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Sicilian, Closed (B23)
1 e4 c5 2 Nc3

Number of games in database: 6037
Years covered: 1723 to 2020
Overall record:
   White wins 35.0%
   Black wins 39.5%
   Draws 25.5%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Gawain Jones  46 games
Nikola Mitkov  36 games
Nigel Short  35 games
Boris Gelfand  34 games
Lev Polugaevsky  18 games
Lubomir Ftacnik  14 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Sutovsky vs Smirin, 2002
F Vallejo Pons vs I Nepomniachtchi, 2008
Nakamura vs Karjakin, 2004
S Levitsky vs Marshall, 1912
S Iuldachev vs Aronian, 2004
Svidler vs D Khismatullin, 2015
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 page 1 of 242; games 1-25 of 6,037 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs A Severino 0-1151723CasualB23 Sicilian, Closed
2. A Wentel vs C Naret Oliphant  0-1311851AmsterdamB23 Sicilian, Closed
3. Paulsen vs Anderssen 1-0421862Anderssen - PaulsenB23 Sicilian, Closed
4. de Riviere vs G Neumann  1-0451865BerlinB23 Sicilian, Closed
5. G Neumann vs C Golmayo 1-0591867Paris m3B23 Sicilian, Closed
6. Steinitz vs de Riviere 1-0431867ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
7. Steinitz vs C Golmayo  1-0591867ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
8. de Riviere vs C Golmayo  1-0341867ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
9. M Judd vs L P Meredith  1-0481872Ohio State ChampionshipB23 Sicilian, Closed
10. J Heral vs A Schwarz  1-0721873ViennaB23 Sicilian, Closed
11. S Rosenthal vs Anderssen 1-0501873ViennaB23 Sicilian, Closed
12. Paulsen vs J Heral 1-0361873ViennaB23 Sicilian, Closed
13. A Ascharin vs Chigorin  0-1541877St. Petersburg National tB23 Sicilian, Closed
14. Mackenzie vs Anderssen 0-1491878ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
15. Blackburne vs Anderssen 0-1411878ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
16. A Clerc vs Anderssen 0-1331878ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
17. S Rosenthal vs Anderssen  ½-½461878ParisB23 Sicilian, Closed
18. F Riemann vs Paulsen 0-1211879LeipzigB23 Sicilian, Closed
19. Gunsberg vs Blackburne 1-0521881Blackburne - Gunsberg mB23 Sicilian, Closed
20. Zukertort vs Blackburne 1-0631881Blackburne - ZukertortB23 Sicilian, Closed
21. E Schallopp vs W Paulsen  1-0341881BerlinB23 Sicilian, Closed
22. Winawer vs V Hruby 1-0341882ViennaB23 Sicilian, Closed
23. B W Fisher vs G MacDonnell 1-0501883London (Vizayanagaram)B23 Sicilian, Closed
24. Winawer vs Bird 0-1691883LondonB23 Sicilian, Closed
25. Englisch vs Mackenzie ½-½171883LondonB23 Sicilian, Closed
 page 1 of 242; games 1-25 of 6,037 
  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>
Nov-20-04  rover: <ongyj> After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 white is practically up two tempi. Is it any surprise that black has strategic compensation in exchange?

But for now black has problems to solve, most importantly to finnish development and find a safe place for the king. He may have a better middlegame or a better endgame in some ideal positions but if white plays actively these are just impossible to reach. Indeed it is not unusual for black to make positional concessions, like play e5 and accept a backward pawn, just to avoid being overrun by white. In this case black's central majority can become as much a liability as an advantage.

It is also true that black has a lot of different defenses to chose from. I think this is the primary reason why anti-sicilians are and will remain popular at club level.

Nov-20-04  tacticsjokerxxx: <drunk> do you want me to play it as white or black?
Nov-20-04  drukenknight: tactics: I want you to take the B! (you play black)
Nov-23-04  tacticsjokerxxx: okay, well, tell me when your e-mail is up and running.
Nov-23-04  drukenknight: tactics, try

you can be my first email.

Dec-07-04  cuendillar: Which lines/move orders can you recommend for black when white doesn't fianchetto his bishop or plays f4?

