Item description for The Complete Sveshnikov Sicilian by Yuri Yakovich...
The Sveshnikov Variation is one of the most uncompromising lines of the Sicilian Defence. Black accepts an apparently loose pawn-structure in return for a great deal of piece activity. Decades of experience have shown that it is far from easy for White to neutralize Black's active play, and the Sveshnikov is now firmly established as a favourite weapon for players who wish to win games as Black. Leading grandmasters who have relied on the Sveshnikov include John Nunn, Michal Krasenkow, Joel Lautier, Miguel Illescas, Alexei Shirov, Peter Leko and, most notably, BGN World Champion Vladimir Kramnik.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Complete Sveshnikov Sicilian?
A fine chess book on the Sveshnikov Sicilian Dec 12, 2005
This is a very good book on the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian Defence. In this defence, Black plays ...e5, weakening her d6 pawn and her d5 square, but by doing so gets more time to develop her pieces. And for those who want to turn the tables on White, this is a perfect variation for Black if she likes launching King-side attacks!
While this book does describe the Sveshnikov from both sides of the table, it does have more of a focus on Black than I'd like. You see, I do not play the Sveshnikov for Black. Instead, I play it for White, sacrificing a piece on move 11, which gives me some tactical threats, as well as a strategic threat to Queen my a-pawn.
Well, what advice does this book have on how to play White?
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 (6...h6?! 7 Nd6+) 7 Bg5 a6 (7...Be6? 8 Nd5) 8 Na3 (This looks ugly positionally, but it's best) 8...b5! (The Sveshnikov; 8...Be6 9 Nc4 Rc8 10 Nd5 Bxd5 11 Bxf6 is Bird's variation) 9 Bxf6 (Yakovich has over 75 pages on 9 Nd5, but he thinks 9 Bxf6 is best for White here, and I certainly agree) 9...gxf6 (9...Qxf6 10 Nd5 Qd8 11 c4) 10 Nd5 f5 (obviously not 10 ...Ne7 11 Nf6 mate. 10...Bg7 11 Bd3 Ne7 12 Nxe7 Qxe7 13 c4 f5 14 0-0 0-0 is the Novosibirsk variation, and Yakovich recommends 15 Qf3 or 15 Qh5 for White here).
White now has a bunch of options, which the book devotes 96 pages to. 11 Bxb5, 11 exf5, and 11 Bd3 are the most popular. The author considers 11 Bd3 the most natural move, but does say that 11 Bxb5 is good too, and I now think that 11 Bxb5 is the best try for White. After 11 Bxb5 axb5 12 Nxb5 Ra7, Yakovich advises 13 Nxa7 Nxa7 14 exf5 Nb5 15 a4. But Black generally plays 12...Ra4, giving White the choice of 13 Nbc7+ (which seems okay) or 13 b4 (which may be better).
After 13 b4, Yakovich explains that Black can try for an immediate draw with 13...Qh4 14 0-0 Rg8 15 c3 f4 16 Qxa4 Rxg2+ 17 Kxg2 Qg4+. That's fine if White wants a draw, but I wish Yakovich had given some advice here in case White wants more than this. He does mention 16 Nf6+ (instead of 16 Qxa4), but I feel that Black has at least a draw here. In 2002, as the author says, Shirov tried 15 f4 Kd8 16 c3 Ra6 17 a4 fxe4 against Kasparov. Kasparov won easily after that. But I think White ought to look for something better than this! In my next skittles game in this line, maybe I'll try something like 15 f4 Kd8 16 c3 Ra6 17 exf5, with the idea of answering 17...Bxf5 with 18 Ne3 Bd7 19 Nxd6 Bxd6 20 Qxd6. Wish me luck!
Of course, Black may not be satisfied with a draw in the position after 13...Qh4. Yakovich tells us what Black can do instead, namely 13 ...Rxb4 14 Nbc7+ Kd7 15 0-0 Rb7 (15...Rg8 16 Qh5 is unclear) 16 Qh5 Ne7 17 Qxf7 Rxc7 18 Nb6+ Kc6 19 Rab1. Here, the author indicates that White is doing fine after 19...Ba6 20 Qb3, so he has two possible recommendations for Black, 19...Ra7 and 19...Kb7. Um, if anyone tries 19...Ra7 against me, they'll be in for a shock: 20 Qc4+ Kb7 21 Nd7+ Qb6 22 Rxb6+ Ka8 23 Rb8 mate. That leaves 19...Kb7. Once again, I wish Yakovich had given us some more advice here. White could try putting both Rooks and maybe the Queen on that b-file, or try 20 Nd5+ Ka7 21 Nxc7, or both, and my wild guess is that White ought to be able to get at least a draw that way. By the way, this whole line can lead to an endgame where White has, say, a Queen and 5 pawns against a Rook, Bishop, Knight, and 3 pawns, so if you want to get into all this, learn that endgame!
