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Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation (B28)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 a6

Number of games in database: 2175
Years covered: 1852 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 36.2%
   Black wins 37.0%
   Draws 26.8%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Efim Geller  8 games
Kateryna Lahno  6 games
Alexey Suetin  6 games
Mark Taimanov  24 games
Istvan Csom  22 games
Pia Cramling  16 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Anand vs Morozevich, 2004
Zsofia Polgar vs A Rabczewski, 1989
P Blazkova vs J Manak, 1995
NN vs Pandolfini, 1967
V Liberzon vs Taimanov, 1967
B Pietrusiak vs Velimirovic, 1964
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 page 1 of 87; games 1-25 of 2,175  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Staunton vs NN 1-0251852LondonB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
2. Cochrane vs Somacarana 0-1291858CalcuttaB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
3. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0591858CalcuttaB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
4. Meitner vs Anderssen 0-1261873ViennaB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
5. Blackburne vs W Paulsen 1-0521892DSB-07.KongressB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
6. Lasker vs NN 1-0211898Simul, 28bB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
7. S Passmore vs E O Jones  ½-½461900LondonB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
8. G Marco vs Schlechter ½-½301904Cambridge SpringsB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
9. H Suechting vs Von Gottschall ½-½171904Coburg (Meisterturnier)B28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
10. G Marco vs Maroczy 1-0131905OstendB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
11. W Kunze vs A Sartori 0-1401905Barmen Main A, GERB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
12. Gajdos vs A Sartori  ½-½481905Barmen Main A, GERB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
13. Vidmar vs A Sartori 1-0361905Barmen Main A, GERB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
14. F Englund vs A Sartori  1-0301905Barmen Main A, GERB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
15. Reggio vs Marshall 0-1301905ScheveningenB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
16. Loman vs Marshall 0-1441905ScheveningenB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
17. Breyer vs M Brody  ½-½121913BudapestB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
18. K Sterk vs M Brody ½-½591913Aus-Hun ChampionshipB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
19. K Geus vs M Lange  1-0321914Mannheim-BB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
20. Schlechter vs J Mieses 1-0291918Berlin Four MastersB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
21. A Kier vs T Aalheim  1-0301920Gothenburg CB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
22. Olland vs V Sjoberg  ½-½921920Gothenburg BB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
23. Spielmann vs Tartakower 1-0751921Vienna mB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
24. D Marotti vs G Matteucci  1-0521921ITA-chB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
25. J Krejcik vs D Hell 1-0441921Vienna-AB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
 page 1 of 87; games 1-25 of 2,175  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 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-10-05  BiLL RobeRTiE: <chessboyhaha> It's definitely a mistake, and you definitely are horrible at both chess and English.
May-11-05  chessboyhaha: BiLL RobeRTiE, try to live in the South America, try to have 11 and try to write in English with 11 years old living in South America
May-11-05  chessboyhaha: What line refutor?
May-11-05  refutor: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4? is a mistake, see the previous posts
May-11-05  BiLL RobeRTiE: <chessboyhaha> Your national origins are superfluous. My point is, your posts are both incorrect with regards to chess and difficult to decipher.
May-31-05  rudysanford: I noticed that 4. Bc4 is almost never played- similar to Rossolimo but targeting the other side. Isn't putting pressure on f7 advisable or is it thought to be too soon for that?
May-31-05  e4Newman: for Bc4 check out the sozin variation
Jul-20-05  chessboyhaha: no it's not, what other move in his place?
Oct-13-05  AlexanderMorphy: this can quite easily transform into the najdorf!
Mar-31-07  Knight13: <refutor: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4? is a mistake> I think he means Black might now play ...cxd4 and instead plays ...e6..
Mar-31-07  Knight13: <I think he means Black might now play ...cxd4 and instead plays ...e6..> meant "might not play" not "might now play."
Mar-31-07  HannibalSchlecter: IM Andrew Martin calls 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6. 3.c3! the acid test of the O'Kelly Sicilian. White's idea is to play a c3 or Alapin Siclian where the move 3.a6 would be rendered useless. White seems to be scoring well with it.
May-21-07  foolishmovesss: The only reason I play the O'Kelly, is to get into the dragon with out having to deal with a Yugoslav. Transposition into the Najdorf is also nice as you never face the english attack. The Maroczy bind is difficult to play against if you dont watch whats happening, but black has a fine game. The O'Kelly is great for book players who don't really know what is happening.

Oh and yes 3) d4 is a pretty bad mistake, I have beat a few experts who didn't know not to play it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <foolish> I don't understand. ...a6 is not part of Dragon main lines, so you should be in trouble against any Yugoslav Attack. The O'Kelly is a good route to Kan/Paulsen/Schven/Najdorf, but a poor choice if you want a main line Dragon.
May-21-07  foolishmovesss: I guess thats what I am saying Eric. I don't want it to be a main line really. I saw it somewhere called the dragondorf, basically a dragon with a6 of course. I believe I have seen it played my Nakumura.

I could be wrong.

Jan-27-08  omarbaguio: HELLO
Mar-19-08  Edwin Meyer: That would be; Sicilian defense: O'Kelly Variation by W. John Lutes.
Jun-13-09  Edwin M: Opening for White According to Anand 1. e4, Vol. 8.
Jul-09-09  parisattack: I like the O'Kelly but 3. c3 spoils some of the fun. I think 2. ...e6 and Kan/Taimanov/Schveningen is more accurate.
Jul-09-09  WhiteRook48: I don't get 3 c4 in this line
Jul-09-09  Shams: <I don't get 3 c4 in this line> Simply transposing to the Maroczy Bind. 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 is a line where 2...a6 is better, since to block ...b7-b5 white has to play a2-a4.
Jul-09-09  parisattack: I never worried about the 3. c4 variation...Black can come out OK, especially with ...e5 in many lines.
Apr-21-11  Lambda: <I don't get 3 c4 in this line> c2-c4 is a useful restraining move for white against the open Sicilian, it blunts the black attack down the c-file and makes the classical Sicilian freeing move ...d5 difficult to achieve. The reason black plays ...Nf6 early on in most Sicilian main lines is to force white to develop the knight to c3 and thus block the c2-c4 advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
1.e4 c5 2.♘f3 a6

click for larger view

I'm assuming the plan is b5.

Dec-22-13  parisattack: <refutor: 3.d4 is a mistake in this line>

Certainly much less than optimal. As Black has not committed to ...e6, he gets a quite easy-to-play Pelikan. Yet amazing how many player's as White even at the master-level continue to play 3. d4.

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