Thursday, June 30, 2022 10:37

Scheveningen Steamroller

The blog theme is nice and lightened up…  I’d like to increase the main width, but it certainly works for now.

So, as promised, my correspondence adventure in the Schevenigen Sicilian…  Two months in the making.

Here’s the game itself in viewer mode:

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Analysis follows the cut…

(8) Bienkowski,Alejandro (1217) – Erickson,Darren (1305) [B80]

CL6-2010.10.02 IECC, 06.09.2010


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 Proposed condition 3. …cxd4 4. Nxd4 accepted.

5.Nc3 Proposed with reply e6. I’ve never played a Scheveningen before, and one good thing about correspondence is that it can get you into openings that are safe (because your bases back you up.)

5…e6 Accepted. 6.Be3 a6 7.f3 b5 8.Qd2 Nbd7 9.g4 Bb7 10.0–0–0 Nb6 11.g5 Nfd7


This was the last move in my bases’ book. At this point there were 78 games, and Black has a 67% average here. But there isn’t an attack yet – only the possibility of a good Queenside action, hopefully before Black can make good on that far advanced g pawn.

12.Nb3 Rc8 A recent thread on the USCF Forums pointed out that while this move isn’t horrid, it actually is a lot more passive than it looks. It’s not like the c file was threatened and, for all the power shaping up on the Queenside, it’s not like this translates to an immediate attack.

13.h4 This is common.

13…Na4 The Nb3 move disturbed me a little, and I could see the knights jumping up the board, and they laydown a zone of protection as well. 13. …b4 would have been a better way to lay down some pressure on the Knight pair here, forcing an Nb1 retreat. But I thought I had the resources to start a trading attack. [13…b4 14.Nb1]

14.Nxa4 bxa4 15.Na5 Qc7 16.h5 Nc5


Start of a combination that fails. Ne5 would have been the way to advance the Knight. a3 would have been still better, as b3 is forced.

17.Bxc5 Qxc5 18.Nxb7 Qb6


Little subtleties matter. Qc6 is still disastrous, but less so than Qb6. I didn’t like Qc6 because of Na5 and the Queen then has to move again to b6 anyway. I also had thought that with staying on the 6th rank I could equalize the loss. True, but not from the b file (without the battery threat of the c file.) [18…Qc6 19.Nxd6+ (19.Na5 Qb6) 19…Bxd6 20.Qxd6]

19.Nxd6+ Bxd6 20.Qxd6 Qc7 I’m actually proud of figuring out that replying with Qxd6 isn’t good – better to make the exchange happen on my terms..

21.Qxc7 Rxc7 22.Bxa6 To castle, or to fight and clear things on the Kingside?



I chose castling. I’m still pretty much cold meat.

23.Rd3 g6 Trying to work up a bolt-hole, but it won’t work.

24.h6 f5 25.e5 Kf7 26.Rhd1


The handwriting is on the wall here, so it’s time to resign. I thought one Rook gets traded off, the Bishop takes a4, and there’s no way to stop a queenside promotion.. One continuation could run like this:[26.Rhd1 Kg8 27.Rd7 Rf7 28.Rxc7 Rxc7 29.Rd8+ Kf7 30.Rc8 Ra7 31.Bb5 a3 32.Rh8 Ra5 33.Rxh7+ Kg8 34.Rg7+ Kh8 35.c4 axb2+ 36.Kxb2 Ra8 37.Rxg6 Rd8 38.Rxe6]



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