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Sicilian (B30)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6

Number of games in database: 7027
Years covered: 1834 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 38.1%
   Black wins 28.5%
   Draws 33.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Michael Adams  42 games
Sergei Rublevsky  42 games
Emil Sutovsky  39 games
Alexander Moiseenko  102 games
Teimour Radjabov  68 games
Sveshnikov  51 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Stanishevsky vs Nikonov, 1981
Alekhine vs Saemisch, 1923
Tal vs Y Rantanen, 1979
Anand vs Carlsen, 2009
Gipslis vs Tal, 1955
Morozevich vs Carlsen, 2006
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 page 1 of 282; games 1-25 of 7,027 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 0-1321834London m4 ;HCL 18B30 Sicilian
2. Mohishunder vs Cochrane 0-1161850CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
3. Mohishunder vs Cochrane 1-0321850CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
4. G Salomon vs Saint Amant  0-1161850EnglandB30 Sicilian
5. Bird vs Horwitz 0-1321851LondonB30 Sicilian
6. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-0381851LondonB30 Sicilian
7. F G Heijmans vs M van 't Kruijs  0-1371851AmsterdamB30 Sicilian
8. Szen vs Anderssen 0-1361851LondonB30 Sicilian
9. Loewenthal vs Harrwitz  ½-½531853LondonB30 Sicilian
10. Staunton vs NN 1-0431853ReadingB30 Sicilian
11. C Eliason vs S Leow  1-0481856BerlinB30 Sicilian
12. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0431856CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
13. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0191857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
14. Cochrane vs Somacarana  0-1621857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
15. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0431857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
16. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0281857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
17. G Schnitzler vs Hardung 1-091862DuesseldorfB30 Sicilian
18. Paulsen vs Eugen von Schmidt  0-1531864LeipzigB30 Sicilian
19. Winawer vs C Golmayo  1-0461867ParisB30 Sicilian
20. Wemmers vs Paulsen  0-1391881BerlinB30 Sicilian
21. Wemmers vs E Schallopp 1-0401881BerlinB30 Sicilian
22. H Von Schuetz vs Paulsen  0-1181881BerlinB30 Sicilian
23. A Schwarz vs Paulsen  ½-½461882ViennaB30 Sicilian
24. J Noa vs Paulsen  ½-½481882ViennaB30 Sicilian
25. Chigorin vs Blackburne 0-1701882ViennaB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 282; games 1-25 of 7,027 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-28-03  evertoexcel: As long as I have been playing chess (about a year now), I have always been fascinated with the idea of the Sicilian defense. Being a novice, I never dared to play it. However, as I have improved and gotten a bit tired of e5 every time out, I gave it a shot the other night and got CRUSHED within 15 moves. I dragged it out for another 30 moves or so but positionally it was hopeless. I know that there are many different choices under the umbrella of "sicilian" openings, so I am looking for an one with strong attacking possibilities. Any suggestions, advice, or reading referrals would be greatly appreciated.

I must also thank those of you who gave me such good advice several months ago when I was learning the giuoco piano.

