Sicilian Kalashnikov Powerbook 2019

For this launch of the first Kalashnikov Powerbook an Elo average of at least 2400 was set. This threshold was crossed by 4500 games from the Mega database and from correspondence chess; to them were added approx. 18 000 games from the engine room of playchess.com. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5, arises the starting position, so the book includes the Löwenthal Variation (5.Nb5 a6) too. The Kalashnikov Variation is to a certain extent an offshoot of the Sveshnikov System. The move ...e5 is preferred and Nf6 is delayed thus retaining the option of possibly developing this knight to e7 or playing Bf8-e7-g5. Evgeny Sveshnikov was not only the one for whom the system was named but also contributed considerably to its development. But by 1987 the Russian had almost completely gone over to the Kalashnikov Variation and is still playing it today!

In the Sicilian Kalashnikov Powerbook 2019 nice discoveries are also waiting to be made. The great question as to whether after 5.Nb5 d6 White should play 6.N1c3 or 6.c4 cannot be answered, however, since the statistics are practically identical. One of the critical variations arises after 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nce7 9.c4 Nxd5 10.exd5 bxc4 11.Nxc4 Be7.

Now 12.Bd2 is by far the most frequently played move, but after 12...Bd7 Black has respectable statistics. But the Powerbook also shows that the clearly less often played 12.Be3 puts Black in difficulties. That is perhaps a reason why many specialists earlier play differently with 8...Nge7 (Naiditsch, Tregubov) or even earlier deviate with 7...Be7 (Radjabov and Moiseenko). Moreover, with this Powerbook you need to take a very good look since almost always the players with White have the clearly higher ratings and thus, e.g., the 60% score for White may nevertheless signify an acceptable statistic for Black.

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