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  1. 20 Jun '09 07:12 / 3 edits
    I just finished a a sveshnikov sicilian. I lost but was very happy to play it, for I found it very enriching. Fritz went through it, so I know where were the major blunders. But here I would be very much interested in having advice on how to deal with this kind of somewhat unusual positions! (not so unusual in sveshnikov though). Cause I feel I just don't understand the positions. Of course, I have elements (king's safety, backward pawns in the center, good white knight, bad black bishop, black is a bit more developed, etc). But that's not enough for a plan!! Actually, in the whole game, my play was based on the fact that my opponent couldn't move so much... I just tried to keep him in his uncomfortable situation...

    Until my very poor Bf6, Fritz considers the game is around even, between +1 and -1 depending on positions. In other positions, this would be a lot, but here, it seems that it was pretty hard to grasp the advantages... And actually, Fritz says both of us are missing a lot of good moves!
    In other terms, I found that the value of positions was very hard to evaluate, and would love to have help about this


    here is the game. I am black.


  2. 20 Jun '09 09:58
    From what I can see white could move around without too much heartache, except for the Knight on a3, it stayed there for part of the game, but he manouvered it to the d5 square. Which brings up another thing.. light squares, yours were weak and he took advantage of it to an extent. Most of the game he had pieces on the d5 and e4 squares.

    In evaluating positions or finding a plan consider everything; active/inactive pieces (Knight on a3, your bishop on g7), pawn structure, dark squares and light squares, and ultimately find weaknesses in your opponents position, or make some. At every move think about possible lines and decide whether the position would favour you or not and decide if you want to go down that road.
  3. 20 Jun '09 14:59
    I know that, I wanted specific advice on that game, for I find very difficult to establish a plan for black (though his situation is not inferior to white's).
    would anyone be kind enough to help me? I promise him/her something.
  4. 20 Jun '09 15:20
    I promise a big reward.
  5. 20 Jun '09 23:51 / 1 edit
    I just told you some general concepts on what to base a plan around on, not just for that particular game but ALL your games. It isn't hard. Are you telling me you got a rating of 1900 by winning chess matches without a plan? You just make random moves for no reason at all?
  6. 21 Jun '09 01:12 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Macpo
    I promise a big reward.
    how big? actually just from going over the game generally it appears that whites outpost on d5 was fully utilised by him and it had such a cramping effect on blacks game. I actually thought that this was the famed Kalashnikov Sicilian, but I could be wrong, i am no expert my friend, however from going over the games of others, blackbeetles for example, it appears to me that he does not immediately play e5 for this reason, for after the c pawn is exchanged, black has no way of protecting d5 and it can become a huge hole, thus he delays e5 and instead plays the Paulsen, building the little centre with a pawn not immediately on e5 but on e6, until he is sure what white is up to! and only then when he is sure, he pushed the e5 i know that this does not really help, but without further study it remains just a very general opinion of the game.
  7. 21 Jun '09 01:25
    Originally posted by Macpo
    I know that, I wanted specific advice on that game, for I find very difficult to establish a plan for black (though his situation is not inferior to white's).
    would anyone be kind enough to help me? I promise him/her something.
    I'm not a real expert in this opening, but it seems to me that the beginning of blacks problems is 13 ... f4. I think you should probably go for 13 ... fxe4, then castle and go for f5. Black generally succeeds in the Sveshnikov with kingside play and yours got stopped too easily in this game.
  8. 21 Jun '09 04:11 / 1 edit
    OK many thanks for your remarks. I am just going to make additional comments so that you can feel a bit more concretely what was the problem, and what makes this game a bit special.

    The problem is not exactly in the opening. Maybe f4 was not the best move, but still fritz indicates –0.70 after it; and I found that move in fritz database. So I guess it is not that bad. in fact, for most of the game, black is slightly better.

    The problems start in early middle game. I know some of you will insist on my weak white squares, on the knight outpost on d5, the backward d6 pawn. And will therefore consider black is worse. This is not enough. Actually, these are normal weaknesses for black in the Sveshnikov variation of Sicilian, and in this kind of situation: BLACK IS NOT BAD. this is the specificity (and interest) of the Sveshnikov.Actually even fritz considers black is better. These weaknesses usually go with dynamic advantage. Here: black is more developed and white will have to leave its king in the center.

    The first move I spent a lot of time on was this one. If you want to feel the difficulty, please spend some time on it: what is the good move for black? I found it a very profitable positional exercise. I hope you 'll like it.

    Black to play




    I would say first this is the kind of position people will spontaneously dislike to study. You will feel like an instinctive rejection: I don’t like it. So did I, in the beginning.
    Now I can explain why: this position just doesn’t make sense to us. It seems messy, and we prefer not to look.
    So please have a look a it, and you will see, it’s pretty interesting. What makes this position so messy?
    Basically, that the value of pieces is not clear!
    By the way, let’s talk about the value of pieces in chess. Some people usually say pieces are worth 1/3/5/9 points. Others are mad at them, because obviously in some situations, a pawn is worth more than a queen and so on. It is obvious that pieces are not effectively worth 1/3/5/9 points. Because if it were so, no one could win. If someone wins, it’s precisely because his pieces are concretely worth more than that of his opponent, so that he can make the difference. Which means the pieces of the two players cannot be both following the 1/3/5/9 scale. It’s precisely the fact that they are escaping that scale that make you win or loose.

