Last week New in Chess' book of the week was Zlotnik's Middlegame Manual by Boris Zlotnik. Zlotnik was Caruana's coach during his youth when he was living in Spain and Caruana wrote a foreword for the book. As part of their promotion for the book New in Chess gave a link for a pdf extract from the book.

Chapter 6 - The d5 square in the Sicilian includes this annotation of the Byrne-Fischer game in Sousse 1967.

[Title "Byrne - Fischer, Sousse 1967"]
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[Startply "10"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6

It continues:

One of the most popular positions in modern chess. It is curious that, in search of an advantage in this position, White has tried eighteen (!) moves, i.e. every reasonable move. I think that on the one hand this is a sign of the richness of the game of chess, while on the other hand it indicates that in the opening stage of the game the concept of ‘best move’ is often a relative one. The move played in the game was a favourite of Fischer himself, together with 6.h3

What are the 18 different moves white has tried in this position and where they have names what are they?


1 Answer 1


I don't know which 18 that Caruana specifically had in mind. In Chess Tempo's Opening Database between 2700+ players there have been 18 moves tried:

  1. 6.Be3
  2. 6.Be2
  3. 6.f3
  4. 6.h3
  5. 6.Bg5
  6. 6.g3
  7. 6.a4
  8. 6.Bc4
  9. 6.Bd3
  10. 6.Nb3
  11. 6.Rg1
  12. 6.a3
  13. 6.f4
  14. 6.h4
  15. 6.Qd3
  16. 6.Qe2
  17. 6.b3
  18. 6.Nf3

Between 2500+ players, there have additionally been: Bd2 and Qf3

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