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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The lower rated guys and the open sicilian. (Read 16865 times)
basqueknight
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #36 - 08/29/05 at 00:43:02
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Always good to hear you SF and i wish i had chess base but alas i only have my fritz 8 and i try to download games as often as i can.

The best classical Inspiration for my favorite defense the Kings Indian played in that tournement such greats as:Bronstien,Geller,Gligoric,Najdorf(who played it against the pioneer Bronstien him self) and less inspiring was petrosians play with it. But the first three i mentioned are a big inspiration to my play with the kings indian.

The sicilian was seen through out it as well and Najdorf and Kotov were probley my favorite players of it there.

Bronstien never had the chance to play his variation of the caro-kann as not one person dared open e4 against him. This is quite humourous to me because his skills with the kings indian also proceeded him. Its not a doubt in my mind that the reason bronstien did so incredibly well was his preparation in this opening. And im sure the rest of the russian deligation was prepared heavily in that or the nimzo/queens indian complex. However there were also a few d5 games and e5 games that were amazing as well.

Zurich 1953 should be on every ones book shelf from begining to amature. For those of you who only read english fellow michigander Jim Marfia translated it from the second eddition of Bronstien. It is quite well translated and as a side not if you can find any of marfias games which can be downloaded with the rest of the michigan people and http://www.michess.org his style is or was extremely uncomprimising and while not a master he was fun to watch. My coach Mike Skidmores games are in there as well but you must be prepared for the strange. While not unsound his opening play is original not exactly coffee house just the older forgoten lines.

  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #35 - 08/28/05 at 23:36:07
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Basqueknight;

You got me curious, and again insomnia plus ChessBase makes me do research.

There were 53 Nimzo/Queen's Indians (very few were true QIDs) and 44 KIDs.  Numbers alone don't tell the whole story though.  Mar Del Plata had recently been played and what is now considered the main line of the KID was first assayed there.  Najdorf won a classic, absolutely essential game to study against Taimanov as Black in Zurich and Bronstein's comments are as insightful and useful today as ever.   Of course there were many brilliant games in the tournament.

There were many other types of KIDs played, including the Saemisch.  The Zurich Candidates Tournament did wonders for the reputations of both openings, so I won't quibble over which was more important.  Just wanted to give some basic info.
  
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basqueknight
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #34 - 08/28/05 at 21:25:23
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Wow what can i say but thank you for all the positive feedback. To clear a few things up I dont think i want to become a GM or IM because i really dont like the ego thing. I like book collections and believe it or not for all those people who want me to study open games, My first game collection was larely that. It was the games of Willhelm Steinitz and my fist chess book was his manual on the game. I played the open game for a while, Then i looked at the french played it for two year with my rating not doing much i wasnt having much fun in a lot of the positions unless it was in the classical. The Burn french is awesome gxf6 forever!! So i picked up this sicilian. My rating shot through the roof almost imeadiatly and I love the wild complications, much of that may be because of my sacrificial style but i dont know it fits like my socks do perfectly.

The time i have spent going over opengame and closed and semiclosed is not in vain. I as well tell my young students to play e5. I really wish i would have but now to give up somthing you have studied is not so easy.

And one of you made the comment learning so much theory was a weak excuse for not playing e5. I dont dodge theory i play both sides of the open sicilian and a smith morra for when i am feeling evil.

Its interesting that Zurich 1953 is called the nimzo tourney as david talks mostly about how 3 out of every ten games that started d4 Nf6 were kings indian not only our players but the out siders played it as well. Oh to further support my indulgence of theory i play a Kings Indian Tongue

But thank you all for the advice and my favorite which i have told all of the guys i coach during the summer is to have fun. When i stopped playing for a unconditional win i started having better results. Win or lose if i think i played a good game i am happy with my self. I think that every one should try for this but alas some people kick themselves for this. Any way thank you all so much and god bless you your family and your future games. Smiley
  
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basqueknight
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #33 - 08/28/05 at 21:24:16
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Wow what can i say but thank you for all the positive feedback. To clear a few things up I dont think i want to become a GM or IM because i really dont like the ego thing. I like book collections and believe it or not for all those people who want me to study open games, My first game collection was larely that. It was the games of Willhelm Steinitz and my fist chess book was his manual on the game. I played the open game for a while, Then i looked at the french played it for two year with my rating not doing much i wasnt having much fun in a lot of the positions unless it was in the classical. The Burn french is awesome gxf6 forever!! So i picked up this sicilian. My rating shot through the roof almost imeadiatly and I love the wild complications, much of that may be because of my sacrificial style but i dont know it fits like my socks do perfectly.

