5

I recently played a Sicilian as black, defending against a pawn storm.

Here is the game:

[Event "Rated Classical game"]
[Site "https://lichess.org/ZMFC6dP4"]
[Date "2018.11.11"]
[Round "-"]
[White "crowlol"]
[Black "JushBJJ2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[UTCDate "2018.11.11"]
[UTCTime "11:50:56"]
[WhiteElo "1608"]
[BlackElo "1644"]
[WhiteRatingDiff "+12"]
[BlackRatingDiff "-11"]
[Variant "Standard"]
[TimeControl "900+15"]
[ECO "B20"]
[Opening "Sicilian Defense: Bowdler Attack"]
[Termination "Normal"]
[Annotator "lichess.org"]


[FEN "..."]
1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 { B20 Sicilian Defense: Bowdler Attack } d6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Ng5?! { (0.00 → -0.65) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nc3. } (4. Nc3 a6 5. d4 cxd4 6. Nxd4 b5 7. Bb3 e6 8. O-O Qc7) 4... e6 5. d3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Be7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. h3 Bd7?! { (-0.86 → -0.30) Inaccuracy. Best move was d5. } (8... d5 9. exd5 exd5 10. Bb3 a5 11. a4 Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. O-O Nh5 14. Nc3 Nf4 15. Kh1) 9. g4? { (-0.30 → -1.60) Mistake. Best move was Nc3. } (9. Nc3 Nd4 10. a4 Nxf3+ 11. Qxf3 a6 12. O-O Bc6 13. Rfd1 d5 14. Bb3 h6 15. exd5 exd5) 9... e5?! { (-1.60 → -0.81) Inaccuracy. Best move was d5. } (9... d5) 10. Be3 Be6 11. b3? { (-0.80 → -1.87) Mistake. Best move was Bb3. } (11. Bb3 c4 12. Bxc4 Bxc4 13. dxc4 Nxe4 14. Qd3 f5 15. gxf5 Nc5 16. Qd5+ Kh8 17. Bxc5 dxc5) 11... Qa5+? { (-1.87 → -0.63) Mistake. Best move was d5. } (11... d5 12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Bd2 f5 14. Nc3 Qd7 15. Qe2 Ndb4 16. O-O-O Bxc4 17. dxc4 e4 18. Nxe4) 12. Bd2 Qd8 13. Ng1? { (-0.68 → -2.73) Mistake. Best move was O-O. } (13. O-O a6) 13... Bxc4? { (-2.73 → 0.04) Mistake. Best move was d5. } (13... d5 14. exd5 Bxd5 15. Rh2 e4 16. Nc3 Qd6 17. f4 exf3 18. Rf2 Bxc4 19. bxc4 Nd4 20. Nxf3) 14. bxc4 Re8 15. g5 Nd7 16. h4 a6 17. Qg4? { (0.44 → -1.28) Mistake. Best move was a4. } (17. a4) 17... Qc8?! { (-1.28 → -0.42) Inaccuracy. Best move was b5. } (17... b5 18. Ne2 bxc4 19. dxc4 Nd4 20. Na3 Nf8 21. c3 Nxe2 22. Kxe2 Qa5 23. Nc2 Rab8 24. Kf1) 18. h5?! { (-0.42 → -1.21) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nc3. } (18. Nc3 b5 19. Nd5 bxc4 20. dxc4 Rb8 21. Nf3 Nd4 22. Kf1 Nxc2 23. Rd1 Nb6 24. Qxc8 Nxc8) 18... Nb6? { (-1.21 → 0.23) Mistake. Best move was