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Sicilian (B32)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5

Number of games in database: 14231
Years covered: 1834 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 36.9%
   Black wins 31.1%
   Draws 32.0%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Jolanta Zawadzka  45 games
Peter Leko  31 games
Vlastimil Jansa  30 games
Pavel Potapov  89 games
Bojan Kurajica  86 games
Margeir Petursson  83 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
R Nezhmetdinov vs O Chernikov, 1962
Fischer vs Reshevsky, 1958
Fischer vs Tal, 1962
McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834
Nunn vs I Nataf, 1999
Karpov vs Taimanov, 1977
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 page 1 of 570; games 1-25 of 14,231 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais ½-½561834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual MatchB32 Sicilian
2. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 1-0211834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual MatchB32 Sicilian
3. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais ½-½301834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual MatchB32 Sicilian
4. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 0-1371834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual MatchB32 Sicilian
5. W M Popert vs Staunton 1-0381840MatchB32 Sicilian
6. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1621843Casual gameB32 Sicilian
7. C Stanley vs E Rousseau ½-½361845Rousseau - StanleyB32 Sicilian
8. J R Medley vs H Buckle  0-1491849Ries' Divan TournamentB32 Sicilian
9. Loewenthal vs Staunton ½-½441851Casual gameB32 Sicilian
10. S Angas vs P Humble  0-1231851Casual gameB32 Sicilian
11. Staunton vs Horwitz 1-0211851Casual gameB32 Sicilian
12. H Kennedy vs M Wyvill 0-1281851LondonB32 Sicilian
13. S Boden vs S Angas 1-0351851Provincial tB32 Sicilian
14. C Kenny vs F G Janssens  0-1301854MatchB32 Sicilian
15. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0401855CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
16. Cochrane vs Somacarana  0-1521855CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
17. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0351855CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
18. B Wolff vs S Leow  1-0521856Berlin chB32 Sicilian
19. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0161856CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
20. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-0241857CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
21. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0261857CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
22. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0231857CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
23. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0171857CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
24. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0481857CalcuttaB32 Sicilian
25. San Fran Pioneer CC vs German Chess Club  0-1421857MatchB32 Sicilian
 page 1 of 570; games 1-25 of 14,231 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Nov-09-05  Kriegspiel: To avoid 8.Qc7 Black should play 7...Qe7 instead of Qf6. If White then insists on playing 8.Qc7 then 8...d5 9.Qxe7 Ngxe7 and if 10.exd5 then 10...Nxd5.


Nov-10-05  Kriegspiel: After the opening sequence: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6 6.Nd6 Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qe7 there are two basic options open to White: (1) capturing the Black queen (with recapture by ...Ngxe7); (2) moving the queen (e.g., to d1 or d2).

In either case, Black has a lead in development, but there is a hole on d5. Black can deal with this hole by (1) occupying it himself; (2) getting White to put a pawn there. The first option is difficult since the White pawn at e4 prevents this. Black should train everything he has on d5 to (a) keep enemy pieces out and permit capture if White insists on occupying the hole; (b) to advance his d-pawn to d5 in order to get rid of the odious White e4 pawn and to wrest control of d5 from White.

Here is how the concept played out in a game against Jester, with Jester playing as White, under the queen retreats option:

8.Qd1 d6 (Black needs an immediate defender of the hole on d5, but an early ...Nf6 permits a distracting pin.)

9.Nc3 Be6 (now the knight can be captured if it tries to fill the hole, albeit with recapture by the e4 pawn; however, this fills the hole with a White pawn, rendering it unusable.)

10.f4 f6 (here, Jester is prepared to attack the e5 pawn or to advance to f5 and drive the bishop away from its guardianship of d5; f6 solves both problems by reinforcing the e5 pawn and giving the bishop a retreat square on the crucial diagonal.)

11.Be2 Qd7 (Black's queen prepares a space for his other knight while keeping an eye on things.)

12.f5 Bf7

13.Be3 Ne7 (Black now has enough firepower trained on d5 to permit a pawn push.)

