Apr 5, 2010

Sicilian 101: The Kalashnikov

If you've ever been drawn at all to the Sveshnikov, you've likely taken a look at the Kalashnikov (pushing the pawn to e5 even earlier) and perhaps even the Lowenthal.  Again, for those wanting to avoid the most deeply analyzed of the open Sicilian lines, these are both possibilities.  I think it's fair to say that Kalashnikov theory is less than 20% of the Sveshnikov's.  The below game provides an introduction.  Note that it's rather easy to transpose to the Sveshnikov in many games, but as White you should be prepared for Black to resist the transposition, and as Black, the reasons for taking this route to the Sveshnikov are few.  When White plays 6.Nc3, it at least sets up the possibility of a transposition to the Sveshnikov.  Black will often resist the transposition by developing the Knight to e7 instead of f6, keeping the game in lines independent of the Sveshnikov.  White, however, also has a major choice that will put the game into independent lines; see 6.c4 in the Kalashnikov IV post above.

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