Sicilian Defence, Scheveningen Variation

White has several different attacking schemes available, but the one considered most dangerous is the Keres attack,cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B81 | title=Sicilian, Keres Attack (B81) | publisher=Chessgames.com | work=Chess openings | accessdate=2008-01-19] named after notable GM Paul Keres, which continues 6.g4. This move takes advantage of the fact that 5...e6 cut off the Black Bishop's control of g4 and plans to force the knight on f6, Black's only developed piece, to retreat and force black into passivity. This also launches white into a king-side attack. Black usually continues with:6...h6:7.g5 hxg5:8.Bxg5 Nc6:9.Qd2 Qb6:10.Nb3 a6:11.0-0-0 Bd7:12.h4gives White an equal game at best.

A stronger and more common try is:6...h6:7. h4 Nc6:8. Rg1 d5:9. Bb5 Bd7:10. exd5 Nxd5:11. Nxd5 exd5:12. Qe2+ Be7:13. Nf5 Bxf5:14. gxf5 Kf8:15. Be3 Qa5+which may give White a slight edge. Still, the immediate g4 puts Black into a rather defensive and potentially dangerous position. For this reason, many advocates of this defense tend to play the Najdorf variation move order and then play 6...e6, transposing into the Scheveningen. This, however, gives White additional options, and g4 is still a possibility a move after.

Classical

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Classical 6. Be2
Another very popular variation is the Classical,cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B85 | title=Sicilian, Scheveningen, Classical (B85) | publisher=Chessgames.com | work=Chess openings | accessdate=2008-01-19 "(also known as Maroczy Variation)"] which is initiated with 6.Be2. Used to great effect by Anatoly Karpov, among other distinguished Grandmasters, this methodical approach has gained many followers. The main line continues:6...a6:7.0-0 Be7:8.Be3 0-0:9.f4 Nc6:10.a4 Qc7:11.Kh1(The order of moves is not so significant). White's plans here are to build up a Kingside attack, typically by means of Be2-f3, g2-g4, Qd1-e1-h4, etc. Black will aim for a diversion on the Queenside via the semi-open c-file, or strike in the center. Positional pawn sacrifices abound for both sides and the theory is very highly developed, thanks to decades of research by top class players such as Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov, Boris Gelfand and countless others.

Other Variations

Other notable attacks for white include the "Fischer Attack"cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B86 | title=Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack (B86) | publisher=Chessgames.com | work=Chess openings | accessdate=2008-01-19] cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B88 | title=Sicilian, Fischer-Sozin Attack (B88) | publisher=Chessgames.com | work=Chess openings | accessdate=2008-01-19] which is initiated by 6.Bc4; the "Maroczy Variation" - Be2; and the "Tal Variation"cite web | url=http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessopening?eco=B82 | title=Sicilian, Scheveningen (B82) | publisher=Chessgames.com | work=Chess openings | accessdate=2008-01-19 "(known as Tal Variation)"] - f4. The Fischer attack seeks to exert White pressure most directly on the d5 square. Viable Black responses in the center include variations of Nb8-c6-a5 or Nb8-d7-c5, supplemented by a7-a6 and b7-b5-b4 on the Queenside. A possible line is 6.Bc4 Be7 7.Bb3 O-O 8.Be3 Na6 (aiming for the c5 square; note that in case 8...Nbd7 then, 9.Bxe6!? fxe6 10.Nxe6 Qa5 11.Nxf8 Bxf8, and White sacrifices two pieces for a Rook) 9.Qe2 Nc5 10.f3. The ensuing position is balanced, with Black ready to counter White's g2-g4-g5 with a7-a6 and b7-b5-b4 on the other flank. The Maroczy Variation sees White adopting a more restrained line of play with 6.Be2. After 6...Be7 7.O-O Nc6 8.Kh1 O-O 9.f4 a6 10.Be3 Qc7, White enjoys a slight advantage in space as well as two stacked bishops on e2 and e3. Black must counter-attack on the Queenside, while White prepares f4-f5. Finally, in the Tal Variation, 6.f4 Nc6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qf3, White seeks to castle Queenside placing its rook on the half-open d-file, and support the g-pawn's advance with the Queen.

English Attack

The currently fashionable approach is the so-called "English Attack",cite web |url=http://www.wholesalechess.com/chess/chess_books/The%20English%20Attack/?ac=nsgchess |title=The English Attack |accessdate=2008-01-19 |last= |first= |coauthors= |date= |work= |publisher=] modeled after the Yugoslav(Rauzer) Attack in the Dragon Variation. White starts an aggressive pawn storm on the Kingside with f2-f3, g2-g4, h2-h4, and often g4-g5. White castles long and a very sharp game is often the result. Black, however, does not have to acquiesce to passive defense and has at least as many threats of his own. The main line continues 6.Be3 a6 7.f3 b5 8.g4 h6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Bb7. White's plans are to force g4-g5 and open the Kingside files to his advantage. The first player may also exert considerable pressure on the d-file. Black will often consider an exchange sacrifice or at least a pawn sacrifice to open the Queenside files for the heavy pieces. Time is of the essence and new ideas are being discovered each year. Many elite players including Alexander Morozevich, Peter Leko, and Alexei Shirov pour many hours of study into this critical variation.

White has other minor tries for the advantage, including 6.f4 and 6.g3, but these moves are less difficult to meet.

References


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