b5. } (18... b5 19. Kf1 Nd4 20. Nc3 bxc4 21. Rc1 Nb6 22. Qg3 Rb8 23. Nge2 Qe6 24. Rg1 cxd3 25. cxd3) 19. Qg3 Nd7?! { (-0.21 → 0.71) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nd4. } (19... Nd4 20. Na3 Qc6 21. g6 Qa4 22. c3 Qxa3 23. cxd4 Qb2 24. Rc1 cxd4 25. h6 hxg6 26. hxg7) 20. g6?! { (0.71 → -0.13) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nc3. } (20. Nc3 b5 21. Nd5 bxc4 22. Nf3 Nf8 23. dxc4 Nb4 24. Kf1 Nxd5 25. cxd5 Rb8 26. h6 gxh6) 20... Rf8? { (-0.13 → 1.22) Mistake. Best move was Nd4. } (20... Nd4 21. Na3) 21. gxh7+ Kh8 22. h6? { (1.07 → 0.05) Mistake. Best move was Nc3. } (22. Nc3 Nd4 23. Rc1 Ne6 24. Nge2 Qd8 25. Rb1 b5 26. cxb5 axb5 27. Rxb5 Bg5 28. a4 Bh6) 22... g6 23. Bg5? { (0.10 → -1.47) Mistake. Best move was Nc3. } (23. Nc3 Nd4 24. Rb1 Nf6 25. Bg5 Nxc2+ 26. Kd2 Nd4 27. Qh4 Qd8 28. Rxb7 Ne6 29. f4 Nxg5) 23... Qd8?! { (-1.47 → -0.81) Inaccuracy. Best move was Bxg5. } (23... Bxg5 24. Qxg5 Nd4 25. Kd1 b5 26. Nd2 Ne6 27. Qh4 b4 28. a3 a5 29. Ngf3 Qd8 30. Qxd8) 24. Be3?! { (-0.81 → -1.52) Inaccuracy. Best move was Bxe7. } (24. Bxe7 Qxe7 25. Nc3 Nd4 26. Rc1 Qd8 27. Kf1 b5 28. Nd5 bxc4 29. dxc4 Rb8 30. Ne2 Kxh7) 24... b5 25. Nc3 Nd4 26. Bxd4 cxd4 27. Nd5 Nf6?! { (-1.87 → -1.34) Inaccuracy. Best move was bxc4. } (27... bxc4 28. Nf3 Nf6 29. Nxf6 Bxf6 30. Nd2 cxd3 31. cxd3 Kxh7 32. Nc4 Rb8 33. Kf1 Qe7 34. Ke2) 28. Nxf6?! { (-1.34 → -1.92) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nxe7. } (28. Nxe7 Qxe7) 28... Bxf6 29. Ne2?! { (-1.92 → -2.43) Inaccuracy. Best move was Nf3. } (29. Nf3) 29... Qa5+ 30. Kf1 Qd2 31. Rc1 Qg5? { (-2.43 → -1.01) Mistake. Best move was Rac8. } (31... Rac8) 32. Qxg5 Bxg5 33. Ra1?! { (-1.33 → -1.94) Inaccuracy. Best move was Rb1. } (33. Rb1 bxc4 34. dxc4 Rac8 35. Rb4 Rc7 36. Rh3 Rfc8 37. Rf3 Rxc4 38. Rxc4 Rxc4 39. c3 dxc3) 33... Kxh7?! { (-1.94 → -1.26) Inaccuracy. Best move was bxc4. } (33... bxc4) 34. a4? { (-1.26 → -2.35) Mistake. Best move was Rh3. } (34. Rh3 Rac8 35. c3 dxc3 36. Nxc3 bxc4 37. Rd1 Rfd8 38. Kg2 Rd7 39. dxc4 Rxc4 40. Rg3 Bh4) 34... b4? { (-2.35 → -1.11) Mistake. Best move was bxc4. } (34... bxc4 35. dxc4 Rac8 36. Rh3 Rxc4 37. c3 dxc3 38. Nxc3 Rb8 39. Ra3 Bxh6 40. a5 Kg7 41. Rd3) 35. a5 Bxh6 36. Rb1 Rab8 37. f4 Kg7 38. fxe5 dxe5 39. Rb2?! { (-1.60 → -2.46) Inaccuracy. Best move was Kg2. } (39. Kg2 Be3 40. Kf3 f5 41. Rh2 Kf6 42. Ng3 Rf7 43. Ke2 Bf4 44. Rh3 Bxg3 45. Rxg3 Rh7) 39... f5 40. exf5?! { (-2.33 → -3.03) Inaccuracy. Best move was Kg2. } (40. Kg2 