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Taimanov vs Kalashnikov Sicilian

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Zakstin
Hi everyone, I’m trying to pick an opening for myself against e4 and I can’t choose between these two. I like the positions in Taimanov but I’m afraid that with my skill I will suffer from lack of space (that’s the reason for the Kalashnikov). Do you have any advice which one should I start playing?
NervesofButter

At your level you can play whatever you want since openings do not decide your games.  Your choice of openings should be based on the types of middlegames you want to play.

Zakstin
I mostly agree but I noticed that I feel more comfortable when my opponent plays an opening that I know than that I don’t so I just want to learn something to be familiar with it
GMegasDoux

Playing the Sicilian, means you have to do the leg work on understanding why moves work or they don't in different variations. With the amount of transposition to different lines in the Sicilian you may find that you often go into different variations based on what is best against the move your opponent played and not what is best for your style.

Jai4chess

I would prefer the Taimanov as black easily. White gets a big attack with traps at every move in extremely sharp positions in the Kalashnikov and Sveshnikov. I prefer playing 2.d6 or Nc6, with my personal preference the Dragon Sicilian. I almost never play e5 in a Sicilian though as those positions are beyond my understanding:

 

PikachuDestroyer

I think multiple systems with a6 are very easy to learn and (imo) very fun to play.

If you want to play either the Taimanov or the Kalashnikov, it's hard for me to be unbiased, since I am studying the Kalashnikov, but you can play either. I played the Taimanov with very little success as well.

PikachuDestroyer

I don't know your skill level, but if it is about 1200, I suggest you don't play these openings. They're too complicated for people who are new to chess, and you will not get what you 'studied' on the board. 

If you want to get better, play easy openings, like the Scotch, Scandinavian, East Indian etc.

Zakstin
Thank you very much for your feedback. I will certainly look at it. I mean we just saw in the candidates that it can definitely be at least exciting.
Jai4chess
PikachuDestroyer wrote:

I think multiple systems with a6 are very easy to learn and (imo) very fun to play.

If you want to play either the Taimanov or the Kalashnikov, it's hard for me to be unbiased, since I am studying the Kalashnikov, but you can play either. I played the Taimanov with very little success as well.

Yeah, the mainline after 2.a6 is 3.c4 I believe (3.c3 used to be more popular)

Jai4chess
Jai4chess wrote:
PikachuDestroyer wrote:

I think multiple systems with a6 are very easy to learn and (imo) very fun to play.

If you want to play either the Taimanov or the Kalashnikov, it's hard for me to be unbiased, since I am studying the Kalashnikov, but you can play either. I played the Taimanov with very little success as well.

Yeah, the mainline after 2.a6 is 3.c4 I believe (3.c3 used to be more popular)

In fact, I just learnt that yesterday from here:

The main idea behind Black's second move is that 3.d4 is not a good idea (despite being the most common move amongst players rated below 2200!) because of 3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5, when White's knight cannot jump to b5. This, of course, is not news to Caruana. He went for one of the most frequently recommended lines, 3.c4, which aims to take the play into a Maroczy-style structure that should favor White. 

https://www.chess.com/news/view/2022-fide-candidates-tournament-round-7 

What a coincidence happy.png 

PikachuDestroyer

I actually saw that from GothamChess in today's candidates (I guess he read that article before posting the video),  which made my passion for this opening revive.

I have played a6 systems multiple times (not always with the same move order or emerging from other second moves from white. In fact, I used to play the Kan and the Najdorf when I was not very good, and also the Drazic.

Zakstin
PikachuDestroyer wrote:

I don't know your skill level, but if it is about 1200, I suggest you don't play these openings. They're too complicated for people who are new to chess, and you will not get what you 'studied' on the board. 

If you want to get better, play easy openings, like the Scotch, Scandinavian, East Indian etc.

Im 1200, but i heard so many opinions on that already. "You should play main lines/You shouldn't play main lines/You should play gambits"etc. I know that it's with good will, but at this point I just play whatever looks cool.