The Sicilian 2c3
I want to send a shout out to this book as I was thinking about it earlier today. One of the first books I read when I was a junior trying to improve was GM Murray Chandler's excellent book Sicilian 2c3 and I was smitten.
I took to this opening with a vengeance, although back then I practically never faced the Sicilian (it seemed that everyone played either 1...e5 or the French). On those occasions when I did though I was prepared. When playing against the Sicilian in a blitz game I was generally better out of the opening, even when giving up 200-300 rating points. I never really studied openings, but I studied this one like it was going out of style.
In 1992 I walked away from the game. When I came back in 2011 it felt to me like no time had passed, but of course eons had passed in terms of theory.
But of course I immediately purchased a copy of this book. I started facing the Sicilian more often and so I had more of a chance to put some of my knowledge to work. Except that I didn't remember any of it.
So I decided to put in some work. I started reading GM Chandler's book again and looking at games in the database and I quickly realized how much theory had moved on concerning the Alapin. So I purchased GM Evgeny Sveshnikov's amazing work The Complete c3 Sicilian. Imagine my delight when I started poring through it. This stunning volume is literally packed with game after game of information. Whereas most opening books will list perhaps one or at most two games showing the beginning of a certain variation's popularity GM Sveshnikov's work gives no fewer than 10!
Now when I pick up GM Sveshnikov's book I am filled with that same feeling of wonder that I once had for GM Chandler's book.
Why I don't play the Alapin more often I cannot say. Perhaps it's time.
Two other Alapin items I own and enjoy are GM Sergei Tiviakov's Fritz Trainer DVD and IM John Donaldson's pamphlet Inside Chess Opening Novelties Alapin Sicilian
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