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Sicilian (B20)
1 e4 c5

Number of games in database: 6346
Years covered: 1620 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 34.2%
   Black wins 40.1%
   Draws 25.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Tamaz Gelashvili  90 games
Miguel Munoz Pantoja  71 games
Arlette van Weersel  38 games
Howard Staunton  19 games
Pavel Tregubov  15 games
Boris Gelfand  11 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Marshall vs Stodie, 1920
A Kvicala vs NN, 1869
Marshall vs H Rogosin, 1940
P Potemkin vs Alekhine, 1912
Cochrane vs Staunton, 1843
K Shirazi vs J Peters, 1984
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 page 1 of 254; games 1-25 of 6,346 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Greco vs NN 1-0201620Miscellaneous gameB20 Sicilian
2. Greco vs NN 1-0321620Miscellaneous gameB20 Sicilian
3. T Bowdler vs Philidor ½-½511783Philidor Blindfold Simul 3b, LondonB20 Sicilian
4. Szen vs G Walker ½-½391837Casual gameB20 Sicilian
5. H Wilson vs S Newham  ½-½531840Correspondence mB20 Sicilian
6. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0201842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
7. Staunton vs Cochrane  1-0231842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
8. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0251842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
9. Cochrane vs Staunton  1-0401842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
10. Cochrane vs Staunton  1-0421842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
11. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1141842London m2B20 Sicilian
12. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1201842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
13. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1231842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
14. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1321842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
15. Staunton vs Cochrane  0-1321842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
16. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1401842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
17. Cochrane vs Saint-Amant ½-½341842Casual gameB20 Sicilian
18. Cochrane vs Staunton  ½-½271843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
19. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0201843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
20. Staunton vs Cochrane  1-0261843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
21. Cochrane vs Staunton 1-0321843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
22. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-191843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
23. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1261843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
24. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1281843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
25. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1331843Casual gameB20 Sicilian
 page 1 of 254; games 1-25 of 6,346 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Colonel Mortimer: <after e5 protecting the pawn couldn't white play c3 that move or a bit later transposing into a superior version of the morra?> Yes that would be a superior Morra. Anyhow most good players would respond with regular sicilian moves mindful that their opponent may want to transpose into the Morra.
Oct-20-09  Manic: <muwatalli> Not sure if you'll get this, but this was posted on the O'kelly variation page. I had remembered why 3.d4 is bad against the O'kelly and realised you can transpose into it!

< BiLL RobeRTiE: 3.c3 is also good versus this variation. However the 3. d4 mistake is important to remember if you ever run into the move order 1. e4 c5 2. d4?! cxd4 3. Nf3 a6!, where White can play 4. Nxd4 e5 and be slightly worse or enter the dubious and gimmicky Smith-Morra with 4. c3.>

The point of 3...a6 is that white's knight cannot jump to b5 as in a normal Sveshnikov. I am guessing black will just develop normally after 3...a6.

Oct-20-09  MaxxLange: 1 e4 c5

radically fighting White's natural d4 push. The theory of the opening is based on White's response.

The Morra Gambit says, no, I play 2 d4 anyway, you cannot stop it. I gambit a pawn.

The Open Sicilian: 2 Nf3, developing and preparing the d4 cxd4 exchange

Alapin with 2 c3 fights for d4 positionally

Wing Gambit with 2 b4 tries to divert the Sicilian pawn

Closed with 2 Nc3 tries to play a slow attack where Black's control of d4 is not important. Very flexible move, White can go Bb5, or do a delayed Wing Gambit, or even still play the Open Sicilian, or do the Closed or Grand Prix

2 b3 is supposed to be OK, but better after 2 Nf3 e6 3 b3

2 a3 or 2 Na3: crazy new ideas...interesting

Oct-20-09  Manic: <MaxxLange> Doesn't the delayed wing gambit come after 2.Nf3, not 2.Nc3?

In any case, the delayed wing gambit is supposed to be a bit better than 2.b4. I think the reason was after 2...d6 3.b4 cxb4 black has to use an extra tempo if they want to play d5. Can't be 100% sure.

2.Nc3 is better than 2.f4 if you are aiming for the Grand Prix, as 2.f4 d5 is considered equal.

Oct-20-09  MaxxLange: <Manic> yeah, you are right

Delayed Wing Gambit:
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 (or even 2..d6, like in Keres-Elikasases) 3 b4!?

Nov-03-09  WhiteRook48: 2 f4?! might work vs Sicilian
Jan-12-10  mrandersson: i really do hate the Sicilian Defense its always nice to beat it was white but it does not happen enough tho. the g6 Bg7 dragon thing is so strong in my level anyway.
Jan-12-10  FrogC: <WhiteRook48> 2.f4 is generally consided almost refuted by the Tal-Lisitsyn gambit, 2...d5! Certainly I've found it very effective.
Feb-05-10  rapidcitychess: what about the marshall sicilian?<1e4 c5 2 d4 e6>
Feb-05-10  rapidcitychess: what I got was a advance variation<3 d5>,exchange variation <3 c3>, and classical. (probably best) <Nf3>
Mar-13-10  drukenknight: another interesting b3 Sicilian, an unusual placement of whites KB; a k side storm, blacks QN attacks the q side and white's N does some typical cartwheeling tactics....

