Latest Updates:
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 
Topic Tools
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) which sicilian to play? (Read 25979 times)
Dragan Glas
Senior Member
****
Offline


"If I, like Solomon, ...
could have my wish -
"

Posts: 424
Location: Ireland
Joined: 06/25/06
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #29 - 02/02/08 at 01:01:44
Post Tools
Greetings,

wcywing wrote on 02/01/08 at 22:16:44:
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 20:31:42:
True!

I was assuming that wcywing was a youngish club/tournament player who wished to get to grips with the Sicilian.

Given the latest information, I'd have posted differently.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas


i may be young at heart, but i'm not ancient or at midlife crisis yet    Wink
when i was a youngish club tournament/player, there was no such thing as 300 rated played in USCF  Shocked  now it seems to be normal.  i think the lowest class was class E.  at most places where i played a 2000 rated player is hard to find, so i did not have much compition to go against and tournaments were monthly at best.  now if i was a New York or some other major chess center, my rating might be higher, maybe.   

all the advice is good and much appreciated.  i am staying with the open siclian as white using Be2/Be3 as a starting point.  i am sticking with old reliable e5 against e4, study the 4N may not be so bad after all, i will try Bb4 too.  i will use the Sicilian in the future.   

I didn't mean to say you were "old" either - that's me! (It seems that "aggressive" openings are not the only thing to suffer sudden changes in assessments! Wink )

As regards finding other players of your own strength or - ideally - somewhat higher.

Perhaps if you asked around, contacted your local USCF representative, etc, they might be able to put you in touch with like-rated players in your area!?

You might also be interested in LeMoir's Essential Chess Sacrifices - all of these are from White's point-of-view, with sacrifices against the castled Black king and/or the Black king caught in the centre. Many of the sacrifices are in the Sicilian, which will be good preparation for you when both facing the Sicilian and when you play it as Black (you'll know for what to watch out!).

Quote:
kylemeister wrote Quote:
Dragan Glas wrote on Yesterday at 22:04:13:
I don't know the Petroff ... but I seem to recall Bronstein recommending 3..., Bb4 as a way of avoiding the Four Knights !? I'm sure those here will correct me if I'm wrong! Smiley

You're not wrong.  Well, I don't know about Bronstein, but 3...Bb4 is a major line.

I believe it was in his 200 Open Games, although I don't have the book with me - it's at the family home in Ireland. Sad

MNb, good point about the Dragon player not being as familiar with the Classical lines - even less, the Levenfish or fianchetto (g3)! - as (s)he is with the cut-and-thrust of the Yugoslav/Rauzer Attack.

Having said that, years ago I played a 2000+ player in Dublin (Ireland) where he entered the Classical line against my Dragon ... and then admitted to me that he didn't know what to do next (following move 9) - over the board!!  Shocked Cheesy

So, wcywing, make sure you know/understand what to do in the Classical lines against the different lines of the Sicilian!

By the way, MNb, what do you think of GM Nigel Davies recommendations regarding White's positional approach to the Sicilian under "Controlled Aggression?"
http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/repert2.htm

Quote:
The Sicilian is probably the most popular reply to 1 e4 and playing the sharpest lines involves a huge amount of work. Yet there are a number of players who do well on a diet of 6 Be2 lines against almost everything, whether it's the Najdorf (1…c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6), Scheveningen (5…e6), the Dragon (5…g6) or the so called Classical Sicilian (5…Nc6). You can't do this against absolutely everything and I suggest meeting the Kalashnikov (1….c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 5 Nb5 d6) with 6 g3(!) and the Sveshnikov (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5) with 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5 9 Nd5 Be7 10 Bxf6 as Kasparov has done in a number of key games.

The way to get into these lines is to look out for complete games on the chesspublishing.com sites keeping an eye out for names such as Viktor Kupreichik and Ilya Smirin. These guys are both highly effective Be2 specialists.


