You know how it goes. When we win a game, we think, "Wow. That's a great opening!" When we lose, that variation was to blame. Our result oriented approach colors our evaluations of chess openings.
Early on, I liked the unbalanced 5...e5 Sveshnikov Variation. I played two games from each side. White won all four games. That streak ended in 1980. That year I played six Sveshnikov games: two draws and four Black wins!
After 6.Nbd5 d6, White chooses 7.Bg5 most of the time. In 1979 I faced 7.Nd5. William O'Neal outplayed me and I lost as Black. Thus I decided to try 7.Nd5 one time as White. The next chance was when James Marfia played a Sicilian Defence. Jim chose the more popular 8...Nb8, while I had opted for 8...Ne7 vs O'Neal. Both lines are okay.
Jim Marfia and I were rated about the same in APCT. Here I got a passed pawn on d6, while he pinned my king to an uncomfortable position on h1. With bishops of opposite colors in a rook endgame, we agreed to a draw. Nowadays I prefer the main line 7.Bg5.
My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Sicilian Defence. Sign up if you want to receive it by email.
Sawyer (2050) - Marfia (2050), corr APCT 1980 begins 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 [7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5=] 7...Nxd5 8.exd5 Nb8 [8...Ne7=] 9.c4 Be7 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 f5 [11...a6=] 12.c5 a6 13.cxd6 Bxd6 14.Nxd6 Qxd6 15.Qc2 e4 [15...Kh8=] 16.Be2 Nd7 17.f3 [17.Rd1+/=] 17...exf3 18.Bxf3 Ne5 19.Qb3 Nxf3+ 20.Rxf3 f4 21.Bd2 Bg4 22.Rf2 Rf7 23.Raf1 f3 24.gxf3 Bh3 25.Re1 Rd8 26.Bb4 [26.f4+/=] 26...Qg6+ [26...Qb6!=] 27.Kh1 Rf5 28.d6+ Kh8 29.Qe6?! [Now the position is equal. White still could have kept some advantage with 29.Qe3!+/-] 29...Qxe6 30.Rxe6 Rb5 1/2-1/2
You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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