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View Poll Results: The Alapin Sicilian is?
Bastard 12 60.00%
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Old 12-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
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Alapin Sicilian

A)*H@QFOIF@J !#(*(!

Can someone please help me with the Alapin from the black side? I hate, HATE this opening

My most recent loss:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Satan"]
[Black "Swingdoc"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B22"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2009.12.07"]
[SourceDate "2009.12.07"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 Nc6 6. Nf3 d6 7. Bc4 e6 8. O-O
Be7 9. Re1 O-O 10. Bb3 f6 11. exd6 Qxd6 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Na5 14. Bc2 b6
15. Qe2 Bd7 16. Bb2 Rac8 17. Nd2 Qc7 18. Bd3 Bd6 19. h3 e5 20. Ne4 exd4 21.
cxd4 Bf5 22. Nxd6 Bxd3 23. Qe6+ Kh8 24. Nxc8 Qxc8 25. Qxc8 Rxc8 26. Rac1 *
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Noooo, was about to go to bed and I see this thread title!

I'd start with this:

Quote:
[Event "Oakham clock sim"]
[Site "Oakham"]
[Date "1997.11.06"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Garner, David"]
[Black "Kasparov, Garry"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "2110"]
[BlackElo "2820"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "1997.11.??"]
[EventType "simul"]
[EventRounds "8"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1998.11.10"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Bd6 6. dxc5 Bxc5 7. Bd3 Nf6 8.
O-O O-O 9. h3 Nc6 10. Nbd2 Bb6 11. Nb3 Ne4 12. Nbd4 Qf6 13. Be3 Re8 14. Re1 Bd7
15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Bxb6 axb6 17. Bxe4 dxe4 18. Qxd7 Red8 19. Qg4 exf3 20. Qxf3
Qxf3 21. gxf3 g6 22. Re2 Ra5 23. Kh2 Rd3 24. a3 Rxf3 25. Rg1 Raf5 26. Rg2 Kg7
27. Rd2 b5 28. Rc2 R5f4 29. Rd2 h5 30. Re2 h4 31. Rd2 f6 32. Re2 g5 33. Rd2 Kg6
34. Re2 c5 35. Rd2 c4 36. Rd5 Rf5 37. Rd2 Rd3 38. Re2 0-1
Just ignore the game beyond the opening. It was a sim game against a not particularly strong opponent, but Kasparov's opening play this game really opened my eyes. Actually conceding a tempo as black where you end up with a thoroughly blockaded isolated pawn and instead of dealing with it in any way whatsoever, relying on the dynamic potential that it offers your position. I've studied a ton of ideas in these sort of positions lately. Many times black can actually simply let white 'safely' capture the pawn, but the piece activity black gets ends up being more than enough compensation.

The positions are very fun to play and offer a ton of chances for active and dynamic play.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

I know I'm terrible, but...

I think if you're going to play that f6 move, it becomes super important to play kh8. Maybe 19...kh8 followed by d5? your position certainly looks ok to me up till that point.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

2...Qa5!? is better than it looks and should annoy most Alapinists. IMO it should suit the creative Kan players more than Dragon or Najdorf players. For instance Romanishin and Movsesian have played it repeatedly with success.

Personally I like Murey's 2...b6 and later g6 very much, but I admit that it's borderline. Players who have experience with the Modern Defence might like it.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

I just was about to go to bed but I want to answer to this thread first.

I have played 2.c3 for some time now, and I have had very good success with it. The fun starts when I play 2. c3 and see the annoyed look on Villain's face.

The move 2... Qa5 that Heron proposes is mostly crap in my opinion. Sure, White can't play 3. d4 but it places the queen rather early on a square of doubtful value. I surely am not annoyed when I see 2..Qa5, but delighted. It's like a psychological victory that Black avoids the main lines. It reminds me of a fun game I played this year against a better opponent:
1.e4 c5 2.c3 Da5 3.Sf3 Sc6 4****4 e6 5.0-0 b5 6.Lb3 c4 7****2 Sf6 8.d4 cxd3 9.Dxd3 e5 10.Lg5 Le7 11.Td1 0-0 12.Sbd2 Td8 13.Sf1 Lb7 14.Se3 Sh5 15.Lxe7 Sxe7 16.Dd6 Sg6 17.Sxe5 Sxe5 18.Dxe5 Sf6 19.Sc4 Da6 20.Sd6 Db6 21.Lb3 Tf8 22.h3 Lc6 23.De7 Sxe4 24.Lxf7+ Kh8 25.Sxe4 1-0
Okay, Black could have played better, and my 4. Bc4 is not best either (4.d4!), but I just love the position after my 20th move.