Kindest regards,

Dragon Glas
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
DoubledPawns
Senior Member
****
Offline


1.a3 e5 2.Nc3 Ba3 3.Ne4
Bf8 4.Ra5 Ke7 5.Re5#

Posts: 283
Joined: 02/01/08
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #28 - 02/02/08 at 00:23:34
Post Tools
I agree that at the 1400-level, studying tactics is the best way to improve one's chess.

If you want to learn a variation of the Sicilian, however, then I will suggest the Four Knights Variation of the Sicilian (2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6). One advantage of this variation is that there is less theory compared to most Sicilian variations (although you need to know what to do in the 6.Nc6 bc6 7.e5 Nd5 8.Ne4 variation). Against 6.Ndb5, you should play 6...Bb4, which saves you having to learn a lot of theory (7.Nd6 Ke7 is fine for Black).

Another major advantage of the Four Knights is that at the club level, many players will be unfamiliar with the variation, and are likely to play something solid such as 6.Be2 or 6.Be3, which is inferior after 6...Bb4!.

Against 2.Nc3, you can simply play 2...e6 and 3...Nc6 (usually followed by ...d5), which is fairly solid. If White plays 2.c3, simply 2...d5, leading to IQP positions which will improve your chess understanding.

Hope this helps!
  

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something - Plato
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Dragan Glas
Senior Member
****
Offline


"If I, like Solomon, ...
could have my wish -
"

Posts: 424
Location: Ireland
Joined: 06/25/06
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #27 - 02/01/08 at 23:11:31
Post Tools
Greetings,

kylemeister wrote on 02/01/08 at 21:46:43:
The "without understanding the Scheveningen, you cannot play the Sicilian" line is from Jaan Ehlvest.

Jeremy Silman opined not long ago that the Scheveningen is "a perfect first Sicilian for young players and old who wish to test the 1. e4 c5 waters."  While it's certainly true that Black's king can come under attack in the Schev, it might be pointed out that Black could choose lines which tend to avoid/minimize this -- e.g. 9...e5 in the (Modern) Classical, lines with ...Nc6, ...Be7, ...0-0 and ...d5 against the English, and lines where both sides tend to castle queenside (with an isolated White h-pawn) in the Keres.  (Personally, I played the Dragon for quite a while before I ever played the Scheveningen, though ...)

It seems to me hard to argue with the idea that a 1400-ish player should probably be playing 1...e5 and looking primarily at tactics/tactically-oriented games (books like Neishtadt's "Winning Quickly with Black" and L. Polgar's "5334 ..." come to mind), though.   

kylemeister, thank you for providing the source of that (misquoted, I fear) line. Smiley

I agree on the need to concentrate on the tactics at that level.

When I was starting out, that's virtually all I did...

I had Reinfeld's Winning Chess (beginner), then Pachman's Modern Chess Tactics/Attack and Defence in Modern Chess Tactics (intermediate - well, all levels really!) - great books those (along with the latter's three-in-one abridged volume Modern Chess Strategy).

After my long 12-year break - due to serious eye problems - to regain my "chess-sight" (no pun intended!), I revisited the above books on tactics and also went through Neishtadt's Test Your Tactical Ability, a really worthwhile book for anyone who puts the time into studying/working through it.

Doubtless, one could say the same about any tactical book for those serious about improving.

Following my most recent break - since 2000 - I've just bought Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book and Emm's Ultimate Puzzle Book. I'll revisit Pachman's and Neishtadt's books on tactics, as a refresher, and then hit these two ... along with both of Reinfeld's 1001 ... books and any others I can find! Cheesy

Van Perlo's Endgame Tactics is fun too!

I do enjoy combinations!

If I have made a mistake through all these years, it was to not "thoroughly" analyse my games. I was inclined, like a lot of amateurs, to just annotate the errors as one-move improvements - "I should have played X". It was only through reading both Rowson's and Yermolinsky's books recently, that it was brought home to me what I'd known in the back of my mind. Perhaps this time round...

