opinions on the Sveshnikov?


I know it's a really uncompromising, and I like that. It must be sound because it is seen at top level nowadays.

But surely its wretched pawn structure makes it really daunting to learn.


I would like opinions on how hard it is to "master" it to play it at around 2000 level (rating I'm hoping to accomplish in 1-2 years). Would I drive myself crazy learning theory or would it be fairly intuitive to play once you get the hang of it?

In other words, is it worth the effort to learn it or is it just too complicated to use it effectively at expert level?


I like playing the Najdorf, and I have a love-hate relationship with it. The practical drawbacks I see in the Najdorf is that first you have to learn a ton of variations (Bg5, Bc4, Be3, Be2 are just the main systems, plus g3, h3, f4); plus white is given pretty much free rein (especially against e6-d6 setup) to throw everything at me. His moves come natural, while I have to defend accurately and if I do a single slip-up I instantly lose.


Is the Sveshnikov plagued by these two things, or not?

With my limited experience it seems to me that at least I get some initiative right away, and maybe there aren't that many variations to learn? (the main ones being only two, 9.Bxf6 and 9.Nd5 am I correct?)


Any comment will be much appreciated.

And if somebody wants to play some game with it (either online or live standard) I would be really happy to do it.


Sveshnikov can be cruel. As black you must know a lot of critical lines. A friend (ELO 2000) played with white against another 2000 rated player in a team match. He took the pawn on b5 (a well known bishop sacrifice), but his opponent didn't knew any theory about it. Black was smashed down after 10 moves...


Sveshnikov is comparatively easier and probably slightly more drawish than the Najdorf. There's some theory in some lines, but the ideas are easier than in the Najdorf.

Certainly an ok choice as a 'bring me to 2000 elo' opening.


My teacher told me that GMs don't typically play the Sveshnikov in open Swiss tournaments against lower rated players, because it is too drawish - the path to a draw for white is straightforward and only requires memorization. No room for the GM to play to their class, so to speak.


Sveshnikov is okay if you learn the critical lines of course.  But the one thing you have to do is keep the initiative going because by pawn structure black will be worse due to the hole on d5.  So if you don't play actively you'll get crushed.