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What's New- July '03

Greetings to all of my fellow Sicilian defense fans! Hope everyone is having a good summer. Welcome to my late July update. I'll try to get back on schedule after the busy summer ends.




To download the July '03 Open Sicilian games directly in PGN form, just click here: Download Games

Lets look at some chess.

Sveshnikov/Kalashnikov Variation [B32-B33]

We start this month's late update with 1 Sveshnikov and 1 Kalashnikov.

Dutreeuw - Daels (B33) was another Sveshnikov with 7 Nd5!?, and Black lived dangerously with 9...f5?!

White could've tried to punish it with some kind of Qa4 idea, but elected not to.

Black's safest path was seen in the note Rodriguez-Guerrero-Alsina Leal, with 20...b5! looking hard to crack. One thing I'd like to point out is Black should be real careful about pushing with ...e4. Black is better off keeping the central tension.

Finally we see some more Kalashnikov misery in Pavlovic - Kosteniuk (B32). Black wound up in a passive position and lost in similar fashion to her games with Karjakin.

By now everyone knows how much I hate this line. How many games do Kosteniuk and Radjabov have to lose before they give this junk up? Is it just me that thinks this stuff stinks? At least in the Sveshnikov Black gets counterplay!




Richter-Rauzer [B60 to B69]

In the Richter Rauser action we see Black taking a beating.

Our first game is Johannesen - Brynell (in the B66 section) I can't put all the blame on 9...h6?, but I don't like the look of it. I prefer 9...Be7, developing and waiting for White to play either g4 or h4. One note here deserves alot of consideration... Van Geffen-Werle saw Black play 17...d5!?

and get some good play.

Us Black side Richter-Rauzer players must be very alert in the 9 f3 line. I don't worry as much about 9 f4 where Black should always get some good dark-squared play.

Before we look at the second Rauser I'd like to put something on the record. I've won a number of games with 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cd4 4 Nd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 Bg5 e6 7 Qd2 a6 8 0-0-0 Bd7 9 f4 b5... but now sometimes people look at Black and think he's lost a piece with 10 Nxc6 Bxc6 11 e5 dxe5 12 Qxd8+ Rxd8 13 Rxd8+ Kxd8 14 fxe5

, but the thematic 14...h6! is good for Black.

Of course none of this happened in Efimenko - Andreev where Black lost control of the light squares and suffered. Black had a couple of decent alternatives with 13...e5!? which looks more forcing and 15...Bc6!? which is a typical try in this type of position. Black has to keep White occupied long enough to generate counterplay on the dark squares. We've seen GM Kozul win numerous games following this routine even with lost positions!




Najdorf [B90 to B99]

Let's look at some Najdorfs:

I'm always looking for important move order tricks and things to avoid and Kernazhitsky - Magony (B90) fits the bill perfectly.

In this particular English Attack Black can't afford to waste time. The mixture of 7...Be7 and 8...b5 doesn't give Black the counterplay needed to distract White from the king-side pawn storm. Black must play 8...Nc6!? transposing into something reasonable. In this game White pretty much had his way.

We haven't see 6 Bg5 in a long time,

but Nemeth - Butunoi (B99) is of some interest. I consider what Black played to be a very reliable system. Along with the Poisoned Pawn these are 2 good choices.

In this game Black got the worst of matters early on and never recovered. I'm thinking 15...Qd8 might've caused the problems. White has 2 attractive ideas: the line he played in the game and 16 h4!?. Black has his own ideas though, 15...Qe7!? is a very nice alternative. One of my favorite games was Shabalov-Hellers which I showed many updates ago.

11...gf6!? is also possible,but Black better know his stuff, and here 16...Bb7 is a good note to check out. If Black knows the theory it could bring great results.

The last of the Najdorf section is Naditsch - Anand (B86) where Black won a good game, but played some mysterious queen moves. White could have transposed Black into a Nbd7 Najdorf, which has a shaky reputation, with 10 f4!?. White must play very aggressively it seems or Black gets the better game without working up a sweat. It seems like this line is gaining a following with the "Super GMs".




See you all for next month's late update!

Adios, GM John F

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