But enough about me...  Embarrassed Lips Sealed

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MNb
God Member
*****
Offline


Rudolf Spielmann forever

Posts: 10487
Location: Moengo
Joined: 01/05/04
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #26 - 02/01/08 at 22:28:44
Post Tools
wcywing wrote on 02/01/08 at 22:16:44:
i am staying with the open siclian as white using Be2/Be3 as a starting point.  i am sticking with old reliable e5 against e4.  i will use the Sicilian in the future.   


Rather avoid 2...d6/5...g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 0-0 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.0-0 (or 9.f4 Be6 10.g4 Rc8) Be6 10.f4 Rc8 11.g4 (11.f5 Nd7 12.g4 Ne5 13.g5 Rxc3!) Na5 12.f5 Bc4 13. Nxa5 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 Qxa5 15.g5 Rxc3! and White must fight for equality. This typical exchange sac does not work with the bishop on g5 iso e3, hence 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Kh1 and either 10.f4, 10.Be3 or 10.Bg5, depending on Black's 10th move.
Neither am I impressed by 2...d6/5...Nc6 6.Be2 e5 (Boleslavsky) and even 2...d6/5...e6 6.Be2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 not playing ...a6.
Hence I recommend a mix of Be2 and Bc4 systems. But - as I already know Willempie's reaction - this is a matter of taste.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4632
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #25 - 02/01/08 at 22:18:10
Post Tools
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 22:04:13:
I don't know the Petroff ... but I seem to recall Bronstein recommending 3..., Bb4 as a way of avoiding the Four Knights !? I'm sure those here will correct me if I'm wrong! Smiley




You're not wrong.  Well, I don't know about Bronstein, but 3...Bb4 is a major line.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
wcywing
Full Member
***
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 176
Joined: 01/04/08
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #24 - 02/01/08 at 22:16:44
Post Tools
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 20:31:42:
True!

I was assuming that wcywing was a youngish club/tournament player who wished to get to grips with the Sicilian.

Given the latest information, I'd have posted differently.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas


i may be young at heart, but i'm not ancient or at midlife crisis yet    Wink
when i was a youngish club tournament/player, there was no such thing as 300 rated played in USCF  Shocked  now it seems to be normal.  i think the lowest class was class E.  at most places where i played a 2000 rated player is hard to find, so i did not have much compition to go against and tournaments were monthly at best.  now if i was a New York or some other major chess center, my rating might be higher, maybe.    

all the advice is good and much appreciated.  i am staying with the open siclian as white using Be2/Be3 as a starting point.  i am sticking with old reliable e5 against e4, study the 4N may not be so bad after all, i will try Bb4 too.  i will use the Sicilian in the future.  
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MNb
God Member
*****
Offline


Rudolf Spielmann forever

Posts: 10487
Location: Moengo
Joined: 01/05/04
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #23 - 02/01/08 at 22:15:28
Post Tools
Willempie wrote on 02/01/08 at 16:31:10:
I disagree that the open is too difficult. It is much simpler to understand than the various anti's because when you just play normal moves you get a decent position.


I agree completely. Picking up an anti-Sicilian way too often leads to spending ones time to lines like 2.Nc3 e6 and 3...d5 or 2.Nf3 e6 not 3.d4. This time can be used more useful.
While it is true, that playing the Open Sicilian allows Black to play his pet-line, Black often will not know his stuff in non-topical variations. All Dragoneers know the last developments in the Jugoslav, but do they also know the wrinkles of the Karpov Variation (6.Be2 and Bg5) ?
It is not true indeed that plans are difficult to remember, if you chose your variations carefully. White's play in the Classical Scheveningen and in the Sozin is often a bit stereotypal: either e4-e5, f4-f5 or g2-g4-g5. After that it is just tactics. Just avoid hot stuff like the Jugoslav Attack, the 6.Bg5 Najdorf, the Perenyi-Attack and even the Richter-Rauser.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
GC Lichtenberg
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Dragan Glas
Senior Member
****
Offline


"If I, like Solomon, ...
could have my wish -
"

Posts: 424
Location: Ireland
Joined: 06/25/06
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #22 - 02/01/08 at 22:04:13
Post Tools
Greetings,

wcywing wrote on 02/01/08 at 03:26:54:
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 00:14:40:
Greetings,

I don't know what age you are, but it seems that the young - kids and teens - have a mania for "booking-up" on the most tactical lines they can find.

