Massacre White with the Sveshnikov Variation!
It’s not always easy to find a good opening that gives winning chances – especially with Black.
If you’re an aggressive player then the Sicilian is the obvious choice against 1.e4. But which variation should you play?
In this video, NM Dan Heisman explains one of the most attacking and, at the same time, solid variations if you want to play for the full point: the Sveshnikov Variation.
After the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3, the Sveshnikov Variation begins with 5…e5 (although there are other move orders that have some advantages and these are explained in the video).
The main tabiya (standard position) arrives after 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5, when White has two main options: 9.Nd5 or 9.Bxf6
As Dan Heisman says, this position was controversial at first: Black has a lot of weaknesses (especially d5). But Sveshnikov demonstrated that Black also has dynamic ideas that counterbalance the weak pawns and squares.
Dan details the main variations for both sides, outlining the main plans, how to reorganize the pieces and why the moves are played.
For example, in the next position Black has to find an important move, 12…Bg5.
As Heisman explains, this move has multiple functions:
- The bishop moves from the a1-h8 diagonal (which is blocked by the e5 pawn), improving its position.
- The bishop can capture the Nc2 when it comes to e3, to win more control over the important d5-square. Next, Black can play …Be6 and even …Ne7, to fight for this central square.
- It unblocks the f-pawn, allowing it to advance it to f5 and attack white’s center.
With this free preview you will learn all you need to know to start playing the Sveshnikov in your next game!
If you like this video course, I recommend you check out the complete Essential Dan Heisman: From A to Zugzwang course, which includes over 100 lessons to improve your play on every aspect of chess.