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What's New- December '04

It's me!Happy Holidays everyone!

I trust this late December 2004 update finds everyone well.





This month we see the action concentrated in several groups.

Download PGN of December '04 Open Sicilian games

Paulsen/Taimanov [B40 to B49]

Lets begin with Kriventsov - Stripunsky (B42) which didn't amount to much in the way of an advantage for White. The idea starting with 9 N1d2 is simply too passive:

An important alternative is the note Carlsen-Korneev where White got good play with 9 Nc3 and queenside castles. The alternative note Collins-Sulava saw more energetic play from Black. Check the notes Nakamura-Stripunsky where White didn't get anything serious going.

Off to the B43 area with a couple of games. First have a look at Fedorowicz - Stripunsky (B43) where I actually played a good game. I didn't prepare much for this game, but I wasn't interested in facing 5 Bd3 Bc5 6 Nb3 Ba7 which has produced well for Stripunsky. (see Kriventsov-Stripunsky above plus some notes.) Some points to note in this game:

(1) 7 Qe2!? looks to force d6 getting into a Scheveningen style position:

(2) 11 Bd2 has the idea of b4 in mind.

(3) 12 Rf3 gets ready to block the advance of Black's h-pawn.

White can afford to be patient due to Black's lack of activity. I think Black should've tried 12...Nc5!? with some chances to be active. Another chance for Black was to play 13...g6 and just hangout.

Dembo - Sharevich (B43) is very similar to my game, but Black opted for kingside castles instead of ...h5. Another difference is that White's knight has been sent to b3 so when White plays for e5 it has a little less bite.




Richter-Rauzer [B60 to B69]

Next we have a lone Richter-Rauzer.

Black has been struggling for quite awhile now in these ...Qb6 lines and Golovchenko - Melnikova (B63) was no different.

Black played the immediate 6...Qb6 which gives White the possibility of 7 Be3!?. White has options earlier, but if this Nb5 idea works why change?

White reached a tremendous position with a super safe king and an unstoppable initiative. 20 h5! was simple, 20 g6? gave Black very good defensive chances. One idea Black must consider is playing an earlier ...a6 when the usual opposite side attacks occur.




Scheveningen [B80 to B89]

Lets continue with 3 English Attacks in the [B80] section.

English Attack #1 sees an idea that's catching on, it's where White tries to blow out the queenside with a4.

In Lupelescu - Ionica we see a favorite idea of Super GM Anand. Black should be alert to possible queenside pawn sacrifices for activity. We'll keep an eye on this for future updates where we'll try to determine where's the best moment for White to play a4. Black had numerous better tries, but after 14...de4? was in trouble.

The second game Cheparinov-J Ivanov saw Black switch out of the Taimanov into a Scheveningen. With Black's knight still on g8 White decided against the Keres attack instead choosing the English attack:

Black's pawn sacrifice has the approval of 2 very strong GMs Akopian and Gelfand. I prefer what Akopian offense to GM Gelfand. Black's rook sacrifice would've led to an interesting game if he didn't mate himself. Check the notes after 8...Qc7 where Black's counterplay never materialized and White's g6 idea was tremendously strong. The position after g6 is one White should strive for and Black should avoid.

The note Adams-Sheldon is impressive.

Finally, Becerra Rivero-Novikov where Black tried the relatively untested 12...Ne5 idea allowing 13 Qc3 when 13...Na4 leads to incredible complications:

I've talked about this move on many occasions, but this is the first time a very strong GM tried it. After 13...Na4 White is forced into 14 Qc7 since 14 Nc7 loses. The move 12...Ne5 could be a serious threat to the piece sac line.




Thanks for tuning in everyone!

Happy New Year, adios, GM John Fedorowicz

P.S. Feel free to contact me at the Forum (above) or send stuff to my email at (subscribers only). I'll try to answer your questions as soon as possible. I've had problems replying when contacted through Chess Publishing at Thanks! Fed.