Modern Opening Theory: B61
Today I take a look at the B61 Rauzer line (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Bd7!?) and the critical position which arises after nine moves (diagram above).
I had been planning to write a theoretical article on this for some time now, but one thing lead to another and somehow all got delayed.
HOWEVER, given that today the Chinese superstar Wei Yi lost a game with the White pieces in this exact line against the Egyptian Adly, I have no more excuses but to publish.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Bd7 7.Qd2 Rc8 8.f4 Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Qa5
This variation of the Rauzer is not really a main line but has attracted enough attention in the past 50 years or so from top grandmasters to merit being included in virtually every good theoretical text.
Opinions and evaluations on this line have changed over the years, as the game is very complex and difficult to play for either side.
I consider this line almost lost by force for Black, but only if White knows what he is doing and has a very good memory, as many of the variations are 20 to 25 moves long.
I was made aware of the win for White some years ago. Curiously, unknown to me, Negi, in one of his excellent books on the Sicilian (2015) presented a thorough coverage of this variation and arrived at the same conclusion. I checked this out just today!
gm Wei Yi – gm Adly,Ahmed
World Tch 11.3.2019 (0-1)
You can download this analysis HERE