My secret weapon
This time I want to introduce one of my main weapons. It helps me to avoid some of the nasty main lines in Sicilian Defence which everyone seems to know better than I myself. Feel free to adopt it if you like more solid game!
This particular weapon is:
1. e4 c5 2. b3 etc.
It's called Snyder Variation after American master Robert Snyder.
Now we don't have any semi open c-files or problems on the queen's side like in the main line of the Sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4). White's position is solid although this opening may lead to a cramped or even too closed position. Of course these things are matters of taste. One loves the daughter, another one loves her mother. =)
Personally I have recently had very little success when I had played against Sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 (2...d6 or 2...Nc6) 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4) with white pieces in OTB-games. I don't understand the dynamical laws of positions in the main line. So I usually try to avoid those lines.
And now we get back to our main topic. Below is a beginning of a very recent game in which I play against my friend "Extraordinary". In a fact 1. e4 c5 2. b3 is one of his favourite opening variations.
Online game [1 in 7 days], 14.10.-21.10.2009
Extraordinary (FIN, 1799) - Behemon (1703)
Sicilian Defence: Snyder Variation (B20):
1. e4 c5 2. b3 (Snyder Variation)
This move may look pretty modest but according theory both sides should have even chances.
Secures the square d4. Also 2...d6 is a very popular move.
2...e5 3. Bb2 Nc6 4. c4 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. g3 Be7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. Ne2 Bg4 9. O-O Qc8 10. Qd2 Bh3 11. f4 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 Qc7 etc. (½-½, 46 moves), Behemon (selo 1434) - Aimo Heino (FIN, selo 1680), Jyväskylä (2009).
2...d6 and now:
a) 3.Bb2 Nf6 4.d3 Nc6 5.Nf3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Qd2 O-O 8.Be2 Bd7 9.O-O Rc8 10.a4 a6 etc. (0-1, 39 moves), Behemon (1595) - PR1956 (BRA, 1885), Chess.com (2009).
b) 3.Bb2 Nc6 4.d3 e6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Nbd2 g6 7.Be2 Bg7 8.O-O O-O 9.Nc4 d5 10.exd5 exd5 11.Ncd2 Re8 etc. (½-½, 62 moves), Behemon (1658)- Extraordinary (FIN, 1752), Chess.com (2009).
c) 3. Bb2 e5 4. Bb5+ Nc6 5. h3 Nf6 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. d3 g6 8. Nf3 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. c4 Nh5 etc. (0-1, 43 moves), Behemon (selo 1434) - Seppo Lyly (FIN, selo 1930), Jyväskylä (2009).
3. Bb2 d6 4. Nf3
4.d3 Nf6 5.Nf3 e5 6.Be2 Be7 7.Nbd2 0–0 8.0–0 Be6 9.c4 d5 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Qxd5 etc. (1-0, 62 moves), Behemon (1680) - eamonnfitz (IRL, 1690), Chess.com (2009).
Prevents white for playing 5. d4. In addition I want to close position so that white could not benefit from his bishops.
5. g3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O a6 9. a4
Attacks on the queen's side and gains more space.
9...Be6 10. Ng5 Bd7 11. f4 Ne8 12. Nh3 Bxh3 13. Bxh3 exf4 14. Rxf4 Ne5 15. Nd5 Ng6 16. Rf1 Nc7 17. Nb6 Ra7 18. Nd7 Re8 19. Qf3 f6 20. Qh5 Nf8 21. Bf5 g6 22. Qg4 Nxd7?!
I think that 22...h5 was a better move.
23. Bxd7 Rf8 24. d4 b6 25. d5 Nxd5??
A bad blunder. I was blind and I did not what was coming. Recently I have done lots of this kind of mistakes. Black's position was cramped and white threatens to bring his extra rook into game. Black's rook in a7 is completely out of the game if we think of the king's side.
26. Be6+ and black resigned (1-0).
I'm aware of the fact that this opening is not anymore a secret weapon after this publication... =)