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Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack (B81)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 6 g4

Number of games in database: 3327
Years covered: 1943 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 44.4%
   Black wins 25.3%
   Draws 30.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Alexey Shirov  28 games
Ljubomir Ljubojevic  24 games
Joseph G Gallagher  24 games
Mihai Suba  48 games
Gyula Sax  41 games
Vlastimil Jansa  33 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Polgar vs Anand, 1999
Karpov vs Dorfman, 1976
Karpov vs Sax, 1983
R Cardoso vs Petrosian, 1975
Ivanchuk vs Topalov, 1996
Ljubojevic vs Kasparov, 1988
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 page 1 of 134; games 1-25 of 3,327  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Foltys vs C Kottnauer  1-0241943UJCS-17.KongressB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
2. Keres vs Bogoljubov 1-0321943SalzburgB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
3. O'Kelly vs M Christoffel 1-0411946GroningenB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
4. O'Kelly vs G Stoltz 0-1541946GroningenB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
5. V Lyublinsky vs O Bogatyrev  ½-½411947Moscow ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
6. Simagin vs O Bogatyrev  ½-½401947Moscow ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
7. W Kuppe vs H Herrmann  ½-½331947LueneburgB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
8. Keres vs K Plater ½-½411947MoscowB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
9. O'Kelly vs Stahlberg  0-1371948Mar del PlataB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
10. I Lipnitsky vs S Kotlerman  1-0251950Ukrainian ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
11. Foguelman vs H Huguet  0-1691951ARG-chB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
12. W Ader Hausman vs R Garcia Vera  1-0271952Mar del PlataB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
13. K Plater vs T Ciejka  0-1491953Polish ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
14. J Hampel vs G Moehring  1-0281954GDR Junior ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
15. W Reichenbach vs J Eising  1-0401954GDR Junior ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
16. B De Greiff vs L Schmid  1-0481954Amsterdam Olympiad qual-4B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
17. V Brat vs J Dolezal  0-1341954Czechoslovak ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
18. R Fuchs vs Filip  1-0591957GothaB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
19. Krogius vs Petrosian  ½-½261958USSR ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
20. A Nikitin vs A Cherepkov  1-0421958Moscow-Leningrad MatchB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
21. Spassky vs V Shishkin  1-0381960URS-ch sf Rostov-on-DonB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
22. L Alster vs J Rejfir  1-0521960Czechoslovak ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
23. Bagirov vs A Movshovich 1-0151960URS-ch sf VilniusB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
24. Jansa vs J Kozma 1-0291960Marianske LazneB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
25. V Tarasov vs Petrosian  0-13819607th Soviet Team ChampionshipB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
 page 1 of 134; games 1-25 of 3,327  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-16-04  PinkPanther: <Benjamin Lau>
Yes, that's the English Attack, although the example provided by Refutor was slightly more typical, but the Lutz-Berkes game was an English Attack nonetheless.
Feb-16-04  Benjamin Lau: PP: thanks, I don't play the English attack nor do I know much theory in the e4 lines so it was a hopeful guess on my part. What is the reputation of the English attack at the GM level?
Feb-16-04  PinkPanther: Well, I'm no GM but judging by the frequency with which it's played, I can tell you they think there's something to it. It's basically a race between the two pawnstorms, black's pawns on the queenside and white's pawns on the kingside. If white's attack is quicker then you get a game like the one between Kasparov and Van Wely that Refutor posted, but if Black's attack is quicker you get a game like this, where Grischuk got absolutely toasted on the queenside Grischuk vs Kasparov, 2001
Feb-16-04  Benjamin Lau: PP, thanks.
Feb-17-04  Gower: Zorro: Yes the yugoslav is a very sharp line against the dragon, but I would consider it the critical test, even if it is what black expects. The dragon is currently in trouble theoretically. Look in any chess book and it will give the yugoslav as the critical line in the dragon.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Hanada: <Phoenix>
The most critical refutation of ...Ng5, or at least the most fun is Bc5!?...the Traxler Counter Attack...AKA the Wilkes-Barre Variation.

I think the most critical answer to the Ruy Lopez is the Marshal Attack.

For the Caro-Kann, I like the Fantasy Variation.....1)e4 c6 2)d2 d5 3)f3....

For the Quens gambit, i just say screw it and play the KID. Alows for alot of flexibilty and creativity.

For the English...i just say screw it and and play the KID.....


