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Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation (B31)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6

Number of games in database: 4063
Years covered: 1857 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 43.0%
   Black wins 23.9%
   Draws 33.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Peter Svidler  30 games
Evgeni Vasiukov  27 games
Jan Timman  27 games
Rauf Mamedov  32 games
Vasilios Kotronias  25 games
Vladimir Kramnik  23 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs Spassky, 1992
Judit Polgar vs P Chilingirova, 1988
Rossolimo vs I Romanenko, 1948
Ponomariov vs Kramnik, 2003
Caruana vs Carlsen, 2015
M Pavlovic vs Carlsen, 2004
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 page 1 of 163; games 1-25 of 4,063  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs Somacarana 0-1401857CalcuttaB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
2. Alapin vs Von Gottschall 1-0561887FrankfurtB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
3. W Henneberger vs Alekhine 0-1521934ZurichB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
4. M Schubert vs D May  0-1311936UJCS-14.KongressB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
5. F H Stoppel vs H Gordon  ½-½24194647th US OpenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
6. Tartakower vs Boleslavsky 0-1691946GroningenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
7. Rossolimo vs I Romanenko 1-0171948SalzburgB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
8. Tartakower vs Stoltz  ½-½191948Saltsj÷baden InterzonalB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
9. Rossolimo vs B H Wood  ½-½381949Hastings 1948/49B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
10. Rossolimo vs O'Kelly 1-0241949OldenburgB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
11. Rossolimo vs M Castillo  1-0661950Mar del PlataB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
12. K Darga vs Lothar Musmann  1-0201951German Championship U20B31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
13. B Hoenlinger vs E R Lundin  0-1631951Schlechter memB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
14. Teschner vs Stahlberg  0-1721952Helsinki ol (Men) fin-AB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
15. E Haag vs A Koranyi  ½-½251953Budapest, HungaryB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
16. Szabo vs Boleslavsky  1-0741953BucharestB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
17. Larsen vs H Heikkila  1-0401953Wch U20 qual-BB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
18. Szabo vs Averbakh  ½-½271953Zurich CandidatesB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
19. Kholmov vs V Ciocaltea  1-0311954BucharestB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
20. I Bilek vs Szily 1-0291954HUN-ch 10thB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
21. R Jacobs vs K Burger  0-123195556th US OpenB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
22. Bronstein vs Geller 1-0231955Gothenburg InterzonalB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
23. Boleslavsky vs Taimanov  0-13719554th Soviet Team-ch finalB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
24. C H Maderna vs L Marini  ½-½251955ARG-chB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
25. Averbakh vs Taimanov  ½-½421956USSR ChampionshipB31 Sicilian, Rossolimo Variation
 page 1 of 163; games 1-25 of 4,063  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-27-05  farrooj: I think I might adopt this opening against the sicilian. Can anyone tell me the main ideas of this opening?
Jul-28-05  SEMENELIN: this opening is strong for white to refute the sicilian's black defense. It captures the center and has a strong support in the diagonal file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: <thanks, yes it look like the closest line to Bb5 in 2..Nc6, and I have a way that black may fall into it, that is playing 2. Nc3 instead of 2. Nf3 maybe expecting my oponent to fall into it> that is interesting to try it that way. the only problem is that you can't push the c-pawn, but that is the same v. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.Nc3. to all the rossolimo-ers out there what do you play v. 3. ...a6 in the line i just gave? 4.g3 and go for a closed? bite the bullet and play 4.d4?
Dec-21-05  notyetagm: <akashic: The Rossolimo is just like playing a Ruy Lopez, I wonder why it's not played more often at higher levels.>

Noticing the similarity between the Rossolimo and the Ruy Lopez, some witty English chess player started calling the Rossolimo the "Awry Lopez". :-)

Dec-21-05  csmath: Rossolimo is my pet opening in blitz. In standard Sicilian I play closed Sicilian.

Never allow your opponent to play Naydorf, it is virtually unbeatable. I swear on that one. :-)

Dec-21-05  Akavall: Yeah, allowing Najdorf is too risky it actually increases you chances of loosing! While Rossolimo, is nice and safe and if you are not over ambitious you should be able to get a draw fairly easily :).
Dec-21-05  vampiero: the difference between the rossolimo and the ruy lopez is a principal one, having a pawn on c5 instead of e5 changes quite alot of things in development, and long term strategical ideas too
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I like 3...Qb6 myself, but don't walk into this line:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Qb6 4.Nc3 Nd4?! 5.Nxd4 cxd4 6.Nd5! and White has a much more comfortable game.

