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Sicilian, Taimanov Variation (B46)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nc6 5 Nc3 a6

Number of games in database: 2041
Years covered: 1851 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 36.3%
   Black wins 24.2%
   Draws 39.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Dragoljub Velimirovic  23 games
Mikhail Tal  18 games
Jan Timman  18 games
Mark Taimanov  123 games
Ulf Andersson  62 games
Sergei Rublevsky  59 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Grischuk vs Rublevsky, 2007
Shirov vs D Reinderman, 1999
Anand vs I Morovic, 2004
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972
Smejkal vs Karpov, 1973
S N Ahmed vs Z Rahman, 2006
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 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,041  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 1-037 1851 LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
2. M Lange vs Hengstenberg  1-039 1863 Main TournamentB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
3. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz  0-133 1866 BerlinB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
4. A Burns vs W Tullidge  1-029 1866 Melbourne Chess Club Handicap TournamentB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
5. Steinitz vs G MacDonnell  1-030 1867 Dundee CongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
6. Steinitz vs F Lindsay  1-024 1867 Dundee blindB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
7. Zukertort vs Chess Club 1-049 1868 PostalB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
8. Zukertort vs J Minckwitz  1-042 1869 NSB-02.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
9. Steinitz vs De Vere 1-045 1870 Baden-BadenB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
10. Zukertort vs De Vere 1-017 1872 LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
11. Zukertort vs C Moriau  1-027 1875 London CCB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
12. Chigorin vs A Ascharin  1-025 1877 PetersburgB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
13. W Paulsen vs K Leffmann  ½-½34 1877 LeipzigB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
14. C T Goering vs Anderssen 1-037 1877 LeipzigB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
15. Wemmers vs E Schallopp  1-040 1877 WSB-11.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
16. Zukertort vs Anderssen  ½-½25 1878 ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. K Pitschel vs Bird 0-149 1878 ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
18. K Pitschel vs Mackenzie  ½-½72 1878 ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. J Minckwitz vs W Paulsen  0-120 1878 WSB-12.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
20. Zukertort vs Owen  1-031 1878 Chislehurst mB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
21. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-024 1879 BreslauB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. Englisch vs J Minckwitz  1-062 1879 LeipzigB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
23. M Judd vs C Moehle 0-161 1880 5th American Chess CongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. Mackenzie vs Bird 1-055 1882 ViennaB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
25. Blackburne vs Bird 1-033 1882 ViennaB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
 page 1 of 82; games 1-25 of 2,041  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-13-04  xiaolin: ! nice opening
Jul-03-05  Knight13: Why is this opening named after Taimanov? Is Taimanov the first person to invent it or the first person to play it well or what?

By the way, a playable opening for Black.

Aug-02-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  jamesmaskell: Taimanov played it 112 times with Black so he made it his own, Im guessing.
Aug-11-05  azaris: Not exactly what you're supposed to play against this variation (8. Qd2!?), but hey - it worked! Black fumbled badly enough in the opening that once his attack crashed through it was all bones and no meat:

azaris - marekpetr, Gameknot 2005:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Qd2 Be7 8.f3 O-O 9.g4 b5 10.g5 Ne8 11.h4 f6 12.g6 Ne5 13.gxh7+ Kxh7 14.O-O-O Bb7 15.Qg2 Rc8 16.Nxe6 Qa5 17.Nxf8+ Bxf8 18.f4 b4 19.Nd5 b3 20.axb3 Qa1+ 21.Kd2 Qxb2 22.Rc1 Bxd5 23.exd5 Ba3 24.Bd3+ Nxd3 25.Qe4+ Kg8 26.Qxd3 Bb4+ 27.Ke2 Rc3 28.Qe4 1-0

Detailed analysis coming later, I have half a screenful of variations written down.

Aug-11-05  OneBadDog: I like to play a Taimanov but later transpose into a Scheveningen, thereby avoiding the Richter Rauzer.
Aug-11-05  TheMouse: I thought the richer rauzer was in the classical ?? Do you mean the fischer-sozin attack?
Aug-11-05  OneBadDog: No, I mean the Richter Rauzer. If Black delays playing Nf6, White can't play Bg5. However, White can still play Bc4 which would lead to a Sozin.
Aug-11-05  TheMouse: Ok, thanks for the clarifiction
Dec-08-07  cuendillar: Why is the double pawns after Bb4 and Bxc3 so rarely considered a problem for white? How should I meet it if a black player plays it against me?
Dec-08-07  Ziggurat: <cuendillar> Possibly because black's dark squares tend to become terribly weak in the Taimanov if he exchanges his bishop on c3? In other words, the doubled pawns are a problem, but black's dark squares are a bigger problem. Depends on the specifics of the position, of course.
May-21-09  WhiteRook48: Taimanov invented this?!
Sep-13-10  rapidcitychess: <OneBadDog> 6.Bg5 is totally harmless in the Shevenigen. Just play 6...Be7
Sep-13-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  swr: Sorry for being stupid, but what's the difference between the Taimanov and the Paulsen? Some of these Taimanov games are classified as Paulsens.
Sep-13-10  rapidcitychess: <swr> Not much difference, the main problem is is that the (main) line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Be3 Nf6 8.O-O Ne5 9.h3 is highly transposable from a lot of the ...e6 Sicilian. Hope that helps.
Sep-17-10  FHBradley: <swr:> http://sverreschesscorner.blogspot.... offers some clarification on the confusing terminology "Kan/Paulsen/Taimanov Sicilian".
Sep-17-10  jussu: Isn't Taimanov the line where black plays Nc6xd4 and Ne7-c6?
Aug-03-13  Kinan: No, Taimanov variation is a member of 2..e6 family, and is known by the move 4..Nc6.
Nov-08-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  Krogerman: where might one find a list of all of these variations in the Sicilian. I have just taken it up and it is very confusing. Any good books? website?
Nov-08-13
Premium Chessgames Member
  parisattack: This is fairly decent on the ...e6 Sicilians:

http://www.mark-weeks.com/aboutcom/...

To my mind:

4... Nc6 is Taimanov
4... a6 is Kan
4... Nf6, 5...d6 is Scheveningen, usually with ...Nc6. Some older books call the Scheveningen with ...Nbd7 a Paulsen.

Obviously they can transpose into one-another and to other Sicilian variations, also. Each move order seems to allow White one possibility, prevent another. So part of the decision is what don't you want to face as Black. (For example the Scheveningen allows the 6. g4 Keres Attack where the Kan and Taimanov prevent it but allow white a 'bind' formation with c4.)

I've played all three. I think the Scheveningen is objectively best but White's K-side attacks can be ferocious! Check out Smyslov and Kasparov games with it.

The Kan is my favorite as Black often gets chances all over the board - Q-side, center, K-side. But the many sub-variations and motifs can be bewildering.

I never cared for the Taimanov as I found the pawn structures after Nc6: with either the d-pawn or b-pawn leave Black somewhat lifeless.

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