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  1. 12 Aug '07 13:56
    Is the Najdorf varation the most commonly used variation of the sicilian? Anything else to play, I'm not particulularly good at the Najdorf....I don't want to get better at it...
  2. Standard member Kepler
    Demon Duck
    12 Aug '07 14:10
    Originally posted by Dance Master MC
    Is the Najdorf varation the most commonly used variation of the sicilian? Anything else to play, I'm not particulularly good at the Najdorf....I don't want to get better at it...
    I think the Najdorf is the commonest Sicilian (it is almost like a religion) but there are many other variations. Try the the Sveshnikov if you want to really annoy white!
  3. 12 Aug '07 14:22
    Originally posted by Kepler
    I think the Najdorf is the commonest Sicilian (it is almost like a religion) but there are many other variations. Try the the Sveshnikov if you want to really annoy white!
    I might try that, is there any site that tells you a little bit about it?
  4. 12 Aug '07 14:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Dance Master MC
    Is the Najdorf varation the most commonly used variation of the sicilian? Anything else to play, I'm not particulularly good at the Najdorf....I don't want to get better at it...
    There are a lot of different Sicilians that have excellent pedigree. If you would still like to play the Sicilian, but the Najdorf just doesn't seem to fit your eye, you still have a lot of other choices to check out.

    SCHEVENINGEN: plays for the little center of ...e6 and ...d6 instead of ...e5. Used by Kasparov to battle Karpov in 80's. Cons-- White can play the very dangerous Keres attack (an early g2-g4 thrust). If playing these positions instills a sense of razor-sharp awareness instead of fear, then the other variations will be fine for you.

    TAIMANOV/PAULSEN/KAN: plays for an early ...e6 without necessarily moving the d-pawn at all. This eliminates White's anti-sicilian possibility of the Moscow/Rossolimo variations that have and early Bb5. It also makes innocuous White's attempts to play an early sozin-esque Bc4 because the e-pawn supported by BOTH the f7-pawn and the d7-pawn make the Bc4 bite on granite. Play may sometimes transpose into the Scheveningen variation. Cons-- White can play for an early c4 advance and enter the Maroczy Bind. If you don't mind playing hedghehog variations against the Maroczy, and you have a patient nature in a slow game where you wait for an inaccuracy by your opponent so you can make a pawn break, then this Sicilian system may be for you.

    DRAGON: This Sicilian fan-base has supporters as rabid as Najdorfmaniacs! The Dragon sees Black fianchetto his king's bishop. This opening has been around a long time and at the moment is seeing Black under some pressure which is why it isn't used as often in top-level tournaments, though avid Dragoneers will insist that all is fine. Cons-- A lot of theory and a lot of transpositional battles into and out of the Main Line and the Yugoslav attack at the highest levels of this game. If you like playing with the fianchettoed king's bishop raking across the center, then this variation may be for you.

    ACCELERATED DRAGON: Arguably the coolest named opening in chess. Similar to the standard Dragon, but Black holds back his d-pawn with the hopes of playing the pawn break ..d5 in one move. Black usually has a safely castled king in these variation. Cons-- once again we can see White go for the Maroczy Bind, but if you don't mind the hedgehog positions as mentioned above, then this may be the variation for you.

    CLASSICAL SICILIAN: A rich and reliable opening system where Black develops slightly faster by playing an early ...Nc6. Cons-- you will meet some white responses (Sozin Attack, Richter-Rauzer Attack, Velimirovic Attack) which are very sharp and deep. However, if you are the one that knows and plays these positions better than your opponent, you will be the one who comes out on top!

    SVESHNIKOV and KALASHNIKOV: These see an early ...e5 by Black, hitting the white knight on d4 whereupon White plays Ndb5 trying to pressure the d6-square. The Sveshnikov is very interesting chess! Black's pawn structures may be broken, but active counterplay is assured. The Kalashnikov actually feels more positional/slower at times. Cons--very original positions. Pros--very original positions! lol. If you like mixing things up on the board with counterplay, and dare your opponent to try to make something of a knight on d5 in the Sicilian, then this opening is for you!

    Anyway, those are some of my thoughts. Maybe they will be further food for thought.

    --

    EDIT: scheveningen.....instead of fear, then the other variations within this system will feel fine for you.
  5. 12 Aug '07 15:06
    Originally posted by Doctor Rat
    There are a lot of different Sicilians that have excellent pedigree. If you would still like to play the Sicilian, but the Najdorf just doesn't seem to fit your eye, you still have a lot of other choices to check out.

    SCHEVENINGEN: plays for the little center of ...e6 and ...d6 instead of ...e5. Used by Kasparov to battle Karpov in 80's. Cons-- White ...[text shortened]... ay, those are some of my thoughts. Maybe they will be further food for thought.