Jun-28-03  Kenkaku: I personally play the B50 Sicilian Defense with the intention of playing the Najdorf. When I started playing the Sicilian I played the B30 but became dissatisfied with it after a few games. I moved into the B50 with intention of playing the Dragon which I used for quite awhile, but finally I began to see its weaknesses in a few lost games became dissatisfied with it. After that I took up the Najdorf and have played it ever since. It has become my strongest defense against 1. e4 and makes for enjoyable, exciting games. Expect to take many losses initially, but in the course of those you should learn (as I did) the purpose of every move in your Sicilian system of choice, especially against players who know little theory, and will hopefully start crushing the competition as black.
Jun-29-03  euripides: Evertoexcel - there are a number of standard tactical themes in the Sicilian including sacrifices on b5, e6, and d5 and pawn thrusts with e5 and f5: and the positional crush if White gains control of d5 when Black has played e5. It's worth playing some blitz games to get used to these themes, or play over a number of Sicilian games(say from the 1950s, when these themes were less well known so that masters fell into the traps). Once you're used to these traps, the Sicilian is enjoyable -don't be discouraged by initially losing several of your practice games very quickly; everyone does that.
Jun-30-03  maa: Personnaly I prefer the marshall variation of the sicilian(1e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 d5). it is an aggressive unknown opening.their is a lot of complications and if you are well prepared you will gain a lot of time. this opening requires a lot of study because of his many repli.
Jun-30-03  actual: <evertoexcel> Starting Out: The Sicilian By Emms is a good introduction to many of the main variations of the Sicilian as well as the main anti-Sicilian weapons. The book should give you a good feel for the main lines and themes/ideas for white and black and may also help you to decide which variation you might be interested in studying more deeply.
Jul-02-03  evertoexcel: Thanks a lot for the advice! I just bought the Emms book after reading through it for a half hour. Let the beatings commence!
Jul-03-03  Benjamin Lau: Random question to everyone:
Is the Sicilian (nevermind the variation, I mean just the beginning 1. e4 c5) a hypermodern opening? If so, how come I never hear anyone refer to it as that? Second, if not, why? Doesn't the c5 sort of undermine the center of white? Another "gray area" in chess?
Jul-03-03  Shadout Mapes: BL: No, 1.e4 c5 is not hypermodern, as it controls the center with pawns, rather than pieces as in the Nimzo/Queen's Indian complexes. That's basically the hypermodern concept is to use pieces instead of pawns to controls the center.

Unless, I am wrong, which I have been before, anyone else want to comment?

Jul-03-03  Benjamin Lau: <BL: No, 1.e4 c5 is not hypermodern, as it controls the center with pawns, rather than pieces as in the Nimzo/Queen's Indian complexes. That's basically the hypermodern concept is to use pieces instead of pawns to controls the center.>

Thanks, I just remembered that- "hypermodern" systems are supposed control the center with an early Kkt instead of pawns. How about the Benoni (old one, not modern)? Does it count as hypermodern or only its cousin the Modern Benoni?

Jul-03-03  Shadout Mapes: That's one's tough, even the Modern Benoni isn't exactly "Hypermodern" despite the name. I think most indian openings (1.d4 Nf6) are usually just labeled modern unless they transpose into a QGD. Any other opinions?
Jul-03-03  Benjamin Lau: Then what about the English? Isn't that hypermodern? But it uses the c4 pawn...

And a question- how come everyone says the Sicilian is tactical, but the English is positional? Is the difference in tempo enough to cause such a huge transformation?

Jul-10-03  euripides: The Sicilian briefly got trendy in the 1920s when Euwe played it at Scheveningen. If it had been successful then, it might well have been thought 'hypermodern'. But by the late 1920s the Scheveningen was thought too passive and you go on seeing this view even to Reuben Fine's 'Ideas of the chess openings' in the 1940s. Reti annotates Maroczy-Euwe (Shceveningen 1922, beautiufullywon by Maroczy) in his last book, but assumes different black strategy from that now current. It was the Russians who caught on to the possibilities. But there is certainly an affinity between Nimzowitsch's liking for restricted formations e.g.the Philidor Hanham and the hedgehog andScheveningen interpretations of the Sicilian.

I guess it's often White who explodes the tactics in the Sicilian, and Black who seeks to contain them. A move behind, Black in the English is unable to be as explosive.

The 2...Nf6 line was played by Nizowitsch and is certainly hypermodern, but apparently no good.

