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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Open Sicilian Repertoire (Read 6137 times)
RdC
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #28 - 07/05/19 at 15:40:53
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gsgs wrote on 07/05/19 at 04:39:16:
at 2000 Elo you should go for "traps" . Play some unusual sideline
which you prepared and hope that the opponent won't find
the best moves.


It was suggested to me once, that if studying an unfamiliar opening, that checking the books for known traps was an approach. Combined with knowing the usual main line, I could see that as an advantage, since you become aware of what to look for in divergences and what move orders to play.

There's a nice one in the Scandinavian after
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Bc4 5. d4 Bf5 6. Bd2 c6 7. Qe2 and now the "natural" 7. .. Nbd7 loses to 8. Nb5 . It also works with 5. d3 as well.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #27 - 07/05/19 at 14:10:10
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gsgs wrote on 07/05/19 at 04:39:16:
at 2000 Elo you should go for "traps" . Play some unusual sideline
which you prepared and hope that the opponent won't find
the best moves.
Hmm, there should be programs which search for such lines
automatically ...


Quite a "provocative" post.

A. On a higher level of abstraction, we all hope that our opponent will make a mistake, otherwise there is no way to win. If I have two candidates of the same quality, with one containing a trap and the other not, I know which one I would choose. But playing "for" traps has a different connotation, meaning to choose an inferior move solely because it contains a trap. In that case I agree with IsaVulpes, it's bad for your chess.

B. Nothing wrong with sidelines per se, but the key word is prepared. If you have some idea what to do when your opponent answers in the theoretically approved way, then go for it. If the only thing you know is the trap, and against any other play you will fold like a cheap tent, it's time to go back to school.

C. If a player studied only traps, how strong could they become? A key problem is that traps typically work only once per opponent. (I did know a player who fell for the exact same trap four times, but that's a different story.) Based on a tiny sample of players at the club, my guess is typically about 1700. There was one trappy player who peaked at 1900, but that was when he temporarily started playing theory. Later he decided theory was too much work, and fell back to 1800.

D. A program that searched for traps would be a good way around the once per victim problem. But could a program that found a trap tell you how likely it is that your human opponent might fall into it? It would have to be a sophisticated program, maybe with some learning feature based on human data. The books by Mueller and Knaak, 222 Opening Traps (2 vols, 2007-2008), are based on human games, and the authors indicate how many games they found in the database. If you needed a trap today, without waiting for a futuristic program, that would be a good place to start.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #26 - 07/05/19 at 11:41:54
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gsgs wrote on 07/05/19 at 04:39:16:
at 2000 Elo you should go for "traps" . Play some unusual sideline
which you prepared and hope that the opponent won't find
the best moves.

Even if that were actually good for your results (and I'm not sure it is), it's a surefire way of killing all your improvement flat.
Play chess, not hope-guesswork that removes all semblance of a normal game.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #25 - 07/05/19 at 04:39:16
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at 2000 Elo you should go for "traps" . Play some unusual sideline
which you prepared and hope that the opponent won't find
the best moves.
Hmm, there should be programs which search for such lines
automatically ...
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #24 - 03/30/19 at 15:09:57
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mn wrote on 10/25/18 at 21:53:05:
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!


I don't see any real problems with your repertoire ideas - it seems the main challenge you are facing is what to do against the Najdorf.

I would say go for 6.Be2, as it fits well with your Be2 preferences against 2...e6. Against 6...e5, there are various options of similar value - from the positional 7.Nf3, to 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd2 (or 10.Qd3, going for Nd5), to 9/10.Bf3 and a4 approaches, playing to restrain Black. I have the feeling one of these approaches will appeal to you, but if not, maybe play the English Attack with 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3, using Shaw's 1.e4 Sicilian repertoire as a starting point.

  

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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #23 - 03/28/19 at 19:56:50
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I also remember that one. Kibitzer "Howard" has the details here: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1386211

The Tseshkovsky game was in one of my first issues of Chess Life and Review. The Byrne game was before I joined USCF. At that time I was playing the Najdorf, but I had a bad habit of looking at game scores without playing them out on a board, so not very much would stick. For example in my vague memory Browne played ...Rh2 (which makes no sense whatsoever) instead of ...Rh3. I'm not sure if mis-remembering someone else's rook move from 40 years ago counts as a good thing or a bad thing.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #22 - 03/28/19 at 18:05:50
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 03/25/19 at 20:37:04:
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.

A bit of history I recall is that Robert Byrne, who played such a Be3/Be2/g4 at least a few times, lost with it against Browne in '75.  Then in '76 Browne played the same way against Tseshkovsky and got smashed by, presumably, a prepared improvement.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #21 - 03/28/19 at 17:05:36
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MNb wrote on 03/28/19 at 06:46:34:
If you don't mind some weird stuff now and then you might take a look at 6.Be3 e6 7.Be2 Qc7 8.g4 d5 9.exd5 Bb4 10.dxe6 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Kf1 fxe6 13.Rg1 idea 14.Rg3.In the 1990's Ivanchuk won both as White and as Black.