Is there a way that black can keep open the possibility of transposing back into a dragonlike position in case white plays d4 at some point that doesn't lead to a disadvantage if white keeps it closed?

Is the e4-e5 push a threat that black has to watch out for? If so, how to handle it best?

Feb-11-05  Bogdanel: <Dick brain> You posted some very instructive miniatures in this variation. I looked over them and I think Black's major mistakes is castle too early ( which in this case is a mistake)and allowing black bishop or Nf3 knight to come to h6 or g5. Imediately white played Qh4, black should have replied h6!-this is what Gelfand plays as black, and now Bh6 or Ng5 are not possible anymore, and white strong attack on the kingside is stoped for a while
Apr-26-05  refutor: as someone who is trying to learn the grand prix attack, i have a question. where can the bishop go when black has a setup involving ...e6 and ...g6? for instance, in a recent game after 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 e6 i was stuck for a move, trying to decide where to put my light squared bishop. i played 5.Bc4 but i don't imagine this was best. i didn't really want to play 5.Be2 because i was hoping to re-route my knight to g3 via e2 and i didn't want to play d3 because i wanted to keep the options open for my bishop. was my best bet to play 5.d4?
Apr-26-05  MoonlitKnight: <refutor> Your move 5.Bc4 was the correct one. Now if 5...Nc6, it is time to play the key move 6.f5! If black accepts this pawn sacrifice, the white attack should simply become too overwhelming. The critical line continues 6...Nge7 7.fxe6 fxe6 (if black wants to equalize he has to capture with this pawn) 8.d3 d5 9.Bb3 b5! In this position white has tried various alternatives. Perhaps the most interesting is 10.0-0!?, into which I have put a lot of study that I can share upon request.

To put the bishop on e2 is always a bad idea, since it has little merit inside the closed pawn chain. The other alternative is to play g3 and Bg2, with a more positional approach, though this can hardly be called a grand prix attack. The GPA is characterized by the thematic attacking plan that involves the moves Qe1-h4, Bh6, Ng5 and so on. If black has allowed all of those moves, the game is usually over.

Jan-20-06  refutor: hi everybody! i'm looking for a book on the grand prix attack (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 ... 3.f4). there's some out there (by plaskett and others) but i'm looking for a book similar to the format of matthew sadler's on the semi-slav (e.g. full of annotated games not variations). any suggestions?
Jan-29-06  hamworld: hey is 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 closed and strategic?
Feb-20-06  trumbull0042: White fianchettoes his kingside bishop because it has no future when White plays d3.
Feb-28-06  hamworld: here's a currenth email game of mine (still playing)I'm white 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Bc4 is anything wrong with this move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <hamworld> You're moves are still quite well within 'books'.
May-27-06  DeepBlade: [Event "Clubkampioenschap"]
[Site "OTB"]
[White "Clement"]
[Black "Harm"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B23"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. d3 g6 4. Be2 Bg7 5. h4 h5 6. Be3 d6 7. Qd2 Bd7 8. f4 Nf6 9. Nf3 Ng4 10. Bg1 Qa5 11. d4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 O-O 13. Nb3 Qd8 14. O-O-O a6 15. e5 Ncxe5 16. Kb1 Nc6 17. Nd5 b5 18. Nb6 Rb8 19. Nxd7 Qxd7 20. Nc5 Qc8 21. Bxg4 Qxg4 22. Nxa6 Ra8 23. Nc7 Ra4 24. Be3 Rc8 25. Nd5 Rca8 26. a3 Rxa3 27. bxa3 Rxa3 28. c3 e6 29. Qb2 Qf5+ 30. Kc1 b4 31. Qb1 Qg4 32. Bd4 Nxd4 33. Ne7+ Kh7 34. cxd4 Rc3+ 0-1

A great game, improvements and suggestions are appreciated!

