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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella (Read 282249 times)
TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #302 - 01/13/15 at 01:41:24
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tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
I got my copy at the weekend - looks fantastic, well done Tony!


Great, thanks for the support! I hope that as you delve deeper you enjoy it even more.

tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
I immediately turned to the chapter on the Alapin. I've used it as my main weapon against the Sicilian for over 10 years so it's the only chapter I can really use to gauge the quality of the book.


It's interesting to hear how people approach checking it out - one more in the "immediately jumped into the Anti-Sicilian sections" category.

tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
I'm a fan of the lines where White delays d2-d4 and I think that your recommendations there are objectively the best Black has (certainly after committing to 6...d5) and covered with a very good level of detail.  Personally, I'm not sure I'd like to play them all as Black though, at least against weaker opponents. I won't go into too many specifics as I'm aware this is the open Sicilian board but for example, White can force a dead draw following Tiviakov - Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee 2007, or choose to deviate with compensation for a pawn. I'd much prefer to be on the White side of that decision. A practical complaint only and can be countered with the 'Black shouldn't complain about equality' argument.


Yes, I agree with you here. This is actually the chapter that bugged me most when working on the book, and for this exact reason.

A small, somewhat relevant aside - see, originally I simply wanted to write a kick-ass book about the Kalashnikov, but Everyman was rightfully hesitant. Their first book by Pinski and Aagaard did just okay, at a time when the Kalashnikov was arguably more popular, probably because it's not an opening that's particularly fashionable with the rating group that Everyman targets. And so when we were negotiating the scope of the book, they proposed that I cover the Anti-Sicilians, just at slightly less depth, using lines that were easy to pick up and learn. This was totally okay with me, and I was excited about the prospect of doing a repertoire book. I had interesting ideas in some places, and I too thought that in this day and age it made more sense to publish it as a repertoire.

So with their rating range in mind, I started to cook up recommendations that I thought were going to be relatively simple to play and learn (where I could - if you play the Sicilian complicated and dangerous positions are difficult to avoid in most lines). This early ...d6 line of the 2...Nf6 Alapin was one of those simple, reliable lines - and it was one that Sveshnikov himself thought highly of in his giant yellow tome as well. But as I started working on the book, it became clear to everyone involved that I was going to cover the Anti-Sicilians with as much detail as the main lines, and some of the recommendations changed, in my opinion for the better. But this Alapin recommendation stayed the same. It's a solid, reliable line, but exactly as you say, there's the practical problem that in some cases, the positions are too equal, or Black has to grab some material and turtle up for a while. The thing that snuck up on me was that the main lines of this system are easy to learn and pick up, but there are some snazzy sidelines that are a bit sharper - I tried to point those out and make sure there was enough depth and care there to ensure the reader knew what they were doing.

But again, just as you said - having a very clear cut way to achieve equality as Black shouldn't scoffed at either. I have been testing out the line 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bf5!? in a ton of coffee shop battles, and while it's definitely easier to drum up winning chances there, I also get rolled up every now and again when my sparring partner comes in with some fresh ideas. I think I briefly mentioned the issue with writing about the Anti-Sicilians in the Introduction. It's a challenge to not cover lines already covered before, achieve equality, achieve winning chances, and appeal to the varying temperaments of the masses, all at the same time. But in this case I think you're right, and definitely appreciate the feedback - I've heard the same complaint from another 2300-ish player from your neck of the woods. I think to remedy this, I may cover my preferred 2...d5 line in an update to the book to offer a second, sharper option. It's less reliable and maybe slightly more dangerous for Black, but if you know what you're doing, the positions are also sharper and higher variance.

Grin

tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
You mention the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4!? 7.Bc2 Qc7 8.Qe2 g5!? in passing. I personally would have loved to see that analysed but also understand that it's not a good fit for a repertoire book. I guess players who share my concerns above can dig into that treasure trove.


This line is very fun, yes! I have played quite a few longer time control games here, but I wasn't sure I could do it justice in a chapter that I thought was already slightly bloated (White has so many options in the Alapin!). Any short amount of coverage would be too little, and lines like these are very flip-floppy - one correspondence game could blow up the whole variation for Black and render two-three pages of analysis and text completely useless. I did that a couple times in the book - simply mention another option like this, and leave it up to the reader as to whether or not they wanted to put in the time to add it to their repertoire.

I'm not sure that approach serves me that well though - to most it probably looks like laziness. To me, I thought it was worth the 75 characters to point out something that the reader might find more to their taste, or interesting as a backup variation.

tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
I have some experience in the Closed and Bb5 lines, so I'm looking forward to checking those out next. I hope the analysis is at the same high level (which I'm sure it will be).


I look forward to hearing what you have to say - I definitely appreciate the detailed feedback and the back and forth. Appreciate the kind words!

tipau wrote on 01/12/15 at 21:57:45:
Maybe then I'll be tempted enough to learn the Kalashnikov  Grin


Let's hope so!  Cheesy Grin Wink

Cheers!

« Last Edit: 01/13/15 at 05:28:19 by TonyRo »  
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tipau
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #301 - 01/12/15 at 21:57:45
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I got my copy at the weekend - looks fantastic, well done Tony!

