Welcome to my Sicilian Defense (ECO B33) game with Blake7 page!

On this page I have posted one my chess games in the Four Knights Variation of the Sicilian Defense.

I have been playing this variation of the Sicilian Defense ever since about 1975. This is the very first time that I have transposed into the Taimanov, American Attack from it!

[Event “ICC 25 10”]
[Site “Internet Chess Club”]
[Date “2005.04.02”]
[Round “-“]
[White “Blake7”]
[Black “OnGoldenPawn”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ICCResult “Game drawn because neither player has mating material”]
[WhiteElo “1550”]
[BlackElo “1520”]
[Opening “Sicilian: Taimanov, American attack”]
[ECO “B33”]
[NIC “SI.34”]
[Time “00:38:29”]
[TimeControl “1500+10”]

  1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Ndb5 Bb4 7. Nd6+
    Bxd6 8. Qxd6 Qe7 9. Bf4 O-O 10. O-O-O Nh5 11. Qxe7 Nxe7 12. Bd6 Re8 13. Be2
    Nf6 14. Nb5 Nxe4 15. Nc7 Nxf2 16. Nxe8 Nxh1 17. Bxe7 Nf2 18. Rf1 Ne4 19. Nc7
    Rb8 20. Bd3 d5 21. c4 b6 22. cxd5 exd5 23. Nxd5 Nc5 24. Bxc5 bxc5 25. Ne7+
    Kf8 26. Nxc8 Rxc8 27. Bxh7 Rc6 28. Bd3 Rh6 29. h3 Rd6 30. Bc4 f6 31. Kc2 Rd4
  2. Kc3 Ke7 33. Re1+ Kd6 34. g3 g5 35. Re8 Kc7 36. g4 Rf4 37. Re7+ Kb6 38.
    Re6+ Kc7 39. Bd5 f5 40. gxf5 Rxf5 41. Kc4 Rf2 42. Kxc5 Rxb2 43. Kd4 Rh2 44.
    Rg6 Rxh3 45. Rxg5 Ra3 46. Kc5 Ra5+ 47. Kb4 Ra6 48. Kb5 Rb6+ 49. Kc5 Rf6 50.
    Rg7+ Kb8 51. Rb7+ Kc8 52. Rxa7 Kb8 53. Rb7+ Kc8 54. a4 Rf5 55. Rb5 Rf1 56.
    a5 Ra1 57. Kb6 Kb8 58. Ka6+ Kc7 59. Ka7 Ra3 60. Rb7+ Kc8 61. Kb6 Rd3 62. Bc6
    Rb3+ 63. Ka7 Ra3 64. a6 Rc3 65. Kb6 Rb3+ 66. Bb5 Ra3 67. a7 Ra1 68. a8=Q+
    Rxa8 69. Ba6 Rb8 70. Ka7 Rxb7+ 71. Bxb7+
    {Game drawn because neither player has mating material}  1/2-1/2

ICC
Game Played 2 Apr 2005
White: Blake7 (1550) Black: Mike Serovey (1520)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6

Sicilian 4 Knights Variation after 5... e6

Sicilian 4 Knights Variation after 5… e6

This position is typical of the Sicilian Defense, 4 Knights Variation. Depending on what White does Black usually follows with Bb4 and Qa5. I have had maybe two opponents over the past 30 years play the main line against  me. I usually get an opening advantage with this variation which is why I still play it even though the main line favors White.

6. Ndb5 Bb4 7. Nd6+

Sicilian 4 Knights Variation after 7.Nd6+

Sicilian 4 Knights Variation after 7.Nd6+

The main line here is 7. a3 Bxc3 8. Nxc3. I think that only one other opponent has ever played 7. Nd6+ here. I looked at both 7… Ke7 and 7…  Kf8 and decided to play the text instead. Black remained cramped for quite  some time after the exchange on d6.

Bxd6 8. Qxd6 Qe7

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 8...Qe7

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 8…Qe7

I guess this is the point where we begin the Taimanov, American Attack. If White captures on e7 Black can recapture with the Knight on c6 and then play the freeing move d5. White never allowed Black to free up his center like this.

9. Bf4 O-O 10. O-O-O Nh5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 10...Nh5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 10…Nh5

Black has castled Kingside while White has castled Queenside. This is quite common in the Sicilian Defense. Black will now attack on the Queenside and White on the Kingside. Black attacks the Bishop of f4 to dislodge it and remove White’s protection of the Queen on d6. Black wants the White Queen out of there, without allowing the White Bishop to take the Queen’s place, so as to open up the Center.

11. Qxe7 Nxe7 12. Bd6 Re8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 12... Re8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 12… Re8

Black succeeded in getting rid of the White Queen, but the Bishop took its place causing many problems for Black. This cramped position eventually leads to Black losing a minor piece.

13. Be2 Nf6 14. Nb5!

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 14. Nb5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 14. Nb5

There is no way that Black can stop the Knight fork of the 2 rooks on c7. Black counters with a similar threat of his own.

Nxe4 15. Nc7 Nxf2

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 15... Nxf2

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 15… Nxf2

Now both sides have to decide which Rook to capture first. Black captures on h1 to remove White’s Rook from the Center where it guards the Bishop on d6 and puts pressure on the pawn at d7.

16. Nxe8 Nxh1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 16... Nxh1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 16… Nxh1

Here is where Black loses a Knight and remains down for most of this game.