Jun-28-04  Shadout Mapes: <PP> Interesting, I found that the first 11 moves of the Kasparov - Van Wely game were column 19 of the Scheviningen in MCO. But I get it, it's more of an idea than a variation, a Saemisch/Yugoslav Attack for the Najdorf.
Aug-02-04  russep: what is the traxler attack?
Aug-02-04  refutor: traxler is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5?! it's hardly a refutation
Aug-02-04  russep: thanks
Aug-07-04  joeyam30: wla lng!...hehehe
Premium Chessgames Member
  Hanada: <Refutor> With best play by both sides the Traxler is pretty much a forced draw. While it may not be a refutation it certainly a line that is a playable alternative to other choices.....mentioned below. Also, i forgot the name of the opening but it goes like this:

1)e4 e5 2)Nf3 Nc6 3)Bc4 Nf6 4)Ng5 d5 5)exd5 b5! also awesome.

Oct-14-04  maoam: <Hanada>

I think that's the Ulvestad variation.

Oct-14-04  acirce: <Traxler> Has anybody looked at Heisman's CD from a few years ago? He claims to have made new important discoveries leading to crucial re-evaluations with computer help, something that indeed seems logical in such a tactical line. sums up some of the main results:

<White can still get a small but safe advantage by 5.Bxf7+, Ke7 6.Bd5 as stated by both Estrin and Cramer.

5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kf1 is highly complex: Heisman found some improvements over Cramer in the critical 6...Qe7 7.Nxh8, d5 8.exd5, Nd4 9.d6!? that means that here 9...Qxd6 is properbly best with an unclear result.

After 5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2, Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 the best road for black is 7...Qh4 8.g3, Nxg3 9.Nxh8, Nd4! with at least a draw.

After 5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2, Nxe4+ 7.Ke3 is not losing as Estrin thought, but not winning either as some recent analysis has claimed. Highly complicated lines with the white king running around in the middle of the board. Unclear.

5.d4!? is an relatively easy way for white to avoid the main lines and get complex play where both sides can go wrong. Heismans analysis points to approximate equality.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Hanada: <Acirce) Nice post.
Dec-21-04  Backward Development: I think that the most critical test for the najdorf may be the Be2 lines. Bg5 is certainly the most traumatic, but theory is theory and once you've got it, you have every hope to gain at least equality. but with the Be2, the 'pure najdorf'(...e5) white's attacks aren't based on tactical lines, he prefers a more positional approach, and when he does attack the kingside, it's in a more methodical approach. the restraint common within the system is rather annoying also.

i used to play the scheveningen move order, but the keres attack put me on the najdorf because after the ...h6 g5 hg Bxg5 lines, they are basically the Bg5 najdorf lines with less counterplay for black. while not a refutation, it does make it almost toothless.

Jun-12-05  BaranDuin: Hello,

I played a nice game with this line against the Accoona chess engine. Although the play is far from perfect, I like the finish.

Accoona still has much to learn before it can even think of avoid being totally cruhed by Kashimdzhanov.

PGN follows

[Event "Casual game"]
[Date "2005.06.12"]
[White "Baranduin"]
[Black "Accoona"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B81"]
[PlyCount "37"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 h6 7. g5 hxg5 8. Bxg5 Bd7 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. O-O-O Nxd4 11. Qxd4 e5 12. Qe3 Ng4 13. Qd2 f6 14. Be3 Rxh2 15. Rxh2 Nxh2 16. Be2 Ng4 17. Nd5 Nxe3 18. Bh5+ g6 19. Bxg6# 1-0

Oct-12-05  AlexanderMorphy: i am not very fond of this opening, i prefer the najdorf...and so do the GM's!
Oct-12-05  csmath: Well, it is not bad opening for the white, according to statistics. :-)

Oct-13-05  AlexanderMorphy: yes it's not a bad opening, but the classical Scheveningen is more affective according to me!
Mar-09-06  suenteus po 147: Is 6.g4 the Keres attack? What I mean is, does g4 have to be played on the sixth move in this position of the Scheveningen, or is it possible to play a delayed Keres Attack in a position resulting from, say, the Najdorf? What would the benefits or drawbacks from such an approach?

For those of you who consider answering, I've just started playing both sides of the Sicilian, so I'm as clueless as they come. Thanks in advance for any help!

Mar-09-06  euripides: <suenteus> In the Najdorf 6 Be3 e6 7 g4 is usually called the Perenyi. It can transpose into the Keres attack, but Black can also play 7...e5 This gives positions different from the Keres attack often involving an early piece sacrifice by White, and is generally though better than 6...e5 in the Keres attack because White doesn't have the possibility of Bb5+.
Mar-09-06  suenteus po 147: <euripides> Thanks. I will have to look into those positions.
Jul-30-07  ganstaman: So how are things going with this opening -- ok for black, or should this be avoided? Anyone know the latest word?

