Is the the Scheveningen Sicilian bad/outdated now?

sho16

I heard that Kasparov used to play the scheveningen but after looking into it seems that the Keres attack is a good counter.

OldPatzerMike

The Keres Attack is formidable, but it's been around since the 1940s and hasn't put the Scheveningen out of business yet. 

kindaspongey

"... GM Grischuk and many top players ... think that the fame of the Scheveningen of the times of K-K matches has faded. ..." - GM Alexander Delchev (2006)

BronsteinPawn

only a noob would think that. Alexadner Delchev will have to show me a brain scan before I even take him seriously.

kindaspongey

"[The Scheveningen Sicilian was] once the centerpiece of Kasparov's opening repertoire against 1 e4. Then the Keres Attack, 6 g4, emerged as a somewhat problematic answer and the Scheveningen's popularity faded. ..." - FM Carsten Hansen (2012)

penandpaper0089

Kasparov switched to the Najdorf because he thought it was better. He liked to play those complicated Scheveningen lines with ...a6 and I guess the Najdorf was better for him.

kindaspongey

The June 2017 issue of Chess lists the top twenty openings compiled from a list of 2105 April games where both players were rated over 2400 Elo. One can not take position on this list too seriously because it is greatly influenced by how the openings are grouped. For example, all the Retis are grouped together, while English is separated into 1...c5, 1...e5, etc. Nevertheless, for what it is worth, some of the list entries are: 145 Retis, 102 Caro-Kanns, 92 King's Indians, 90 Nimzo-Indians, 88 declined Queen's Gambits, 86 1 d4 Nf6 sidelines, 85 Slavs, 56 Najdorf Sicilians, 55 1...Nf6 Englishes, 53 1...c5 Englishes, 48 2 Nf3 d6 sideline Sicilians, 45 Semi-Slavs, 42 1 d4 d5 sidelines, 41 Catalans, 40 1...e6 Englishes, 40 1...e5 Englishes, 38 Classical Gruenfelds, 36 Berlin Ruy Lopezes, 35 Taimanov Sicilians, and 33 Dutches.

MickinMD

For anyone rated IM or less, opening like the Scheveningen Sicilian CAN get you to a playable middle game.  The question is: at YOUR level of play, does it lead to positions where you can put together a good plan for the middlegame?

The are lots of openings that go in-and-out of favor.  I taught my high school team the Bishop's Opening in the early '90's. I had been out of favor for over 60 years and it was almost impossible to get information on it.  One of the few books we got on it was in Russian by a correspondence master,

But it was a valid opening: if got us, as White, to a playable middle game where our pieces were mostly aimed toward Black's King and launching a K-side attack, usually helped by an early Pawn-to-f4, was a natural middlegame plan.  We rode the Bishop's Opening to multiple county championships and state tournament trophies.

Then Kasparov played it in a World Championship match and a few more books came out, it was now back in favor, and our edge diminished.

So don't believe that ANYONE who says bad things about a long-used opening, successfully used by past World Champs.  You can almost surely make it work for you IF you know what to do after the opening.

kindaspongey
MickinMD wrote:

... The are lots of openings that go in-and-out of favor.  I taught my high school team the Bishop's Opening in the early '90's. I had been out of favor for over 60 years and it was almost impossible to get information on it. ... We rode the Bishop's Opening to multiple county championships and state tournament trophies. ...

I think it is somewhat more risky to choose an out-of-favor opening for black. Still, the comments that I have seen are to the effect that the Scheveningen's popularity has "faded". That is not the same as telling IM-or-less players that it is not playable.

pfren

The Keres is the main reason the Sheveningen is out of fashion. Of course this means nothing at amateur level.

Elroch

I didn't realise how bad black's stats were in that line. It is not at all popular as black these days. But I don't believe white has a big advantage against accurate play.

kindaspongey
IM pfren wrote:

The Keres is the main reason the Sheveningen is out of fashion. Of course this means nothing at amateur level.

Doesn't it mean that amateurs will have access to lots of Keres Attack games to try to imitate? I suppose that doesn't mean very much, but it seems to me to be the sort of thing that might be worth knowing when considering the selection of a faded-popularity defence.

sea_of_trees

I always wanted to learn how to pronounce it.

Is it shev-enin-gen? Like ninja at the end but instead ningen?

pfren
sea_of_trees έγραψε:

I always wanted to learn how to pronounce it.

Is it shev-enin-gen? Like ninja at the end but instead ningen?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheveningen

pfren
kindaspongey έγραψε:
pfren wrote:

The Keres is the main reason the Sheveningen is out of fashion. Of course this means nothing at amateur level.

Doesn't it mean that amateurs will have access to lots of Keres Attack games to try to imitate? I suppose that doesn't mean very much, but it seems to me that it might be worth knowing when considering the selection of a faded-popularity defence.

There are a lot of subtleties in those well-analysed positions, which are very difficult for an amateur to absorb- e.g. in his last fantastic book (Attacking the Flexible Sicilian) GM Kotronias thinks that after 6.g4 h6 the most popular move 7.h4 is somewhat inaccurate, and suggests 7.Rg1 instead. And, being a serious analyst, he devotes no less than 18 freaking thick pages analysing 7.h4 and proving his claim!

BronsteinPawn

respect to lord kotronias, only man with balls to analyze for 18 pages to prove a move, most sissies just say it is better and try to convince with words, kotronias does it with moves.

yureesystem

At amateur level any opening or defense is playable and that includes the Scheveningen. happy.png

sea_of_trees

I see. Skee van engine

Elroch

It depends hugely what sort of chess you are talking about. In correspondence chess, both players have access to the entire theory of the opening. OTB a prepared player may find an unprepared opponent, which is very helpful. In blitz games, players may have bigger problems when they don't know the theory.

pfren
BronsteinPawn έγραψε:

respect to lord kotronias, only man with balls to analyze for 18 pages to prove a move, most sissies just say it is better and try to convince with words, kotronias does it with moves.

I know the man since he was 16 years old (1980)- we are very good friends. He is a workaholic, and he never, ever had a trainer to guide him.