|Jul-02-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Good job by Krush to draw against Short with black.
Short seems to use fairly unusual openings, at least with white. I wonder if this is to get the opponent thinking earlier rather than playing variations they know, or just a desire to make things more interesting from the start.
|Jul-02-12|| ||grobmaverick: <Short seems to use fairly unusual openings>
Yes, probably to remind his opponents that booking up on the standard openings will not always be enough. They still have to play.
I think Nigel realises this tack will not always work for him though but can be more enjoyable for the fans.
There must come a time when rote learning openings must be too boring for the older players.|
|Jul-02-12|| ||Eyal: <Short seems to use fairly unusual openings, at least with white. I wonder if this is to get the opponent thinking earlier rather than playing variations they know>|
I'm quite sure that's an important part of it - and against opponents who are considerably lower-rated than him, in tournaments of this kind, it seems to work overall very well (though not so much in this particular game). In this context, I remember an interesting comment made by Short during his live commentary on the Topalov-Kamsky match, about players sometimes playing too quickly in the opening even when they encounter something they're not thoroughly familiar with, and the possibility to benefit from it:
<One wonders about the speed with which Toppy played the opening […] like L'Ami against me in Corus this year [Short vs E L'Ami, 2009 ], I feel that sometimes players feel "entitled" to make a number of opening moves very fast, whether or not they have properly prepared them beforehand.>
(Topalov vs Kamsky, 2009)
Against top-level opponents, however, such as those he's been playing in the London tournament in recent years, this kind of opening strategy sometimes backfires badly; because when an unusual opening is unusual for a good reason – i.e., because it's second-rate - they're more likely to be able to demonstrate it convincingly (e.g., in Nakamura vs Short, 2010).
|Jul-02-12|| ||Jim Bartle: Thanks, eyal. Makes a lot of sense.|
|Jul-02-12|| ||harrylime: This to me does not seem an 'unusual' opening. On the contrary a fairly typical position soon evolves .. |
15.h4 I prefer to Short's 15.Nd3
|Jul-02-12|| ||Nigel Short: I suppose it is "unusual" because White didn't play 3.d4 - blundering a centre pawn.|
|Jul-02-12|| ||Jim Bartle: I was writing a serious reply, then figured I was being played about 3. d4.|
3. g3 is played in 200 out of about 26,000 games in the cg database (which I know is not definitive...)
|Jul-03-12|| ||AgentRgent: <Nigel Short: I suppose it is "unusual" because White didn't play 3.d4 - blundering a centre pawn.>|
"I consider the Open Sicilian to be a refutation of 1. e4 on positional grounds." ~AgentRgent
|Jul-03-12|| ||King Death: Larsen didn't like the Open Sicilian either.|
|Jul-03-12|| ||selfmate: Taking Nigel's tongue-in-cheek response seriously... Everything is a trade off, right? If white really wants to try and punish black's non-developing c5 then the principled move is the game opening d4. But, of course, this make a slight strategical concession in that it trades a center pawn for a wing pawn.|
Taking a polemic stance, I'll say that what really make the Sicilian so successful is its complexity. White should have an advantage in the Open Sicilian, but proving that advantage in the complex and unclear lines that often result is a difficult matter, and if white compromises and plays something other than 3.d4, (s)he gives up on some of the first move advantage. So, basically, the Sicilian embodies the principle of complicating when you're at a disadvantage to increase practical chances and it's because of the practical challenges it presents white that the Sicilian remains a fighting defense par excellence.
Greatest Hits Vol 1 (20% off!)