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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Why do people keep saying this? (Read 3909 times)
Chevalier
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #10 - 04/11/08 at 22:45:24
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I entirely agree that the Open Sicilian offers White the best chances of an advantage, both in objective terms and in terms of understanding. However, if you are rated over 2100, then you could consider combining the Open Sicilian and an Anti-Sicilian. For example, you could play 3.d4 against 2...d6 and 2...e6, but play the 3.Nc3 variation against 2...Nc6, meeting 3...Nf6 with 4.Bb5.

That way, you have the best of both worlds: You build up your understanding tremendously by playing Open Sicilians, but also sometimes play an Anti-Sicilian, so that you develop your understanding of both open and closed positions. You also save a large amount of study time, without seriously compromising your opening repertoire.

You could also use a similar method starting with the move 2.Nc3; for example, you meet 2...Nc6, 2...e6 and 2...g6 with 3.Nf3 and 4.d4, but counter 2...d6 with 3.f4, leading to the Grand Prix Attack, but in its best version. However, I personally prefer the first suggestion, since you will get a lot more Open Sicilians in your games that way.

Therefore, there are two options for people learning the Open Sicilians: Either learn only Open Sicilians for White, or learn 2 Open Sicilians and one of the main Anti-Sicilians against 2...d6, 2...e6 and 2...Nc6.
  

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Lou_Cyber
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #9 - 04/11/08 at 08:25:06
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Three years ago I switched from the 1.c4 of my youth to 1.e4 when starting to play chess again. Meeting 1...c5 is definitely a mayor task, but I am very happy that I decided to play the open sicilian.

- The most important anti-sicilian lines (Alapin, Morra, 3.Bb5, Grand Prix, closed spring to my mind) are by no means bad. But white has better chances to achieve an opening advantage in the open sicilian. That´s the bottom line of theory (even the honest anti-sicilian books) and that must be wy the top GM play the open.

- The advocates of anti-sicilians claim a surprise value. On my club level they are dead wrong. I play the sicilian with black, and in more than 50% of my games white avoids the open sicilian!
So it is essential for black players to know the anti-sicilian theory - and it´s no secret that this task is much simpler than learning the Najdorf, Classical or Svesh lines with black.

- TopNotch is right with the need for flexibility. If you someday don´t like your anti-sicilian line you are in deep trouble. In the open white is spoiled for choice (and work).

- Rome wasn´t built in a day, take your time. When I started to learn the open I had a quick glimpse at unusual lines leading out of theory against most open lines, but started to learn something serious against the Najdorf. Afterwords I had a look at the Dragon etc.. (if you play the Sicilian with black you should already know what to do at least in one system). It took time, and did cost rating points, but now I am confident that my understanding of chess is better, and the results show it.

- There are good repertoire books. I started with Beating the Sicilian 3, and still play some of the lines. Experts against the Sic. is a very good book as well. It helps, and so does my subscription to the open sicilian section Wink.
Now if I change a variation of my repertoire, it´s only a minor shift e.g. concerning the 4 Knights, because I can keep my repertoire against all other variations.

As TopNotch said, the first steps won´t be easy, and you will stumble. But if you look at the years to come with the open, the prospects are brighter than traveling on on the one narrow road you´re on right now.

  

If you try, you may lose. If you don´t try, you have lost.
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TopNotch
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #8 - 04/09/08 at 23:23:38
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chk wrote on 04/07/08 at 11:35:11:
Correct and one should also add that if you want to actually 'learn' more & better chess and you like flexibility & variety in your play you should sooner or later make the difficult switch to the Open Sicilian..


Quite right. There comes a point where avoiding the theoretically most testing lines eventually offer diminshing returns and the longer you avoid such lines the harder it becomes to make the transition and harder still to assimilate the ideas.

As a player you need to assign your goals early and set about a program to achieve them, its hard work, and there really is no worthy substistute or shortcut in my opinion.

Unfortunately if one lacks the time, energy, talent or inclination to put the work in, then it becomes neccessary to set more modest achievable goals, at least in the short term.

The good news is that the longest journey begins with the first step, so my advice is to take a deep breath and make the plunge.

Toppy Smiley
  

The man who tries to do something and fails is infinitely better than he who tries to do nothing and succeeds - Lloyd Jones Smiley
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #7 - 04/09/08 at 14:20:10
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whitecraw wrote on 04/09/08 at 13:16:10:
There is the Emms book "Starting out ..1.e4". It has some really good verbal explanations of how to play against the different Sicilians, but posters on this forum have indicated that some of the recommendations stray pretty close to "hot theory" as they say. Maybe it's possible to use that as a base, and construct a Be2 Open Sicilian repertoire on your own, but surely this is a time consuming task! Willempie, how did you construct your Be2 repertoire ? Did you examine any particular players repertoire's (Karpov was a fan of Be2)? [ perhaps we should switch this to the Open Sicilian board? ]

The book is not by Emms, but rather by McDonald.
  
