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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella (Read 389457 times)
ArKheiN
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #371 - 02/18/15 at 22:19:43
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Hello TonyRo,

I have ordered your book, it will arrive soon Wink

I will tell you later what I think of it. One question, did you check the 2012 french book from GM Cornette and GM Libiszewski "Dégainez la Kalashnikov"? Here is a link if you didn't: http://chess-evolution.com/download/samples/Degainez%20la%20Kalachnikov-Promotio...

I have not this book (yet), a shame for someone speaking French!
  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #370 - 02/18/15 at 18:49:26
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Yeah I'm not sure that the timelines matched up. I finished in early Summer, then due to an editing queue, delays at the printer, etc, my book was not released until the holidays of 2014, just recently in the US. Not sure of the exact time release date of the Sveshnikov book - it's possible I could have paid a fortune for shipping across the pond, but I don't think it's that important. It's likely that only a few of our lines overlap, and even then I think most Anti-Sicilians allow Black to equalize in many different ways. If I end up getting a copy and comparing our books, I'll be sure to append anything notable into my update in a few months time.
  
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Pale Horse, Pale Rider
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #369 - 02/18/15 at 18:25:01
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I noticed that you don't mention "Sveshnikov vs. the anti-sicilians" in your bibliography. Was the book released to recently? Since there should be considerable overlap between your and Sveshnikovs book (who plans to publish on the kalashnikov as well)... did you compare your lines to that of Sveshnikov?
  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #368 - 02/18/15 at 06:32:13
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Yet more Kalashnikovs on Christof Sielecki's live ICC stream today, here for those who'd like to view it. He's a very engaging player! 

I have donated to his stream once before (if you regularly watch it you should too!), but I feel like I need to do it again for all of this advertising!  Cheesy
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #367 - 02/16/15 at 06:51:19
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/16/15 at 04:21:12:
I use is ...a6/...e6/...Nc6/...Nge7/...Ng6/...Be7/...0-0/...f6. It is solid and fairly systematic


Of course, as a Danish guy you almost have to, right? I found interest in the set up when I saw it in Winning with the Smith-Morra (I unfortunately sold the book to make room for more but regret it now). I think it is not as well known as some of the other ways to play against the Morra.

Edit: but wait, I thought the Bishop belonged at d6 to control e5?
  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #366 - 02/16/15 at 05:24:12
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Larsen_fan wrote on 02/15/15 at 16:16:32:
Which openings against 1. d4 go along with the Kalashnikov in a repertoire. Im thinking in terms of move order, tactical- and positional  patterns etc.

Hi Larsen_Fan, 

There aren't really any 1.d4 defense that closely mimic the Kalashnikov completely - the Sicilian Defense is just too different of an animal really. But if I had to recommend an option, and one that is different than your current repertoire, I'd suggest the KID. Both openings are "dark-squared" defenses that keep a lot of pieces on the board while maintaining rigid (and by that I mean not "fluid") pawn structures with well-defined pawn breaks, middlegames that focus on piece maneuvers, and both can lead to higher percentages of kingside attacks compared to openings like the French, QGD, etc. 

A lot of Kalashnikov experts go this route, e.g. Nataf, Radjabov (Nataf is/was his trainer, so this makes sense), Shabalov, Shirov, Grigore, have played the KID a lot or even close to exclusively. But with that said, other Kalashnikov players go totally different routes, e.g. Moiseenko and Ikonnikov both prefer the Nimzo/Bogo complex.

Always a tough decision! Best of luck, and happy hunting!  Grin
« Last Edit: 02/16/15 at 19:46:09 by TonyRo »  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #365 - 02/16/15 at 04:51:34
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/16/15 at 04:21:12:
With respect to the Morra Gambit, I think that the principled approach is simply to just take the pawn, but psychologically I think that it might annoy the opponent to transpose to 2. c3, like said above.

Yeah, it's a tough decision. Black is probably at best equal both ways - one has the psychological advantage of taking your opponent out of his preferred paths, but has the disadvantage that it's slightly more difficult to play for more. A lot of times I base my decision to take or not on whether or not I think my opponent has prepared a lot or not. In internet blitz games I almost always take it, especially against lower rated players, while against a strong opponent OTB I would likely decline it to avoid extensive preparation and lower my risk.

DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/16/15 at 04:21:12:
Like mentioned in the introduction, about starting with Sweshnikow Sicilian with 5...e5, I used to play this, I even played this in a FIDE international event twice, but it honestly is quite scary at times with the king just sitting with all of the pawns up there (and two are doubled).

Yes - it's funny that both Shabalov and I started the opposite way. After I met him at a few lectures/simuls in my hometown I took up the Kalashnikov, using the Pinski/Aagaard, Silman, and McDonald books as my guide, and later switched to the Sveshnikov when it became a bit more popular and when The Easiest Sicilian was published. But just as Shabalov mentioned, with the rise of 11.c4 (even if Black is fine there), I'd prefer to play the Kalashnikov for more than one reason.

DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/16/15 at 04:21:12:
Maybe switching from the Sweshnikow to the Kalashnikow is like how some switch from the main line Semi-Slaw to the Classical Slaw. Smiley

Not a bad analogy at all.  Grin
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #364 - 02/16/15 at 04:21:12
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With respect to the Morra Gambit, I think that the principled approach is simply to just take the pawn, but psychologically I think that it might annoy the opponent to transpose to 2. c3, like said above. My only loss against the Morra Gambit was when I was already winning in an endgame an exchange and three pawns up and started to mess up so badly and hung many of my pieces, but the system that I use is ...a6/...e6/...Nc6/...Nge7/...Ng6/...Be7/...0-0/...f6. It is solid and fairly systematic.

Kalashnikow is definitely quite safe in terms of the king. Like mentioned in the introduction, about starting with Sweshnikow Sicilian with 5...e5, I used to play this, I even played this in a FIDE international event twice, but it honestly is quite scary at times with the king just sitting with all of the pawns up there (and two are doubled). 

Maybe switching from the Sweshnikow to the Kalashnikow is like how some switch from the main line Semi-Slaw to the Classical Slaw. Smiley
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #363 - 02/16/15 at 02:31:06
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/15/15 at 20:12:15:
Actually I am pleasantly surprised that the Kalashnikow is actually not "heavy" theoretically compared to my other repertoires.

Yes, this is a definite bonus. The nice thing about 4...e5 is that Black carves out an equal share of the center, and generally does not fall behind in development. Combine that with the fact that White's kingside knight must head over to the queenside, and you've got yourself one of the safest variations with respect to Black's king. And a safe king usually means less theory. Of course White gets a more prominent weakness on d5 in return.

DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/15/15 at 20:12:15:
It might take me less time

It will definitely take less time!
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #362 - 02/16/15 at 02:18:02
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Pale Horse, Pale Rider wrote on 02/15/15 at 20:01:02:
Obviously all this is personal preference but what stands out to me is the digestability (is that a word) of the book. I feel like I really _understood_ quite a bit about the Rossolimo by browsing through your recommendation.
A really outstanding job. I am pretty sure, that I will rework my anti-sicilians based on your recommendations.

Thanks so much! I was seriously worried about what people would think about Anti-Sicilian chapters that are ~30 pages long. But the Rossolimo is as or more important as the main lines of the Kalashnikov, and it's important that every 2...Nc6 player has a trusted weapon.

I still take the Morra pawn as well using mostly Palliser/Gallagher's ...d6/...a6 recommendation, but I thought to simply regurgitate that line with a few updates, probably in 10-15 pages, would be too much in an already very large book.
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #361 - 02/15/15 at 20:18:23
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DenVerdsligeRejsende wrote on 02/15/15 at 20:12:15:
it is veldig tedious


Sorry for being completely offtopic:

As someone who has a serious crush on nordic languages I totally love reading your posts.  Smiley
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #360 - 02/15/15 at 20:12:15
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Actually I am pleasantly surprised that the Kalashnikow is actually not "heavy" theoretically compared to my other repertoires. The Najdorf that I play obviously there really are not that many 1. e4 openings that reach the theoretical amount that Najdorf has. Caro-Kann with ...0-0 and the French with Winawer also seem more than the Kalashnikow (anti-Sicilians included). I feel that Kalashnikow is around the same amount of theory as my Pirc repertoire.