Dec-22-05  blitzjamendoza: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Qb6 4.Nc3 e6(y 4...Nd4???) 5.Bxc6! Qxc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Qc7 8.0-0 a6 9.Re1 and white has a slight advantage in this line
Jun-14-06  BaranDuin: Recently I played a nice game with the gambit 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5. 0-0 d6 6. b4 cxb4 7. a3 bxa3

I looked this line up in the online chessbase ( and I didn't find any games with it. Can someone confirm this? Does this mean that I can give the line a name?

Jun-14-06  borisbadenoff: <BaranDuin: Recently I played a nice game with the gambit 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5. 0-0 d6 6. b4 cxb4 7. a3 bxa3

I looked this line up in the online chessbase ( and I didn't find any games with it. Can someone confirm this? Does this mean that I can give the line a name?>

The only fact that there maybe no game in the chessbase-database doesn't say there are no games with this line. One game just maybe is not enoguh to justify a new variation name and up to including 5. .. d6 there are games

At first look the refutation to this line (6. b4) should be 6. cxb4 7. a3 c5 and black has at least equal game in my opinion. Btw black can/will give back the pawn at some time when he likes to do so.

Normally a variation gets it's name after/by some strong player who promotes it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: <BaranDuin> Although you line wasn't played in this game, there is a b4 sacrifice idea: Fischer vs Spassky, 1992
Jun-16-06  BaranDuin: <Ron: <BaranDuin> Although you line wasn't played in this game, there is a b4 sacrifice idea: Fischer vs Spassky, 1992>

That was where I got the idea from.

< borisbadenoff: At first look the refutation to this line (6. b4) should be 6. cxb4 7. a3 c5 and black has at least equal game in my opinion.>

After 7. a3 c5 8. axb4 cxb4 9. c3 White has better development and central domination as compensation for the pawn.

Jul-11-06  AdrianP: An interesting random statistic - from this position

click for larger view

(after 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6)

Sutovsky, according to the cg database, has played 12, with results of +12 -0 =0. Quite an advert for the Rossolimo...

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <AdrianP> yes it is indeed! maybe if this line can be refuted by black he has to take with the d pawn? 4...dc6?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: After looking at the 4...dc6 yes this has to be it. This is what World Champ Kramnik plays, to refute 4.Bc6
Premium Chessgames Member
  Swapmeet: In the main position which occurs after 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3, Kramnik's score with black is +1-2=3. Not exactly refuted.

In fact, statistically white wins more with 3.Bb5 than 3.d4, and has a very nice win % in the Bxc6 lines regardless of which pawn black recaptures with.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <swapmeat> okay thanks didn't realize Kramnik has also lost with this line!
Jul-12-06  AdrianP: Another Rossolimo specialist Timman, almost invariably plays 4 O-O

click for larger view

In this line he has a score of +10 =11 -1, according to the database, which is also pretty impressive.

Almost enough to tempt you to give up on open sicilians.

Jul-12-06  AdrianP: Svidler plays both 4. Bxc6 and 4. O-O and has lost 0 games in 19 outings.

Repertoire Explorer: Peter Svidler (white)

Nov-10-06  Daoud911: Is there any reason for white to avoid e4-e5 in the g6 rossolimo variante?

click for larger view

e5 is a key move in black structure. Why white don't block it with e4-e5??? Plus, you get the Ne4 move with c5 attack and check threat (presuming black play Bg7).

Any comment?

Mar-17-07  legija: i started playing chess on tournaments in 2004...had problem with the sicilian,dragon,najdorf...and then i learned the B b5 sicilian...against both 2....Nc6 and 2....d6.....well im proud to say, i won 37 games with draws....lost 2 times, both times left a piece in a dominant position...believe me people,play it, play it...Bb5 is extremly logical, you develop a piece,prepare castling,attack his piece, threaten to damage his pawn structure,and gain a positional plus by exchanging the light square bishop ant place your pawn chain on light squares....what more can you ask from a single move?look at some Mickey Adams games,he plays it...also Rublevsky, get a stable game,winning chances, positional advantages...and in the large tree of the sicilian, when you play Bb5,black has the least counterplay...
Mar-17-07  SirBruce: I must study this opening more closely. I love the Ruy, and I hate facing the Sicilian, so this might be what I'm looking for...
Mar-17-07  square dance: if you hate facing the sicilian you shouldnt play 1.e4. what more can a kings pawn player hope for but an open sicilian?
Mar-17-07  SirBruce: Ummm... Ruy Lopez? Caro-Kann? Scandinavian?
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