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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) which sicilian to play? (Read 26396 times)
cyronix
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #44 - 06/25/08 at 16:44:11
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Paddy wrote on 02/02/08 at 18:30:06:
I began to wonder why a lot of Russian juniors seem to be taught the classical as their first Sicilian.


Thanks for the info Paddy,
do you also know what russian juniors are taught against 1.d4 and 1.c4?

  
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LeeRoth
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #43 - 06/23/08 at 00:56:13
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 06/22/08 at 07:11:00:
 Of course, there are major problems with 2...e6, perhaps the most important is that White gets a nice version of the Maroczy Bind with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 (Almost anything) 5.c4!?


Assume you are referring to the Kan, since this particular move order isn't a problem for those who play the Taimanov.  4..Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4 is pretty easy for Black. 

  
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wcywing
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #42 - 06/23/08 at 00:43:22
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the Taimanov is very solid and flexible choice.  of course the only problem is white then has a lot of choices also.   i heard good things about the safest sicilian and any other book by chess stars publishing.
  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #41 - 06/22/08 at 07:11:00
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wcywing,

Thanks for reviving this thread, I missed it when it first came out!


Paddy, I love your description of White's plan against the Classical.  You are right, but I've never explained it so simply to my students before. 

I came to the Sicilian from the French, and that is fossilized in my playing 2...e6 to make up for my mistake on move 1. Lips Sealed

I really enjoy the Taimanov/Paulsen/Kan pawn structure.  It offers Black a slightly different set of positional strengths and weaknesses than other Sicilians, which means that White has to invest a fair bit of energy on the deviations.  And Black can switch to main lines with ...d6 most of the time anyway. 

Talk about tricky openings!  Of course, there are major problems with 2...e6, perhaps the most important is that White gets a nice version of the Maroczy Bind with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 (Almost anything) 5.c4!?

Even this has its bonuses because the Maroczy Bind is a rare visitor in 1.e4 openings, and if Black knows what he's doing he can thrive.

Again, thanks for reviving this thread!
  
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wcywing
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #40 - 06/21/08 at 03:09:12
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i just got Greet's new book on the accelerated Dragon, it is awesome.  the hyper accelerated dragon is my choice, because it avoids those anoying Bb5 anti-sicilians.  i am sticking with the Be2 open sicilian for now.
  
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Paddy
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #39 - 02/06/08 at 15:08:22
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Bibs wrote on 02/04/08 at 14:41:31:
Yes - move this to Rauzer thread.




Moderator - please can you move the last few posts on the Classical/Richter-Rauser for us?
  
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Bibs
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #38 - 02/04/08 at 14:41:31
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Seems our thoughts along similar lines Paddy.

I also looked at playing Classical. Everything else fine, but rauzer obviously the main concern.
Not sure I entirely trust the 'Kozul Suicide' line, but the main man is still playing it. Certainly interesting to wade through a few dozen of his games.
Took out Shirov last year.
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1477575

But f3, with Nc3-e2 as per Leko-Moro world cup last year appears to be causing more headaches than f4 currently.
Best remains Spraggett-Chandler (as on p41, line d2 of pdf)?
Because why move the bishop back to g5, just Kb1 as on p44.
Next update?

So -  if that hairy stuff not one's cup of tea, have to find something else. Maybe a good idea to have alook on cbase or chessgames anf dind suitable heroes then base your repertoire thereon.

Yes the en vogue Nc6, Bf4 stuff appears troublesome currently. Half remember a Haslinger-Rowson game maybe, yes Paddy I think you are right.

Perhaps Tony K may have ideas. Considering that he authored the Classical-bar-Rauzer CDs. Follow-up on the way perchance?
No updates on ebook or pdf btw for quite some time. More soon hopefully?

Yes - move this to Rauzer thread.

Meanwhile some homework for all:
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B67
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?playercomp=black&pid=13992&eco=B67&title...

among others ...
« Last Edit: 02/04/08 at 15:54:42 by Bibs »  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #37 - 02/04/08 at 12:42:18
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LeeRoth wrote on 02/03/08 at 16:07:53:
I used to play the Classical and meet the Rauzer with 7..a6 8.0-0-0 h6, but I gave it up because I couldn't find a satisfactory answer to 9.Nxc6
LeeRoth 


Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, the ...a6, ...h6 line seemed to be doing well in the 1990s but the antipositional-looking 9 Nc6 bxc6 10 Bf4 d5 11 Qe3 has been proving difficult for Black to handle, although I notice that Rowson has been prepared to take it on. By the way, this is the repertoire line for White given by Wells in Experts vs the Sicilian 2.