I certainly did when I was that age!  Embarrassed


well as for my age i am almost twice the age of Carlsen.

Ah! Embarrassed
Quote:
...  back in the day i played Petroff/Phildor then accelerated dragon, then center counter.  i liked the Petroff but many people played Nc3 almost forcing a 4N game  Angry  so i tried d6 against that, but one game showed me that was not good.

I don't know the Petroff ... but I seem to recall Bronstein recommending 3..., Bb4 as a way of avoiding the Four Knights !? I'm sure those here will correct me if I'm wrong! Smiley

Alternatively, you could become so proficient in the Four Knights that no-one will play it against you - and resign themselves to playing the Petroff! Smiley

Or perhaps there's some "move-ordering" that those-in-the-know could recommend!?

Quote:
... now that i am restarting i will go back to e5; e5 will be my solid defense and later the Scheveningen.  i will get Soltis's book to play agaist the sicilian, and maybe  some the other books with games and annotations. 

i was very active in scholastic chess but then military, school, etc slowed down tournament chess.   Sad   however i still play but it is usually against beginers and very rarely against someone who has even played in rated tournaments.  i usually win most of time, but i use very little theory etc.  i plan to get back in the tournament scene, but i know i need to take the rust off.

Both Rowson (Chess for Zebras) and Yermolinsky (The Road to Chess Mastery) essentially advise the same thing: learn to calculate accurately, play(!) and analyse your own games thoroughly.

Having experienced my own series of breaks from chess - the longest being 12 years (I'm one week past my 49th birthday!) - I know how difficult it can be to get one's "chess sight" back. It's one of the reasons I got Rowson's book, as he deals with the "older" player's struggles to improve.

Certainly, for myself, the first thing I would do - and have done in the past - is to concentrate on "Tactics! Tactics! Tactics!".

Without that, you'll be unable to play open games of any sort, get back into tournament-level chess nor analyse your games as thoroughly as you'll need, to return to your former level and/or improve on that.

Get your "chess-sight" back first!

LeeRoth's point about concentrating too much on openings does have a certain grain of truth in it.

At your current level, trying to "book up" on a new opening is not much use.

If you're comfortable with and understand the middle-game positions resulting from the Petroff, stick with it!

It is both a "solid" and "aggressive" opening - as belgian recommended.

[By "solid", LeeRoth, I mean "firm ground" = "sound".]

Besides, if Kamsky can get back into top-flight chess with a relatively poor knowledge of the current cutting-edge of opening theory, then anybody should be able to do so - provided, like him, they play the middle-game well.

And Kamsky proved himself comfortable with the middle-game resulting from the Petroff - as Carlsen found out, to his cost, in the recent World Cup when he unwisely chose that defence as Black in their crucial decider!   Roll Eyes

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
kylemeister
God Member
*****
Offline



Posts: 4632
Location: USA
Joined: 10/24/05
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #21 - 02/01/08 at 21:46:43
Post Tools
The "without understanding the Scheveningen, you cannot play the Sicilian" line is from Jaan Ehlvest.

Jeremy Silman opined not long ago that the Scheveningen is "a perfect first Sicilian for young players and old who wish to test the 1. e4 c5 waters."  While it's certainly true that Black's king can come under attack in the Schev, it might be pointed out that Black could choose lines which tend to avoid/minimize this -- e.g. 9...e5 in the (Modern) Classical, lines with ...Nc6, ...Be7, ...0-0 and ...d5 against the English, and lines where both sides tend to castle queenside (with an isolated White h-pawn) in the Keres.  (Personally, I played the Dragon for quite a while before I ever played the Scheveningen, though ...)

