11..fxe4 in the Sveshnikov Sicilan

Jan 16, 2012, 9:26 PM |

Recently, I played a game against marecek7791, who ended up losing due to account closure. It started as an interesting game, going down a main line of the Sveshnikov Sicilian, which I have been trying to learn.

The game started thus as 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Nbd5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5







9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bd3; This is a standard opening line and the typical reply is 11...Be6, although 11..f4 is also played. I was surprised to see that there weren't many games that took the pawn (11..fxe4). The opening books I have on this line didn't even mention this move, and most of the games I found with this line (some shown below) lead Black to poor positions.

After 11..fxe4 12.Bxe4, Black has some trouble on the light squares and the long diagonal. It may be possible to gain time, and the center, on the Bishop with moves like 12...f5; this move fails immediately though. After studying the position, I decided to give 12...Ra7 a whirl.

I haven't checked the below with computer help, but I think the analysis below suggests that this line is playable for Black, although some of the positions may not be that easy to play.

Comments and Suggestions welcome! See the comments section for some games.