    So chess is all about giving value to your pieces. Now we can come back to that situation, which is precisely fascinating, because the value of pieces is highly unclear:

    Again, black to play




    Concretely
    - black pawns’ value is hard to evaluate: are they good or bad?
    - black rooks: are they useful or not? Not clear.
    - is black king safe or not? Not clear. White Knight can give check, but that's not so threatening for the moment.
    - is the semi-open g file a strength or weakness for black? We don’t know.
    - is White Knight so good? Not sure, after all, all squares it attacks are well protected.
    - we don’t know where White will castle. Or even if he will castle at all. Probably short castle would not be a great idea. But would a long castle be OK? Not clear…

    I would therefore say that the difficulty of the position lies in the fact that the value of the position is highly unclear. In some games, a bishop might be worth a rook, a pawn a queen, etc. and there is a shift of value. here it’s even more beautiful. Value has not changed, it has disappeared. Value didn’t “change” so much: there is nothing here like a bishop better than a rook. It simply disappeared. You cannot grasp the value of the position. It is very difficult. Because every value depends on the other values on the board (the only absolute value being that of the king of course); and every value is highly unclear.

    So what do you play here? I will give the answer later…


    And for my question, I will detail it later, after this first part
  9. 21 Jun '09 04:42
    Originally posted by Macpo
    OK many thanks for your remarks. I am just going to make additional comments so that you can feel a bit more concretely what was the problem, and what makes this game a bit special.

    The problem is not exactly in the opening. Maybe f4 was not the best move, but still fritz indicates –0.70 after it; and I found that move in fritz database. So I guess it is no ...[text shortened]... the answer later…


    And for my question, I will detail it later, after this first part
    I don't have my other brain with me so forgive me if this isn't quite correct. But, seems to me after 1...f3 2.bxf3, rxf3!? 3. qxf3, r-f8 4. q-d8(what else, the queen is the only protector of the knight.) qxg2 5.r-f1

    Again this was in my head and I haven't had too much sleep so I wouldn't go much further than that and am probably miscalculating lol. But, it seems with the extra pawn for black, king stuckin the center for white and his queen tied to the defense of his "strong" knight for the moment I think black has a pleasant edge.
  10. 21 Jun '09 04:44
    Originally posted by erikido
    I don't have my other brain with me so forgive me if this isn't quite correct. But, seems to me after 1...f3 2.bxf3, rxf3!? 3. qxf3, r-f8 4. q-d8(what else, the queen is the only protector of the knight.) qxg2 5.r-f1

    Again this was in my head and I haven't had too much sleep so I wouldn't go much further than that and am probably miscalculating lol. But ...[text shortened]... ed to the defense of his "strong" knight for the moment I think black has a pleasant edge.
    haha....I just noticed the knight falls(the bishop and queen are attacking is after qxg2

    My analysis of my inability to analyze at the moment is on the spot
  11. 21 Jun '09 04:48 / 2 edits
    so with that being said after exchanging the rook for knight bishop and pawn(and control of those vital light squares-especially the one in front of that backwards pawn) it would seem black has a winning edge.


    Oh and if 3. gxf3 then q-g2 and r-f1 with b-h3 and white is completely busted.

    edit again...I really shouldn't be trying to do this without a board at the moment. After b-h3, b-d3 and things are not quite so clear(although they are fun) rxf3 or maybe even stronger is qxf3
  12. 21 Jun '09 05:50 / 3 edits
    OK now we're cooking with gas.
    For starters stop consulting fritz im sick of seeing that word.
    "So chess is all about giving value to your pieces" - I'm going to pretend I didn't see that and argue about what matters.

    Your thinking way to simplisticly, it isn't "unclear":
    -Black's pawn structure, good pawn centre, every dark square is a landmine with downside every light square is.. free for the taking.
    -Black's rooks- true they aren't that useful in this closed position, things could bust open later or put one of them on the half open c file, which can't be done right now because of a king-rook fork with the knight. At the very least they are out there while black's rooks aren't.
    -Black's King isn't safe for the very reason you said, the knight can give check, if you allow that check to hang in the air you have to watch out for forks and other tactical lines white may pull out when your least suspecting it. Apart from the knight though your king is safe, only thing to watch out for is the b2-h7 diagonal.
    -I'd call the g file closed by a long shot, black has nothing to worry about unless you allow him to take your f pawn for his g pawn opening it up for his rook....
    -Of course the white knight is totally bitchin on d5. b6, c7, e7 and f6 are all squares that are a no go zone for your rooks and queen. In fact only the f6 square is "well protected". Ne7 gives check so all the more black needs to worry about possible forks.
    -If your queen stays on the g file and your light square bishop stays on the c8-h3 diagonal, white would be a moron to castle kingside because of Bh3, mate threat. Castling queenside wouldn't necessarily be safer than not castling at all because of the c3 pawn and black has both bishops to hassle the king on the diagonals, but at least it would allow developement of the rooks.
    -Your dark squared bishop.. is terrible.. it's not doing anything and it won't ever be doing anything for a while because it simply can't move.

