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Sicilian (B54)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4

Number of games in database: 1203
Years covered: 1851 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 38.1%
   Black wins 27.6%
   Draws 34.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
D Mastrovasilis  16 games
Vladimir Malakhov  16 games
Lodewijk Prins  15 games
Bent Larsen  13 games
Viktor Korchnoi  9 games
Peter Svidler  8 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs Stoltz, 1942
V Gashimov vs R Kempinski, 2011
O'Kelly vs Ahlbach, 1938
Lombardy vs Fischer, 1960
E Magerramov vs Kasparov, 1973
A Fejzullahu vs Korchnoi, 2006
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 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,203  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-1521851LondonB54 Sicilian
2. Steinitz vs Adolf Stern 1-0261870Baden-BadenB54 Sicilian
3. Weenink vs P F Johner  0-1481923Scheveningen NEDB54 Sicilian
4. Capablanca vs Yates 1-0371928Bad KissingenB54 Sicilian
5. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs A Bernstein 1-0291929USSR ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
6. W Henneberger vs O Naegeli 0-1501932BerneB54 Sicilian
7. E R Lundin vs K Kullberg 1-0351935OrebroB54 Sicilian
8. Rauzer vs Lisitsin  ½-½291937URS-ch10B54 Sicilian
9. G A Thomas vs V Berger  1-0341937MargateB54 Sicilian
10. Euwe vs W Winter 1-0321937AmsterdamB54 Sicilian
11. A Elo vs P Litwinsky  1-031193738th ACF Congress. Preliminary 4B54 Sicilian
12. Keres vs Capablanca ½-½561937Semmering/BadenB54 Sicilian
13. Fine vs E Eliskases  ½-½231937Semmering/BadenB54 Sicilian
14. O'Kelly vs Ahlbach 1-0161938CorrespondenceB54 Sicilian
15. Spielmann vs S Landau  0-1721938AmsterdamB54 Sicilian
16. E G Sergeant vs G A Thomas  ½-½531938MargateB54 Sicilian
17. Keres vs S Landau 1-0731938NoordwijkB54 Sicilian
18. Alekhine vs F Parr 1-0581938Simul, 21bB54 Sicilian
19. Aitken vs M Pavey  0-1491939SCO-chB54 Sicilian
20. M T Mora Iturralde vs M Karff  0-1531939Wch womenB54 Sicilian
21. A Khavin vs E Gerstenfeld  0-1411940URS-sfB54 Sicilian
22. Prins vs S Landau  1-0311940LeeuwardenB54 Sicilian
23. Smyslov vs Bondarevsky ½-½581941USSR Absolute ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
24. Fine vs J Rauch  1-0521941US Open (Prelim 1)B54 Sicilian
25. P Leepin vs Stoltz  0-1211941MunichB54 Sicilian
 page 1 of 49; games 1-25 of 1,203  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
Mar-25-04  PaulKeres: other than the mainline 4...Nf6, I like 4...e5 as well for black. How would you reply to this?
Aug-07-04  RonB52734: <PaulKeres> I too am interested in comment on 4...e5. I played a game today that went like this: 1.e4 c5 2. ♘f3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.♘xd4 e5 5.♘f3 ♘f6 6.♗g5 ♗e7 7.♗xf6 ♗xf6 8. ♗c4 O-O 9.♘c3 ♕c7 10.♕d3 ♘d7 11.♘d5 ♕d8 12.O-O ♘c5 13.♕e2 ♗e6 14.♖ad1 ♘a4 15.b3 ♘b2 16.♖b1 ♘xc4 17.♕xc4 ♖c8 18.♕d3 ♖e8 19.♘xf+ ♕xf6 20.c4 and at this point things look reasonably even to me. I'd be delighted to read any comments, brutal or otherwise. Incidentally, I played the black pieces and lost this game.
Aug-07-04  RonB52734: In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that the game continuation gets ugly after 20.c4 because 20...♕g6 21.♖fe1 ♗h3??? (I didn't see that 22.♘h4 was a killer)
Aug-08-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: The principled reply to 4...e5!? would be 5 Bb5+. In fact, the entire rationale behind the Najdorf's 5...a6 is to control the b5 square and thus set up ...e5. Perhaps somebody would be willing to elaborate on why it's best to play ...a6 (or ...Nc6) before kicking the knight with ...e5. ;)
Aug-14-04  suenteus po 147: I, too, would like to know why 5...a6 is th best continuation. I've seen it work (I lost three games in a row against this line of the Sicilian today), and I'm curious how one goes about refuting it as white.
Aug-15-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: The logic behind it is to control b5 and set up ...e5, as stated above. Now ...e5 can also be prepared with ...Nc6 blocking the bishop check, but this is more committal - often after 5...a6, the Knight usually goes to d7. ...a6 is generally a desirable and/or mandatory move in the open Sicilian, so Black might as well play it now, forcing White to commit to a plan which can be responded to accordingly. As for refuting it, how would one go about refuting the main line of chess? Where the combined might of nearly every GM and IM has failed, we certainly will ;)
Aug-15-04  suenteus po 147: <BiLL RobeRTiE> Perhaps "refuting" was too strong a word to use in regards to my question. I understand that the Sicilian is one of the strongest defences (if not THE strongest defense) in black's repetoire, but that doesn't make it unbeatable. So, for my question: Rather than refutation, what is a line someone might suggest that allows white to maintain equality into the middlegame against 5...a6? It doesn't have to be a proven line, of course, just something useful and helpful.
Aug-15-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: There are many different setups White can choose: if you're looking for a roughly equal middlegame, without too much theoretical sharpness, I would recommend 6 Be2, followed by O-O, Be3, f4 etc. Black's counterplay is limited by White's short castling, while White has decent attacking opportunities. Check out the games of Efim Geller in this variation, he favored Be2 systems versus the Najdorf and Scheveningen and is/was a fine attacking player.
Jul-31-05  waddayaplay: I suspect that the popularity of the Nadjorf is due to Fischer and Kasparov having used it. You could probably play ..e5 at once, after Bb5+ Bd7 Bxd7+ Qxd7 black has lost his bishop supposed to guard the e5 square from a white knight, and has his other bishop locked in by two pawns, but there should be counterplay if one would be willing to study it.
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