B32-33 Sicilian: Sveshnikov & Kalashnikov

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In the Sicilian defence, when Black plays 2...Nc6 at move two probably he plans to counter the Open Sicilian with those lines that include an early e7-e5 pawn push.

The Kalashnikov arises after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 (see diagram on the left).  Black plays 4...e5 in order to strongly stop the center occupation by White at the same time achieving active piece play and attacking possibilities on the King's side;  as a downside Black finds himself with a serious weakness in d5 (also the d6 pawn is weak).  

The Sveshnikov is one of Black's most effective defences against 1.e4.  After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 (see diagram on the right) White can increase his control of the d5 square with Bg5 (pinning the only Black piece fighting for d5, i.e. the knight in f6) and Bc4.  Despite this serious positional weakness, practice has shown that Black can achieve a perfectly adequate compensation thanks to the active play of the Black pieces, some tactical resources and the central pawns mass.   The resulting positions are deeply unbalanced and ensure complex play with possibility for both colors.

Below you can download a collection of recent chess games played with the Sveshnikov or the Kalashnikov variation of the Sicilian defence.


Sicilian: Sveshnikov & Kalashnikov

ChessBase file


PGN file

Last Update

January 2017