1. e4 c5
2. b3 d6
3. Bb2 Nc6
4. f4 e6
5. Qf3 Nf6
6. Bd3 (seems everytime I move d3 in this I get hammered by the ...Qa4+ so I think my B has to go here something to think about)

6... Be7
7. Ne2 O-O
8. Nbc3 e5
9. f5 a6
10. g4 b5
11. Ng3 Nd4

typical closed sicilan blacks Qn attacks the Q side, see Spassky/Geller match for example

12. Qg2 Nxg4
13. O-O-O c4
14. Be2 cxb3
15. cxb3 Nxe2+
16. Ncxe2!? (I grabbed the wrong N!)

16...Bg5!? (Qb6 better)
17. Kb1 Bb7
18. Nh5

after Nh5 find blacks defense..

click for larger view

18…. Nh6!?
19. Nxg7 Bxe4+
20. Qxe4 Kxg7

after 20 ..Kxg7 white to win:

click for larger view

Mar-14-10  TheScroobiousPip: Question: Who are the best modern GMs who doesn't use the Sicilian (or do so rarely)?
Mar-17-10  drukenknight: another one in the b2 sicilian; black sort of just plays into it I guess, but just a simple learning game..

1. e4 c5
2. b3 d6
3. Bb2 Nc6
4. f4 e6
5. Qf3 Nf6
6. Bd3 Be7

after 6 moves a good starting pt. note position of the B on d3, this is the only way I see to cover the N attack on c2/...Nd4 hitting the Q/and still get the Q/KN/KB developed

click for larger view

7. g4 O-O
8. g5 Ne8
9. h4 g6
10. h5 Nd4
11. Bxd4 cxd4
12. hxg6 fxg6
13. Qh3 Rf7

after 13...Rf7 white to play and make the Sicilian obsolete:

click for larger view

Mar-24-10  drukenknight: another 2 b3 sicilian, this one is quite good, a pc analysis after the game leaves more questions than answers:

1. e4 c5
2. b3 a6
3. Bb2 Nh6
4. f4 d6
5. h3 Nc6
6. Bd3 e5
7. Qf3 exf4
8. Qxf4 g5
9. Qf2 Rg8
10. Na3 b5
11. c4 b4
12. Nc2

after 12 Nc2 it gets crazy:

click for larger view

13. O-O-O (here the crap pc recommendas 13 hxg5 which seems to make it worse, maybe intuition is better? )

13… Ne5
14. Be2 g3
15. Qe3 Be6
16. Nf3 Nxf3
17. Bxf3 Qa5
18. e5 (crap pc recomends 18 Bf6 which seems to draw after ...Qxa2 and gives checks)

19. Kb1

position after 19 Kb1:

click for larger view


(19….Rg6 20 Be4 maybe allright )

20. Qe4 d5
21. cxd5 Rxd5
22. Ne3 Nxe3 (Nd4 maybe better but still bad
23. dxe3 Be7 and 1-0

May-22-10  Archswindler: If I had my own way, every game I play with the black pieces would be a sicilian dragon. Unfortunately, I've come to realise that, at club level (against opponents in the 1800-2100 range), the open sicilian is really a massive waste of time to study.

About 50% of all my sicilian games have been against the c3 variation, which, although it isn't especially difficult, is just plain dull and not really the kind of position I look forward to playing on a regular basis. Another 20% were Bb5 variations, which I could avoid by playing the kan, but it was the dragon I really wanted to play. Then there's the grand prix and closed sicilian, which, while more fun, still aren't what I'm hoping for when I play 1... c5.

So it was time to shoot the old dog in the head, and switch to 1... g6. At least then I'm not deluding myself by studying a ton of theory for positions I'll only see 20% of the time.

Jun-10-10  muwatalli: a week or two ago i won a 90 minute game at the local club with a wing gambit-king's gambit hybrid with 1. e4 c5 2. b4?! cxb4 3. a3 e5 4 f4?!

it may or may not be sound, but it got the job done in just 19 moves, while he easily could have resigned at move 13. it is probably fairly potent psychologically as well.

Jun-10-10  MaxxLange: <muwatalli>amazing. did he take on f4?

I played a game once in the World Open D or E class: 1 e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3 f4 e5?!

I am not really sure how to punctuate 3....e5

Fritz say I should have played 4 fxe5. I played:

4 Nf3 and he did go 4....exf4

click for larger view

into sort of....what? a Vienna Gambit where Black played ....c5, maybe.

