The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

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Neville Twitchell
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The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Neville Twitchell » Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:59 pm

A correspondence game of mine has gone 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5!?

Incredibly I cannot find any mention of this move in any of my openings books, whether general such as NCO or specifically on the Sicilian, despite it being a very natural move and not open to any obvious refutation. Of course ...e5 is a very common move in lots of Sicilian variations but not at this precise juncture. It occurs after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 which is the Opocensky, or with 5...Nc6 6 Be2 e5 which is the Boleslavsky and of course in the Najdorf after 5...a6 6. Be2 (or 6. Be3) e5, but not as early as move 4. There is also the Lowental (Labourdonnais) Defence which involves 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 and the Sveshnikov (Pelikan) which occurs after the further moves 4..Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 but in these variations Black has played 2..Nc6 rather than 2...d6.

Do people know this defence? What is it called and has it been played? I suppose it must.

Matthew Turner
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:11 pm

It is quite a well known 'trick' that
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 a6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 is good for Black (well it is OK at the very least!) The problem with the text is that White has Bb5+ and the Knight comes to f5 (and then at some point d5 via e3)

You have to be a bit careful to keep control in a quickplay game, but it should be very comfortable for White at correspondence.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:12 pm

Dunno about an actual name, but this falls under the ECO code B54 and is certainly not unknown at even GM level. As with the similar line that has 4....Nf6 5 Nc3 interpolated before 5....e5 (that one is under B56) Bb5+ seems to be regarded as White's most challenging reply.
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Matthew Turner
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:17 pm

Actually, there is a recent game with Wesley So as White

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd4
4.Nxd4 e5
5.Bb5+ Bd7
6.Bxd7+ Qxd7
7.Nf5 Nf6
8.Nc3 Nxe4
9.Nxg7+ Bxg7
10.Nxe4 d5
11.Bh6 0-0
12.Bxg7 Kxg7
13.Qd2 dxe4
14.Qg5+ Kh8
15.Qf6+ Kg8
16.Qg5+ Kh8
17.Qf6+ Kg8
18.Qg5+ Kh8

You have to find an improvement on this, so presumably you should play f3 or Qf3 on move 8, but those in themselves are a slight concession.

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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Neville Twitchell » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:35 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:17 pm
Actually, there is a recent game with Wesley So as White

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd4
4.Nxd4 e5
5.Bb5+ Bd7
6.Bxd7+ Qxd7
7.Nf5 Nf6
8.Nc3 Nxe4
9.Nxg7+ Bxg7
10.Nxe4 d5
11.Bh6 0-0
12.Bxg7 Kxg7
13.Qd2 dxe4
14.Qg5+ Kh8
15.Qf6+ Kg8
16.Qg5+ Kh8
17.Qf6+ Kg8
18.Qg5+ Kh8

You have to find an improvement on this, so presumably you should play f3 or Qf3 on move 8, but those in themselves are a slight concession.
In fact I have played 5. Bb5+ with a view to the knight manoeuvre to f5-e3-d5 to gain a grip on d5. I suppose I should not be soliciting advice given that it is an ongoing game but it is so unusual that I can't resist giving it a public airing.

Matthew Turner
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Matthew Turner » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:42 pm

I don't think there any rules against it?
8. Qf3 looks the most fun to me and as far as I can see it is a novelty. We could have
8.....d5
9. exd5 Qxd5
10. Nc3 Qxf3
11. gxf3 g6
12. Bg5

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:48 pm

"I don't think there any rules against it?"

There are! Usually, (ICCF) you can use as many computers as you like, but you cannot ask another human what to do. Some organizations try to ban computers as well, but not very successfully.

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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by John Upham » Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:58 pm

Greetings Neville!

Strangely enough I saw you recently on a re-run of a well-known quiz show :


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Neville Twitchell
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Neville Twitchell » Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:12 pm

John Upham wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:58 pm
Greetings Neville!

Strangely enough I saw you recently on a re-run of a well-known quiz show :



IMG_0089.JPG
Yes, 15-1. I have never actually watched my appearance on the show (nor on Mastermind which I was on a few years ago)!

Neville Twitchell
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Neville Twitchell » Sat Mar 20, 2021 5:14 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:48 pm
"I don't think there any rules against it?"

There are! Usually, (ICCF) you can use as many computers as you like, but you cannot ask another human what to do. Some organizations try to ban computers as well, but not very successfully.
I only posted it because I thought people might be interested in the opening rather than to seek assistance. I can delete it if you think I should.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:06 pm

"I only posted it because I thought people might be interested in the opening rather than to seek assistance. I can delete it if you think I should."

Might be best - just in case someone interprets it as seeking assistance.

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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Mar 20, 2021 7:51 pm

In the last County Championship I was interested in the opening of a colleague's game. Even though six months had passed, it was still going on and we felt we were not supposed to discuss it.
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Neville Twitchell
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Neville Twitchell » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:22 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:06 pm
"I only posted it because I thought people might be interested in the opening rather than to seek assistance. I can delete it if you think I should."

Might be best - just in case someone interprets it as seeking assistance.
I am not sure if it is possible to delete a post if it has been replied to.
Anyway one would be precluded from discussing opening theory at all if it was necessary to wait for a relevant correspondence game to finish, which might take many months.


Graham Borrowdale
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Re: The Sicilian Defence with 4...e5!?

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Sat Mar 20, 2021 11:16 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:48 pm
"I don't think there any rules against it?"

There are! Usually, (ICCF) you can use as many computers as you like, but you cannot ask another human what to do. Some organizations try to ban computers as well, but not very successfully.
I remember many years ago I was in the middle of a pair of competitive correspondence games against a well known player (ex chess editor with a well known publisher), and was very surprised to turn up to a Saturday afternoon county match to see several players discussing one of the games, position set up and everything!

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