fxe4 41. Ng3 e3 42. Ne4 Rf4 43. Rf1 Rh4 44. Rfb1 Bg5 45. Rxb4 Rxb4 46. Rxb4 Bd8) 40... Rxf5+ 41. Kg2?! { (-2.64 → -3.31) Inaccuracy. Best move was Ke1. } (41. Ke1 Be3 42. Rb1 e4 43. dxe4 Rxa5 44. Rd1 Rc5 45. Nxd4 Rxc4 46. Nb3 Rxc2 47. Rd7+ Kf6) 41... Rg5+? { (-3.31 → -1.43) Mistake. Best move was Be3. } (41... Be3 42. Rf1) 42. Kf3?! { (-1.43 → -2.13) Inaccuracy. Best move was Kh3. } (42. Kh3 e4 43. Nxd4 Rxa5 44. c5 exd3 45. cxd3 Be3 46. Nc6 Rh8+ 47. Kg2 Rxh1 48. Kxh1 Rxc5) 42... Rf5+ 43. Ke4 Rf2 44. Ng3 Bf4 45. Rg1 Bxg3?! { (-1.34 → -0.54) Inaccuracy. Best move was Kf6. } (45... Kf6 46. Kd5 Bxg3 47. Rxg3 Rd8+ 48. Kc6 e4 49. Rxb4 e3 50. Rg1 Rxc2 51. Rb6 Ke5 52. Kc7) 46. Rxg3 Re2+ 47. Kd5 Re3?! { (-0.08 → 0.45) Inaccuracy. Best move was e4. } (47... e4 48. Rb1 Rd8+ 49. Kc5 exd3 50. cxd3 Re5+ 51. Kc6 Re3 52. Rg4 Rxd3 53. Rxb4 Kf6 54. Rb6) 48. Rxe3 dxe3 49. Rb1 Kf6 50. Re1 b3? { (0.62 → 2.04) Mistake. Best move was e4. } (50... e4 51. dxe4) 51. cxb3 Rxb3?! { (1.54 → 2.34) Inaccuracy. Best move was g5. } (51... g5) 52. Rxe3 Kf5? { (2.27 → 5.20) Mistake. Best move was Rc3. } (52... Rc3 53. Rf3+) 53. Rxe5+ Kf4 54. d4 Ra3?? { (4.00 → 7.58) Blunder. Best move was g5. } (54... g5 55. c5) 55. c5 Rxa5? { (7.21 → 10.26) Mistake. Best move was g5. } (55... g5) 56. Kd6 g5? { (8.52 → 11.30) Mistake. Best move was Rb5. } (56... Rb5 57. Re8) 57. Re8?? { (11.30 → 6.39) Blunder. Best move was c6. } (57. c6 Rxe5 58. dxe5 g4 59. c7 g3 60. c8=Q g2 61. Qc1+ Kg3 62. Kc5 a5 63. Kb5 Kh2) 57... g4?? { (6.39 → 42.68) Blunder. Best move was Rb5. } (57... Rb5 58. c6) 58. c6 Ra4 59. d5 Rc4 60. c7 g3?! { (16.97 → Mate in 15) Checkmate is now unavoidable. Best move was a5. } (60... a5 61. c8=Q) 61. c8=Q Rxc8 62. Rxc8 g2 63. Rc1 a5 64. Kc5 Ke5 65. d6 a4 66. Rg1 a3 67. Rxg2 Ke6 68. Ra2 Kd7 69. Rxa3 Kd8 70. Kc6 Ke8 71. d7+?! { (Mate in 2 → Mate in 4) Not the best checkmate sequence. Best move was Rf3. } (71. Rf3 Kd8 72. Rf8#) 71... Kd8 72. Ra8+?! { (Mate in 4 → Mate in 4) Not the best checkmate sequence. Best move was Rf3. } (72. Rf3 Ke7 73. d8=R Kxd8 74. Re3 Kc8 75. Re8#) 72... Ke7 73. d8=Q+ Ke6 74. Qe8+?! { (Mate in 3 → Mate in 4) Not the best checkmate sequence. Best move was Qg5. } (74. Qg5 Kf7 75. Ra7+ Ke6 76. Re7#) 74... Kf6 75. Rd8?! { (Mate in 4 → Mate in 4) Not the best checkmate sequence. Best move was Qh5. } (75. Qh5 Kg7 76. Ra7+ Kf6 77. Rf7+ Ke6 78. Qd5#) 75... Kg7 76. Qe6 Kh7 77. Rd7+ Kh8 78. Qe8# { White wins by checkmate. } 1-0