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #6 - 04/09/08 at 13:55:49
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whitecraw wrote on 04/09/08 at 13:16:10:
There is the Emms book "Starting out ..1.e4". It has some really good verbal explanations of how to play against the different Sicilians, but posters on this forum have indicated that some of the recommendations stray pretty close to "hot theory" as they say. Maybe it's possible to use that as a base, and construct a Be2 Open Sicilian repertoire on your own, but surely this is a time consuming task! Willempie, how did you construct your Be2 repertoire ? Did you examine any particular players repertoire's (Karpov was a fan of Be2)? [ perhaps we should switch this to the Open Sicilian board? ]

That may indeed be better. In short it has taken me quite some time, but I didnt take a theory approach, I just studied some 20 annotated games by Karpov, Geller (tip of Mnb) and some others. Most of them with a Be2/Be3 Schevy, but also some with the other lines (one or two per line).
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #5 - 04/09/08 at 13:16:10
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There is the Emms book "Starting out ..1.e4". It has some really good verbal explanations of how to play against the different Sicilians, but posters on this forum have indicated that some of the recommendations stray pretty close to "hot theory" as they say. Maybe it's possible to use that as a base, and construct a Be2 Open Sicilian repertoire on your own, but surely this is a time consuming task! Willempie, how did you construct your Be2 repertoire ? Did you examine any particular players repertoire's (Karpov was a fan of Be2)? [ perhaps we should switch this to the Open Sicilian board? ]
  
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #4 - 04/08/08 at 09:30:29
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rottenglen wrote on 04/07/08 at 10:48:03:
hi
wasn't sure whether to post here or on 'Open Sicilians' - opted for here on basis that anyone playing the open as Black is also likely to look in here too.

Anyway, I keep considering taking up the Open as White - many players seem to advise this, describing it as the 'only critical test' of Black's plan.  Yet, like many before me, I find it too daunting a prospect - too much to learn.  Even more significant though, when I check the database, White seems to score just as well with Bb5 variations as with the open.  What's more, this is how I kind of feel when I play Bb5 as White - the positions are quite good for White and not without pressure and winning chances.

could it be that the pressure to play the Open Sicilian comes from people interested in getting us to buy theory books or people with more time than sense or people who are actually frightened of the threat that Bb5 poses?

What do people think - of course, I know that we should play what we feel comfortable with, anyway, but this is something that puzzles me.

What do you play vs 1..e5? If you play 2.Nf3 I think the open is often more similar than the various anti's.

The problem with the open sicilian is imo not that there is too much theory (there is a lot) as I think it is very much playable without knowing all lines by heart. Most lines require more of a feel for the position than specific knowledge.
The real problem is that unlike with 1.d4 there are no complete repertoire books (they always cop out with some anti line and often do so against other openings as well, even the Caro-Kann) and very little on a sicilian repertoire with white. There is only Khalifman (too many books, but very high in quality), Experts (which chooses very theoretical lines at places), Taming the sicilian (too tame) and the old Beating the sicilian (outdated). There is no repertoire book which takes Be3 or Be2 as a a basis for a repertoire. Unfortunately that leaves you with "black" books.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #3 - 04/07/08 at 17:36:00
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rottenglen wrote on 04/07/08 at 10:48:03:
Anyway, I keep considering taking up the Open as White - many players seem to advise this, describing it as the 'only critical test' of Black's plan.  Yet, like many before me, I find it too daunting a prospect - too much to learn.


If there is one thing I regret in my chess non-career it is not having picked up the Open Sicilian when I still was young and ambitious. These days it takes about as much time to keep an Anti-Sicilian repertoire (no matter which one) fresh as to study the Open Sicilian. The 3.Bb5 systems are indeed about as good as 3.d4, but you will also have to meet 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6.
White has a wide choice after 3.d4. If you want a decent short cut, play 6.g3, 6.Be2 or 6.Bc4 against about everything. A little more ambitious is a mixture of Be2 and Bc4 variations, often beginning with 6.Be3.
The big advantage of the Open Sicilian is this. If some variation against say the Dragon is not satisfying, you can chose another without replacing your whole repertoire. If some variation against 3.Bb5 does not suit you, your whole 3.Bb5 repertoire is in trouble.
  

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chk
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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #2 - 04/07/08 at 11:35:11
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Correct and one should also add that if you want to actually 'learn' more & better chess and you like flexibility & variety in your play you should sooner or later make the difficult switch to the Open Sicilian..

(disclaimer: unless you really don't have the time to learn it)
  

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Re: Why do people keep saying this?
Reply #1 - 04/07/08 at 11:25:29
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Personnaly, I could not say why the Open sicilian is better than the anti-sicilians but it is true that at the highest level one plays nearly allways the open sicilian after 1.e4-c5. I do not think that top GM's play so only because it is modious or because it is "undone" not to play it at this level. There must a good reason.
Now most of us are no top players and I believe that playing what best suits our style is the best solution for us, lower rated players.
  

Yusupov once said that “The problem with the Dutch Defence is that later in many positions the best move would be ...f5-f7” but he is surely wrong.
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rottenglen
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Why do people keep saying this?
04/07/08 at 10:48:03
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hi
wasn't sure whether to post here or on 'Open Sicilians' - opted for here on basis that anyone playing the open as Black is also likely to look in here too.

Anyway, I keep considering taking up the Open as White - many players seem to advise this, describing it as the 'only critical test' of Black's plan.  Yet, like many before me, I find it too daunting a prospect - too much to learn.  Even more significant though, when I check the database, White seems to score just as well with Bb5 variations as with the open.  What's more, this is how I kind of feel when I play Bb5 as White - the positions are quite good for White and not without pressure and winning chances.

could it be that the pressure to play the Open Sicilian comes from people interested in getting us to buy theory books or people with more time than sense or people who are actually frightened of the threat that Bb5 poses?

What do people think - of course, I know that we should play what we feel comfortable with, anyway, but this is something that puzzles me.
  
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