What's New- June'00
If you are an ex-prodigy and you face a new prodigy what should you do? This dilemma faced former world title contender Nigel Short when he played the talented teenager Luke McShane in a recent game. Short's solution was to rely on the Closed Sicilian, which reached its peak of popularity before McShane was even born.
Once again the wisdom of avoiding the complexities of the open Sicilian is revealed in Short-McShane where White wins a nice positional game.
The flexibility of the Closed Sicilian is obvious in the example Schneider-Juelich. After 1 e4 d6 White ignores the usual lines of the Pirc by playing 2 Nc3 followed by a kingside fianchetto. The crafty scheme works because Black soon transposes into the Closed Sicilian but obviously has little detailed knowledge of the opening.
A classic but standard kingside pawn avalanche is the key to victory in Brufman-Valois. Black goes slightly wrong in the opening allowing White to dictate matters resulting in a straightforward attack.
I have managed to track down a blitz game where Black withstands the initial pressure to successfully counterattack on the queenside. The game Knoppert-van Wely shows why Black is renowned as a world class player by demonstrating the right way to conduct the defence.
The Closed Sicilian is perfect for those who want an easy positional plan to follow with the hope of a middlegame attack.
Please keep sending games and comments via e-mail