How do I defend against players who keep pawn pushing in the Sicilian? I really stress against these kind of players.

6

Pawn pushing is a well known anti-Sicilian strategy. The main problem here is that your play was too passive and you paid more than enough attention to your opponents while they were pushing their pawns. While your opponent were rushing their pawns, they allowed many chances where counterplay by you is possible yet you were focusing only on their pawns. Here are examples:

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]
[Event "Rated Classical game"]
[Site "https://lichess.org/ZMFC6dP4"]
[Date "2018.11.11"]
[White "crowlol"]
[Black "JushBJJ2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[UTCDate "2018.11.11"]
[WhiteElo "1608"]
[BlackElo "1644"]
[ECO "B20"]
[Opening "Sicilian Defense: Bowdler Attack"]
[Termination "Normal"]
[StartPly "17"]

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 d6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Ng5 e6 5. d3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Be7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. h3 Bd7 9. g4

In the above position, 9... d5 would have been very annoying for your opponent. Your opponent is now forced to play 10. exd5, placing their king in an open e-file. They won't be able to castle early then, since the kingside pawns have been advanced. Otherwise, they will lose a pawn (after say 10. Bb3 dxe4 11. dxe4 Nxe4).

Another advantage of this move is that it takes away the center from you opponent. After 9... d5 10. exd5 exd5 11. Bb3 you have decent central control, in addition to freeing the bishop such that 10... Bd6 is possible.

Moving on to the middlegame, I would say your defense was brilliant. However, instead of maneuvering the knight to the queenside, the engine suggests 18... b5, eventually starting an attack on the queenside. Obviously your plan was to free the queen, and 18... Nf8 was better in my opinion, as it puts the knight in the area where all the action is taking place.

  • 1
    Thanks mate, Im considering using chess stack exchange more than the lichess forums. – Fitz Nov 11 '18 at 17:01
1

If you find defending stressful, then a counterattack might be a good strategy for you. Generally, if the opponent is attacking your castled king when their own king is in the middle of the board, it's often good to try to open up the center to expose their king's vulnerability. There were some points where you could have played ...d5 to help with that.

After 20.g6, one option would have been ...fxg6 hxg6 h6 and now White would have to sacrifice a bishop with Bxh6 to keep up the attack. (Of course, you'd have to make sure that the sacrifice doesn't result in some unstoppable attack before playing that move.)

But overall your defense wasn't bad. You refrained from moving those pawns in front of your king too early, which would have given your opponent's pawns a good target to attack. You survived the attack and eventually wound up with an extra pawn.

0

Pawn storms are a pretty standard theme in the Sicilian. Usually, the response is to counterattack and try to checkmate them before they checkmate you.

Black almost always castles on the kingside, so that's where White's pawn storm happens. If White has castled queenside, then Black typically responds by attacking there with a pawn storm, and opening the c-file against the White King. If White castles kingside or doesn't castle at all, then their kingside pawn storm inherently weakens their king, leaving it open to attack.

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