Games, analysis and discussion

Sicilian Sveshnikov

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[Event "??"]
[Site "Lugano"]
[Date "1980.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Grunfeld"]
[Black "Fleck"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

{Discussion of Sveshnikov Sicilian, Bishop Sacrifice game:} 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 {10...Bg7 currently is under a cloud, so the following sac on b5 may be that much more relavent} 11.Bxb5!? {For a long time top players have prefered quieter methods against the Sveshnikov. Currently this sac is considered playable by some analysts. A long time ago I researched both this and the alternative immediate knight sac, and I look at the state of theory still now and then.} axb5 12.Nxb5 Ra4! {After much analysis I concluded White is doing well against other moves than this, the main move} 13.Nbc7+!? {I have some ideas to rehabilitate this move, which constitutes the old main line. Nowadays White's hopes are seen as resting upon the line 13.b4 Rxb4 (best) 14.Nxb4!?, which Cox does a pretty good job of covering in his Starting Out opening book series contribution. The old massive branch 14.Nbc7+?! Kd7 15.0-0 has been cruelly pruned by 15...Rg8!, it seems.} Kd7 14.0-0 Rxe4 {Again the main move. Cox thinks Black is at least okay after the hardly tried 14...Rg8, but I like my idea of 15.c4!? here, when if Rxc4?! (15...Qg5 16.g3 is a known line [via 14...Qg5 normally] that's at least okay for White, I think. If now 16...Rxc4?! I think 17.Na8! is good [17.b4 transposes to a known line normally reached by 14...Qg5].) 16.Na8! (16.Qh5 seems less good) Qg5 then 17.Nab6+ Kd8 18.g3 Rd4 19.Qb3 Be6 20.Qb5 is +/-. Note if 14...Qg5 15.c4 Rxc4?! 16.Na8!, as in Pacey-Ivanenko, Ottawa 2014, is good for White according to my machine - theory and high level practice have until now, at least, been concerned only with 16.b4 here.} 15.Qh5 Ne7 {If 15...Qh4 16.Qxf7+ Be7 then White can try my 17.Nxe7!? if if wishes to avoid the forced draws that ultimately result after 17.g3; Nowadays books recommend the line 15...Nd4 here if Black wishes for more than a draw (not that I think he can force it), when theory continues 16.c3 Ne2+ 17.Kh1 Kc6 18.g3 and Black's star move nowadays is considered to be 18...Kb7. Long ago I looked at 19.a4! intending the lift Ra3 (all the books give is 19.Rae1 when Black does seem to ultimately gain an edge). The position is very messy, with one possibly critical line being 19...Rc4 20.Nb5 Be6 21.Ne3 f4 22.Nxc4 Bd5+ 23.f3 Bxc4 24.g4 with a really weird position.} 16.Qxf7 Kc6 17.c4 {After this Black seems to be able to get at least a draw with best play if he wishes. Instead. 17.Rfd1!? is a winning try I looked at back in the 1990s and in Robson-Uesugi, 2010 White indeed went on to win after 17...Nxd5 18.Nxd5 Qd7 19.Qh5 Bg7 (a move I didn't look at) 20.a4.} Qd7 {Best.} 18.Na8 {Best, but now Black can grab a draw.} Ng6 19.Nb4+ Kb7 20.Qd5+ Kb8 21.Nc6+! {Best.} Kxa8 22.Qb5! Qb7 {22...Qc7!? allows Black to continue in this messy position.} 23.Qa5+ Qa6 24.Qc7 Qb7 25.Qa5+ {Here the players agreed to a draw. Notes by Kevin Pacey.} 1/2-1/2

Updated 07-02-2015 at 01:58 AM by Kevin Pacey

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Opening analysis and observations