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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Open Sicilian Repertoire (Read 4822 times)
MNb
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #13 - 03/26/19 at 10:00:33
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mn wrote on 03/25/19 at 19:28:15:
Which of these variations do you prefer, and does anyone have any practice experience in these systems? Do they have enough bite? The Najdorf is still the one big opening where I really don't know what I want to play.

Statistics prefer 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3. WHile I'm not sure what exactly it's telling that White fares badly even with 6.Be2 e5 7.Nf3 Be7 8.Bg5 Nbd7. It should also be noted that 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 h6 is hardly uncommon - and then Be2 would be a loss of tempo.
Whether such lines do have enough bite not only depends on their objective correctness, but also on your level and on the effort you make to study them. In general results afte5r 6.Be2 e5 7.Nf3 may be dissatisfying, if you manage to find decent lines against all Black options and study the resulting middlegames it will be a powerful weapon for you.
  

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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #12 - 03/25/19 at 20:37:04
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mn wrote on 03/25/19 at 19:28:15:
Given I want to play the Classical Scheveningen as White, it doesn't really make too much of a difference for my repertoire whether I start with 6 Be2 or 6 Be3 (6...e6 7 Be2), aside from the possibility of 6 Be3 Ng4.
I'm not too sure of that. This 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 was tried quite a bit in the late 1970's, one of the ideas is to play g2-g4 instead of castling - a precursor to the English Attack. But with kingside castling I remember that 7.Be3 gives black the chance to omit ...Nc6 and get in a quick ...b5, something that is very risky after 7.O-O or 7.f4. Obviously not 7...b5 right away, because of 8.Bf3, but something like 7...Qc7 8.f4 (8.g4 is the other plan, but these days white would probably play 6.Be3 and omit Be2 entirely) 8...b5 9.Bf3 Bb7 10.e5 (this would be +/- if white had O-O instead of Be3) 10...dxe5 11.Bxb7 Qxb7 12.fxe5 Nfd7.

The Scheveningen is a transpositional nightmare, there are so many nuances. Back in the day I went through Pritchett's book. What he had done was "coerced" a lot of the move orders to fit his chapter structure. So it became quite puzzling for me trying to understand why all these moves were interchangeable. Then I started finding the actual games, and it turned out that the moves were not interchangeable at all!
Edited:
It wouldn't surprise me if the line I gave is good for white after 13.O-O. My memory isn't what it used to be. I think the plan of ...b5 is valid though, even if I have botched the actual moves for black.
  
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mn
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #11 - 03/25/19 at 19:28:15
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So, what are the pros and cons of 6 Be2 e5 7 Nf3 vs. 6 Be3 e5 7 Nf3 - ? From my understanding, White would like his Bishops on c4 and g5, so neither Bishop move is 100% ideal in this structure.
Given I want to play the Classical Scheveningen as White, it doesn't really make too much of a difference for my repertoire whether I start with 6 Be2 or 6 Be3 (6...e6 7 Be2), aside from the possibility of 6 Be3 Ng4. I wouldn't mind facing this line necessarily, but if the 6 Be3 e5 7 Nf3 and 6 Be2 e5 7 Nf3 are otherwise equivalent, that would be a logical deciding factor.

Which of these variations do you prefer, and does anyone have any practice experience in these systems? Do they have enough bite? The Najdorf is still the one big opening where I really don't know what I want to play.
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #10 - 12/07/18 at 13:22:07
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Yes, after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6, in Lutes (1993) Sicilian Defense O'Kelly Variation, 3.d4 was =/unclear, whereas 3.c3 was +=, and 3.c4 was +/-, if black did not transpose to the Kan. In the intro on p.83 he gives:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nf3! Bb4 7.Bc4 Qc7 8.Qd3! b5 9.Bb3 Bb7 10.Bd2 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 d6 unclear (Estrin, 1986).

Another idea for black is 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5, and here white has not played the most critical line of the Rubinstein.

In all these cases white could consider c2-c3, transposing to a Morra Gambit accepted or declined.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #9 - 12/07/18 at 11:06:10
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 12/07/18 at 02:16:00:
I agree with 3...a6! reaching a good O'Kelly.


Engines don't seem to agree that 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. d4 cxd4 is undesirable. After 4. Nxd4 Nf6  5. Nc3 e5, they think the Knight retreats to f3, b3 and e2 are all about equal. But arguably that's an opening failure by White.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #8 - 12/07/18 at 02:16:00
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I agree with 3...a6! reaching a good O'Kelly. There is also 3...h6!? transposing to a Stephan Buecker idea: 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #7 - 12/07/18 at 02:05:24
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mn wrote on 12/07/18 at 01:35:42:
The main drawback is 3...a6!, reaching a variation of the O'Kelly (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 a6 3 d4 cd4) which White would normally avoid.