Moderator: perhaps this discussion become a separate thread, such as "Black vs the Richter-Rauser".
  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #36 - 02/04/08 at 07:48:03
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even though i am staying e5 for the moment, i might go to the dragon complex(accelerated and the regular dragon), or even the Najdorf, i will need something sharp, even though anti-sicilians are very popular.
  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #35 - 02/03/08 at 17:45:44
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Regarding the position after 7..a6 8.0-0-0 h6 9.Be3 Bd7 10.f4 b5 11.Bd3 Be7 12.h3 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 b4 14.Ne2 e5 15.Be3 Qa5 16.Kb1 O-O 17.g4 exf4 18.Bxf4 Be6 19.Nc1

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In the 1990s, Veingold played 19..d5 from this position and won a number of nice games as Black.  But Yermolinsky thinks that White is better here.  In Chess Explained The Classical Sicilian, he writes, "In this type of position (e4 vs d6) White always profits from having his king on the queenside, his rook on the d-file, and an opportunity to launch the g-pawn forward.  Black needs to search for counterplay elsewhere."

  

  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #34 - 02/03/08 at 16:07:53
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I used to play the Classical and meet the Rauzer with 7..a6 8.0-0-0 h6, but I gave it up because I couldn't find a satisfactory answer to 9.Nxc6

After 9.Be3, I was always happy to see 10.f4, as I had put in the most time studying these lines and because Black gets his standard counterplay. 

For example, 10... b5 11. Bd3 Be7 and now:

12. Kb1 O-O 13. h3 Nxd4 14. Bxd4 Bc6 15. Qe3 Qc7 16. e5 dxe5 17. Bxe5 Qb7

12. h3 Nxd4 13. Bxd4 b4 14. Ne2 e5 15. Be3 Qa5 16. Kb1 O-O 17. g4 exf4 18. Bxf4 Be6

and, in either case, it's a game.

After 10.f3 b5 11.g4 Ne5 12.Bd3 used to be the main line, but I would usually see 12.h4 instead.  Black can jump in with 12..b4 or play the slower 12..Qc7 when play would usually come to resemble a Keres Attack.   

The current trend at GM level seems to be for White to instead play 11.Nxc6 Bxc6 12.Ne2 (heading for d4).  Kasparov won a big game from Kramnik back in the 90s in this line, but I think better play for Black has now been worked out.  In any event, if this worries you, you can avoid it with 10..Qc7 11.g4 Ne5 12.h4 with play similar to and often transposing into the 10..b5 11.g4 line.

If you're looking for games in the f3 line, note that some GMs are now playing 8.0-0-0 Bd7 instead of 8..h6.  But if 9.f3 they are happy to then play 9..h6.  I guess this is an attempt to avoid 8..h6 9.Nxc6, but maybe there is another reason for this move order!?

Anyway, hope this helps
LeeRoth
  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #33 - 02/03/08 at 13:44:55
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DoubledPawns wrote on 02/02/08 at 22:06:32:
Paddy wrote on 02/02/08 at 18:30:06:
I'm reluctant to invest time and effort in the Classical until/unless I'm sure of having some long-term satisfactory answer to 6 Bg5. Any views on this from forum members with relevant experience or from or our IM/GM CPub section authors?



If you are looking for a recent book on the Classical Sicilian, then there is "Starting Out: Classical Sicilian" by Raetsky and Chetverik (released November 2007).

I also remember that in SOS 3, Oleg Chernikov suggests 6...g6!? as a surprise weapon against 6.Bg5. Theory claims that White has a clear advantage, but Chernikov argues that this is not the case. For more info, see the book.

Finally, there were a few very recent surveys in the Yearbooks covering the 6...Bd7 7.Qd2 Rc8 variation, and although I haven't studied them, I think the conclusion was that White has to play precisely to get a small edge.



Thanks very much for the references DoubledPawns! However, I'm more interested in canvassing the views of forum members or section authors who have practical experience of playing the Classical. Theory is all very well, but I am sure that things can seem very different when the clock is running and you are staring down the barrel of the Richter-Rauser!
  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #32 - 02/02/08 at 22:06:32
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Paddy wrote on 02/02/08 at 18:30:06:
I'm reluctant to invest time and effort in the Classical until/unless I'm sure of having some long-term satisfactory answer to 6 Bg5. Any views on this from forum members with relevant experience or from or our IM/GM CPub section authors?