17. Bxe7 Nf2 18. Rf1 Ne4 19. Nc7 Rb8 20. Bd3 d5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 20... d5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 20… d5

After 20… f5 21. Bxe4 fxe4 the Black King cannot get back to the Center if it needs to. Also, having doubled pawns in the Center is not good for Black. White wants to dislodge the Black Knight’s supporting pawns so as to try to win that Knight. The Black Knight really has nowhere to go right now.

21. c4 b6 (Enabling the Knight to go to c5.) 22. cxd5 exd5 23. Nxd5 Nc5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 23... Nc5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 23… Nc5

Black is now down a Bishop versus a Pawn. Black still needs to get his Bishop into this game!

24. Bxc5 bxc5 25. Ne7+ Kf8 26. Nxc8 Rxc8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 26... Rxc8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 26… Rxc8

When up material exchange pieces. When down material exchange pawns. White exchanged an active Knight for an inactive Bishop, but otherwise it was a good move. Black’s King can now move into the Center and already has his Rook behind the isolated c pawn. White has the better pawn structure and targets that isolated c pawn.

27. Bxh7!

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 27. Bxh7!

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 27. Bxh7!

Black cannot play 27… g6? here to trap the White Bishop because the Rook on f1 pins the f pawn to the King. If the White Rook was on another file then 27… g6 followed by Kg7 would win that Bishop. White is now up a whole Bishop.

Rc6 (Hoping to trap that Bishop.) 28. Bd3 Rh6 29. h3 Rd6 30. Bc4 f6

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 30... f6

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 30… f6

Black keeps his pawns on dark squares to make them less of targets for the White Bishop. If Black can get all of White’s pawns off the board this game is a draw.

31. Kc2 Rd4 32. Kc3 Ke7

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 32... Ke7

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 32… Ke7

When transitioning into and endgame, especially when Queens are off the board, you want to move your King into the Center as soon as is appropriate. Now is a good time for both Kings to be in the Center.

33. Re1+ Kd6 34. g3 g5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 34... g5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 34… g5

Black is hoping to exchange the pawns on the Kingside now. We both missed 35. Re6+ winning the pawn on f6. I saw the missed move as soon as White played 35. Re8.

35. Re8 Kc7 36. g4 Rf4

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 36... Rf4

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 36… Rf4

Now Black can protect all of his pawns and the White Bishop has no targets to attack. Black also threatens to check the White King with Rf3+ and then win the White pawn on h3.

37. Re7+ Kb6 38. Re6+

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 38. Re6+

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 38. Re6+

If 38… Ka5 then 39. Ra6 checkmate.

Kc7 39. Bd5 f5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 39... f5

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 39… f5

I couldn’t find anything better here. I looked at 40. Rf6 fxg4 41. Rxf4 gxf4 42. hxg4 and Black has problems stopping the passed g pawn. Luckily for Black, White didn’t see it.

40. gxf5 Rxf5 41. Kc4 Rf2 42. Kxc5 Rxb2 43. Kd4 Rh2

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 43... Rh2

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 43… Rh2

Black has almost accomplished his goal of getting the Kingside pawns off the board.

44. Rg6 Rxh3 45. Rxg5 Ra3

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 45... Ra3

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 45… Ra3

Black finally got the Kingside pawns off the board! Now, he needs to protect his remaining pawn on the a file until he can exchange it. Also, Black needs to ensure that he doesn’t allow a checkmate now that the White Bishop is back into the game.

46. Kc5 Ra5+ 47. Kb4 Ra6 48. Kb5 Rb6+ 49. Kc5 Rf6 50. Rg7+ Kb8 51. Rb7+ Kc8 52. Rxa7 Kb8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 52... Kb8

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 52… Kb8

Black has lost his a pawn and needs to guard against White queening his a pawn, as well as any checkmate threats. If Black can capture White’s a pawn and then exchange Rooks the game is a draw.

53. Rb7+ Kc8 54. a4 Rf5 55. Rb5 Rf1 56. a5 Ra1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 56... Ra1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 56… Ra1

Rooks belong behind passed pawns. Black cannot exchange Rooks just yet because White has a Bishop that is the same color as the queening square. If the White Bishop was on the dark squares, then Black could exchange Rooks and move his King into the corner for a draw.

57. Kb6 Kb8 58. Ka6+ Kc7 59. Ka7 Ra3 60. Rb7+ Kc8 61. Kb6 Rd3 62. Bc6 Rb3+ 63. Ka7 Ra3 64. a6 Rc3

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 64... Rc3

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 64… Rc3

Black must keep his King in that corner while threatening to win White’s Bishop and a pawn. Also, Black must not allow the White King off the a file without checking it.

65. Kb6 Rb3+ 66. Bb5 Ra3 67. a7 Ra1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 67... Ra1

Sicilian Defense, Taimanov Variation, American Attack after 67… Ra1

Here White loses his patience and queens the a pawn, allowing Black to win it. After that Black forced the exchange of Rooks and drew that game. Considering how badly this game started I feel lucky to have ended with a draw! If instead of 68. a8=Q+? White had played 68. Bd7+! Kd8 69. Rb8+!! Kxd7 70. a8=Q Rxa8 71. Rxa8 with an easily won endgame.

68. a8=Q+? Rxa8 69. Ba6 Rb8 70. Ka7 Rxb7+ 71. Bxb7+ 1/2-1/2

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