In 2007, it seems to have scored +5 =3 -12 (so looks very good for black) by this database, but if anyone knows of certain lines to be avoided (from black's perspective), I'd like to not play something bad.

Jun-22-10  Catfriend: AFAIK it's quite dangerous, one of the main reasons Scheveningen isn't played frequently these days.

Here's an interesting correspondence game (2 days/ move) in the 6..Nc6 variation (considered dubious for Black):

[Event "27th GK tournament"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2005.12.02"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Catfriend"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "1/172800"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. g4 Nc6?! <(Stronger, according to theory, is 6..h6)> 7. g5 Nd7 8. Ndb5 <(Aggressive, and in my eyes - suiting the opening. 8.Be3 is perfectly fine, of course)> Nb6 <(Imprecise. 8..Ne5 is to be preferred)> 9. Bf4 e5 10. Be3 <(That's not a tempo waste, as Bf4, provoking e5, creates weaknesses in Black's pawn structure.)> a6 11. Bxb6!? <(The aggression goes on! 11.Na3 is the stable choice.)> Qxb6 12. Nd5 Qa5+ 13. Nbc3 Be6 14. Rg1 <(h4 is more consistent, but I've got a specific attack in mind.>) Rc8 15. Rg3 Nb4 16. Be2 <(At first glance, it looks like Black gets a comfortable Q-side pressure, his next move counter-punching White's K-wing...)> h6 17. g6 f5 18. Nf6+! <(Aye, there's the rub! Ignoring the sacrifice should, in the long run, serve Black well, but it's a very unpleasant move to make in a The game might continue like that: 18..Kd8 19.a3 Na2 20.b4 Nxc3 21.Rxc3 Qa4 22.Rxc8 Bxc8 23.Qd5 with complications galore.)> gxf6 19. exf5! <(Even better than 19.g7 Bxg7 20.Rxg7 Rc6. Now, after the game move, 19..Bxf5 20.g7 Bxg7 21.Qxd6!! Nxc2+ 22.Kd2 Bg6 23.Qe6+ Kd8 24.Qd6+ Ke8 [to make sure Black never castles] 25.Bh5! wins for White. Another retreat with the bishop, 19..Bg8, falls short to 20.g7 Bxg7 21.Bh5+ Bf7 22.Rxg7. Relatively best would be to play 19..Bc4 20.g7 Bxg7 21.Bh5+ Kd7 22.Rxg7+ Kc6 23.Bf3+ d5, where Black can defend his monarch for a while)> Bd7? 20. g7 Bxg7 21. Rxg7 d5 22. a3 <(All more or less forced, till now.)> d4 <22..Nc6? 23.Bb5!! axb5 24.Qxd5 Rc7 25.Rg8+ Rxg8 26.Qxg8+ Ke7 27.0-0-0! and White's won. f.e. 27..b4 28.Qg7+ Ke8 29.Ne4 or 27..Bxf5 28.Nd5+ )> 23. axb4 Qxb4 24. Ra3 <(24.Bh5+ is possible as well. )> Qf8 25. Bh5+ Kd8 26. Rf7 Qg8 27. Ne4 (<27.Ne2 is the safe choice, but I was eager to finish the attack. )> Qg2 (<Perhaps, 27..Bc6 was worth considering. )> 28. Nd6 Rc7 29. Rg3 Qh1+ 30. Ke2?! <(30.Kd2 was safer, as will be seen. )> Qc6 <(After 30..Qxh2 31.Bf3, for example, the queen is weak. )> 31. Rxf6 Qxc2+ 32. Qd2 Rh7? <(Loses patience. 32..Qb1 prolongs the defense. )> 33. Rg8+ Ke7 34. Rfg6 Rf7 35. Qxc2 <(The queens just complicate things, creating all sorts of disturbances and threats. White's advantage is much easier to convert into a win without them. )> Rxc2+ 36. Kd1 Rxb2 37. Nxf7 Bxf5 38. R6g7 Ke6 39. Nxh6 Rb1+ <(The last throes. )> 40. Ke2 Rb2+ 41. Kf1 Rb1+ 42. Kg2 Be4+ 43. f3 <(Black's absolutely lost. He's a rook and a piece down, and now even his bishop's gone. Saving him by 43..Rb2+ 44.Kg3 Bc6 faces mate: 45.Rd8 and there's no escape. )> 1-0

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