It seems to me hard to argue with the idea that a 1400-ish player should probably be playing 1...e5 and looking primarily at tactics/tactically-oriented games (books like Neishtadt's "Winning Quickly with Black" and L. Polgar's "5334 ..." come to mind), though.   
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Dragan Glas
Senior Member
****
Offline


"If I, like Solomon, ...
could have my wish -
"

Posts: 424
Location: Ireland
Joined: 06/25/06
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #20 - 02/01/08 at 20:31:42
Post Tools
Greetings,

belgian wrote on 02/01/08 at 01:35:58:
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 00:14:40:
For practical tournament play, one should have two kinds of opening - a "aggressive" one and a "solid" one.


True enough.

However, IMO until you reach a certain strength (say 1900 ELO, although the exact rating is up for debate), you only need one aggressive, but solid line.

If as a developing player you decide to forego 1.-e5, the e6 Sicilians are the way to go. A major benifit of these variations is that there are very few forced lines where you need to know the only right move to survive (which I believe to be the case in the Dragon and the Najdorf.)

Within this group, the Scheveningen is certainly a great choice.

<belgian/>

True!

I was assuming that wcywing was a youngish club/tournament player who wished to get to grips with the Sicilian.

Given the latest information, I'd have posted differently.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Willempie
God Member
*****
Offline


I love ChessPublishing
.com!

Posts: 4312
Location: Holland
Joined: 01/07/05
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #19 - 02/01/08 at 16:31:10
Post Tools
I disagree that the open is and too difficult. It is much simpler to understand than the various anti's because when you just play normal moves you get a decent position. As white you just put your pieces on good squares and play active. It helps to know some basics of course, but I dont think you need to study much theory to play it. Knigths go to c3 and d4, bishops to e2 (or c4 if that is your fancy) and e3, castle short and only then try thinking about a plan. Most usual and good plan is to play f4, Kh1 and try to push f5 or e5. It is also much more valuable developmentwise as like in the e4-e5 openings you need to play active.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
LeeRoth
God Member
*****
Offline


I love ChessPublishing.com!

Posts: 1473
Joined: 10/22/05
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #18 - 02/01/08 at 14:28:27
Post Tools
Whoa.

Winger,

IMHO, you are concentrating way too much on opening choices.  Forget it.  Assuming you are playing folks around your own rating, you don't need to play cutting edge stuff.  What you should be looking for is an opening that let's you get your pieces out and into a playable middlegame and doesn't neglect the center too much.  Do that and you'll be fine.

Against 1.e4, there are lots of good choices.  I would recommend sticking with 1..e5, which you already play.  Find a defense that suits you, and stick with it for awhile.  You need a simple defense to the Spanish, coupled with the Giuoco/Two Knights.  That will get you through most of it, and you can add other lines later.  The Petroff is also a good choice.

Forget the Sicilian for now.  Whatever main line you pick, you'll end up seeing a lot of c3s, Closeds, Grand Prixs anyway.  But if you must pick a Sicilian, I stand by the Dragons.  The Soviets used to teach these to their developing players because the plans are so clearcut.  As a friend of mine used to say: I'd rather be slightly worse but have a plan, than be theoretically equal and not know what to do.

The Scheveningen is not a good choice.  No how, no way.  In the main lines, Black plays ..e6 and ..d6 and then has to maintain his defensive front against White's attempts to play e5, f5 or g5.  There is a bewildering amount of plans and choices -- indeed, I suspect that it is in part this flexibility that makes the Schevy popular at the GM level.

Nor do I understand what people mean by "solid."  If they mean that you don't create weaknesses in the pawn structure, well that's sort of true, but not exactly.  If they mean solid compared to the najdorf, well OK.  But if by solid they mean that your king is safe, guess again.  As Black in the Schevy you often have to face nasty kingside attacks.