Speaking from White's point of view, the line I want to see the least is 2..Nf6 and then the main line 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 or 6...e6. That doesn't necessarily mean it is best but it is the hardest Black setup to play against (for me personally, I don't know about what's considered best theoretically). And yes I know about the 5. Nf3 / 7. Bb3 option.

I love playing against 2...d5 because the resulting positions suit me. In principle however, it should be fine for black as most often the game ends up in an IQP position where White's pieces aren't placed optimally.

I am also not really convinced about 2..e6 as this gives me the option to transpose to an advance French which I am fine with playing; and of course playing the exd5 lines is also totally fine for White.

To summarize, I usually am very happy with the positions I get with 2. c3. Surely, theoretically 2. Nf3 is probably better, but I don't play against grandmasters, so the most important thing for me is getting into positions I like and know what to do in. And with regards to this aim 2. c3 is the nuts.
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Joe Gallagher's Beating the Anti-Sicilians is my go-to reference for when White avoids the open Sicilian.

Against the Alapin he recommends 2...Nf6 or 2...d5.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:00 PM   #7
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheDeath View Post
Joe Gallagher's Beating the Anti-Sicilians is my go-to reference for when White avoids the open Sicilian.

Against the Alapin he recommends 2...Nf6 or 2...d5.
quite a bold leap there by Joe!
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundTower View Post
quite a bold leap there by Joe!
Heh. he goes in depth with each line of course, it's a great buy if you play the Sicilian regularly.
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:57 PM   #9
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheDeath View Post
Joe Gallagher's Beating the Anti-Sicilians is my go-to reference for when White avoids the open Sicilian.

Against the Alapin he recommends 2...Nf6 or 2...d5.
Great book in my opinion too.
Funny to see people using ut as main reference even though this book is almost 16years old now!
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:13 AM   #10
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

yep, a bit dated but i don't think that matters too much if you're playing below national master level.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:08 AM   #11
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Not sure I like 10. ... f6...
But then again 10. Bb3 is weird.

But what do I know, I play 2. ... e5 vs. 2. c3.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:09 PM   #12
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by swingdoc View Post
A)*H@QFOIF@J !#(*(!

Can someone please help me with the Alapin from the black side? I hate, HATE this opening

My most recent loss:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Satan"]
[Black "Swingdoc"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "B22"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2009.12.07"]
[SourceDate "2009.12.07"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 Nc6 6. Nf3 d6 7. Bc4 e6 8. O-O
Be7 9. Re1 O-O 10. Bb3 f6 11. exd6 Qxd6 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. bxc3 Na5 14. Bc2 b6
15. Qe2 Bd7 16. Bb2 Rac8 17. Nd2 Qc7 18. Bd3 Bd6 19. h3 e5 20. Ne4 exd4 21.
cxd4 Bf5 22. Nxd6 Bxd3 23. Qe6+ Kh8 24. Nxc8 Qxc8 25. Qxc8 Rxc8 26. Rac1 *
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToTheDeath View Post
Joe Gallagher's Beating the Anti-Sicilians is my go-to reference for when White avoids the open Sicilian.

Against the Alapin he recommends 2...Nf6 or 2...d5.
2...d5 is by far the strongest continuation imo, and this is coming from an Alapin player. (The Kasparov game has a delayed d5 but the same concept is achieved where white is basically not even trying to contest d5, unlike most Sicilians) Basically you're looking for a closed french-esque position where white is conceding a big advantage by switching up the move order. It's the same concept as a line in the Scandinavian, where white doesn't "accept" by playing 2.e5?! (1.e4 d5) and black's 2...Bf5! practically equalizes. After 3. d4 e6 white is looking at a closed french without the advantage of black's problem bishop. Going back to the Alapin, black has an opportunity to seize even more control if white opts to push past with 3. e5 d4!, although these positions tend to get much sharper. The Alapin is essentially a very weak opening (i've seen 2. c3 labeled with a ?!) but I mostly play bullet these days so the surprise value is huge, although black's 2...d5 is usually a good indicator that black isn't surprised at all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajezz View Post
I just was about to go to bed but I want to answer to this thread first.