The time i have spent going over opengame and closed and semiclosed is not in vain. I as well tell my young students to play e5. I really wish i would have but now to give up somthing you have studied is not so easy.

And one of you made the comment learning so much theory was a weak excuse for not playing e5. I dont dodge theory i play both sides of the open sicilian and a smith morra for when i am feeling evil.

Its interesting that Zurich 1953 is called the nimzo tourney as david talks mostly about how 3 out of every ten games that started d4 Nf6 were kings indian not only our players but the out siders played it as well. Oh to further support my indulgence of theory i play a Kings Indian Tongue

But thank you all for the advice and my favorite which i have told all of the guys i coach during the summer is to have fun. When i stopped playing for a unconditional win i started having better results. Win or lose if i think i played a good game i am happy with my self. I think that every one should try for this but alas some people kick themselves for this. Any way thank you all so much and god bless you your family and your future games. Smiley
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #32 - 08/21/05 at 21:46:35
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Ice-Cream and Cake are delicious and perfectly ok when eaten in moderation, but if abused leads to obesity and general bad health. If you want to grow up to be big and strong you have to eat your vegetables too, you may not like them, but its an important part of a healthy diet.

Translate the above metaphor to Chess and you should be fine.

Your humble servant

Toppy Grin

  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #31 - 08/21/05 at 11:40:58
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Smyslov_fan wrote some really darned good advice there. I agree completely with it, even more so on the part about having fun & enjoying the game. That to my mind should always come first & that will later serve as the catalyst or motivating factor to work & improve.

A lot of stars & world champs in the other sports are prepared to put in the gruelling hours of work for what? To win?? Yes of course! but primarily because they enjoy what they are doing win or lose!

"Play what you like and discover what you like" - Only in this will games be interesting to play . I like this quote by Bronstein "play interesting chess....play the KG". Note where my emphasis is......

Whether you make it to the top levels of chess is anyone's guess.....but I wish you all the best, basqueknight.  Wink
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #30 - 08/21/05 at 10:38:25
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I agree with smyslov_fan. In fact, see my early post on page 1! There is no way in hell an amateur is going to improve, if the positions force-fed by a coach do not interest him at all.  Undecided

The opening is a rather "personal" part of Chess (unlike say the middlegame, or endgame, where it is more important to be universal). Remember we had a thread on "Personality and Chess Openings" awhile back? I think everyone has different tastes, and some people just feel more comfortable with certain positions than others. So a good trainer should  recommend openings closer to the student's style/personality.

In any case, many so-called closed openings can become open, and open openings can become closed anyway. In fact, my experience has been that "spoil-sport" variations are extremely common in low level tournaments (e.g. Closed Sicilian, Exchange French).  So its not as if the student will be playing one type of position all his life!   Grin
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #29 - 08/20/05 at 23:07:23
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Don't be bullied into playing only open games if your rating is below "x".  That's a pretty sure way to kill your love of chess.  Okay, so some pretty darned good teachers such as Topnotch, MNb, HgMan and others are telling you you have to play open games and master those first.  Play what you like and discover what you like.  But if your goal is to become a top player, remember what those teachers have told you.


Well, I'm duly honored to be added to such an esteemed company of teachers, though I've never thought of myself as a teacher of chess (always the student).  And I agree completely with Smyslov_Fan about enjoyment being the soul of chess.  I'm sure there are important lessons to be learned by sticking to an open game, but I never did.  In fact, when I first was playing chess at all seriously, I kept getting into trouble on the school team for playing 1 c3.  I'm not a great chess player, but I can tell you I was getting a little bored of the Scotch game they wanted us to play.  I may even go back to 1 c3 after TN shows me the Bird is bad...
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #28 - 08/20/05 at 22:52:14
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"Okay, so some pretty darned good teachers such as Topnotch, MNb, HgMan and others are telling you you have to play open games and master those first."
Tuttut, I am not a pretty darned good teacher - here in Moengo I am simply the only one.  The reason, that we recommend children to play the open games first, is that is what they enjoy most. But a few months ago I have spend two lessons on the Colle-Zukertort, an opening I never would dream to play myself. The kids like it!
Frankly, I think adults on every level simply should decide for themselves and listen to nobody.