Incidentally I was a little surprised that IM Jonas Lampert didn't mention that here, though for all I know it may be mentioned elsewhere in the product.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8NDQu4bH24&feature=youtu.be&t=165
  
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mn
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #6 - 12/07/18 at 01:35:42
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The main benefit is baiting 3...e5, when White has an improved Smith-Morra after 4 c3. The main drawback is 3...a6!, reaching a variation of the O'Kelly (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 a6 3 d4 cd4) which White would normally avoid.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #5 - 12/07/18 at 01:23:43
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Can I ask a little question on the Open Sicilian? I will ask it here because it's not "worth" a separate thread.

What are the pros and cons of this move order for White?
chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1259992

Seems it transposes to the Open Sicilian with logical play, are there any nuances for rapid time controls?
  
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mn
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #4 - 10/26/18 at 20:54:50
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, MNb.

Having browsed through Illingworth's coverage of the Rauzer in DTS, it just seems like Black has so many different options and move orders that White has to be ready for with a slightly different reply. The Sozin (with short castles) gave me the impression of being (a bit?) less work, and also somewhat thematically consistent with the Classical Scheveningen. I see 6...Bd7 in the Modernized book is dealt with via the immediate 7 Nxc6!? - I'll have to check that out. Thanks for the Rauzer recommendation as well, I'll look into that.

Should be noted I'm not necessarily looking for the least amount of work possible, but just mostly to avoid the super-theoretical stuff (Bg5 Najdorf, English Attack, Bc4 Dragon, soon the Be3 Qf3 Taimanov probably).

Re: The Najdorf, 6 f4 I hadn't really considered, but could be an interesting choice. 6 a4 probably won't work because I'm planning the Qe1-g3 line in the Classical Schevy.

I've actually played that line in the Dragon as a surprise weapon, but I'm looking for something a little more mainstream as a repertoire weapon. It not working against the Accelerated Dragon isn't so important, because I avoid it via 2...Nc6 3 Bb5 and 2...g6 3 d4 cd4 4 Qxd4 Smiley
  
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MNb
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #3 - 10/26/18 at 13:46:19
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mn wrote on 10/25/18 at 21:53:05:
I probably some sort of Sozin against the Classical, as the Rauzer seems like a lot of work for a Sicilian I don't see played very often in my area.

The Sozin is not any less work and 6.Bc4 Bd7 evt. 7...g6 might also not be what you're looking for.
Instead I'd recommend a sideline of the RR tried by Keres: 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd3 and 8.Rad1.
However if you insist on the Sozin you should realize that 5...e6 (Scheveningen) 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Bc4 just transposes.

mn wrote on 10/25/18 at 21:53:05:
This, of course, leaves the Najdorf.

Actually you should rather begin here. Of course 6.Be3 requires lots of work and Black seems to do pretty well after ...e5. The same applies to 6.f4 (hoping for e6 7.Be3 and 8.Be2) e5 7.Nf3.
It really depends on what type play you feel comfortable with. Brabo enjoys 6.Be2. You might consider 6.g3 as well or even 6.a4 if that's what you intend in the Classical Scheveningen.

Against the Dragon a poisonous weapon is 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 O-O 8.Qd2.Nc6 9.O-O-O. It's probably less work than the Yugoslav with 10.Qe1. But it doesn't work against the Accelerated Dragon. But it perhaps does against the Dragadorf.
  

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mn
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #2 - 10/26/18 at 01:33:48
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Thanks for the reply -

First of all, my rating is similar to yours (I tend to bounce between 2000 and 2100 FIDE).

I haven't had the chance to try out 6 h3 in a tournament game yet, but my experience in internet long games and OTB blitz hasn't been too fun;

I had two games (one in lichess 4545 league, and one in lichess lonewolf league) in quick succession go down the same 6...e6 line (with ...Be7 and ...Nfd7), and in the first was completely crushed by a lower-rated opponent, and in the second managed to win a somewhat questionable position after a miscalculation from my opponent. I also had a game in an OTB blitz tournament against an FM, in a line I thought I understood decently (6...e5 7 Nde2 h5), but eventually just ran out of ideas and was completely positionally outplayed.

Obviously this isn't to say that 6 h3 isn't a top-tier move, just that it might not be for me.