Just today I was doing my own analysis (for Black!) on my favourite 6. Bg5 Nbd7 against Negi's recommendations in his new book. I had to do analyses literally until move 50 to see if some of the endgames that I got I would play them over the board, because I deviated from his analysis around moves 25-30. Veldig often I had to leave Stockfisk running on a move for over a few hours just to make sure, which makes my own analyses for 6. Bg5 Nbd7 Najdorf a bit long--my ChessBase file on this line is dated from November 2014 and I usually work on this line every couple days.

Although it is kind of fun in some ways, it is veldig tedious, and from what I see, the Kalashnikow usually does not have such long, forcing and irrational lines.

As I write this, Stockfisk is running on move 41 from when I deviate on move 30 from one of the sidenotes to 20. d6 in the 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qe2 h6 8. Bh4 g6 chapter from Negi's new book. Perpetual, drawn rook endgame? Who knows, but I am close review all of the main line variations in Tony's book. It might take me less time Smiley
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #359 - 02/15/15 at 20:01:02
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TonyRo wrote on 02/14/15 at 03:55:07:
I really like 3...Nf6 against the Rossolimo. It's not easy at all for White to prove a theoretical edge, and the positions are really interesting. There's the usual bonus too that White inevitably knows less about it than 3...g6, 3...d6, or 3...e6.

At least take a look at the other choices. I really like the line I play against the GPA, both Bc4 and Bb5. Worth a shot!

Wink

Thank you so much for the support and compliments. Let me know what you think once you've delved a bit deeper.

I think De La Villa does very briefly mention it, but just like Experts, might only cover the early ...h5 lines (I can't remember for sure though - I do recall that his coverage was either absent or brief to the point that it didn't really even get mentioned in The Killer Sicilian). His lack of coverage is no knock on DTS, as 7...Be7 really was in it's infancy at that point.


My first comment was a little bit too early. At the moment I am still browsing through the book without any hard theoretical word but I have gone over all lines which are relevant for me now. I had looked at the Alapin and Smith-Morra recommendations. I always preferred 2...d5 in the Alapin when I was playing the sicilian and accepted the Smith-Morra Gambit because I think black is fine (as in equal) and the extra pawn is some material which might lead to a win if white isn't keeping his initiative.
However, I had not really looked at the Grand Prix recommendation and the ones in the closed sicilian. I really like the lines you recommend there. I haven't checked the lines for their theoretical value (and there are other, stronger players to judge that) but I like the kind of positions you go for (interesting, unbalanced, bishop pair etc). I played similiar against the GPA (at least the first moves). I always played 8...Nxf3 in your Bb5-GPA mainline (met this line quite often) but your 8...f5! looks very interesting. I also enjoy your use of the Botvinnik triangle against the closed sicilian.
Obviously all this is personal preference but what stands out to me is the digestability (is that a word) of the book. I feel like I really _understood_ quite a bit about the Rossolimo by browsing through your recommendation.
A really outstanding job. I am pretty sure, that I will rework my anti-sicilians based on your recommendations.
  
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #358 - 02/15/15 at 16:16:32
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Hi Tony (and others)



Which openings against 1. d4 go along with the Kalashnikov in a repertoire. Im thinking in terms of move order, tactical- and positional  patterns etc. 



My current repertoire with Black is french / Queens gambit declined. Both solid and require a minimum of maintenance but I would like to explore new types of positions and are looking for a completly new approach.


regards,

Larsen_fan
  
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TonyRo
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Re: The Killer Sicilian by Tony Rotella
Reply #357 - 02/14/15 at 03:55:07
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I really like 3...Nf6 against the Rossolimo. It's not easy at all for White to prove a theoretical edge, and the positions are really interesting. There's the usual bonus too that White inevitably knows less about it than 3...g6, 3...d6, or 3...e6.

At least take a look at the other choices. I really like the line I play against the GPA, both Bc4 and Bb5. Worth a shot!

Wink

Thank you so much for the support and compliments. Let me know what you think once you've delved a bit deeper.

I think De La Villa does very briefly mention it, but just like Experts, might only cover the early ...h5 lines (I can't remember for sure though - I do recall that his coverage was either absent or brief to the point that it didn't really even get mentioned in The Killer Sicilian). His lack of coverage is no knock on DTS, as 7...Be7 really was in it's infancy at that point.
  
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