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Hi Everyone,
Welcome to a one-off Sveshnikov 'special' where I have used important recent games to express my views on the different variations and show how they have developed in recent years. At the end of each game I have written a small conclusion on the variation.

Download PGN of August '07 Open Sicilian games

Sveshnikov [B33]

With the help of the move 17 Qd2 White has achieved very good results in practice:

This might give the impression that Black is worse. In reality both sides have about equal chances and usually the stronger player wins, as in most positions arising from the 7.Nd5 variation, see Apicella - Wagner.

Moving on to the positional 9.Nd5 line for the next 5 games.

In the past 11.c4 was considered to limit White's possibilities and lead to equal positions. But this is only partially true and lately this variation has become really popular:

Black must take this variation very seriously and play accurately. I chose the game Korneev - Nataf to show my views of this variation.

In Karjakin - Yakovich Black implements the strong novelty 19...Qc8! against White's most critical set-up:

This move is tested again in Jakovenko - Ivanchuk where Jakovenko improves on Karjakin's play, but this doesn't seem to change the evaluation of the entire line starting with 13.Be7, as Black is able to keep the position equal.

In Berg - Smith we look at one of the simplest ways for Black to play against the 9.Nd5 System, with 12...Bg5:

There is not much theory and the positions arising are easy to learn and play.

Jakovenko - Shirov is the latest word on the super-sharp lines with 18 h4, opening the h-file.

The resulting sharp positions don't give White an advantage. It must be said, though, that in order to play these main lines Black needs to know a lot of theory.

In the main line 14.Re1 followed by 15.Rb1 and c4 is an interesting option, leading to positions with a clear plan for White, but 19...Bxb2 is a realistic way for Black to treat the position:

Black's loss in Czarnota - Felgaer was due to a mistake on move 24, but in my opinion this move should be sufficient for Black to achieve reasonable play.

Dorian Rogozenko


Please feel free to share any of your thoughts with me, whatever they are, suggestions, criticisms (just the polite ones, please), etc. Drop me a line at the Open Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write directly to