Thanks for the articles, I'll have a look at them. The way I see it, is if I'm going 6 Be2 against the Najdorf, and half of my opponents play ...e5, and the other half play ...e6, then I can cut my workload in half, as the Classical Scheveningen is already part of my repertoire via different move orders.

That being said, I'm far, far from an expert in the 6 Be2 e5 Najdorf - I've barely touched it from either side thus far. Illingworth has a chapter on it in his "Dismantling the Sicilian" (2ed). He briefly mentions a line involving 7 Nb3 and a later Qd3, citing, and improving upon a Carlsen-MVL game with a line he deems "+/-". He doesn't, whoever give some indication of why he doesn't recommend this, or go into further detail. His main recommendation is 6 Be2 e5 7 Nf3; compared to 6 Be3 e5 7 Nf3, I can't tell whether this is meant to be an improved version (the c1 Bishop can go to g5 in one turn, but the same can't be said for the f1 Bishop and c4).

Incidentally, I reach ostensibly similar positions to some lines of the 6 Be2 Najdorf from another, completely different, opening in my repertoire: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 0-0 9 d4 Bg4 10 d5 Na5 11 Bc2 c6 12 h3 Bc8 13 dc6 etc. - which is maybe something I should take into account.



  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #1 - 10/26/18 at 00:48:58
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Just very quickly before I head to bed, and I can't guarantee the quality as I had just saved this in my favourites and then didn't really get to actually have a proper look at it yet, but thechessworld published two articles on 6.Be2 e5 in the Najdorf, which might be of interest to you:

https://thechessworld.com/articles/openings/beating-the-najdorf-part-1/
https://thechessworld.com/articles/openings/beating-the-najdorf-sicilian-the-kar...

Beyond that, I'm not sure of your rating level, but at mine (~2000 FIDE) I've been playing 6.h3 pretty much without theory to great success.. I know some typical ideas and just play moves, it tends to work out.
So while theoretically there are a lot of lines to know, in practice IMO it's not that relevant, and one can get pretty far with just h3g400Ng3controld5 type knowledge.
  
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mn
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Open Sicilian Repertoire
10/25/18 at 21:53:05
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Hi, so I'm putting together an Open (mostly) Sicilian repertoire "seriously", maybe for the first time. I kind of wanted to share my plan, and have the ChessPub community check for move order issues, and the like, as I'm not so experienced with this Open Sicilian stuff.

So, basically, as a base I'm starting with the Rossolimo (hence why I said "Open (mostly)". I don't particularly want to play against the Sveshnikov or Kalashnikov, and I've already been playing the Rossolimo for a few years. I think it's a good opening, and I like it.

Against 2...g6, I'm planning 3 d4 cd4 4 Qxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3, to avoid having the deal with the Accelerated Dragon, when I've already avoided the "proper" Acc. move order with 2...Nc6 3 Bb5

Against early ...e6 based Sicilians, I want to play an approach involving Be2, centered around the so-called Classical Scheveningen. This also includes the line of the Taimanov where White meets ...Bb4 with Na4, Nxc6 and Nb6xc8, and 5 Be2 against the Kan, where Delchev and Semkov say Black has nothing better than to transpose to the Taimanov.

The issue is that Scheveningen lines with a delayed ...a6 (e.g. ...Qc7/...Nxd4 recommended by Van Kampen) are quite solid. Therefore, if I can do so without any move order issues, I'd like to play an approach involving 0-0-0 whenever Black plays ...e6 and delays/omits ...a6. These lines would be 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 Be3 Be7/Nc6 (6...a6 7 Be2) 7 Qe2(!), and 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be2 Nf6 7 Be3, intending Qd2 and 0-0-0 (if Black continues to not play ...a6).

Against 2...d6, I'm planning 9 0-0-0 and 10 Qe1 against the Dragon, and probably some sort of Sozin against the Classical, as the Rauzer seems like a lot of work for a Sicilian I don't see played very often in my area.

This, of course, leaves the Najdorf. Well, here, I'm not entirely sure. I was playing 6 h3 for a while, but then 6...e5 and 6...e6 are both "independent" Najdorf options available to Black, both with a lot of theory. Ideally, I'd like to go 6 Be2, as 6...e6 is a position that would arise from many different branches of my intended repertoire. However, after 6...e5, I'm not entirely sure what to do. 6 Bc4 leaves Black with "only one" (sort of) option, in 6...e6, but the critical lines after 7 Bb3 Nbd7 are again very sharp and theoretical. Same goes for 6 Be3 e5 (6...e6 7 Be2, but 6...Ng4 - ?; I was looking at 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bc1 for a bit, but is this any good?) 7 Nb3 etc.

Thanks!
  
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