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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Starting Out: Classical Sicilian (Read 11782 times)
Dragan Glas
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #20 - 02/21/08 at 01:35:43
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Greetings,

dokusan
Your "review" is very much appreciated - particularly comparing the book with other available sources! Thank you!

As for the above discussion.... I was just passing the time until someone posted what you've just done.  Wink

Matemax
I have no answer to the lines you posted - but thank you for the warning!

I'm glad I don't play the Classical!  Grin

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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dokusan
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #19 - 02/20/08 at 23:43:40
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Ah yes, back to the book:
This is written as a guide to the landscape of the classical Sicilian  for the Black player, with discussion of White’s possible plans but nearly all the ‘tips’ and ‘warnings’ are for Black. It’s very concise in most areas, much less dense than Yrjola ( Easy guide to the C S), chesspub ebooks ( Kosten, Fedorovic),  Kosten chessbase CD, and less discursive than Yermolinsky ( Chess Explained: C S). It seems to me to be pitched about the same level as the ( few) other Starting Out books I am familiar with, e.g. Gallagher’s SO King’s Indian, or a bit higher than Flear, SO Slav/Semislav
Contents:
Rare lines 6th move – 14 pages
: 6f3, 6Be3, 6f4 – similar lines to Yrjola, Kosten
6g3 – useful on 6g3  e5, which they say is quite playable,  the other books go for Dragon-type continuations
Boleslavsky – 12 pages – similar lines to other books
Sozin – ‘other’ sozin 4 pages, Benko sozin29p, ..e6 sozin 19p, Velimirovic 19p
I’ve only learned the Benko previously so haven’t looked at the ..e6 and Vel in detail but there seem to be some new ( compared to Yrjola) ideas for W and B set out and looks interesting for both sides. Yermolinsky and Kosten CD don’t cover these sections. Treatment of Benko is similar to others, I noted that in the (recently more popular)7Nxc6  bxc6  8 0-0 line they recommend 8..e5, where Kosten and Yrjola feel this is unsound and go for ..g6. other lines quite similar to other books

Richter Rauser
Introduction and  6..Bd7 – 10p. They give a modest recommendation to this line ( although I noticed Dreev not doing so well with it lately). Re above posts, 6..Qb6 is mentioned but not encouraged, and they agree the b2 pawn is poisoned.

7 Qd2 Be7 and 7th move alternatives – 23 p. (Yermo gives a good account of W 7th move alternatives)
7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 intro and..Nxd4 – 6p, 8..h6-8p, 8..bd7-9p. I was disappointed in this ( 8..Bd7)section, the only illustrative game is 9f3 line which is very well set out in the Chesspub ebook. Would have been pleased to see a game in the 9f4 b5 10 Bxf6 gxf6 11f5 line, as this is the recommendation in ‘Experts vs Sicilian’, and kozul has recently been doing well against this, and also would have liked more on the 11Kb1 line, which is given to move 13, but it seems to me that in recent games Black’s evaluation drops off after about move 15. Maybe there’s not an answer at present.

The games are mostly from 1996-2006, the usual suspects appear as Black. The little tactical, strategic and ‘don’t try this’ hints are all good. Didn't intend such a long review but hope it is of interest.


 
  
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Matemax
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #18 - 02/18/08 at 08:12:14
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Hi Dragan!

First the line to the Qb6-Qb2 variation:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 Qb6 7.Be3 Qxb2 8.Ndb5 (threat is Rb1 winning blacks queen) Qb4 (8. ... Nb4 9.Kd2)
9.Bd2 Rb8 (9. ... Qa5 10.Nd5) 10.Bd3

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*

I dont see a continuation for black ...


Second the line to the Qb6-Ng4 variation:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 Qb6 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Nd5 Nxe3 9.fxe3!

* * * * * * * *
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(much better than Nb6 - white will play the d4 knight to b5 and a devastating check on c7 will follow) the only try is: 9...Qa5 10.b4! Nb4 11.Nb3! Nd3 12.Ke2 and white will be a piece up

My conclusion: after Qb6 white plays Be3 and black is in trouble

Matemax
  
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Dragan Glas
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #17 - 02/18/08 at 00:17:23
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Greetings,

Bibs
I think the previous page pretty much covers it - until someone reproduces the TOC.

I'd be interested to see what aficionados of the Classical Sicilian thought of the book - it would be nice to have another string to one's bow besides the "Three Musketeers" (Dragon, Accelerated Dragon and Hyper Accelerated Dragon) !  Grin

My own choice is between the Classical and the Scheveningen.