Aug-29-06  Helloween: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nge2 g6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.e5 Ng8 9.f4 f6 10.Bd4 Qa5 11.Qd2 fxe5 12.fxe5 c5 13.Be3 Bxe5 14.Bc4 Nf6 15.O-O Ba6 16.Bf7+!?N(an attacking novelty, varying from Kasparov-Ivanchuk Praha Rapid 2002)

click for larger view

16...Kd8! 17.Rf2 Rb8 18.Bf4 Bxf4 19.Rxf4 Rxb2 20.Rd1 Qc7 21.Ne4 Rf8!!(a tremendous defensive forsight, not allowing the forced sequence 21...Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Rf8 23.Qc3! Qb7 24.Ree1 Rxf7 25.Qh8+ Kc7 26.Qe8 with crushing compensation - see diagram)

click for larger view

22.Nxf6 exf6 23.Rxf6 Kc8 24.Qg5 Rb6 25.Rf2 Kb8 26.Qe7 Rd8 27. Bd5 Bb7 28.Bxb7 Kxb7 29.Qxh7 c4 30.c3 Re6 31.Qh4 d5 32.Rf7 Rd7 33. Rxd7 Qxd7 34.Qg5 Kc6 35.a4 Qd6 36.Rf1(draw offered by White) 36...Qe5 37.Qxe5 Rxe5 38.Rf6+ Kc5 39.Kf2 d4

Black has held off the White attack and survived into a favorable Rook ending, which, as was later agreed by both players and proven by analysis, could have been drawn by White)

click for larger view

40.cxd4+ Kxd4 41.Rd6+ Kc5 42.Rxg6 c3 43.Rg7 Kb4 44.Rb7+ Ka3 45.Rc7 Kb2 46.Rb7+ Kc1 47.Rxa7 Rc5 48.g4 c2 49.Re7 Kd2 50.Re2+ Kd3 51.Re1 c1=Q 52.Rxc1 Rxc1 53.Kf3 Rf1+ 54.Kg2 Rf4 55.Kg3 Ke4 56.g5 Kf5 0-1

Aug-29-06  Helloween: The above post is a correspondence game between a good correspondence player as White and myself(as Black), played last year. The game probably transposes into a B34 accelerated Dragon, although it starts off as a Closed Sicilian.
Dec-04-06  duffer: Anybody own The Grand Prix Attack by Plaskett? Good book?
Apr-07-07  notyetagm: <Closed Sicilian Expert>

In the typical position that arises after g3-g4 f7-f5!, creating White e4-, f4-, and g4-pawns versus Black e6-, f5-, and g6-pawns, what is the proper way for Black to recapture after White takes the Black f5-pawn with e4xf5 ? With g4xf5 ?


Aug-18-07  pawnofdoom: One of the few "good" openings where black actually has a higher winning percentage than white in this database. But I play this anyway. It leads to pretty cool positions
Nov-14-07  ViaArete: Has anyone explored a Queen-side fianchetto for white? It looks interesting to me, and would support a pawn push to e5, especially in the Grand Prix Attack.
May-30-08  KingG: <notyetagm> <In the typical position that arises after g3-g4 f7-f5!, creating White e4-, f4-, and g4-pawns versus Black e6-, f5-, and g6-pawns, what is the proper way for Black to recapture after White takes the Black f5-pawn with e4xf5 ? With g4xf5 ?>

You should always look at the concrete factors of course, but it seems to me that in general it's preferable to take back with the g-pawn to avoid a weakness on d5.

Jun-29-08  sentriclecub: What does someone think about playing 3...e5 against 1. e4...c5 2. Nf3...d6 3. Nc3

click for larger view

I read in a fairly old book "why transpose into your favorite variation and hope white allows it?--punish his innacurate sequence. d4 comes before Nc3, and the reason is 3...e5!" And it says 3...Nf6 just lets white back onto the main lines of the sicilian.

The book was "Chess Openings, analytically defined". A very dry book, but it uses those theory tables.

Jul-11-08  jon01: I am currently reading Richard Palliser's "Starting Out - Closed Sicilian" released in 2006. This is rather new book, but I think it can be very useful.
Jan-02-09  FrogC: I play the Closed and think it's a good way to deal with the Sicilian, attacking without being too wild, and easy to understand. But I have problems sometimes when opponents play Nf6 and Be7 against me. The books say both are bad - the knight can be chased away by White's pawn storm, and the bishop would have more scope on the long diagonal. But I find the position hard to break down. By the time my pawn storm arrives, the knight has generally flitted off to the queenside via d7, while the bishop on e7 proves a useful defender. Has anyone got any ideas?
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