As White vs the Sicilian, pick a line.  A single line.  Do not play the open sicilian.  Way too much to learn, plans difficult to remember, and you're giving Black exactly what he wants -- a chance to play his pet defense againt you. 

I'd recommend the Closed Sicilian instead.  Not the Be3, Qd2 trickery, but the relatively simple plan of going for f4-f5 and a kingside attack.  It's simple and effective against most set-ups, the one exception being a Black ..f5 in response, in which case you go c3, d4 and just play chess. 

Opening is for getting the pieces out.  Try to win in the middlegame, not the opening.

My two cents,
LeeRoth      
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
wcywing
Full Member
***
Offline


I Love ChessPublishing!

Posts: 176
Joined: 01/04/08
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #17 - 02/01/08 at 03:26:54
Post Tools
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 00:14:40:
Greetings,

I don't know what age you are, but it seems that the young - kids and teens - have a mania for "booking-up" on the most tactical lines they can find.

I certainly did when I was that age!  Embarrassed



well as for my age i am almost twice the age of Carlsen.   back in the day i played Petroff/Phildor then accelerated dragon, then center counter.  i liked the Petroff but many people played Nc3 almost forcing a 4N game  Angry  so i tried d6 against that, but one game showed me that was not good.  now that i am restarting i will go back to e5; e5 will be my solid defense and later the Scheveningen.  i will get Soltis's book to play agaist the sicilian, and maybe  some the other books with games and annotations.  

i was very active in scholastic chess but then military, school, etc slowed down tournament chess.   Sad   however i still play but it is usually against beginers and very rarely against someone who has even played in rated tournaments.  i usually win most of time, but i use very little theory etc.  i plan to get back in the tournament scene, but i know i need to take the rust off.  
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
belgian
Full Member
***
Offline


Passionate about chess
and poker...

Posts: 129
Location: Toronto
Joined: 05/14/07
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #16 - 02/01/08 at 01:35:58
Post Tools
Dragan Glas wrote on 02/01/08 at 00:14:40:
For practical tournament play, one should have two kinds of opening - a "aggressive" one and a "solid" one.


True enough.

However, IMO until you reach a certain strength (say 1900 ELO, although the exact rating is up for debate), you only need one aggressive, but solid line.

If as a developing player you decide to forego 1.-e5, the e6 Sicilians are the way to go. A major benifit of these variations is that there are very few forced lines where you need to know the only right move to survive (which I believe to be the case in the Dragon and the Najdorf.)

Within this group, the Scheveningen is certainly a great choice.

<belgian/>
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Dragan Glas
Senior Member
****
Offline


"If I, like Solomon, ...
could have my wish -
"

Posts: 424
Location: Ireland
Joined: 06/25/06
Gender: Male
Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #15 - 02/01/08 at 00:14:40
Post Tools
Greetings,

wcywing
Although I'm a bit late posting - and I am not the equal of those here - as a long-time Dragon-player, I think my tuppence worth might help.  Wink

LeeRoth and kylemeister are right - don't start with the Sveshnikov!

I don't know what age you are, but it seems that the young - kids and teens - have a mania for "booking-up" on the most tactical lines they can find.

I certainly did when I was that age!  Embarrassed

The Sicilian Dragon, Najdorf and Sveshnikov - amongst a handful of other openings - are renowned for their lines running 20-40 moves deep.

They are like tightropes - whichever player steps off the tightrope...!

One might get away with this in the first two, but as LeeRoth has pointed out, the Sveshnikov sacrifices the pawn structure - the backward d-pawn - in favour of piece-play.

It would not be wise to add the burden of learning to handle such strategic weaknesses on top of learning the multi-move-deep lines.

For practical tournament play, one should have two kinds of opening - a "aggressive" one and a "solid" one.

