Many chess players, not wanting to venture into the thorny and complicated main lines of the Sicilian, often adopt an offbeat system. Examples include the Smith-Morra Gambit, the Grand Prix, and the Alapin.
Some of these lines turn out to be good and a player can actually pull off an upset. And there are great differences in the effectiveness of these offbeat lines.
Black, of course, can deviate from the main lines as well. However, being a move behind of White at the start of the game, these deviations often turn out to be worse for Black. Here is an example.
Marina Zaitseva-Elena Bugorkova (1840) X25
Kimry Women’s Ch., 2004
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 f5!? (Or perhaps ?! This is a new move to the author.) 3.exf5 Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Qa5+ 6.Qd2 Qe5+ 7.Qe3 Qxe3+ 8.Bxe3 Nc6 9.Nc3 g6 10.fxg6 hxg6 11.Bd3 Kf7 12.h3 e5 13.Ndb5 Bb4 14.O-O-O Bxc3 15.Nxc3 d5 16.Nxd5 Nxd5 17.Bc4 Be6 18.Bxd5 Rad8 19.c4 Bxd5 20.cxd5 1-0
Jevgenyij Boguszlavszkij (2130)-FM Marton Prorok (2332)
Budapest, Sept. 2017
[For those who love tactical games, here is one you will enjoy.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Bc4 (3.exf5!? also seems to give White the advantage. See previous game with this bizarre version of the Open Sicilian.) 3…fxe4 4.Ne5!? (It’s hard to find fault with this move. Here we go with the tactics.)
4…d5 5.Bb5+ Nd7 6.Qh5+ g6 7.Nxg6 Nf6 8.Qh3 Qb6 9.Nxh8 Qxb5 10.Qe6 d4 11.Nf7 Qa5 12.Ng5 Ne5 13.Qxe5 e3 14.fxe3 Ng4 15.Qd5 Nxe3 16.Qf7+ Kd7 17.Na3 c4 18.Qxf8 Nxg2+ 19.Kf2 Qxg5 20.Qf3 Nh4 21.d3 Nxf3 22.Bxg5 Nxg5 23.h4 1-0
GM Robert Hovhannisyan (2560)-IM Kamran Shirazi (2403)
Aix-les-Bains, France, Mar. 27 2011
[IM Shirazi is well-known for his offbeat openings.]
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 Nh6!? (Here is a more sensible reply. Black protects his main weakness on f7. But in doing so he loses some time while his other minor weaknesses are neglected.) 4.d4 Nxf5 5.Bd3 cxd4 6.O-O d6 7.Bxf5 Bxf5 8.Nxd4 Qd7 9.Nxf5 Qxf5 10.Re1 Nc6 11.Qxd6 Rd8 12.Qf4 Qxf4 13.Bxf4 Nd4 14.Na3 e6 15.c3 Bxa3 16.cxd4 Bxb2 17.Rxe6+ Kf7 18.Rae1 Rd7 19.d5 Bc3 20.R1e3 Rc8 21.d6 Bf6 22.g4 Rc4 23.R6e4 Rxe4 24.Rxe4 g5 25.Bg3 Bg7 26.Kg2 h6 27.Ra4 b6 28.f4 gxf4 29.Rxf4+ Ke6 30.Re4+ Kd5 31.Kf3 Bf8 32.Re5+ Kc6 33.Rf5 Bxd6 34.Rf6 Kd5 35.Rxh6 Rf7+ 36.Kg2 Bc5 37.h4 Re7 38.Rh5+ Ke4 39.Rf5 Be3 40.h5 a6 41.Rf6 a5 42.Bd6 Re8 43.h6 Rh8 44.Bf8 Bg5 45.Rg6 Kf4 46.Bg7 Re8 47.h7 Re2+ 48.Kg1 1-0