The Dreaded Closed Sicilian

Playing online is very convenient and popular today. Lots of players with busy lives can all of a sudden play their beloved game whenever they have free time from the comfort of their own home. I expect this to become widely accepted in the near future, given all positives clearly outweighing the negatives (such as the fear of assisted play). A lot of websites have made significant progress in identifying if anyone uses assistance during their games and this is only going to improve.

I play turn based games mostly with 3 days per move for both standard, as well as the chess 960 versions. It has become obvious for a while now I won’t challenge Magnus Carlsen for the title any time soon, so I play mostly for fun and for practicing what I am teaching in class or in private. It is hard to be convincing in front of anyone if you have little clue about certain openings, plans or methods. You will say that 3 days per move is outrageous and I will remind you we all have a life outside chess. Count in sleeping, eating, family time, work and unexpected stuff life throws at you daily and you will realize 3 days is in reality not a lot! Wanna know how many times I had to eventually make a move in the worst possible moment? Add a dollar for each time and my bank account could look much better than it really is…

The following game was part of a very hard fought match between Canada and Germany in division A, played on 287 boards, one white and one black game on each board, plus 3 days per move reflection time. It puzzles me how spread is the use of nicknames, aliases and hidden profiles over the internet, so don’t know the real name of my worthy opponent. This is a disease I am immune to and could write an entire dissertation against it; of course that would be pointless and as a result I will focus on the game at hand where White played very well!

The game lasted 2 months. I hope you enjoyed this positional struggle! It is not very often when castling proves to be fatal in such a simple yet subtle way; of course this could be above my chess paygrade if you know what I mean. Could I get some suggestions for future? Is this line versus the Closed Sicilian worth using again in an improved version? Is there something else better suited I should look into? Any feedback would be appreciated; thank you!

Valer Demian


Author: Valer Eugen Demian

The player - my first serious chess tournament was back in 1974, a little bit late for today's standards. Over the years I have had the opportunity to play all forms of chess from OTB to postal, email and server chess. The journey as a player brought me a lot of experience and a few titles along the way: FIDE CM (2012), ICCF IM (2001) and one ICCF SIM norm (2004). The instructor - my career as a chess teacher and coach started in 1994 and continues strong. I have been awarded the FIDE Instructor title (2007) for my work and have been blessed with great students reaching the highest levels (CYCC, NAYCCC, Pan-Am, WYCC). I am very proud of them! See my website for more information. I have developed my own chess curriculum on 6 levels based on my overall chess knowledge and hands-on experience. A glimpse of it can be seen in my first chess app: I can help you learn chess the proper way if this is what you seek!