The Forgotten System in the Sicilian Pelikan by GM Magesh and GM Arun

The Forgotten System in the Sicilian Pelikan by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM gmarunchess
14 | Opening Theory

This week we shall see an old line in the Sicilian Pelikan or the Sveshnikov Variation. This system was very popular in the seventies and after taking a break it sprung back to life in the late nineties especially after a couple of strong wins by Alexei Shirov.

The development of the opening theory has been so vast in recent times that,  in many system there has come a point where there is no way for improvement and a conclusion has already been drawn with the help of computers. Computers have a profound influence on the development of opening theory. At this point it is very important to revive old systems for which the conclusion has been drawn out several years ago when the computers were not so strong. Times have changed and the computers are able to hold several positions that are considered to be inferior or they can be used to generate new ideas in a position considered equal. Today we shall see one such opening where the computer's effect has not been much and that definitely needs further testing by the computers and the elites.

Our First game is between Shirov and Lautier in which Shirov totally dominated. Black wasnt prepared to face the complications and that too in a blindfold game it is going to be a difficult task for anyone against the mighty Shirov.

That was a fine show from Shirov who actually made it look very easy. But in our next game he is on the receiving side against the former world champion Garry Kasparov. This game was a serious blow to the 11.Bxb5 idea, It was very well prepared and executed by Kasparov and the psychological effect was so strong that this opening didnt occur for a few years afterwards.
Our next game is between two Chinese Grand Masters Li Shilong-Zhao Jun. In this game white came up with an improvement from the Shirov-Kasparov game. Even though Black could have improved in this game on a few occasions, it was the unexpected return of this dangerous system with the fear of opponent's preparation that made white's game easier.
Many good old ideas become popular, then fade out and then jump back and forth in tournament play. Some of the sharp ones like the one we saw today are revived with the help of the powerful computers by some strong imaginative Grand Masters. Computers can analyse n-number of variations and remember millions of possiblities but for humans remembering every variation is impossible. So the good news is that Chess has so many resources that they cannot be exhausted for a long long time. There are no solutions in this beautiful game, only endless possibilities. Only God knows the end of this road!
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