Jun-10-10  Blunderdome: <Archswindler> I've had a similar experience, the positions I enjoy most are Najdorfs with opposite-side castling, but everyone seems to want to play c3, Nc3, etc. I haven't dropped it though.
Jun-10-10  MaxxLange: <Blunderdome> learning how to play against all the side systems is good for your overall chess, supposedly. For example, you need to learn to think a bit like a French player against certain lines
Jun-27-10  muwatalli: <maxxlange> sounds like an interesting game, sorry for not responding in awhile, i have been taking a break from chess, not that i can find anything more meaningful to do than ponder a board game as i was hoping, haha. two choices at the diagrammed position look like d4 or just bc4 i suppose, i would play d4 probably blasting open the center with better development and control over the center, of course if you plugged it into a program it might say something different. for instance, 1 e4 c5 2 nc3 nc6 3 f4 e5 4 nf3 exf4 5 d4!? cxd4 6 nd5

A 6... Bd6 7 Bc4 when black just looks tied up or
B 6... g5 7 h4 g4 8 nxd4 when white looks better

as for my game, i was playing a player who plays the london system, and who often talked a little loudly about how he didn't like sharp openings(why he decided to play the sicilian i do not know). rather than taking on f4 the game continued 4. f4?! Nc6 5 nf3 Qb6? 6 fxe5 Bc5 7 Bc4 Nh6 8 axb4 bf2+ 9 kf1

Sep-04-11  druknight: Closed sicilian (2 b3) meets Double Ducks (e5/c5) meets Yugoslav attack (f3). This is a very useful illustrative game of how to use a positional issue to solve material problems. There are holes created on d5; b6, pins on B, pins on R...So here goes

1 e4 c4
2 b3 e5
3 Bb2 Nf6
4 Nc3 Nc6
5 Bc4 a6
5 f3

Here is a starting pt for Double Ducks vs Yugoslav

click for larger view

Okay why 5 f3? I am still learning this and If you look at my other games I usually play f4 -Bd3-Qf3; the B defends the black N from forking on c2 thus allowing my Q freedom. but I figured out something. THe double ducks create a "hole" on d5, therefore this positional problem means I must try to put pieces on d5; the Q stays home to defend c2 and the e pawn is defended by f3. Its imperative that the positional issue come before whatever open set up I like. Got it?

7 Bd5 Nxd5
8 Nxd5 g6 (so white achieves his positional goal of placing N on d5)

9 a4 b4 (to stop the pin on the a pawn, as blacks R on a8 is "loose")

10 a5 (there is another hole on b6 which I am trying to land the N on)

11 f4 (works another pin, this time on the B)

11...Nxa5 (honestly I didnt see that) Okay so now white is down in material he must attack. What piece does he need to use?

position after black's 11th. How is white supposed to attack?

click for larger view

12 fxe5 (this to set up the N on c6 what else?

12...Nc6 (maybe a mistake, what should be black strategy? when ahead in material exchange pieces, so maybe 12..Bb2 or protect K w/ 00)

13 Nf6+ Bxf6
14 exf6 (what happened? is it wrong to trade material when down? But I create a positional space problem on f6)

14...00 (not sure if this is correct)
15 Qf3 (white is trying to attack the K via the space on g7)

15...d6 (to stop the Q from transiting h3-h6-g7 mate)

16 Nh3 (is it wrong for white to exchange because he's down in material or good because it gets the Q closer to mate?)

17 Qxh3 (now I am two moves from mate)

17....Rd8 (but I am one move from giving check)

18 000 Nd4 (clever yes? the N can give check, the N can defend g7 plus he cuts off support of the pawn...Wow)

position after black's 18th how do you continue:

click for larger view

Nov-03-11  rapidcitychess: I was thinking about an interesting possible line: 1.e4 c5 2.c4(?!) nc6 3.Nf3 with 4.d4 to follow. Basically the idea is to get the Maroczy bind no matter what. Since my premium membership ran out, I can't look at it with the OE...

Haven't tested it yet. I might be willing to give it a go.

Any thoughts on it?

Mar-22-14  Psihadal: < rapidcitychess: I was thinking about an interesting possible line: 1.e4 c5 2.c4(?!) nc6 3.Nf3 with 4.d4 to follow. Basically the idea is to get the Maroczy bind no matter what. Since my premium membership ran out, I can't look at it with the OE... Haven't tested it yet. I might be willing to give it a go.

Any thoughts on it?>

3...e5 easily prevents that idea and black is now equal.

Premium Chessgames Member
  kingfu: Ok, many openings have different names in Europe. I was told by the ECO folks that we can do what we want. And we should want to take the name off this opening forever now.
Aug-01-23  Chesschronicle22: This is why players under 1000 elo shouldn't play the sicilian. Me (1128) vs random noob (876)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Nf6 4.dxc5 Qa5+ 5- .Bd2 Qxc5 6.Nc3 e6 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.Qe2 Nd4 9- .Nxd4 Qxd4 10.Be3 Qb4 11.O-O-O a5 12.Bb5 - O-O 13.h3 Bc5 14.Bxc5 Qxc5 15.g4 g5 16.h4-  h6 17.hxg5 hxg5 18.f4 gxf4 19.Qh2 Qe3+ - 20.Kb1 Nxg4 21.Qh8# 1-0
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