I have played 2.c3 for some time now, and I have had very good success with it. The fun starts when I play 2. c3 and see the annoyed look on Villain's face.

The move 2... Qa5 that Heron proposes is mostly crap in my opinion. Sure, White can't play 3. d4 but it places the queen rather early on a square of doubtful value. I surely am not annoyed when I see 2..Qa5, but delighted. It's like a psychological victory that Black avoids the main lines. It reminds me of a fun game I played this year against a better opponent:
1.e4 c5 2.c3 Da5 3.Sf3 Sc6 4****4 e6 5.0-0 b5 6.Lb3 c4 7****2 Sf6 8.d4 cxd3 9.Dxd3 e5 10.Lg5 Le7 11.Td1 0-0 12.Sbd2 Td8 13.Sf1 Lb7 14.Se3 Sh5 15.Lxe7 Sxe7 16.Dd6 Sg6 17.Sxe5 Sxe5 18.Dxe5 Sf6 19.Sc4 Da6 20.Sd6 Db6 21.Lb3 Tf8 22.h3 Lc6 23.De7 Sxe4 24.Lxf7+ Kh8 25.Sxe4 1-0
Okay, Black could have played better, and my 4. Bc4 is not best either (4.d4!), but I just love the position after my 20th move.

Speaking from White's point of view, the line I want to see the least is 2..Nf6 and then the main line 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. cxd4 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 or 6...e6. That doesn't necessarily mean it is best but it is the hardest Black setup to play against (for me personally, I don't know about what's considered best theoretically). And yes I know about the 5. Nf3 / 7. Bb3 option.

I love playing against 2...d5 because the resulting positions suit me. In principle however, it should be fine for black as most often the game ends up in an IQP position where White's pieces aren't placed optimally.

I am also not really convinced about 2..e6 as this gives me the option to transpose to an advance French which I am fine with playing; and of course playing the exd5 lines is also totally fine for White.

To summarize, I usually am very happy with the positions I get with 2. c3. Surely, theoretically 2. Nf3 is probably better, but I don't play against grandmasters, so the most important thing for me is getting into positions I like and know what to do in. And with regards to this aim 2. c3 is the nuts.
+1, although my style suits 2... nf6 more than 2... d5 :P

Last edited by Chump Change; 12-08-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:43 AM   #13
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Sry Chump, but i don't think you really understand the opening.

Saying that 2....d5 is clearly best because black is better after 3. e5? makes no sense. It may or may not be better than 2....Nf6 but no good player would ever go 2. ...d5 3.e5 . Both Nf6 and d5 nicely exploit drawbacks of 2. c3 (in the first case the loss of tempo white would incurr chasing the Nd5 with c4 compared to an Aljechin, in the second the unavailability of c3 for the white knight).

Also the Alapin is not a weak opening with a huge surprise factor, it's a solid opening where white doesn't try for too much theoretically, but gets playable positions, can hope for an initiative and avoids mainline sicilian theory.
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:45 AM   #14
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by swingdoc View Post

[White "Satan"]
Here's your problem right here. I heard he's tough to beat.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #15
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Re: Alapin Sicilian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noir_Desir View Post
Sry Chump, but i don't think you really understand the opening.
Well, I don't believe i've ever played the opening at a time control slower than 3 0, so you're probably right.

Quote:
Saying that 2....d5 is clearly best because black is better after 3. e5? makes no sense. It may or may not be better than 2....Nf6 but no good player would ever go 2. ...d5 3.e5 . Both Nf6 and d5 nicely exploit drawbacks of 2. c3 (in the first case the loss of tempo white would incurr chasing the Nd5 with c4 compared to an Aljechin, in the second the unavailability of c3 for the white knight).

Also the Alapin is not a weak opening with a huge surprise factor, it's a solid opening where white doesn't try for too much theoretically, but gets playable positions, can hope for an initiative and avoids mainline sicilian theory.
However, I didn't say 2...d5 is clearly best BECAUSE white will always play 3.e5, rather that 3.e5 illustrates the worst of a number of poor but somewhat natural responses that white can play, making it a strong forcing move... Although the same CAN be said for 2...Nf6 as well... Lol, ok i'll grant you that my it might not have made the most sense, but NO sense is a little harsh.
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