    Garry Kasparov describes chess in 3 aspects: time, material and quality. Where time is tempo and initiative, etc. Material in simple terms (not queen is worth 9, etc), 2 pawns are better than 1. And quality, what you are referring to, the usefulness of pieces which gives them their secret 'materialistic' value (ie. a knight in the middle of the board > knight in the corner).

    "So what do you play here? I will give the answer later"- What the hell is that suppose to mean, we all know you played Kh8, unless you are referring to what FRITZ thinks you should have played.

    In my opinion Kh8 was a good response, you couldn't let white have that option of the free check whenever he wanted, I would have done the same.
  13. Standard member Yuga
    Renaissance
    21 Jun '09 08:57
    Originally posted by Macpo
    I know that, I wanted specific advice on that game, for I find very difficult to establish a plan for black (though his situation is not inferior to white's).
    would anyone be kind enough to help me? I promise him/her something.
    Maybe if you help analyze a game sometime, how's that for a reward?

    Your game – a pleasure to play over, I learned quite a bit, which is its own reward.

    I do not know the Sveshnikov lines much at all, however I am familiar with the Najdorf lines with …e5 and its middlegame motifs.



    9. Bxf6 This is the most common move among GMs according to the Shredder online database. Weakens the kingside structure but Black gets another pawn in the center. Nd5 is also very common, I think the positions in the Nd5 lines easier to understand.

    13. Ne3 is the novelty in the Shredder online openings database of GM games. f4 as played is best.

    14…Bxd5 would seem positionally circumspect to me after exd5 Ne7 g4.

    15…Ne7 is best and results in some Black advantage in the center.

    17…f5 Quite natural, but better to prevent White’s knight access to d5, best is 17…a5, if Bxb5, Rab8 followed by f5 and Black has a strong attack, if white does not play Bxb5, Black plays for b4 or f5 breaks according to White’s responses.

    18…Rad8 looks like a wasted move to me.

    18…a5 is again strongest but for different reasons.

    18…fxe4 Bxe4 Rad8 Bd5 and white should be okay (not Nb4?! d5 and Black gets a strong position for the exchange that occurs after Nc6.)

    An interesting follow-up to 19…Qg5 Nd5 fe Bxe would be f3 Bxf Rxf when the exposed White position probably objectively assures a draw.

    23. f3, though not best leads to the interesting setup on move 26, White’s tied down to the defense of the g and h pawn I think, and there is no real progress, it should be drawn, imbalanced yes, but no real advantage for either side at that point.
  14. 21 Jun '09 09:36
    I enjoyed your thoughts on point systems, so thanks for that.

    If I had to make a plan this minute, I would move the bishop to h6, with a plan to sacrifice the f-pawn. My reasoning is that this expands the reach of Queen and especially Bishop through the heart of the board, and the rook on f8 starts to look menacing. (For the record, I anticipate a serious flaw in my plan, but I share for fun. ) So what's the answer?
  15. 21 Jun '09 10:04 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by erikido
    so with that being said after exchanging the rook for knight bishop and pawn(and control of those vital light squares-especially the one in front of that backwards pawn) it would seem black has a winning edge.


    Oh and if 3. gxf3 then q-g2 and r-f1 with b-h3 and white is completely busted.

    edit again...I really shouldn't be trying to do this without a ...[text shortened]... d3 and things are not quite so clear(although they are fun) rxf3 or maybe even stronger is qxf3
    After 1...f3 2.Bxf3 Rxf3 3.Qxf3? best is 3...e4 because after 3...Rf8?? 4.h4! And white will just have the exchange and pawn while black has no compensation 3...e4 however is an elementary discovered attack. So 3.gxf3 Qg2 4.Rf1 Bh3 5.Ne3 Qxh2 6.Qd5+ Kh8 what does black do now?(this is an honest question by the way not a snide remark)


    I say the best is 1...Bg4 to goad whites f pawn into advancing

    Ex(with white avoiding f3): 1...Bg4 2.Qd3 Qh5 3.Nb4 f3 4.Nxa6 fxg2 5.Bxg2 e4 6.Qg3 e3(this makes ...Be5 more potent if 7.fxe3 because it cuts the whites running room for the queen) 7.f4 Qf5 and black has good chances from here.

    Ex(with an immediate f3)1...Bg4 2.f3 Bd7(to counter a possible a4 advance) 3.Qd2 Qh4+(to get out of the pin) 4.Kd1 and now 4...Kh8 really just a waiting move here that has the advantage of moving the king to a safer square and opening up the g8 square for the rook and I think black will do well here.