Matemax
From the huge database I downloaded the other day, I have TWO (2) games for the 7.Be3, Ng4 8.Nd5 line - both end in a draw.

Based on their performance, I'd be tempted to play this line or the ...,a6 one (see below).

[Event "Guelph op"]
[Site "Guelph"]
[Date "2005.07.28"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Thavandiran, Shiyam"]
[Black "Ivanov, Igor V"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2191"]
[BlackElo "2407"]
[ECO "B60"]
[EventDate "2005.07.28"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Qb6 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Nd5
Nxe3 9.Nxb6 Nxd1 10.Nxa8 Nxd4 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Rxd1 Nxc2+ 13.Kd2 Kxc7 14.
Kxc2 Be6 15.Kb1 Kb6 16.Rc1 d5 17.Bd3 g6 18.Rhe1 Bh6 19.Rcd1 d4 20.Re2 Rd8
21.Rc2 Bd7 22.Bc4 Bc6 23.f3 e6 24.b4 a6 25.Rb2 Be3 26.b5 axb5 27.Bxb5 Kc5
28.Bxc6 bxc6 29.Kc2 Ra8 30.Ra1 Kc4 31.Rb3 Ra4 32.Rd3 f5 33.a3 c5 34.Rb1
Ra7 35.Rf1 Rf7 36.exf5 gxf5 37.f4 Ra7 38.Rf3 h5 39.Rfxe3 dxe3 40.Rxe3 Ra6
41.Rd3 h4 42.Kd2 Rb6 43.Kc2 Ra6 44.Kd2 Ra8 45.g3 hxg3 46.hxg3 Rh8 47.Rc3+
Kd4 48.Rd3+ Kc4 1/2-1/2

[Event "44th National A ch-IND"]
[Site "Atul IND"]
[Date "2006.12.20"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Konguvel, P"]
[Black "Venkatesh, M"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2407"]
[BlackElo "2466"]
[ECO "B60"]
[EventDate "2006.12.18"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 Qb6 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Nd5
Nxe3 9.Nxb6 Nxd1 10.Nxa8 Nxb2 11.Nc7+ Kd8 12.Ncb5 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 g6 14.a4
Bg7 15.c3 Bd7 16.Bb5 Kc7 17.Ke2 Bxb5+ 18.axb5 Kb6 19.Ra2 Nc4 20.Rha1 Ra8
21.Ra4 Rc8 22.Rxa7 Nb2 23.R7a3 Bxd4 24.cxd4 Rc2+ 25.Kf3 Kxb5 26.Rb3+ Kc4
27.Rxb7 Kxd4 28.Rxe7 Rc3+ 29.Kg4 f6 30.Re6 Nd3 31.Rxd6+ Ke5 32.Rd5+ Kxe4
33.Rda5 Nxf2+ 34.Kh4 Nd3 35.R1a4+ Ke3 36.Ra7 Rc2 37.Rg4 g5+ 38.Kg3 h5 39.
Re7+ Kd2 40.Rd4 f5 41.h3 f4+ 42.Kf3 Kc3 43.Rxd3+ Kxd3 44.Rd7+ Kc3 45.Rc7+
Kd2 46.Rxc2+ Kxc2 47.Ke4 Kd2 48.Kf5 Ke3 49.Kxg5 f3 50.gxf3 Kxf3 51.Kxh5
Kf4 52.h4 Kf5 1/2-1/2

The second game is more to the point, as the players are of equal strength.

There are also ELEVEN (11) games with 6..., a6 which has a 50% score (+3 =5 -3).

As you say the "Poisoned Pawn" line (6..., Qxb2) is not recommended - White has a 2-to-1 plus score.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Bibs
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #16 - 02/17/08 at 09:16:15
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6...g6 not really very good. Have had a look, including the SOS. Rather grim if white knows well.

Just go for the main lines.

Key word: Kozul.

Back to the original question

what is the book like?



  
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Matemax
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #15 - 02/17/08 at 09:13:36
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Quote:
6...,Qb6 seems to have the lowest percentage wins for White

Hi!

I dont know about the statistics, but that 7.Be3 could be a problem for black here  Sad - taking on b2 is followed by Ncb5 with dangerous threats and Ng4 doesnt work cause of Nd5

If you look for something offroad in the classical sicilian I would try 6...Bd7 (would be my first choice) or even 6...g6 (this is very provocativ, mostly you sac the d6 pawn then)
  
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Dragan Glas
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #14 - 02/16/08 at 20:31:27
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Greetings,

Well, now that I've gotten the huge database, I now have over 19,000 Classical Sicilian games.