The Open Sicilian has one big disadvantage for amateurs. See the following game, which I witnessed a few weeks ago:

Joseph,M - Martis,V [B96]
Suriname Open 2005 Paramaribo (3), 03.08.2005

1.e4 c5 2.Pf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Pxd4 Pf6 5.Pc3 a6 6.Lg5 e6 7.f4 Pbd7 8.Df3 Dc7 9.0-0-0 b5 10.e5 Lb7 11.Dh3 dxe5 12.Pxe6 fxe6 13.Dxe6+ Le7 14.Lxb5 axb5 15.Pxb5 Dc6 16.Pd6+ Kd8 17.fxe5 Pd5 18.Lxe7+ Pxe7 19.Pf7+ Ke8 20.Td6 Dxg2 21.Thd1 Tf8 22.Txd7 Txf7 23.Txe7+ 1-0

Looks impressive, until you do some research and find out that 20...Qxg2 was the first new move - and instantly losing.

  

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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #27 - 08/20/05 at 20:13:52
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Basqueknight and all,


My Turn!

I don't know you at all. I don't know what you look like, I've never sat down with you and chatted about sports, tv, the opposite sex or anything else.  I know a bit about what you like in chess, but that's not much.  I don't know why you play chess instead of, say, tiddly-winks.  I don't know why you like chess.  I don't know what you want to get out of chess, and I don't even know your chessic strengths and weaknesses.  I do know that you like chess, and you like to read about chess.   

I also know a great deal about how chess has often been mis-taught throughout the twentieth century.  Emmanuel Lasker and others recommended that people learn chess backwards, from the most basic endgames to the middle game.  Well that's great.... if you're a machine!  Others recommend that students don't play blitz.  Take a look at ICC.  Look at all the great, talented players who are playing 3 0 and 1 0 regardless of their age!  They play blitz because it's fun!  Remember why you are playing chess, and you will be guided to make the right decisions for yourself.

I hate to break it to you, but I rather doubt that you will become a chess professional, and you should count your lucky stars! Cheesy  There are probably fewer than fifty players in the United States who can make their living playing chess tournaments.  They do so by travelling from city to city competing for the same small prizes.

I was at one such tournament and went to the bar to order a coffee.  I watched while a group of grandmasters were drinking and chatting up the few women who were there.  Their opponents would occasionally walk in, order a drink, and start chatting with the same women.  That was how the top players knew it was their turn!  If that sounds like the life you want to lead, and you have about 30 hours a week to devote to chess, and you have the talent to make that great leap, then go for it!  But remember why you play chess.


I sometimes wish I had had a chess coach when I was growing up, and perhaps I could have made IM.  Then I look at most of the IMs I've met.  Some of them are fantastic, well-rounded people, but many of them are driving themselves to an early, uninsured grave, while others have pretty much given up competitive chess.  You will find many of these players on the internet having fun, playing blitz.  These players know why they play chess!

You've read Zurich 1953 a couple of times, cool!  Cheesy Did you know it's sometimes called the "NimzoIndian Tournament" for all the NimzoIndians that were played?  Reading through Bronstein's comments, it sounded like most of them had fun while they were playing.  Just about everyone there had at least one really cool, memorable game.  For me, that's why I play chess. 

I played in a tournament recently in which I played two particular games.  The early round game was a routine win that I almost forgot before it was over.  The only reason it became memorable was that later a couple of people came up to me to congratulate me on playing a perfect game.  They told me that I played Fritz' first choice move for something like thirty straight moves.  Now that sounds impressive until you realise that I had considered the position won for those thirty odd moves, and was just following a plan I had come up with relatively early.  I played a game in a later round in which I made numerous mistakes.  My opponent did too, but the position was fascinating, and the position was too rich to comprehend.  Boy it was fun fighting through that game.  I ended up losing that game in a time scramble but I will remember it for a very long time.  I didn't begin playing chess just to win long technical games.  I play chess for the thrill of those supremely complex battles (and hopefully winning them).

I know that you must learn how to win those technical games, but you also must have fun while you're learning.  If that means playing some open Sicilians, go for it!  But do it in your casual games.  Play as many different types of openings as you can in casual games.  Study the classics, learn the classics, but have fun playing the other stuff too. 

Don't be bullied into playing only open games if your rating is below "x".  That's a pretty sure way to kill your love of chess.  Okay, so some pretty darned good teachers such as Topnotch, MNb, HgMan and others are telling you you have to play open games and master those first.  Play what you like and discover what you like.  But if your goal is to become a top player, remember what those teachers have told you. 

