Exploring the Taimanov Variation (Part 2)

Exploring the Taimanov Variation (Part 2)

NM scaryninja

Hey Everyone! Here we are, taking a step into the Taimanov Variation in the Sicilian Defense. This is part 2, where we are getting more serious. Part 1 was about: Plans in the Taimanov, Mark Taimanov (the creator), Ideas in the hedgehog, and positions you can achieve in the hedgehog. 

It will also help you understand Part 2 more, if you read Part 1. If you are interested, and want to access part 1, click on this: Exploring the Taimanov Variation Part 1.

Today, we will look at variations that white can play against you, when you are playing the Taimanov Variation. There will also be games with commentary, and I will tell you guys the plans to play against those lines. Let's begin!

First off we have: The English Attack

The English Attack is probably the sharpest line in the sicilian. (At least I think so). The point is to quickly castle on the queenside and start with your pawn roller attack on the kingside. You quickly start with f3, g4, g5, h4, and so on. The Light squared bishop usually goes on h3, or e2. Players mostly put it on e2, to protect the c4 square, and not let black's knight go there.

                      Fun Fact of the Variation: The English works against Najdorf and Taimanov, but not against Kan.


As you see, this variation is kind of drawish, although white is fighting for the win. In this game though, it was pretty equal, both players played great. It would be very hard for black to win though, on a professional level. Hard but possible. Now, a game with a real attack in the English Attack.



                                                 2nd we have: The Qf3 Variation

    By the Qf3 Variation, I mean 7. Qf3 after Be3. It can be a very dangerous variation. A plan is to play Qg3, and try to exchange queens with the queen on c7. YOU SHOULDN'T EXCEPT THE TRADE WITH BLACK! Then, you have a very small chance of winning, unless white blunders. The h-file will be pressured hard. Like the English Attack, white goes 0-0-0, and then starts an attack.

                                                     Fun Fact: I actually don't know the name of this variation, after I have worked and prepared against it in otb.

 Now it's time for the Fianchetto Variation

In the Fianchetto Variation, white hopes for a slow attack, with f4 coming in sooner or later, and then white will try to exploid black's king. Another important thing to note, is that usually white plays a4 to prevent black's counterplay with b5. In all, it's hard for black to create a lot of counter attacks, but it's not impossible at all. 


Fun Fact: I played against this variation in World Cadet Championships in 2018! I won

A Great fight by my opponent. At certain times, I knew I had an advantage, but I didn't know how to use it. At the end, I found a way, but all the way on the 65th move!

Next is the: Be2 Line!

This is a rather calm line, where white aims for a slow attack, with his bishops usually going to f3 and e3. White plays f4, aiming for e5, and goes for  a Qe1-Qg3 Maneuever. There are often rook lifts too. While, white is attacking on the Kingside, black trys to defend there, with as many pieces as he can, and then attacks on the Queenside.

Next & last is one of the lines that I play: 6. f4 System!

A good book on the Taimanov: 

Well, that was it for today. I guess we are finished with the Taimanov Series. Btw, if you think I missed a big variation that is played vs Taimanov, tell me. Hope you enjoyed it! I will see you next time! Leave a comment below, telling me how the blog post was.

  See you next Time! Also, what do you guys want me to write about next time? (Let's take a break from Openings)