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Sick of the Sicilian


  • 21 months ago · Quote · #1

    Psalm25

    What's a good alternative to the Sicilian for someone who can't play cramped positions well? I know the Sicilian has a lot of variations (I exclusively played the Sveshnikov), but just the thought of playing 1)...c5 makes me ill.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #2

    Fear_ItseIf

    I too played the sveshnikov and loved it, but also, like you I cant stand playing 1..c5 anymore (grand prix, closed and alapin make me cringe).

    I play recommend playing the schliemann defense 1.e4 e5 2.nf3 nc6 3.bb5 f5 which I used for a short while. WHile it may not be as theoretically sound as the sveshnikov, it has the dynamic piece play of it, and you get to shove the f pawn early (i know how much you like pushing f pawns).a

    The best thing about 1..e5 is there is always a line to suit your playstyle because it is so diverse and flexible.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #3

    Mandy711

    The Scandinavian Defense B01 1...d5  is a good defense to e4 for those who dislike cramped position. It is easy to learn. GM David Bronstein and GM Tiviakov have played this defense with good results.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #4

    BTP_Excession

    The modern Scandanavian 2..Nf6 can avoid cramped positions, especially the many gambit lines for Black if white tries to hold the pawn.

    Otherwise I think you are in mutual King's pawn territory.

     

    The caro-kahn, french, pirc, alekhine's etc. can all end up pretty cramped.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #5

    steve_bute

    I've gone to the Caro Kann. I'm finding most players don't know how to play as white; they tend to get aggressive and overextend.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #6

    Psalm25

    Thanks all for your suggestions. I played 1)...e5 a couple of days ago in a correspondence game on here but am waiting to see how it progresses from there. I love playing the King's Gambit as white but hope to not be on the other side of that as I don't seem to defend against that too well.

    Will check out the Scandavian but would probably opt for 2)...Nf6 as the idea of recapturing with the queen and having it in the middle of the board so early doesn't really appeal to me.

    Thanks again:)

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #7

    waffllemaster

    2...Nf6 is a bad habit of mine for speed games.  If your opponent knows what they're doing it's the epitome of a cramped crappy position :p  Definitely better to recapture with the queen... just FYI

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #9

    ThrillerFan

    If you want to avoid cramped positions, and avoid the King's Gambit, go for a different 1.e4 e5 defense, namely the Philidor.  Because of certain lines that are highly adventagous for White, most people today don't enter the Philidor via 1...e5, but rather thru what looks like will be a Pirc, but then on move you, White gets the news that there is no Pirc today.

    It's 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 and now Black has 2 choices:

    3...e5, where 4.Nf3 Nbd7 transposes to the Hanham Variation.  Black must be willing to play an endgame if White does 4.dxe5 dxe5 5.Qxd8+ Kxd8, but this solves your cramping problem, and Black has no problems in this line, and should get equality fairly easily.  Going into the Hanham is White's best bet.

    3...Nbd7 is the other option, but then you have to deal with White's Anti-Hanham lines with 4.f4 and 4.g4, both of which can cramp Black.

    I recommend you allow the Queen Trade and play 3...e5.  If White goes for the endgame, you should have no problems.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #10

    Psalm25

    Thanks:) Didn't realize 2)...Nf6 in the Scandanavian was dubious; I actually thought it was better than the queen recapture but I really don't know that defense at all, though I've encountered it a few times as white. Never actually played it as black.

    Thanks, ThrillerFan, for the analysis! Will need a chessboard to play it out but am interested in that idea. The Philidor always kind of appealed to me because it seemed so solid and sensible but I avoided playing it because I thought 2)...d6 would lead to the kind of cramped positions I play badly (same reason I avoid playing the French.) For some reason, a white pawn on the fifth rank in the opening is like a death knell for me. I spend most of the game either trying to capture it or work my pieces around it. But it's interesting to see there's a transposition. Queenless games are all right by me if I'm black:) Would rather keep the queen if I'm white.

    Just fyi, I would love to learn the Old Indian against 1)...d4 but that's mostly because of a fantastic win that Nezhmetdinov had with it and the belief that not many white players at the club/amateur tournament level would know it. Same reason I've been investigating the Ponziani as white as an alternative to the King's Gambit which I always play if black plays 1)...e5. Saw a couple of YouTube videos on the Ponziani which revealed some pretty dangerous traps for black if he doesn't know the lines.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #11

    MISTERGQ

    Mandy711 wrote:

    The Scandinavian Defense B01 1...d5  is a good defense to e4 for those who dislike cramped position. It is easy to learn. GM David Bronstein and GM Tiviakov have played this defense with good results.

    http://www.chess.com/games/search?lsto=9&p1=Bronstein+David+I&sort=1&lstresult=2

     

    3 wins as black doesnt look like a successful career with scandinavian

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #12

    BTP_Excession

    Overall Chessbase Livebook gives the Qxd5 Scandy 57% and the Nf6 Scandy 58% (higher is worse) so there is little practical difference in outcome.

    Sicilian and surprisingly 1...g6 are 53%, Caro-Kahn 54%,Mutual King's Pawn 55%,French 55% Alekhine's 56%, Pirc 56%.

    Unless you are playing well over 2k ELO, it won't make much difference....

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #13

    Oran_perrett

    Nf6 scandinavian is generally considered less good because of this line

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #14

    Scottrf

    I like the look of 3. Bb5 Bd7 4. Bc4.

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #15

    BTP_Excession

    As OP doesn't like cramped positions I had assumed he would play Portuguese gambit lines (3..Bg4) rather than nxd5

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #16

    C-nack

    Fear_ItseIf wrote:

    I too played the sveshnikov and loved it, but also, like you I cant stand playing 1..c5 anymore (grand prix, closed and alapin make me cringe).

    Closed and Alapin are awesome.


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