Study the classics.  That doesn't mean that you have to give up the fun stuff.  You'll find plenty of fun ideas in the classic open games.  Heck, Bronstein once described Tal's style as "easy:  He develops his pieces toward the center, then sacrifices them somewhere."  Tal's games are a great way to learn some of the principles of the opening.

I've become notorious in my neck of the woods for telling people before the start of the game, "Let's have fun!"  I don't wish them good luck, because I don't want them to have good luck.  I thought about it, and decided that what I do want for myself and my opponent is to have fun.  Here's wishing you good fun in chess!  8)
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #26 - 08/20/05 at 16:26:45
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Most lower rated players (sub-2000) won't play the open Sicilian.  Those that do tend to play fashionable lines.  That's the main problem with playing ultra-theoretical lines like the Najdorf, Sveshnikov,  or the Dragon lots of study that goes unused.  Personally, I like a higher rate of return for my hard work.  Perhaps if you're going to play the open Sicilian as white it would be less inefficient.  Maybe something a little less theoretical would be more practical.  On the bright side the anti-Sicilians make it easier to equalize Smiley
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #25 - 08/09/05 at 20:20:57
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Yes whitecraw you are right, that link has indeed expired. Try this LINK instead.

Tops Grin
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #24 - 08/09/05 at 20:08:43
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I don't think its Markovitch's website, and it was up as recently as last week.

Tops Grin
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #23 - 08/09/05 at 08:17:28
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Hi Markovitch,

I can't access your website:

http://www.hardchess.com/columns/199901.htm

Looks like the domain name has expired.

- Jim
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #22 - 08/08/05 at 18:19:34
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       are you saying that beofore you were 2100 or so you didnt play anything but e5!? i used to play e5 often. Didnt like knowing the theory to 5 or more openings! think there is a lot to learn in the sicilian think about playing e5! my rating has been going up and up since i started playing it and i think i will continue. My understanding of different tactics and themes come from expert to grandmaster games. I have gone through zurich 1953 twice now and i am starting the avro tournement from i belive 38 dont have it next to me. The way to improve as told by my coach was to go over 100 games of each world champion. Im not through them all yet but my play gets better as i do so. This makes a big difference. I know its dangerous tackeling a serious line and that is part of the fun. But when your heros are Polugaevsky and Tal you are going to play for as big of an advantage as possible. the two times people have let me play Polugaevskys line im talking of the early b5 and not Nbd7 i have won. Most people wont go in for the hyper tactical battle that arises. So i just put on the squeeze.
         I understand where you are coming from but think about it. Understanding different posistions that arise is a priceless lesson. Understanding how one opening works good even if you are not going to play it but grasp the themes of the positions that arise from them. Like i played a French for 2 years. I liked it and still ocasionally play it but  after awhile i decided to try the caro-kann. Ya know what i didnt have to spend nearly as much time on this opening as i did the french. The themes were similar and so was pawn structure. Ideas i used previously still were valid.
         So now im on somthing since i have also gone over the life and games of mikhail tal a couple of times i want to strive for a win at almost any cost. This is my bedside reading book and inspiration of my play today.


If you really want to see improvement, you first have to study your own games thoroughly to determine your strengths and weaknesses and go from there. I hope your coach has already told you that.

You sound a bit too bookish to me, its not clear how beneficial studying all the games of every World Champion ultimately will be for you, except in a debate on the forum. Then again I know litlle about you.

You sound like a young player, if that is the case, I would say the most important thing for you at this stage is to play a lot, record the games and then study them later.  

Once that is done you can compare your thoughts and ideas with those of strong players and chart your progress accordingly. The best books in this regard are game collections, with the annotations done by the players themselves, preferably verbal as well as concrete analysis.

