Well the line goes on, but I'm asking (kinda curious), is it really a good plan in an opening to play a knight 4 moves to a quite a passive location to a3 where it seems to sit quite a long time? Is there better moves or more active play? Well the White has got the d5 squre for the other Knight and Blacks doubled pawn is somewhat weak, still Black can use it to strengthen the hold on the center playing the f6 pawn eventually to f4. And Black seems to get more active piece play. Any opinions?
109 ( +1 | -1 ) Some thoughtsFirst off, I believe it's better for White to play 8. Na3 before capturing on f6, since after a subsequent 8... b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5, White has more options in meeting the ...f5 pawn advance with his knight on d5 instead of on c3. With your move order, Black can omit ...b5 entirely and play 9... f5 straight away.
The knight on d5 turns out to be very strong in this position, and it's difficult for Black to get rid of the knight. While White's knight on a3 is rather poor, it can serve a very useful function after c3, Nc2, and Nce3, when attempts to trade off the d5-knight can be met with a knight recapture, maintaining a knight on the outpost. A slow plan to be sure, but a dangerous plan as well since Black cannot afford to allow White to completely dominate d5. (For instance, see Kasparov - Shirov, Horgen, 1994 for an idea of what can happen if Black loses the ability to contest d5).
As for Black, he does get active piece play, and the doubled f-pawns are not at all weak and serve a useful function in helping to break up White's grip on the central light squares. He also has the two bishops to help him along.
40 ( +1 | -1 ) Hmm..Thanks caldazar for these thoughts and correction about the line (I was stating the line from my memory, not played it much). I have to see the Kasparov-Shirov game, the Blacks options seem to be good... Any other thoughts?
58 ( +1 | -1 ) Hmmahh...I allready viewed the game but since there is no comments I can't say I understans all that goes on there... Kasparov made an exchange sac on move 17 getting the control of the white central squares.. Still how could he be so sure of victory? Hmm...
I think usually the g pawn recaptures to f6 and the bishop is played to g7 while white playes his queen to h5 and bishop to d3...
37 ( +1 | -1 ) Uhhmm-ahh...I also viewed some games that were played at Bled Olympiad, there were some 7 games played Sicilian Pelican.. Also g3 and Bg2 seems to be playable after Black has played f5... Bishop gets a more active role... Hmm..
116 ( +1 | -1 ) Regarding Kasparov-ShirovKasparov's point after his 17th and 18th moves is that Black can no longer challenge d5 at all, and so his strong knight will stay there for a long time. Black's only piece that can challenge d5 is the knight on b7, but after White's 18th move, the knight has no easy way to get back into the game (Black would have to move his queen first, but the queen has no useful square to which to move). Compounding Black problem is the fact that he has no obvious way to continue; his piece placement is poor; there's no easy way to improve his situation. In contrast, White has many active ways of improving his game. His c2-knight can go to c4, harassing the weak d6-pawn and threatening to jump to b6. His bishop can go to d3 to support e4 or c4 to support d5. And of course his strong d5-knight controls several dark squares in Black's camp. White has all the piece activity, and hence all the play.
There are several plans in the Pelican for both White and Black. If White plays a bit more slowly, as Kasparov did, Black can play Be7, avoiding the doubled f-pawns completely. If White captures quickly on f6, then Black is forced to play ...gxf6 and so it's better to have the bishop on g7.
69 ( +1 | -1 ) PelikanWhite can use two different strategies - He can play for the attack - wherein Bxf6 is reasonable. Unfortunately this doesn't work. The best white can look forward to is a draw by repetition of moves or perpetual check. Therefor most players look for a long term positional squeeze - targeting the d5 square. White might get a very slight advantage - but it's not much. If you are a fine positional player and like this sort of game, then go for it. The Pelikan is completely sound. I've had some victories with the Pelikan and a lot of draws - never ever had a poor position. White must look outside the mainlines for any hope to win - unless the white player is a fine positional player.