Jul-10-03  ksadler: <The 2. .. ♘f6 line was played by Nimzowitsch and is certainly hypermodern, but apparently no good.> Take it back...the problem with it is not that it is no good, its just that it's not theoretical. I transpose into it all the time from Alekhine's Defense (1. e4 ♘f6 2. e5 ♘d5 3. ♘f3 c5!) and have good results. Probably it wouldn't be as easy if I wasn't an Alekhine's players, but that's besides the point :) The line we're talking about btw is Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29)
Jul-10-03  ksadler: Speaking of Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29) , (1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 ♘f6) is a beautiful weapon in blitz/bullet. Most 1. e4 players play 1. e4 2. ♘f3 3. d4 without even a though against the Sicilian, but after 3. d4? ♘xe4! and Black has claimed a pawn after 3 moves.
Jul-11-03  Fulkrum: I stongly recommend the Emms book. Of all the Starting Out books this is the best (although Starting Out-The Nimzo-Indian is pretty good too). I am also reading Silman's book on the Sicilian (2nd edition). He sets up a complete repetoir for black against e4 with the main focus being the Accellerated Dragon. The book was hard to find but it was worth the trouble.
Apr-07-04  reekingskunk: I personally think the sicilian is hypermodern; it controls the center with wing demonstrations, generally, the fianchettoed bishops, either king bishop in the dragon or queen's bishop in some other systems najdorf, schevingnen, etc. help that along. also, there is of course the classic b5, a wing move aimed at the disrupting the center much of the time (by hitting the c3 knight which is guarding the e-pawn) And if you look at the closed sicilian structure, it is very hypermodern, of course similar to the english
Apr-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Euripides, thanks for the reply earlier, I did not see it. Nimzowitsch probably would have been very fond of the Sicilian had he seen what later masters did with it. So euripides, what about the English? It's commonly labeled "hypermodern," but it's cousin the Sicilian apparently is not. And what exactly would the Sicilian be? Apparently no one has decided to call it hypermodern, but it's hardly classical either, black's center is much more fluid and restrained than in the Ruy Lopez for instance.
Apr-07-04  Shadout Mapes: In the Reti system c4 is a very thematic move. The thing about the English though is that it can traspose into a many number of things, even a reversed Sicilian. So i'd say it can be, or it can be classical.
Apr-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Thanks Shadout.
Nov-13-04  kostich in time: I dont know if anyone thought the Sicilian was too "passive", even in the twenties. Maroczy had some interesting sucesses with it, as did Lasker. Shortly after Euwes defeat at the hands of Maroczy, it became fairly popular. What really made the Sicilian take off were the discoveries of Boleslavsky and Najdorf.
Nov-14-04  euripides: I think the Scheveningen had a vogue in the 1920s but by the end of the 1920s was seen as pretty much refuted. Both Reti in 'Masters of the chess board' (late 1920s) and Fine in 'Ideas of the chess openings' (1940s, but badly out of date even when it was written) are very discouraging about it. The problem may have been partly that people thought Black's main plan should be d5, when he can get a bad version of a French (basically what happened to Euwe versus Maroczy). The flexibility needed to play it effectively hadn't been developed.

I agree with <BenLau)that Nimzowitsch would have been interested in the modern Scheveningen.

Sep-28-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <WannaBe: According to opening explorer, 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 and black wins most of the time! For some reason I don't... I always lose when facing this 'strange' Bc4... Can anyone offer an opinion or hints?? Thanks in advance.>

Ah yes, the early Bc4 in the Sicilian. I see it all the time playing online and I often wonder why it's almost never seen in GM games. The reason why Black wins most games (statistically) is probably not because White is really that bad off, but because anybody who plays a patzerish move order like that is probably not very highly rated.

Here's my take: if you, as White, move the Bishop out "too early" you either (a) end up playing d4 too late and wind up facing complications that might actually favor Black, or (b) get into an inferior variation of the closed-Sicilian. It's probably not as bleak as this, but these are certainly real dangers of the early Bc4.

Below are just my home cooked ideas on this move order, but looking around with Opening Explorer I was pleased to see no less than the current World Champion playing the same moves.

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6

The plan is to play ...a6 and threaten ...b5, where the Bishop will have no good place to go. But ...e6 is necessary first, otherwise the bishop can go to d5.

3. Nc3 a6

The whole point. Dummy now has to decide what to do with his bishop, and it's too late to transpose into "normal" Sicilian lines.

4.a4

What else?

4...Nc6 5.Nf3 Nf6

or ...Qc7 is good as well. And now White might think he can turn this into your garden-variety Sicilian after 6.d4 cxd4, right? Wrong! Try this, 6.d4 d5! and Black has suddenly seized the reigns. (Please see E Arruda vs Kramnik, 1991 for a stunning demonstration.)

Sep-28-05  hintza: <Sneaky> Very interesting. Ah yes, the bizarre popularity of Bc4...
Sep-28-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Sneaky> Thank you very much for your analysis and the time you spend to do it. =)
May-20-06  Edwin Meyer: Question; What makes Sicilian Defense B30 to B39 stand out from all the other Sicilian Defense variations? Is it because of the move 2...Nc6?
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