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Hi Everyone,
One opening which has been slightly neglected here at ChessPublishing is the Scheveningen. The dangerous reputation of the Keres Attack scares away a number of players from the pure Scheveningen move order of 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6, but a number of top-class players continue to reach lines of the opening via different move orders, including 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 d6. This month we'll examine some critical recent games in both the Classical Scheveningen and the Keres Attack.
Next month: finally some Sveshnikov coverage and from a very special contributor indeed. Watch this space!

Download PGN of July '07 Open Sicilian games

The Classical Scheveningen [B80 to B89]

Following 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 Be2 Be7 7 0-0 0-0 8 Be3 Nc6 9 f4 Black has a number of options and most certainly doesn't have to play with ...a6 and ...Qc7. Indeed classical Scheveningens with an early ...a6 often arise from a 6 Be2 e6 Najdorf move order. One recent work which covers Black's many non-...a6 possibilities at this juncture is Craig Pritchett's excellent Starting Out: Sicilian Scheveningen.

One approach which Pritchett quite likes is 9...e5, an old favourite of both Spassky's and Kasparov's, and a move now adopted by Morozevich as we'll see in Movsesian - Morozevich.

Black might prefer 9...Qc7 and after the flexible 10 Kh1 we reach a position which can come about via a number of move orders. Jakovenko - Rublevsky saw Black very well prepared and following 10...Nxd4 11 Qxd4 he had no problems equalizing with 11...b6.

Black usually chooses to develop his queen's knight to c6 in the Classical, but he doesn't have to. A provocative and rather interesting alternative being 6 Be2 a6 7 0-0 Nbd7!?:

In Aagaard - Vallejo Pons White scores a notable upset, but Black was doing OK out of the opening after 8 f4 b5.

Probably 8 Be3 b5 9 a4 is the critical response, although White must then be prepared to sacrifice a piece for three pawns as, indeed, no less a player than Anand recently did in Anand - Topalov.

Scheveningen: Keres' Attack

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 g4 certainly has a good reputation, but it should not drive Scheveningen players away from their main and most flexible move order:

In Sokolov.A-Nisipeanu Black counters with the rare 6...e5!?. White seems to retain a small pull after this, but his advantage is always within manageable bounds and so for those happy to draw as Black this approach deserves further attention.

Two more common ways of meeting the Keres are 6...h6, the subject of Macieja - Kasimdzhanov, and 6...a6 which we'll see in Nataf - Graf.

Taimanov: English Attack [B48]

Following 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Be3 a6 7 Qd2 Nf6 8 0-0-0, as one or two of you have remarked, we've given 8...Bb4 a fair amount of coverage, but is 8...Be7 followed by a rapid advance of the b-pawn really so bad?

In Motylev - Morozevich I attempt to cast some light on this relatively undeveloped variation.

Do enjoy next month's Sveshnikov special! I'll be back in September, Richard


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