Tops Grin
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #21 - 08/08/05 at 15:37:57
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       are you saying that beofore you were 2100 or so you didnt play anything but e5!? i used to play e5 often. Didnt like knowing the theory to 5 or more openings! think there is a lot to learn in the sicilian think about playing e5! my rating has been going up and up since i started playing it and i think i will continue. My understanding of different tactics and themes come from expert to grandmaster games. I have gone through zurich 1953 twice now and i am starting the avro tournement from i belive 38 dont have it next to me. The way to improve as told by my coach was to go over 100 games of each world champion. Im not through them all yet but my play gets better as i do so. This makes a big difference. I know its dangerous tackeling a serious line and that is part of the fun. But when your heros are Polugaevsky and Tal you are going to play for as big of an advantage as possible. the two times people have let me play Polugaevskys line im talking of the early b5 and not Nbd7 i have won. Most people wont go in for the hyper tactical battle that arises. So i just put on the squeeze.
         I understand where you are coming from but think about it. Understanding different posistions that arise is a priceless lesson. Understanding how one opening works good even if you are not going to play it but grasp the themes of the positions that arise from them. Like i played a French for 2 years. I liked it and still ocasionally play it but  after awhile i decided to try the caro-kann. Ya know what i didnt have to spend nearly as much time on this opening as i did the french. The themes were similar and so was pawn structure. Ideas i used previously still were valid.
         So now im on somthing since i have also gone over the life and games of mikhail tal a couple of times i want to strive for a win at almost any cost. This is my bedside reading book and inspiration of my play today.


My own chess education was not necessarily an ideal one Smiley .  But yes, I am saying that young and developing players will do much better to play only 1...e5 versus 1. e4 and, in general, structure their repertoires so as to bring about open positions.  Open positions are fundamental.  So are tactics.  So are theoretical endings.  You can't go far in chess without a good sense of each.

I assume that there are some adult 1600-rated, or 1800-rated or whatever, players who simply want to have fun with chess and don't care much whether they improve.  I would never presume to tell these people what to play.  But when I see young, ambitious players with such ratings playing 1...g6 or 1...e6 or 1...c5, I just cringe.

Of course you've been improving; devoted young players always do.   But I do think your chess education would have been better, and your improvement likely greater, if you'd been playing more strictly open games. 

With the greatest respect, I don't think that a study of Polugaevsky's or even Tal's games could possibly be as useful to a young player as that of Chigorin's or Kere's, first-rate players who much more consistently played into open positions.   (You can see great tactics in Tal's games, but you can see great tactics in any good tactics book.)  But actually Marshall's My Fifty Years of Chess is the very first game collection that I would recommend to an improving young player.

Not wanting to learn variations is a particularly weak reason for an improving player not to play 1...e5.  How do you expect to become a strong player if you aren't willing to learn lots of theory?
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #20 - 08/07/05 at 19:08:01
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       are you saying that beofore you were 2100 or so you didnt play anything but e5!? i used to play e5 often. Didnt like knowing the theory to 5 or more openings! think there is a lot to learn in the sicilian think about playing e5! my rating has been going up and up since i started playing it and i think i will continue. My understanding of different tactics and themes come from expert to grandmaster games. I have gone through zurich 1953 twice now and i am starting the avro tournement from i belive 38 dont have it next to me. The way to improve as told by my coach was to go over 100 games of each world champion. Im not through them all yet but my play gets better as i do so. This makes a big difference. I know its dangerous tackeling a serious line and that is part of the fun. But when your heros are Polugaevsky and Tal you are going to play for as big of an advantage as possible. the two times people have let me play Polugaevskys line im talking of the early b5 and not Nbd7 i have won. Most people wont go in for the hyper tactical battle that arises. So i just put on the squeeze.
         I understand where you are coming from but think about it. Understanding different posistions that arise is a priceless lesson. Understanding how one opening works good even if you are not going to play it but grasp the themes of the positions that arise from them. Like i played a French for 2 years. I liked it and still ocasionally play it but  after awhile i decided to try the caro-kann. Ya know what i didnt have to spend nearly as much time on this opening as i did the french. The themes were similar and so was pawn structure. Ideas i used previously still were valid.
         So now im on somthing since i have also gone over the life and games of mikhail tal a couple of times i want to strive for a win at almost any cost. This is my bedside reading book and inspiration of my play today.
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #19 - 08/05/05 at 15:25:27
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I was wandering what every one thought about amature players playing the sicilian. I am one of them and have recieved some varried responses from i should be playing 1.e5 instead of going for a sicilian and what not untill i master double king pawn openings. This is dumb to me as i could not think of why i would switch if i mastered them let alone i would like to know who is a master of double king pawn openings!!?

Somthing else i was wandering is what variations do you see amatures playing the most. This is always interesting because the sicilian like the spanish is somthing characteristic of ones own personal style. Slow and steady or wild and complicated the sicilian is a neat way to under stand a person. Fischer for instance was a very forward person and he played a nice double edged najdorf. I am a very social and out going person and it fits my style to play it. The positions just feel right.