If you are looking for a recent book on the Classical Sicilian, then there is "Starting Out: Classical Sicilian" by Raetsky and Chetverik (released November 2007).

I also remember that in SOS 3, Oleg Chernikov suggests 6...g6!? as a surprise weapon against 6.Bg5. Theory claims that White has a clear advantage, but Chernikov argues that this is not the case. For more info, see the book.

Finally, there were a few very recent surveys in the Yearbooks covering the 6...Bd7 7.Qd2 Rc8 variation, and although I haven't studied them, I think the conclusion was that White has to play precisely to get a small edge.


  

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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #31 - 02/02/08 at 18:30:06
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I've been thinking about this myself recently. I'm rated 2150 FIDE. For various periods in the past I  played the Dragon (risky) or the Accelerated Dragon (often tedious). Then I got interested in Sveshnikov's advocacy of the Kalashnikov - bad move! - this became my worst-scoring opening ever! Recently I have played 1...e5, defending the Spanish or playing the Antoshin Philidor; an interesting change, but not really me.

Now I'm thinking about going back to the Sicilian. I began to wonder why a lot of Russian juniors seem to be taught the classical as their first Sicilian. This arises after the moves 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6. Black's 2nd and 5th moves can be reversed. This system is very ancient but on the whole seems to be a quiet success story. It has several advantages.

1) Since Black's 2nd and 5th moves can be reversed, Black can vary the move order to avoid certain lines, or to "fit" certain opponents.

2) 6 Be2 can be handled with 6...e5, 6...e6 or 6...g6, to taste. Of these the strongest is perhaps 6...e5, the Boleslavsky system, which almost put 6 Be2 out of business in the 1950s. This was the ancestor of the fashionable Sveshnikov variation; Black gives White a potential strongpoint at d5 in return for central space and a fairly safe king. Note that here White has to retreat the knight to b3 or f3.
Nevertheless, 6...g6 is an attractive alternative - a Dragon in which Black has avoided the Yugoslav Attack. Similarly 6...e6 is a Scheveningen in which Black has avoided the dreaded Keres Attack.

3) Moves such as 6 g3, 6 Be3, 6 f3 and 6 f4 have all been tried over the years but none of these has proved to be really threatening to Black. It looks easy to get a playable game as Black against these lines, with far less preparation than is the case in the equivalent Najdorf variations (i.e. 5...a6 instead of 5...Nc6).

4) 6 Bc4, the Sozin Attack, has accumulated a lot of theory but Black is in quite good shape in the critical lines after 6...e6. But it is also perfectly possible to avoid the main lines of the Sozin and Velimirovic with 6...Qb6 or 6...Bd7, and even the provocative-looking moves 6...e5 and 6..Na5 have strong supporters.

BUT...
there is one snag with the Classical, and it seems a big one: since the late 1930s Black has struggled against the Richter-Rauser variation 6 Bg5, and even today this remains the real test of the Classical move order. After the normal moves 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 White's aim is to castle queenside, exerting immediate pressure along the d-file.

After that White has two main plans:

a) to play f4 and try to hit Black hard in the centre with e4-e5. This is the traditional plan, and still relevant.

b) to play the more restrained f3 and follow up in the style of the English Attack against the Najdorf with g4 and a kingside pawn storm. You would think that the bishop on g5 would be in the way of this plan and it is true that White usually needs to lose a tempo getting the bishop out of the way, but nevertheless White has achieved good results with this plan.

I'm reluctant to invest time and effort in the Classical until/unless I'm sure of having some long-term satisfactory answer to 6 Bg5. Any views on this from forum members with relevant experience or from or our IM/GM CPub section authors?

  
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Re: which sicilian to play?
Reply #30 - 02/02/08 at 18:20:00
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i am also studying tactics, i am reading chess training pocket book by Alburt, chess tactics for students workbook by Bain, and TASC II software, which is really good.  i have enough opening books, i will try to get the other books on tactics (can't have enough), pawn structure, and others.  i know Fischer use Bc4 practically against every sicilian out there, except for a few exceptions. 

i will go back to the petroff, it served me well, besides if a bunch of GM's it has to be good, unless it falls out of fashion again.   Grin   

  
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