Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Sicilian Defense

First off, I like to say that I've had my fair share of wins and losses playing both sides of the Sicilian Defense. It is one of the defenses I really dread playing as White (being a 1.e4 player) because Black players sometimes come armed to the teeth and they have lines memorised up till move 30 (that's indeed scary). Unfortunately, that's also not how I play chess. I have full respect for the Sicilian Defense because the endgame is usually favourable for Black.

But I find that the Sicilian Defense is one defense where Black needs to have a solid understanding of the line or variation that Black wants to play. The Sicilian Defense, as some of you know, comes in many flavours:

The Sveshnikov, the Kalashnikov, the Kan, the Najdorf, the Scheveningen, the Taimanov, the Dragon etc.

White also has a host of weapons in its arsenal to tackle the Sicilian Defense. They include the much feared Keres Attack, the Yugoslav Attack etc. you get the picture.

The problem I find with the Sicilian Defense is that usually, all it takes is one minor slip on either side and it's toast.

In this game, Black clearly has no idea once I took him out of his preparation on move 3. He was definitely not prepared nor was he aware of the ideas behind the Bb5 line (which is a good thing for me). Note that I have made quite a few mistakes in my moves. I profess my play here was far less than optimal.