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

Number of games in database: 1191
Years covered: 1851 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 38.0%
   Black wins 27.9%
   Draws 34.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
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 48; games 1-25 of 1,191  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. H Kennedy vs Wyvill 0-152 1851 LondonB54 Sicilian
2. Steinitz vs Adolf Stern 1-026 1870 Baden-BadenB54 Sicilian
3. Weenink vs P F Johner  0-148 1923 Scheveningen NEDB54 Sicilian
4. Capablanca vs Yates 1-037 1928 Bad KissingenB54 Sicilian
5. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs A Bernstein 1-029 1929 USSR ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
6. W Henneberger vs O Naegeli 0-150 1932 BerneB54 Sicilian
7. E R Lundin vs K Kullberg 1-035 1935 OrebroB54 Sicilian
8. Rauzer vs Lisitsin  ½-½29 1937 URS-ch10B54 Sicilian
9. G A Thomas vs V Berger  1-034 1937 MargateB54 Sicilian
10. Euwe vs W Winter 1-032 1937 AmsterdamB54 Sicilian
11. A Elo vs P Litwinsky  1-031 1937 38th ACF Congress. Preliminary 4B54 Sicilian
12. Keres vs Capablanca ½-½56 1937 Semmering/BadenB54 Sicilian
13. Fine vs E Eliskases  ½-½23 1937 Semmering/BadenB54 Sicilian
14. O'Kelly vs Ahlbach 1-016 1938 CorrespondenceB54 Sicilian
15. Spielmann vs S Landau  0-172 1938 AmsterdamB54 Sicilian
16. E G Sergeant vs G A Thomas  ½-½53 1938 MargateB54 Sicilian
17. Keres vs S Landau 1-073 1938 NoordwijkB54 Sicilian
18. Alekhine vs F Parr 1-058 1938 Simul, 21bB54 Sicilian
19. Aitken vs M Pavey  0-149 1939 SCO-chB54 Sicilian
20. M T Mora Iturralde vs M Karff  0-153 1939 Wch womenB54 Sicilian
21. A Khavin vs E Gerstenfeld  0-141 1940 URS-sfB54 Sicilian
22. Prins vs S Landau  1-031 1940 LeeuwardenB54 Sicilian
23. Smyslov vs Bondarevsky ½-½58 1941 USSR Absolute ChampionshipB54 Sicilian
24. Fine vs J Rauch  1-052 1941 US Open (Prelim 1)B54 Sicilian
25. P Leepin vs Stoltz  0-121 1941 MunichB54 Sicilian
 page 1 of 48; games 1-25 of 1,191  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?
Premium Chessgames Member
  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.
Premium Chessgames Member
  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. ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  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 ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  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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