As a Candidate Master, I played a Sveshnikov game with White against a Master. But I played 11 Nxb5 (which Yakovich says loses for White) instead of 11 Bxb5. One problem is that one is left with a Bishop, which doesn't cooperate as well with one's Queen as a Knight.
My game went 11 Nxb5?! axb5 12 Bxb5 Bd7 (12...Bb7 is probably better) 13 exf5 Bg7. My strategic threat is to Queen my a-pawn, and I now think White's best chance is 14 0-0 0-0 15 c3. Then my threat of a4 is real (if 15...Rb8 16 a4). I'm also threatening to play Nb6 or Nc7 if Black moves his Queen away.
However, not liking 14 0-0 Nd4, I played 14 a4? Nd4 15 Bxd7+ Qxd7 16 c3 Qxf5? (After 16...Ra5?! 17 Ne3 Nxf5 18 Qg4 Nxe3 19 Qxg7 Nxg2+ 20 Qxg2 Rxa4, White is okay. But 16...Qb7 17 Ne3 0-0 18 0-0 Nb3 is better for Black. Even here, I might have survived with a line such as 19 Ra3 Rfb8 20 Qg4 Kh8 21 Rd1. Black's actual move simply loses, so I said a silent prayer of thanks to Caissa and castled.) 17 0-0 e4 (I expected 17...Ne6 18 a5, but Black figured that this was hopeless and chose to try a desperate cheapo.) 18 Ne3 (I feared that 18 Nc7+ would get me mated, so I settled for something that I was sure would win.) 18...Qc5 19 cxd4 Bxd4 20 Qg4 Kf8 21 Rac1 Qa7? (makes it even easier for me) 22 Rc8+ Rxc8 23 Qxc8+ Kg7 24 Qg4+ Kf8 25 Rc1 Black Resigns
I highly recommend this book.
Essential Reading for Sveshnikov Players Jun 6, 2005
I have nearly every Sveshnikov book written in English as well as some software programs that cover it. If you play the Sveshnikov you must have this book. It is better than all the rest, including Sveshnikov's original work. The author plays the Sveshnikov, he covers all the variations with his own new ideas revealed and gives verbal explanations for players new to the Sveshnikov, or to give the reader a deeper understanding. When I first saw it I immediately bought it at full price plus sales tax. I can't think of any other chess book in the last 5 years that got me so excited. If you are below 1800 USCF the opening is probably too difficult for you to play, but it leads to entertaining and instructive play. Yakovich has written the definitive work for years to come! All chess books should be so well done. Bravo Grand Master!
What this book is about Apr 13, 2005
Let me describe what this book is and isnt.
This book is an examination of practicaly every possible variation that can occur in the sveshnikov. Yuri then gives very accurate assesments of moves which are based on his experience playing this opening for many years. The analysis is dead on, I havent found any mistakes and I have looked.
This book is not a book where you can get ideas about where to search for an advantage against the sveshnikov. Its clear Yuri believes black is fine in every single main line. It is moderatly verbose for a chess book.
Conclusion: This book is the authority on the sveshnikov hands down.
A very good book Jul 14, 2003
This is a very good book, written by a GM who has played the defence for years. Compared to Aagaard's work on the Sveshnikov, Yakovich provides more variations and obviously knows a great deal more about this variation of the Sicilian than does Aagaard. On the other hand the latter does a better job explaining basic ideas for white and black. Excellent books on openings use that opening as a medium to teach about chess in general. The Sveshnikov variation is a fascinating learning tool because of the tension between pawn-structure and dynamic piece-play. Yakovich does not discuss this much and four stars is therefore enough. If you are a medium rated player (above at least 1800) who have not played this variation before - buy Aagard first, then Yakovich.
The best sveshnikov sicilian book so far Jun 27, 2003
Since sveshnikov sicilian wass played by Kasparov, Kramnik, Leko and other players in high-level tournaments, Its popularity has raised the number of book titles based on this sharp opening. People like me are beginning to get bored with the same type of presentation in these books over the past few years. Fortunately, this book is a bit different. The author managed to present the point of each variation in a comprehensive manner, suitable for intermediate and advanced players. You will see a lot of helpful comments in this book explaining black's problems in most of variations. He is not shy of his opinion either. He boldly stated the positional 9.Nd5 could not present a significant advantage for white compared with the 9.Bxf6 variation. A statement which I tend to agree with him. The discussion on piece sacrifice variations show that white's chance is not worse, a fact that is not often mentioned in other sveshnikov sicilian books. On the negative side, Some critical variations are not lengthy enough, the author seems to concentrate on popular variations. It may not be the book for beginners to play sveshnikov sicilian, but it is recommended for those who want to study it further with some basic knowledges.