The theory of the former usually is changing very rapidly - one moment the assessments favour White, the next they favour Black. (The Poisoned Pawn variation in the Najdorf is a classic example - until recently, theory favoured Black, currently it favours White.)

This is why you also have a "solid" opening - when the assessment of the "aggressive" one is against you, you have the "solid" opening on which to fall back until theory favours your "aggressive" opening again.

This is where woofwoof's suggestion is the right way to go.

The Scheveningen is considered the "Classic" Sicilian (not to be confused with the "Classical" variation of the Sicilian!) - as one writer put it, "If you don't know how to play the Scheveningen, you don't know the Sicilian!" (I forget whom at present...)

It is a robust and resilient variation with a great deal of pent-up counter-attacking potential, which is very dangerous against White players who over-reach themselves or mishandle their attack/play.

This is your "solid" Sicilian opening against 1. e4.

The Najdorf is not called the "sharpest" Sicilian for nothing!

It is not so much a "counter-attacking" opening - that's the Scheveningen - but a attacking "defence" for Black!

As already pointed out, theoretical assessments swing back-and-forth in this variation - and will continue to do so! - as one or the other side finds new ideas for White or Black.

This is your "aggressive" Sicilian opening against 1. e4.

But what of the Dragon, you may ask!?

The Dragon complex ("Normal" Dragon, Accelerated and Hyper-Accelerated) is, in some ways, a all-in-one system.

Its practitioners have the best of both worlds, in that, if the normal Dragon is under the cosh - as it appears to be at present - then one can fall back on the Accelerated version, or even the Hyper-Accelerated one, until someone comes up with ideas which rejuvenate the Dragon-proper.

Both of the "fast" versions of the Dragon cut down on White's options - including the Rossolimo (3. Bb5) and Grand Prix Attack, amongst others.

IM Andrew Greet's book is well-timed for the reasons stated above - and it is well-worth waiting for it to appear!  Smiley

[There's also Palliser's book, Beating the Anti-Sicilians, which specifically deals with how Black can deal with the many annoying attempts by White (GPA, Rossolimo/3.Bb5, Alapin/3.c3, Closed/2.Nc3, etc) to avoid the "Black Hole" that is the Sicilian!  Wink

I'm seriously thinking of getting both!  Smiley ]

MNb's, ErictheRed's and Willempie's suggestions are all well worth investigating - I certainly found them thought-provoking!

Besides Soltis' excellent book, there's also Jansa's Dynamics of Chess Strategy, in which he covers various openings (Ruy Lopez/Spanish, Grünfeld, Caro-Kann, Scandinavian, etc) - including a major section on both sides of the Scheveningen (mainly the White-side, along with subsections containing suggestions against the Sveshnikov and Dragon).

[It's only £5 from ChessCenter - see the right-hand link for the discounted books ... the book's link is: http://www.ukgamesshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=chbom... ]

There's also Levy's How to Play the Sicilian Defence (2nd edition was the latest/last), which covers the strategic themes/ideas for both sides of the Dragon (..., g6), Najdorf et al (...,e6), Löwenthal/Lasker/Pelikan/Sveshnikov (...,e5), Little Centre (pawns on e6 and d6), Bg5 Systems, Closed and Maròczy Bind (...,g6/e6) - including typical (exchange-/) sacrifices on any square you can think of as being of importance in the Sicilian!

I found it of inestimable value in understanding how/when to play certain set-ups - the book is sprinkled with "Golden Rules" for both sides. The strategies are demonstrated with games and parts of games throughout the text.

Finally...

Book Buying Tip
On Amazon, when you find a book, don't go with the main quoted price.

Click on the "X new and used available from (lowest price!)" link and then the "New" tab link.

Here you'll find listed various sellers - in different countries(!) - from which you can buy the book, brand new, through Amazon.

Thus you get the even cheaper/cheapest price whilst being protected by purchasing through Amazon!

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 
Topic Tools
Bookmarks: del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Google+ Linked in reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Yahoo