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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: 3697
Years covered: 1851 to 2022
Overall record:
   White wins 35.8%
   Black wins 26.6%
   Draws 37.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Dragoljub Velimirovic  24 games
Mikhail Tal  18 games
Jan Timman  18 games
Mark Taimanov  139 games
Sergei Rublevsky  84 games
Vlastimil Jansa  76 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Shirov vs D Reinderman, 1999
Anand vs Morovic Fernandez, 2004
Grischuk vs Rublevsky, 2007
Spassky vs Fischer, 1972
Smejkal vs Karpov, 1973
S Ahmed vs Z Rahman, 2006
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 page 1 of 148; games 1-25 of 3,697  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. H Kennedy vs M Wyvill 1-0371851LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
2. M Lange vs Hengstenberg  1-0391863Main TournamentB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
3. A Burns vs W Tullidge 1-0291866Melbourne Chess Club Handicap TournamentB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
4. Anderssen vs J Minckwitz 0-1331866BerlinB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
5. Steinitz vs D Lindsay 1-0241867Blindfold simul, 6bB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
6. Steinitz vs G MacDonnell 1-0301867Dundee CongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
7. Zukertort vs Chess Club 1-0491868corrB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
8. Zukertort vs J Minckwitz  1-0421869NSB-02.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
9. Steinitz vs De Vere 1-0451870Baden-BadenB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
10. Zukertort vs De Vere 1-0171872LondonB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
11. J De Soyres vs W Parratt  ½-½2918742nd Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
12. Zukertort vs C Moriau  1-0271875London CCB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
13. W H Grundy vs W Rouse Ball  1-03218764th Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
14. Chigorin vs A Ascharin 1-0251877St. PetersburgB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
15. Steinitz vs G M Day  ½-½261877Blindfold simul, 4bB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
16. W Paulsen vs C Leffmann  ½-½341877LeipzigB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
17. C T Goering vs Anderssen 1-0371877LeipzigB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
18. Wemmers vs E Schallopp  1-0401877WSB-11.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
19. K Pitschel vs Bird 0-1491878ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
20. Zukertort vs Anderssen ½-½251878ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
21. K Pitschel vs Mackenzie ½-½721878ParisB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
22. J Minckwitz vs W Paulsen  0-1201878WSB-12.KongressB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
23. Zukertort vs Owen 1-0311878Zukertort - Owen mB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
24. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0241879BreslauB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
25. N V Nerling vs A Ascharin  ½-½301879Best Russian PlayersB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
 page 1 of 148; games 1-25 of 3,697  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  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. ♕d2!?), 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 ♘f6, White can't play ♗g5. However, White can still play ♗c4 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  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  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  parisattack: This is fairly decent on the ...e6 Sicilians:

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.

Nov-29-14  tranquilsimplicity: <parisattack> You have very simply extinguished my confusion regarding ...e6 Sicilians. And like yourself, I settled for the Kan (after attempting the Scheveningen that I believe is the best in the ..e6 family, but found it requiring exactness or else one faces quick defeat); and the Kan easily transposes into the Scheveningen and Taimanov. And again like yourself never cared for the Taimanov for the reason you give. Thank you for that astute clarification.

I had always believed that your CG moniker was to do with the King's Gambit; but having read your most interesting profile I now understand its source.#

Nov-29-14  parisattack: Hi <tranquilsimplicity> Thanks! What we called the 'Fast Paulsen' was popular at one time but I think now busted. ...e6 ...d6 ...a6 ...Nbd7 ...b5. Similar to a Poly Sicilian. I just saw a game here on, have to find it again.
Nov-29-14  parisattack: Here is the 'fast' Scheveningen I was thinking of earlier: H Lehmann vs Fischer, 1965

My friend Jim Bickford did a monograph on it in 2002. It actually doesn't score too badly, seems. As I recall the trick for black is timing ...b5, ...b4 and ...Nbd7. MCO 7 and 8 have several lines on it then it fell into disfavor.

Nov-29-14  tranquilsimplicity: <parisattack> Thanks a bunch for that. It appears that Lehmann had planned very carefully to snatch Fischer's Knight on e5 after 14...Nxe5. However Fischer resourcefulness and accuracy of calculation reveals itself when he is able to weather the storm from Lehmann's attempt to usurp the Black Knight. Interestingly, I have in the past suffered from snatching white's pawn at e5 where there exists some tactical motifs by white. Beautiful game.

I prefer playing ..Nbd7 instead of ..Nc6 depending on white's play usually transposing into this 'Fast Scheveningen' but after beginning with a Kan set up ..e6, ..a6, ..Qc7. But obviously if white adopts a Kan set up with Bd3 or c4, I continue with a Kan proper or transpose to a Taimanov depending on white's play. Thanks again; very instructive.#

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