The Sicilian a6 Variation by GM Arun and GM Magesh

The Sicilian a6 Variation by GM Arun and GM Magesh‎

GM thamizhan
9 | Opening Theory

Time and again our top players have broken the rules and strategies of chess that bind an ordinary eye. As we start believing a particular variation is out of fashion or a particular move is anti-positional, those lines get revived by some inspiring Grandmasters. As the saying goes, there is only one constant in life, “change.” This very much applies to chess as well. While some of these variations rise and fade in a constant cycle, some variations though not very popular have always surfaced on the top occasionally. Today we will take a look at one of those ideas, the Sicilian a6 variation. 


The Sicilian being a very sharp opening by nature, this move looks dangerous at first, as it might give White that critical extra tempo to gain an initiative; however if we notice carefully, most of the Sicilian defenses like Najdorf, Classical, Pelikan, Scheveningen, Taimanov etc have a6 in common. Hence black's idea is simple, he waits a little more and will try to opt into one of the above mentioned lines eventually based on White's response. White mainly responds with two moves here, 2.c4 and 2.c3 (Alapin variation). Let us take a look at the games to get an idea about this variation.


Our first game today is played by the creative master and one of the most entertaining players of our times, Alexander Morozevich.




Morozevich had cleanly exploited the ex-world junior champion Sadvakasov's weak bishop. Our next game is where Morozevich is on the receiving end against the current world champ, Vishwanathan Anand.



A very entertaining game with both players having plenty of chances, but Anand came out on top in the end with his sharp tactical skills. In our last game today, Sadvakasov comes out with a better result as white against the International master and Women's Grandmaster Irina Krush.



As we can see, this a6 option mainly leads to several transpositions in the opening. The fact that black keeps his central pawns non committed makes these transpositions happen more easily. Having a good understanding of the pawn structures in the possible transpositions will give a strong edge to players over their opponents while facing such openings.

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