I immediately turned to the chapter on the Alapin. I've used it as my main weapon against the Sicilian for over 10 years so it's the only chapter I can really use to gauge the quality of the book.

I'm a fan of the lines where White delays d2-d4 and I think that your recommendations there are objectively the best Black has (certainly after committing to 6...d5) and covered with a very good level of detail.  Personally, I'm not sure I'd like to play them all as Black though, at least against weaker opponents. I won't go into too many specifics as I'm aware this is the open Sicilian board but for example, White can force a dead draw following Tiviakov - Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee 2007, or choose to deviate with compensation for a pawn. I'd much prefer to be on the White side of that decision. A practical complaint only and can be countered with the 'Black shouldn't complain about equality' argument.

You mention the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4!? 7.Bc2 Qc7 8.Qe2 g5!? in passing. I personally would have loved to see that analysed but also understand that it's not a good fit for a repertoire book. I guess players who share my concerns above can dig into that treasure trove.

I have some experience in the Closed and Bb5 lines, so I'm looking forward to checking those out next. I hope the analysis is at the same high level (which I'm sure it will be). Maybe then I'll be tempted enough to learn the Kalashnikov  Grin
  

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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #300 - 01/11/15 at 17:46:12
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Bibs wrote on 01/11/15 at 13:25:45:
May they rott in editorial hel.


This was hilarious. Yes, very disappointing - you work for 4 years on a project, and they screw up the cover art, but what can you do? I'm sure it was an honest mistake, albeit a very tough one to swallow when it's your name.

Thanks for chiming in, looking forward to hear what you think - I know I'll get an honest review outta ya!  Grin
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #299 - 01/11/15 at 13:25:45
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How crass an error. Hope you kicked up a real stink about that. Just deeply insulting to you Tony. Rude.
Think Everyman need to sort out the editing side of things.
May they rott in editorial hel.
Just got my copy, some proper thoughts later, when time to read and ponder....
But firstly, well done!
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #298 - 01/10/15 at 20:03:14
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TonyRo wrote on 01/06/15 at 22:19:31:
I got my review copies! Tell you what, it's a good looking book!

Anyone notice the spelling error on the spine?  Shocked


Yes, a strange error from the publisher!
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #297 - 01/10/15 at 10:37:24
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The book arrived. Magnificent work. I don't know which one has been bigger effort, this book or my doctoral thesis!
  

1.Nf3! -  beat your opponent by killing his zest for life.
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #296 - 01/08/15 at 23:47:50
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barnaby wrote on 01/08/15 at 23:05:42:
Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli and the chessbook.



Too funny! Hope you like it barnaby - let me know what you think!

Grin
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #295 - 01/08/15 at 23:05:42
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Stigma wrote on 01/08/15 at 03:45:45:
I don't know if this was a sneaky ulterior motive behind the title, but how many people will order the book and be deeply disappointed to find it's not a mafia thriller novel set in southern Italy!?  Smiley



Leave the gun.  Take the cannoli and the chessbook.

I ordered from chess4less and looking forward to delivery.
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #294 - 01/08/15 at 04:29:52
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Stigma wrote on 01/08/15 at 03:45:45:
I don't know if this was a sneaky ulterior motive behind the title, but how many people will order the book and be deeply disappointed to find it's not a mafia thriller novel set in southern Italy!?  Smiley


Listen, it's a giant chess book - you gotta find some way to sell some copies, right!?

Cry
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #293 - 01/08/15 at 03:45:45
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I don't know if this was a sneaky ulterior motive behind the title, but how many people will order the book and be deeply disappointed to find it's not a mafia thriller novel set in southern Italy!?  Smiley
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #292 - 01/08/15 at 03:02:08
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Hope you enjoy the book, genuinely laughed out loud at your profile.  Grin
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #291 - 01/08/15 at 02:49:49
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Thanks for your posts guys! It made up my mind to immediately click away to the online book shop and smash hit the order button!

Look forward to the book!!  Thanks!
  

"You must lead your opponent into a deep, dark forest, where 2 + 2 = 5 and
  where the path back out is only broad enough for one of you." (((Mikhail Tal)))
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #290 - 01/06/15 at 22:19:31
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I got my review copies! Tell you what, it's a good looking book!

Anyone notice the spelling error on the spine?  Shocked
  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #289 - 01/04/15 at 02:24:18
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slates wrote on 01/03/15 at 18:05:33:
Got my copy today. Only read the introduction so far and parts of the Anti Kalashnikov and c3 Sicilian chapters but I think it's really good. A hefty book with plenty of verbal content in addition to the analysis, looks to be just what I need.


Great to hear it - I hope that as you dig deeper you feel the same way! It's funny to hear that most people head straight towards the Anti-Sicilian chapters.

I'll make sure that the Portsmouth and all of White's very minor tries will be covered in an update down the road, and all those who are contributing analysis are credited.
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #288 - 01/03/15 at 21:31:30
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Well, black can't expect to win automatically after grabbing a pawn and stepping back with the knight..
But, maybe 5...d5 is the only way to take your chances and prevent a good and stable white pawns' center.
  
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