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19 Apr 2018

B33 Sicilian: Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.a4 a6 7.N5a3 Be7 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Bc4 O-O 10.O-O Be6)

B33 Sicilian: Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.a4 a6 7.N5a3 Be7 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Bc4 O-O 10.O-O Be6)

The game below was played on the first round of the 2015 December Quartets I 1800+ tournament that was played at Red Hot Pawn. This draw was the last game I played in group 3 and in the tournament, because I was not able to advance to the second round. I was only able to win two games and both of those wins were due to a timeout, so the point I got from this draw is the only one I feel I earned because this one was a hard fought game. This might also be the best draw I received this year. Due to this draw my rating increased to new heights, to a new peak rating at the time, 1969. Group 3 consisted of four players and I was third in the final standings with 7 points. My opponent, Pattrick06, finished on second place with 10 points. The group was won by TheBigKat (2449), who won all of his or her games and advanced to the second round. TheBigKat is the sixth highest rated player on the site at the time I am typing this post.

I have never really felt comfortable in playing the Sicilian Defense with either color, but I think this good draw boosted my confidence a bit. The move 6.a4 is not the most common continuation, but when I have played it, I usually do quite well. Probably the two most common moves on move six are 6.c4 and 6.N1c3, but I prefer a4 because it better suits my play style than those two moves. I basically want to stop the move b5 and reserve the c4-square either to my bishop or to my knight, depending on what my opponent plays. I think both players continued the game logically until my opponent played the mysterious looking 19...Ra8. Maybe the idea was to play a5 next move, but I stopped that by playing a5 myself. I was quite okay with my position after 20.a5, even though my bishop on c4 and the knight on a3 were rather awkwardly placed.

After Pattrick06 played 23...Kg7, I thought that I should get my knight to the game and played Nc4 after seeing that if my opponent replies with Nxd5, then I can play Nxd6 and I should be doing okay there. Pattrick06 did not take on d5, but instead moved the knight to d7, after which I thought it best to move my knight to e3 where it is better placed than on c4, at least in my opinion. Playing the knight to e3 wins also a tempo, because the bishop needs to move from f5 or be captured by the knight. After I played 26.Ba4, I though that I should be on the better side of the board, but I was not sure about the best plan to improve my position. I played 27.Kg1 because I thought that I should get the king out of the corner and prevent any possible back rank tricks. Not that my opponent threatened any tricks at that moment. After the reply 27...f5, I played 28.c4 because I did not think of anything else to do. C4 is as far as the pawn will go as long as the square c5 is so firmly in the control of my opponent's pieces. The problem with the move c4 is that the pawn is now much weaker because it can't be defended as easily as when it was on c2.

I think after the move 30...Rc7, it was my opponent who started to apply pressure on my position and not the other way around. I was certainly in some trouble, but I think that after the light-squared bishops had been traded off, the position looked a bit more like a draw. I think around that point I offered a draw, which my opponent declined. It was also the only time I did offer a draw in this game if I recall correctly. The thing I noticed after the light-squared bishops were off the board that I wanted to keep the other bishops on the board because I felt that my opponent has better chances to invade into my position if those remaining bishops are taken off the board. I also avoided making pawn moves almost at all cost, because those would have only weakened my pawn structure and made targets for my opponent to attack into. I was really happy to see 45...b5 played because it frees me to do something in the position rather than just sit around. The move 45...b5 also loses a pawn, but not the game, I end up in perpetual check like in the game continuation.