    --
    SCHEVENINGEN

    Might try that...


    TAIMANOV/PAULSEN/KAN

    Don't think I like this opening...


    DRAGON

    seems like a very interesting varaition, like to play with the fianchetto'ed bishop...


    ACCELERATED DRAGON

    That has to be the coolest opening ever!


    CLASSICAL SICILIAN




    SVESHNIKOV and KALASHNIKOV

    I think I'll try the sveshnikov!
  6. 12 Aug '07 15:58
    Dragon isn't that great
  7. Standard member Asthereal
    Dark Matter
    12 Aug '07 16:24
    Excuse me??? The dragon is very very great. A stunning opening, always exciting and sharp! I don't think I'll ever abandon it. The only problem is that it has WAY too much theory so if you miss one newy you get killed in the instant...
  8. Standard member najdorfslayer
    The Ever Living
    12 Aug '07 16:43
    I have played Open Sicilians as White and the Sicilian as Black all my chess days so have a decent take on The Sicilian and Dr Rat's comments are pretty sound.

    I think currently the Najdorf, Sveshnikov and Taimanov are the most popular variations in top GM play these days.

    The Svesnkov is unlike most Sicilian variations in that Black sometimes accepts an unsound pawn structure for good piece activity. It is very popular at GM level and if you wish to take this up you could do worse than invest in John Cox's Starting Out The Sicilian Sveshnikov by Everyman.

    The Taimanov is similar in a way to the Scheveningen and often transpose, the Taimanov is a little more solid and is probably the "Safest Sicilian" varaition. I personally think it quite hard for lower rated players to really understand the ideas behind this very sophisticated opening system.


    The Accy Dragon is just for people who just don't quite have the bottle to play a normal Dragon (either that or the hours to learn all the mind boggling variations).

    The Dragon unlike the Taimanov the ideas are easy enough to grasp its simply mate the opponents king, if you like tactics tactics tactics, this is a great opening! (You will suffer some heavy defeats in this opening if you play at well as great wins!).

    The Najdorf is probably the soundest Sicilian Variationas it offers great attacking chances but does so from a sound positional basis.

    Summary

    Dragon: Great attacking chances but the fianchetto gives White a clear and definate target to atack.
    Taimanov/Kan/Paulsen: Solid & positional not really an attacking Sicilian, very hard to break down.
    Najdorf/Scheveningen: Most popular as gives Black good attacking chances from a good positional base, but lots of theory.
    Sveshnikov/Kalashnikov: Great piece activity but poor structure.
  9. 12 Aug '07 17:05
    Originally posted by najdorfslayer
    I have played Open Sicilians as White and the Sicilian as Black all my chess days so have a decent take on The Sicilian and Dr Rat's comments are pretty sound.

    I think currently the Najdorf, Sveshnikov and Taimanov are the most popular variations in top GM play these days.

    The Svesnkov is unlike most Sicilian variations in that Black sometimes a ...[text shortened]... base, but lots of theory.
    Sveshnikov/Kalashnikov: Great piece activity but poor structure.
    The starting out series is always nice but Sveshnikov players usually prefer The Sveshnikov Reloaded which is considered the best effort on the Sveshnikov.
    The write Dorian Rogozenko was the second of Ponomariov before the match against Kasparov ( which never occured).
    The book contains their joined analysis for that match.
    But its nevertheless a very readable and quite easy to understand book.

    GM Tivakov who is usually very critcal on openingsbooks rated it 10 out of 10 in New in Chess
  10. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    12 Aug '07 17:10
    Does anyone play the four knights variation of the Sicilian?
  11. 12 Aug '07 17:50
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Does anyone play the four knights variation of the Sicilian?
    very unpopular nowadays, you still see it though...
  12. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    12 Aug '07 18:32
    Originally posted by Dance Master MC
    very unpopular nowadays, you still see it though...
    Is there a reason for its unpopularity other than a lack of interest?
  13. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    12 Aug '07 18:38
    Also, DMMC, the wiki site for the Sicilian isn't bad.

    Some of the comments above are probably better, but wiki also gives about a paragraph per variation listed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicilian_Defence
  14. 12 Aug '07 18:39
    Originally posted by Dance Master MC
    Is the Najdorf varation the most commonly used variation of the sicilian? Anything else to play, I'm not particulularly good at the Najdorf....I don't want to get better at it...
    The 2.Bc4 Sicilian is probably the most commonly played variation for players -1500.
  15. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    12 Aug '07 18:57
    Originally posted by Squelchbelch
    The 2.Bc4 Sicilian is probably the most commonly played variation for players -1500.
    The more the better...