And if any of you would like to contribute to why amatures should not play the sicilian i am willing to absorb that too even though i might not agree with it. Maybe some one hear can sway me. How ever i must admit since i started playing the sicilian i am enjoying the freedom from the french. To have 2 decent bishops is awesome!


You don't say how strong a player you are, and you don't say whether or not you are striving to improve. 

If you are merely an amateur and not striving to improve, play whatever you think is the most fun.

If you are striving to improve and if you are rated less than 2100 or so, I would strongly encourage you to take up 1...e5 and drop the Sicilain.  There is a whole approach to teaching (and learning) chess behind this which is discussed at length in "Chess and Children" on the third page of "Chit Chat."  It is geared to children but large parts of it are applicable to improving adults.

Also see http://www.hardchess.com/columns/199901.htm.
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #18 - 08/03/05 at 08:00:58
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I'm not sure I fully agree with some of these comments.  I suppose it is possible to see 5...a6 as a waiting move up to a point (even if you are not planning to go into a Scheveningen, there are some continuations where ...e5 is not appropriate), but it is also a direct preparatory move, paving the way for ...e5 without allowing Bb5†.

And while there is certainly not always a hurry to play ...b5 and ...Bb7 (there are quite a few lines after ...e5, f4, ...exf4 where it does black no harm at all to be able to play ...Bg4-h5-g6; and in many lines the bishop belongs on e6) it is sometimes very useful for Black to be able to get on with his queenside counterplay/counter-attack on e4 without further ado ...
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #17 - 08/03/05 at 06:58:22
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Sharp thinking. This is the second reason, I hardly ever play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 as White.
I have played the Open Sicilian as White for a year. I got it four times in my games and then dedided, that all the study was not worth the effort. But hey, that is only me. Later I have played the Accelerated Dragon as Black and the Open Sicilian as White in corr. games.
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #16 - 08/02/05 at 10:29:18
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I personally feel that if any lower rated player wishes to adopt the Sicilian s/he is welcome to do so if they enjoy that type of game it brings about. If it suits their temperaments, style of play why not??

Granted the Sicilian is very theoretical.  If the lower rated are discouraged  from playing the sicilian because its too theoretical, we might as well discourage them  from playing the Lopez as well for the same reasons!

  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #15 - 07/22/05 at 18:11:26
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Im not 100% sure but to me a6 is the ultimate waiting move. Not making any commital moves early can help out later. The najdorf if very flexible and very fun to play. I dont think fischer or kasparov had as much influence on me compared to Polugayevsky and Tal and even rarely Bronstien. Fischer and Kasparov contributed more undoubtebly but i prefer some older inspiration in all my openings.
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #14 - 07/21/05 at 14:27:40
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The main reason I discourage my students from playing the Sicilian in the beginning is that  I see far too many of them making rote moves that they don't have a clue as to why. ???

The main example I use is the Najdorf.   After 1.e4 c5 Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 I stop my student and ask why s/he has played a6 here.  I usually get the following answers, and usually in order:

This is the Najdorf, it' what Fischer used to play. Angry

Then,

5...a6  stops 6.Nb5 To which I like to point out that White almost never plays 6.Nb5 after e6 or g6 or Nc6.  Sad

Then,

It prepares ...b5, and I get my light squared Bishop out.
Again, I point out that there isn't a rush to play this right away because White can choose a set-up that makes such a plan look bad. Embarrassed

Finally, I get, "well, why do so many people play it then?"  And I get to explain some of the subtle ideas behind useful waiting moves. Smiley

My philosophy is that players should understand what they are playing.  The Sicilian is extraordinarily complex, and it's frustrating to see sharp positions thrown away by bland developing moves.  Both sides have great tactical and strategic opportunities that are often left strewn by the wayside.  I've even seen games between masters in which this is the case. 

Having said all this, if a student of mine still wants to play the Sicilian, I will teach him or her the opening.  I do believe that regardless of the level of player the Sicilian can create interesting positions in which the better side wins.

Also, and this is a recent change for me, I have found that most players play chess for fun! Shocked  That revelation blew me away.  If you have fun playing the Sicilian, then play it!  If you play the piano poorly, but you love playing Chopin, as long as you don't appall the general ear, play it!  Then again, who cares about the general ear.  Undecided If music, or chess, be the food of love, play on! 8)
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #13 - 07/21/05 at 00:03:17
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heh to topnotch i havent been here in a while. I dont like alekhines defense at all. My freind jason plays it. Truely an odd opeing in my eyes. I prefer my najdorf  and owens. both fun to play. Najdorf still a big player in my repertoire. Owens is making its pressence felt. I love this game and all the systems associated with it well besides stuff like the alekhine.