[Event "Quartets"] [Site ""] [Date "2015.12.21"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Pattrick06"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "1969"] [BlackElo "2299"] [Annotator "Tactical Analysis 2.10 (30s)"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. a4 a6 7. N5a3 Be7 8. Nc3 Nf6 9. Bc4 O-O 10. O-O Be6 {B33 Sicilian: Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations. LiveBook: 32 Games} 11. f3 Nb4 (11... Qb6+ 12. Kh1 Qc5 (12... Rad8 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. Bxd5 Kh8 15. Nc4 Qc7 16. Ne3 Ne8 17. c3 g6 18. Ba2 f5 19. Nd5 Qd7 20. Nb6 Qc7 21. Nd5 Qc8 22. Nb6 Qb8 23. exf5 gxf5 24. Nd5 Nf6 25. Bh6 Nxd5 26. Bxd5 Rf6 27. Be3 {Szulc,F (1615)-Badyra,W (1681) Walbrzych 2013 1-0 (80)}) 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. Bxd5 Nxd5 15. Qxd5 Qxd5 16. exd5 Nd4 17. Be3 Rac8 18. Rf2 g6 19. Rd1 Bf6 20. Rd3 Rfe8 21. b3 b5 22. axb5 axb5 23. b4 Ra8 24. Bxd4 exd4 25. g3 Re1+ 26. Kg2 {Votava,J (2425)-Valet,R (2190) Berlin 1993 1-0 (72)}) 12. Nd5 Nbxd5 13. exd5 {Black is slightly better.} Qb6+ $146 (13... Bd7 14. c3 Nh5 15. Re1 f5 16. Be3 Rf6 17. Bf1 f4 18. Bf2 Rh6 19. Nc4 Bh4 20. Qd2 Qg5 21. Nb6 Rd8 22. Nxd7 Rxd7 23. Bxh4 Qxh4 24. c4 Ng3 25. h3 Nf5 26. Bd3 Ne3 27. Rxe3 fxe3 28. Qxe3 { Rudolph,A (2247)-Duppel,T (2212) Germany 2004 0-1 (63)}) 14. Kh1 Bf5 15. b3 Rfe8 16. Re1 Rac8 17. Be3 Qa5 18. Qd2 Qxd2 19. Bxd2 Ra8 20. a5 Rac8 21. Rac1 h6 22. b4 g5 23. Bb3 Kg7 24. Nc4 Nd7 25. Ne3 Bg6 26. Ba4 Red8 27. Kg1 f5 28. c4 f4 29. Ng4 Nf6 30. Nf2 Rc7 31. Rc3 {-0.18/26} (31. Bb3 $142 {0.28/28}) 31... Rdc8 $11 {Hoping for ...Nxd5!} 32. Rec1 e4 33. fxe4 Nxe4 34. Nxe4 Bxe4 35. Bc2 Bg6 36. Bxg6 Kxg6 37. Be1 Bf6 38. R3c2 Kf5 39. Bf2 Re8 40. Kf1 Rd7 41. Bb6 Bd8 42. Bd4 Re4 43. Bf2 Rc7 44. Bb6 Rc8 $1 45. Bf2 b5 $2 {4.68/29 [#]} (45... Bf6 $17 { -0.90/29 and life is bright.}) 46. axb6 $2 {1.49/29} (46. cxb5 $1 $18 {4.68/29 and the rest is easy.} Rxc2 47. Rxc2 axb5 48. a6) 46... Rb8 $16 47. Ra1 { 0.37/27} (47. c5 $16 {1.31/26} Rxb4 48. Re2) 47... Bxb6 $14 48. Rxa6 (48. Be1 { keeps more tension.} Be3 49. Rxa6 Ke5 50. h3 h5 51. Bc3+) 48... Bxf2 $1 { The position is equal.} 49. Kxf2 Rxb4 50. Rxd6 Rbxc4 51. Rxc4 Rxc4 52. Rxh6 { KR-KR} Rc2+ 53. Kf1 Rc1+ {Accuracy: White = 48%, Black = 55%.} 1/2-1/2

The draw percentage seems to be 100% in the reference games that I took from my database and where the players were rated 2500+.