Shirov - Ivanchuk, 1994 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1060442
Ivanchuk - Gelfand, 1999 http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1406026
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #20 - 03/28/19 at 06:46:34
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mn wrote on 03/27/19 at 18:49:45:
not to mention that long castling doesn't much elsewhere appear in my repertoire (I think only in the Dragon and a few specific Scheveningen cases).

If you don't mind some weird stuff now and then you might take a look at 6.Be3 e6 7.Be2 Qc7 8.g4 d5 9.exd5 Bb4 10.dxe6 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Qxc3+ 12.Kf1 fxe6 13.Rg1 idea 14.Rg3.In the 1990's Ivanchuk won both as White and as Black.
  

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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #19 - 03/27/19 at 18:49:45
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Alright, time to catch up with this thread:

A) Thanks for the tip about the ...Qc7/...b5 line - I see Illingworth recommends going Qd2/f3/g4, but it's not entirely clear to me why Be2 should be more useful than ...Qc7 in the English Attack, not to mention that long castling doesn't much elsewhere appear in my repertoire (I think only in the Dragon and a few specific Scheveningen cases).

B) 6 a4 I've considered (and actually used to play a long time ago), but not only does 6...g6 look like a decent move to me, but 6...e6 would take me out of my Scheveningen repertoire as well.

C) 6 f4 I was looking at a bit last night, and may investigate further.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #18 - 03/27/19 at 17:47:23
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Granted, it may not have bite, but at least it has one tooth. That's one more than 6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.O-O b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.f3 Nbd7 11.Qd2 O-O.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #17 - 03/27/19 at 17:24:41
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 03/27/19 at 13:52:55:
so there can't be much wrong with it.

What's wrong with 6.f4 is that e5 7.Nf3 Nbd7 8.a4 Be7 9.Bd3 O-O 10.O-O Nc5 11.Kh1 exf4 doesn't beat the Sicilian anymore. It lacks bite.
  

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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #16 - 03/27/19 at 15:48:51
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 03/27/19 at 13:52:55:
6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.O-O b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.f3 Nbd7 11.Qd2 O-O, mentioned by LeeRoth, is not a good advertisement for mixing Be2 and Be3 in the Scheveningen.

It reminds me of a game Wotulo-Larsen, used by Soltis in Pawn Structure Chess.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 03/27/19 at 13:52:55:
Also to be considered are 6.a4 e5 7.Nf3 or 6.f4 e5 7.Nf3. [...] The last one (6.f4) was recommended in all three editions of Nunn (and Gallagher) Beating the Sicilian, so there can't be much wrong with it. [...] Whatever you choose, you need to consider how you would proceed against 6...g6.

I recall that the first edition also had 6. a4, against which Nunn considered 6...e5 to be a little dubious.  Though that doesn't seem to be the general view these days. 

I noticed that the recent book by the brothers Doknjas has (6. a4) ...g6, which also seems to be more well-regarded now than it was by Nunn back in the day.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #15 - 03/27/19 at 13:52:55
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Re: Najdorf 6.Be2 e5 7.Nf3 vs 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3

6.Be2 e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.O-O b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.f3 Nbd7 11.Qd2 O-O, mentioned by LeeRoth, is not a good advertisement for mixing Be2 and Be3 in the Scheveningen.

Also to be considered are 6.a4 e5 7.Nf3 or 6.f4 e5 7.Nf3. In the Scheveningen, an early a2-a4 in reply to ...a7-a6 is considered a little inaccurate, but you may not mind it. The last one (6.f4) was recommended in all three editions of Nunn (and Gallagher) Beating the Sicilian, so there can't be much wrong with it. If black goes 6...e6 here then 7.Be2 is an excellent Scheveningen move order for white. Whatever you choose, you need to consider how you would proceed against 6...g6.
  
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Re: Open Sicilian Repertoire
Reply #14 - 03/27/19 at 09:35:28
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After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6, the main line is 7.O-O, 8.f4, etc.  The move 7.Be3 can be used when White wants a system with Qd2 and O-O-O or it can be used as a way to aim for the main Schevy lines after 7..Be7. 

There is nothing really wrong with 7.Be3, although the relatively early Be3 expends a tempo.  As An Ordinary Chessplayer correctly points out, this gives Black the option of continuing “Najdorf style” with 7..Qc7 8.O-O b5 9.a3 Bb7 10.f3 Nbd7 11.Qd2 O-O as Kasparov used to do.
  
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