Thanks for trying to inforce some basic ideas though about learning your opening. I appreciate it.
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #12 - 05/30/05 at 08:44:01
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Nice points.  And you're right about weaker players not being able to exploit the weaknesses at d5/d6, though by about 1500, I would imagine that those squares are screaming out for attention...
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #11 - 05/30/05 at 08:13:38
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Changing theory notwithstanding, I would be very interested to know what Inn2 thought about the Sveshnikov or Kalashnikov as an opening at this level?  Before learning much non-Dragon Sicilian theory, I intuitively found myself drawn to an early e5 strike as Black.  I suspect that the Sveshnikov has become too much of a minefield (would you say as much as the Najdorf?), but what about the Kalashnikov?  I've always had a soft spot for this opening...


The Sveshnikov is not as theoretical as the Najdorf, mainly because there are less lines that needs be known, even if these lines are possibly deeper. In a sense, the Sveshnikov is somewhat like the Botvinnik Semi-Slav. There is deep but narrow theory, with little good deviations for either side.

Many sicilians involve ... e5 too (pure najdorf, boleslavsky classical etc.). I do think the e5 based sicilians (including svesh/kalash) are easiest to learn, and it will be ALOT of ratings points above the 1000 level before White can exploit the d5/d6 weaknesses in any tangible way, without succumbing to Black's initiative on the k- or q-side.  Smiley
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #10 - 05/29/05 at 21:04:47
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Fair enough, I take it all back.

Top Grin
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #9 - 05/29/05 at 19:15:49
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Just to let you know i played the french for a long time. most of my career so far. I decided i didnt like some of the resulting boring posistions. I talked with many people expert and below and learned alot about the opening. Traps and what not. Somthing the french did leave with me is patience somthing i am thankful for and how to look for counter play.

The sicilian caught my eye after the 2 years of playing the french and saying why play the sicilian when every one does. My view changed after i went over some games and liked the double edgedness of the Najdorf. I played a Queens Gambit declined for a long time too but now i am on the kings indian. Which is just as hard to learn if not more. But some of my biggest inspirations played this opening or jsut he idea of giving up material for the king Tal and Bronstien have had a big influence on the way i play chess today.

My friend scott hearing that I started sacking pieces again said why. I replied of course i play a Kings indian! This is somthing which like the najdorf will stick for a while i think. I know I have my work cut out for me but thats part of every chess players life. Becoming fluent in your opening knowing how to use and find tactics and of course the middle game.
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #8 - 05/29/05 at 16:20:48
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I fear that I may have been one of those who suggested to basketknight that it is wiser to master one opening before moving on to another.

The reason for this approach was to avoid superficiality and to tackle potential problems head on rather than running away from them by jumping around from opening to opening.

Obviously complete and total mastery of an Opening is difficult if not impossible, but my point was that one should make a real effort to understand the nuances of any opening before moving on to another and another.

It is typical for players such as Basket to ignore or belittle the message when it is not what they want to hear, so bearing this in mind, by all means play the Najdorf it is a sound Opening played by some of the Worlds best. However it should be noted that most players get caught up in the euphoria of learning a new Opening, this is normal, but when the honeymoon is over you will find that every Opening has its fair share of difficult problems to overcome.

I will monitor the new threads closely in the coming weeks to see if you will be back to ask whether the Alekhine is socially acceptable for amateurs to play, after growing weary of the complications in the Najdorf. Wink

Happy trails

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #7 - 05/29/05 at 15:28:08
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There is just one reason for amateurs not to play an opening: the danger of learning move by heart while not having a clue why. At the other hand, if you succeed punishing opponents of about equal strength, when they deviate, it is clear that the opening suits you.
Remember, amateurs usually play for fun, not for money. So if you enjoy playing the Najdof as Black, listen to nobody and go ahead.

