Play the Scheveningen via Paulsen
We are happy to announce the release of a project in which GM Mihail Marin put a lot of effort - Play the Scheveningen via Paulsen. In the introduction, to the course, Marin writes, "I will never stop loving the Dragon, but I also feel like playing a traditional Sicilian. In the past, I have tried all of them, but from the perspective of an experienced player, my preference goes for the Scheveningen, which is the most flexible of the Sicilians. However, I am a bit scared of the Keres Attack. There is a tricky move order, though."
Exactly this tricky move order is the reason why this project came to life. This major work consists of 61 theoretical chapters, 60 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (6h and 20min).
The starting position of the database arises after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6
This is the starting position of the Paulsen/Taimanov Variation. Recently, the former World Champion Alexander Khalifman has published a wonderful course on it. Unlike Khalifman, Marin uses this move order to obtain Scheveningen setups.
Of course, White's main move in this position is 5.Nc3. It goes without saying that Marin also considers 5.Nb5 and 5.c4.
After 5.Nc3, the suggested move order starts with 5...d6.
Now is a good moment for transposing to the Scheveningen. Before we discuss the critical 6.g4, let's briefly explain our choice against White's alternative options.
If case of 6.Be2 or 6.g3 we can comfortably play 6...Nf6 The positional Scheveningen systems with an early ...Nc6 are by no means worse than those based on ...a7-a6 and ... Qc7 and keeping the knight on b8 for a while. From the abstract point of view of development, ...Nc6 is more desirable, of course, but Sicilian rules are very specific.
It goes without saying that 6.Be3 Nf6 requires a special mention, since it can be followed by f2-f3, leading to the complicated English Attack or f2-f4, which is another aggressive system in the Scheweningen.
The database also covers the Sozin Attack arising after 6.Bc4 Nf6.
Against 6.g4, Marin suggests 6...Nge7.
In order to justify his choice, Marin writes, "This is the main (if not the only) reason why I chose the Scheveningen via Paulsen move order. After such a committal move like 6.g4, Black can deviate from the natural development. He does not need to expose his knight to g4-g5, but can play in the spirit of the Taimanov system mentioned above."
After 7.Be3, we just follow with 7...a6
Black plans ...b7-b5, ...Bb7, maybe ...Rc8, too and only after the white queen moves, ...Nxd4 followed by ...Nc6. If the knight retreats from d4, there are things to do with the superfluous knight on e7.