Sveshnikov Intrigues

Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI:
Sveshnikov Intrigues

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This chapter explores the Sveshnikov, a variation of the Sicilian Defense that was popularized by Latvian grandmaster Evgeny Sveshnikov. A combative, double-edged way to proceed, it offers Black lively piece play at the expense of potentially long-term positional weaknesses. The defense has been popular since the early 1990s, first at the professional level, and later at the club level. It's now one of the most played variations of the Sicilian. For years, many took the defense to be incorrect, dubious, “antipositional” because of the apparent deficits in the position. The evolution of an opening system like the Sveshnikov reflects these trends in chess technology and knowledge. The well-trodden variations of alternating White and Black moves that constitute the core of a chess opening can be likened to the branches of a tree—and chess players do speak of “opening trees.”.

Keywords: the Sveshnikov; Sicilian Defense; Evgeny Sveshnikov; defense; opening system; chess; technology; opening trees

Chapter.  8957 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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