Though Fischer was very successful with the Najdorf, I would not call him social though. Wink
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #6 - 05/29/05 at 13:14:57
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Changing theory notwithstanding, I would be very interested to know what Inn2 thought about the Sveshnikov or Kalashnikov as an opening at this level?  Before learning much non-Dragon Sicilian theory, I intuitively found myself drawn to an early e5 strike as Black.  I suspect that the Sveshnikov has become too much of a minefield (would you say as much as the Najdorf?), but what about the Kalashnikov?  I've always had a soft spot for this opening...
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #5 - 05/29/05 at 12:55:34
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For what it's worth, I've found the Sicilian to be a good opening choice at my modest level - I've been playing chess about 6 or 7 years, and aside from a brief flirtation with the French when I started (someone told me it was good beginner's opening, something I disagree with now) I've stuck with my Taimanov.  The ...e6 move order stops any Bb5 plans, and theory doesn't seem to have changed much (at least between the books I have on it by Plaskett and Burgess) - it's been a good opening for me, and although I've briefly looked at alternatives, I've never wanted to move away from it.
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #4 - 05/29/05 at 09:46:06
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I think the Sicilian is a very good choice as Black can learn valuable piece play and engage in both rigid defense and counterattack.  The Sicilian provides good opportunities for both positional and tactical play.  Inn2 makes a good point about theory, and these days it probably applies even at more modest levels since novices seem intent on taking on topical lines and keeping up with innovations online.

The only drawback at the amateur level is that Black probably has to cope with all those anti-Sicilians, since many players at that level will have a c3, Bb5, or something prepared in response to 1 ... c5, though there have been several discussions of this on other threads already...
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #3 - 05/29/05 at 02:39:17
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And if any of you would like to contribute to why amatures should not play the sicilian i am willing to absorb that too even though i might not agree with it. Maybe some one hear can sway me. How ever i must admit since i started playing the sicilian i am enjoying the freedom from the french. To have 2 decent bishops is awesome!


Some possible reasons why the sicilian may be a bad choice:

1) Too many possible pawn structures to master (2... e6- type sicilians will help you cut that down, but there's still alot),
2) Theory changes too fast (especially your najdorf).

Overall I do think that the sicilian is a reasonable weapon as

1) it leads to wide open positions conducive for learning tactics, and

2) most importantly it keeps many amateurs awake and interested in chess! A person's interests are important, since its frequently the burning desire to find out the "truth" in particular positions that makes one improve his chess understanding. A person's interests is key for that desire to arise.  Smiley
  
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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #2 - 05/29/05 at 02:37:20
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The Sicilian is a good opening.  If you like it, you should play it.  This is much better than playing a less theoretical opening that you would feel uncomfortable playing.  I think the Najdorf is an "advanced" Sicilian, but if you like it, you should pursue it.  You will learn a lot about counterattack and utilising dynamic factors in a position.  It would probably be helpful to have a stronger player who plays the Najdorf that you could talk to, since it is a difficult opening to learn on your own.  There are some good books that came out recently, like Arizmendi and Moreno's Mastering the Najdorf and Emm's Play the Najdorf.  Also the older book by King, Winning With the Najdorf, has good explanations.  Also, I think there is a new Starting Out book by Gallagher coming out later in the year.  So it seems like there are a lot good books geared towards someone learning the Najdorf.  One of the main reasons I played the Dragon, was that there was a good book for a player starting out in the opening (Ward's Winning With the Dragon).  I was interested in the opening prior to owning the book, and I did not play the Dragon because anyone me told to, and I do not regret that I made that choice.  It has been one of my most effective opening choices.
  

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Re: The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
Reply #1 - 05/29/05 at 00:58:27
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I think the sicilian is a good choice for the amateur. 1...e5 probably requires less preparation and is less prone to rapid changes in the main lines. If you feel comfortable playing the sicilian, there's no reason why you should change to 1...e5.
  

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basqueknight
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The lower rated guys and the open sicilian.
05/29/05 at 00:42:19
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I was wandering what every one thought about amature players playing the sicilian. I am one of them and have recieved some varried responses from i should be playing 1.e5 instead of going for a sicilian and what not untill i master double king pawn openings. This is dumb to me as i could not think of why i would switch if i mastered them let alone i would like to know who is a master of double king pawn openings!!?

Somthing else i was wandering is what variations do you see amatures playing the most. This is always interesting because the sicilian like the spanish is somthing characteristic of ones own personal style. Slow and steady or wild and complicated the sicilian is a neat way to under stand a person. Fischer for instance was a very forward person and he played a nice double edged najdorf. I am a very social and out going person and it fits my style to play it. The positions just feel right.

And if any of you would like to contribute to why amatures should not play the sicilian i am willing to absorb that too even though i might not agree with it. Maybe some one hear can sway me. How ever i must admit since i started playing the sicilian i am enjoying the freedom from the french. To have 2 decent bishops is awesome!
  
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