[Event "RUS-ch"] [Site "Elista"] [Date "1996.??.??"] [Round "4"] [White "Rublevsky, Sergei"] [Black "Sveshnikov, Evgeny"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2645"] [BlackElo "2535"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "1996.10.15"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 056"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1997.02.01"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. a4 Be7 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 Be6 9. Bc4 Nf6 10. O-O O-O 11. Bg5 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Bxc4 13. Bxe7 Nxe7 14. Nxc4 d5 15. Qh5 dxc4 16. Qxe5 Ng6 17. Qf5 Qb6 18. a5 Qc6 19. f3 b6 20. Rfd1 bxa5 21. Qxa5 Rab8 22. Rd6 Qb5 23. Qxb5 Rxb5 24. Ra2 a5 25. Ra6 Rfb8 26. R2xa5 Rxa5 27. Rxa5 f5 28. Nd6 Rxb2 29. Ra8+ Nf8 30. c3 Rc2 31. Nb5 Kf7 32. Ra7+ Kf6 33. Rc7 Ne6 34. Rc6 Rc1+ 35. Kf2 Ke5 36. Na3 Rxc3 37. Nxc4+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "EU-ch 9th"] [Site "Plovdiv"] [Date "2008.04.25"] [Round "5"] [White "Zhigalko, Andrey"] [Black "Solak, Dragan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2545"] [BlackElo "2630"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2008.04.21"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "BUL"] [SourceTitle "CBM 124"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2008.05.28"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nb5 d6 6. a4 Be6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3 Be7 9. Bc4 Nf6 10. O-O O-O 11. Bg5 Rc8 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Nd5 Bg5 14. c3 Kh8 15. Qe2 Ne7 16. Rfd1 Ng6 17. g3 Qe8 18. h4 Bd8 19. Ne3 Bb6 20. h5 Bxe3 21. fxe3 Qxa4 22. b3 Bxc4 23. Nxc4 Qxb3 24. Nxd6 Rxc3 25. hxg6 Rxe3 26. Nxf7+ Kg8 27. gxh7+ Kxh7 28. Qh5+ Kg8 29. Nh6+ gxh6 30. Qg6+ Kh8 31. Qxh6+ Kg8 32. Qg5+ Kh8 33. Qxe5+ Kg8 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qh6+ Kg8 36. Qg6+ 1/2-1/2 [Event "RUS Cup final"] [Site "St Petersburg"] [Date "2009.11.04"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Chuprov, Dmitry"] [Black "Khismatullin, Denis"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B33"] [WhiteElo "2558"] [BlackElo "2643"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2009.11.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "5"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2010"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2009.11.30"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. a4 a6 8. Na3 Be6 9. Bc4 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bg5 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Bxc4 13. Nxc4 d5 14. Nxe5 dxe4 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Qe2 c5 18. Rad1 Qe6 19. Rd2 Rad8 20. Rfd1 Rxd2 21. Qxd2 h6 22. h3 Re8 23. Qc3 Rc8 24. Re1 Qd5 25. Qe3 f5 26. Qe2 c4 27. Rd1 Qc6 28. a5 Qb5 29. c3 Qxa5 30. Rd7 Qe5 31. Qd2 Kh7 32. Rd5 Qe6 33. Qd4 Rc7 34. Rd6 Qe7 35. Qd5 Qf7 36. Qd2 a5 37. Rd8 Rb7 38. g3 Qe6 39. Rd6 e3 40. fxe3 Qe5 41. Kf2 Rxb2 42. Rxh6+ Kxh6 43. Qxb2 Qd5 44. g4 fxg4 45. hxg4 Kg5 46. Qb8 Qd2+ 47. Kf3 Qd1+ 48. Kf2 Qd2+ 49. Kf3 Qd5+ 50. Kg3 Kf6 51. Qf8+ Ke6 52. Qg8+ Kd6 53. Qd8+ Ke6 54. Qe8+ Kf6 55. Qf8+ Ke6 56. Qe8+ Kf6 57. Qf8+ Ke6 58. Qg8+ Kd6 59. Qd8+ Ke6 60. Qg8+ Kd6 1/2-1/2