Indeed, 6...,d5 doesn't work - however, 6...,Qb6 seems to have the lowest percentage wins for White, which might make it more suitable.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #13 - 02/16/08 at 18:24:03
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Quote:
I did wonder about 6..., d5!? - as you'll gather, my current games database doesn't have ANY games with this move.

As in most variations of the sicilian an early d5 by black is seldom a very good idea. The standard response from white in such positions is Bb5 (you may compare this to the Tarrasch French with 3...c5).  After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 d5? 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Bb5 Bd7 9.exd5 Nxd4 10.Bxd7+ Qxd7 11.Qxd4 black is simply a pawn down and on the edge of losing.

Some drawbacks of the Classical Sicilian (compared e.g. to the Najdorf) are:
- the pawn on d6 is weaker compared to the Dragon, Najdorf or Scheveningen
- the knight is commited to c6, sometimes it would be better if it could move via d7
- the square b5 is not protected (a6 in the Najdorf)
- the corner stone line (a6 followed by h6) is under fire cause of the idea Nc6 followed by Bf4

Some advantages of the Classical Sicilian are:
- its safer than Najdorf and Dragon, your not outright lost in some variations, but "only" positional worse
- it may be easier to understand and learn
- there is more piece play from black, more development - therefore more kingsafety (If you play through classical sicilians you seldom see the black king under fire very early)
- there is a specific pawn formation (f7, f6, e6, d6) that occurs in many variations, if you like this formation you may be psychologically up
  
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #12 - 02/16/08 at 17:27:29
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The only critical line against the classical sicilian seems to be Bg5?

so after
1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd
4.Nxd Nf6
5.Nc3 Nc6
6.Bg5

black can play
6. ... e6
7. Qd2 a6
8. 0-0-0 Qb6!?
  
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Dragan Glas
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #11 - 02/15/08 at 21:34:35
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Greetings,

I apologise if I caused some confusion - or derision!?  Embarrassed - at my TWIC-based database; my ChessDB (SCID-based) software does allow downloading from other sites (ICC, FICS and a 100,000 or a >3.5 million game databases), but I haven't used this facility for these -  except for TWIC - as I'm not interested in online chess games.

Due to this discussion, however, I've actually decided to download the >3.5 million game database.

I did wonder about 6..., d5!? - as you'll gather, my current games database doesn't have ANY games with this move.

I dare say that it's given the thumbs-down after 7. Bxf6, gf; 8. Nxd5 or 8. ed.

I'd be interested to hear what you think - and what your databases indicate.

...And my name is James, if any of you find it easier than my user name!  Wink

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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dokusan
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #10 - 02/15/08 at 07:12:52
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I had the same idea as Dragan Glas, but a quick look with Rybka and Fritz 10 at the position after 6...h6 is not encouraging, rather better for white than either 6...d6 or 6...Nc6 move orders. Oh well. I play the Classical as my main defence against 1e4, but the R-R is a constant worry, which is a pity as the Sozin, Boleslavsky etc are fun to play as black and hold up pretty well. I oscillate between hopeful investigation of the R-R, and looking at the Najdorf instead. The books say ' just wait for some of the big guns to start playing the classical again and it will all be OK'. I guess it does need some serious computer work by a strong player, sometime. Occasional rays of hope turn up, like Kozul's 2 recent victories over Shirov, and Morozevich allowing the classical at Mexico city, but who knows  Undecided
  
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #9 - 02/15/08 at 04:37:11
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Only 4546 games? I thought that there were something like 20000 games after 6.Bg5.

Indeed: There are exactly 19000 games after 6.Bg5 according to the Opening Key in Mega Database 2006.

Dragan Glas must have been using PowerBook or the Fritz Opening Book when he checked the number of games.

Correction: I recently found out that he uses TWIC as a reference database on a different thread. My mistake.
« Last Edit: 02/15/08 at 05:56:15 by DoubledPawns »  

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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #8 - 02/15/08 at 01:53:30
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I wonder if after 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Qd2 e6 (Botvinnik Variation) Dragan Glas still will find only four games in his database.
  

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Dragan Glas
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #7 - 02/15/08 at 00:24:48
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Greetings,

Amongst the 4546 Classical Sicilian games in my database, it has four games played with 6..., h6 with three draws and one win for Black.

Seems like a good solution!

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Starting Out: Classical Sicilian
Reply #6 - 02/12/08 at 13:20:42
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Both books tells you black is definitely worse after 6.Bg5.
What line would be the best try, or is situation really that hopeless?
  

1.Nf3! -  beat your opponent by killing his zest for life.
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