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Gambit Guide Sveshnikov Sicilian Sacrifices on b5: part 1

Opening: B33: Sicilian: Pelikan, Chelyabinsk variation

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In his weekly Gambit Guide series on ICC, Boris investigates gambits old and new and show that, while some may not be actively played on the grandmaster circuit these days, they are all exciting to play and at the same time instructive as they teach us all about natural development of the pieces and tactics in chess. GM Boris Alterman has an official blog where, among other things, he'll be discussing some of his choices for his Gambit Guide.

 
For years it was known to all as the Sicilian Lasker/Pelikan variation, but the name-change to Sicilian Sveshnikov (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5) came into being after it was revived by the Russian Grandmaster Evgeny Sveshnikov.  He was the driving force and inspiration of the variation during the early 1970s when he was a young IM - and back then, it was his creative mind who developed this aggressive method of playing as black.

Since then, elite stars such as Kasparov, Kramnik, Topalov, Leko, Radjabov and Shirov have all adopted this variation into their arsenal because it often leads to imbalanced positions.  There are many methods to combat the Sveshnikov, but one of the most macho involves the early sacrifice of either a knight or a bishop on b5.  And in his latest series, GM Boris Alterman checks the status of both the Nxb5 and Bxb5 gambits vs. the Sveshnikov.

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