-square very early on, and you can take advantage direct advantage of that with 8...Nd5!  Black's already at least slightly better, in my opinion, so judging pawn breaks accurately certainly goes both ways.  In general you want to go forward and take space when you can, right?  The e5-pawn will be there to put pressure on for the rest of the game. 

It just seems to me that you're a developing player, that's fine.  Read some general books on chess strategy and tactics and keep trying to get better. 

On the other hand, are you enjoying playing the Scheveningen?  If not, there's no sense in persisting.  Also, I learned the Dragon for my first Sicilian, and I think that it was helpful for learning all of the strategic themes without being blown off of the board with my king stuck in the center early on.  In pretty much every game I played ...c5, ...d6, ...Nf6, ...g6, ...Bg7, and ...0-0 very quickly and avoided some of the early problems that you're having.  I like the Dragon for taking your first steps in the Sicilian, because it's generally clear where all of your pieces belong and you can get all of your bits out quickly in accordance with sound general principles. 
  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #20 - 05/01/17 at 02:22:19
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Stick with it.  It sounds like you're learning.  But you may want to brush up on the basics first.  You're not going to do well in any opening if you neglect your king safety.  In these Classic Schevy positions, you want to play ..Be7 and ..0-0 as soon as you can, and stop leaving your king in the center.

It would be good to study tactics too.  Yes, you can switch to an opening that is quieter than the Sicilian, but if you do that, you'll just be avoiding the problem, rather than solving it.  And eventually your unfamiliarity with these types of tactics will hold your chess back.


   
« Last Edit: 05/01/17 at 06:03:03 by LeeRoth »  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #19 - 04/30/17 at 12:34:18
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Just to update, I'm running into the tactical problems I thought I would. Judging pawn breaks incorrectly can lead to terrible positions whereas a bad decision by White just drops him to equality. Here are some examples:



10...Nxe5 11.Qg3 wins material.

10...Nc6 11.Nxc6 bc 12.O-O-O Rb8 (what else?) 13.Qg3 and now:
a) 13...Qb4 14.b3
b) 13...g6 14.Bc4 Bg7 15.Ne4 is really bad
And anything else requires Black to damage his own kingside just to complete development.

So what did I learn? There are tactical ways to defend the pawn and if Black is not aware then he's toast and that 9...Qb6, kind of just ignoring the pawn is better. Great... Let's have another:



As interesting as this opening seems I don't see how I can realistically play it if I'm walking into these things all the time. I've never even seen a Rxf7 tactic like this before or even Bxg6 and who knows how many other decisions have to made by the explanation, "play it because everything else loses." This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to avoid. Maybe it has a lot to do with playing ...a6. I don't really know. But I can't help but wonder how many more of these traps are waiting for Black.
  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #18 - 02/13/17 at 19:04:15
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Well, yes. And that's still true even after you study the opening. You will be attacked early and often if you play this opening. If you don't like being attacked, don't play it.

The tone of your comments really speaks of a painful misconception common among inexperienced players about what studying an opening and understanding themes in pawn structures can and can't do for you. A good strategic understanding of an opening is just a kind of coloring of your general understanding of chess--it can't take you so very far beyond that. Yes, you can beat weak players with a recipe opening like the Stonewall or Colle, and yes in internet blitz you can lose to some completely unsound BS where you would have won if you knew the refutation, but in slow chess and mainstream openings these are much less the case. Being subjected to an unsound attack should not be your biggest worry--unlike in blitz, you will have time to discover its disadvantages. Being subjected to a sound attack and not knowing anything about it is the real concern of this kind in studying an opening--and there are plenty of those to worry about in the Scheveningen. But beyond a certain number of moves, normally neither you nor your opponent will know if an attack is sound or not!

On the other hand, if you're not strong enough to think of reasonable replies (not refutations) to unexpected opening moves, that's ok, for if your opponent is of a strength similar to yours, then an opening advantage won't mean much anyway. The game will probably be decided by heavy mistakes on both sides later on. So there again unsound attacks in the opening should not be an excessive concern.

All you can do profitably at this stage is memorize the basic theory (like the summary LeeRoth so generously provided below) to cope with sound responses, maybe look up traps, inspect a bunch of grandmaster games in these lines (especially from the main tabiyas) in a database to see how Black wins when he wins and loses when he loses, and gain experience over the board.

It's not worth doing a lot of more detailed opening study before you venture the opening in practical play, because you really can't tell if you like the positions or not--or how far in your opponents will know the theory (it's useless to memorize some 20-move forcing line if no one you play even gets close to entering it). And you can't a real feel for the positions from  a book, but only by losing a lot (and winning).

So I say jump in and enjoy. It'll be fun to be able to say you play the Scheveningen! (I only play lines that I enjoy and enjoy identifying myself with). Good luck!
« Last Edit: 02/14/17 at 17:35:48 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: So I Think I Want to Learn The Sheveningen...
Reply #17 - 02/12/17 at 18:13:38
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Thanks everyone. I think I'm just worried that I'll miss some important pawn break and just end up only defending for the entire game. Pawn Structure Chess has been an interesting read but I noticed that it only has one game in the Scheveningen structure that features the ...Nxc3 tactic. Also there aren't any games that show how Black's minority attack works and only one game with the idea ...Ne5-c4. When looking at games with an engine it always finds these ideas but I don't find them myself.

Some of these ideas can be found in the section on the Dragon which I guess I'll have to look at even though I don't intend on playing it myself.  I'll still give it a try though. I'm just really not into these positions where if Black isn't aware of all these different pawn breaks and what to do about them that he can just end up in a bad position right out of the opening. On the other hand this stuff seems very natural for White even if it isn't always sound. I feel like I could easily lose to an unsound attack simply because I made the wrong decision.
  
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