14. Na4 Qc7 (Jester tries to disrupt the pawn push by threatening to fork Black's queen and rook at b6; Black's move cannot keep the White knight out since it is covered by the White bishop, but now the knight's entry at b6 does not fork.)

15.Nb6 Rd8 (White's knight is again guarding d5, but Black's rook is now trained on d5 and Black once again has sufficient force for the pawn push.)

16.o-o d5 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Nxd5 Rxd5 19.Qb1 o-o 20.Bf3 Rd8 21.c3

Now White is the one with a problem: the weak pawn on f5, which has already tied down White's queen as a defender. This provides a nice target for White to try to pile up on. In my game, Jester managed to defend this but in the process created new vulnerabilities which were successfully exploited.


Nov-10-05  Kriegspiel: On the other hand, I'm not thrilled with variations where Jester *does* put the knight there and then retake with the e-pawn. It's obvious there is more to be worked out here.


Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Kriegspiel> Very nice analysis. You have quickly learned the thrust of this variation, and I think it helps you organize your own thought processes to write it out. I like Jester's play through 14. Na4 (14. Bf3!? d5 15. ed Nb4 = - if 16. d6!? Nxf5) Qc7 15. Nb6 Rd8 and now 16. c4!? gives a Maroczy Bind position and prevents the dreaded ... d5. Note 16 ... Nd4!? 17. Bxd4 exd4 18. Nd5 (18. Qxd4?? Nc6) allows a trade on d5 recapturing with a Pawn, which means success in your line. Yet the isolated Pd4 might fall, plus there's BOOC, so this may be drawish for both sides. Later 19. Qb1!? is one of those insane computer moves only the silicon beast can understand, since no human would play that.

Given how many games involve 3. d4 cd 4. Nxd4 I would think you'd get loads of practical experience with 4 ... e5 5. Nb5 a6 very quickly. Air it out!

Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Fritz 7 Deep Position Analysis [20MB]:

11. Be2 Qd7 12. f5 Bf7 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. Qxd5 Nd4 15. Bh5+

1) 15 ... Kf8

a) 16. 0-0 Rc8 17. a4 Rc5 18. Qa2 Nxc2 = [0.00/14]

b) 16. 0-0 Nxc2 17. Rb1 Rc8 18. Bd2 Rc5 [0.34/14]

2) 15 ... g6

a) 16. fg hg 17. Bxg6+ Kf8 18. 0-0 Kg7 = [0.06/13]

b) 16. fg 0-0-0 17. g7 Qxg7 18. 0-0 Nxc2 = [0.25/13]

3) 15 ... Kd8

a) 16. Bd1 Rc8 17. Qa5+ Qc7 18. Qxc7+ Kxc7 [0.50/16]

b) 16. Qa5+ Kc8 17. Bd1 Qc6 18. 0-0 Qxe4 = [0.00/14]

c) 16. 0-0 Ne7 17. Qf7 Nxc2 18. Qxg7 Rg8 [0.66/14]

Regarding move-by-move variation, Fritz 7 says 12 ... Bf7 [1.00] 13. Nd5 [0.47] underscoring your point about control of the d5 hole outweighing occupation by a Pawn or piece. But notice as of Move 12 White is [1.00] indicating a significant advantage.

Nov-13-05  Kriegspiel: <tpstar> Thanks loads for those replies! I'll be taking a much closer look at them, though considering the trouble caused by an early Nd5 I've pretty much written-off this line. (Bottom line, your admonition about holes was sound.)

In the meantime, please explain the notation you've used in relating Fritz' analysis.


Jan-20-06  dennj: Does anybody know some analysis about the following variation: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 d5. In my database it's named after Nimzovitsch. Statistics for black looks pretty well. Why isn't this played often?
Jan-20-06  refutor: the position after 5.Bb5 dxe4 6.Nxc6 might be part of the reason. polgar played it a number of times, but it looks "easier" to play for White
Feb-28-06  CrammedNick: <dennj> after 5. exd5, what are you going to do as Black? Seems at least equal to me, and White forces Black to take the pawn with the queen (5. ... Qxd5) to retain material equality, leaving the queen in the middle of the board...
Jun-19-06  vizir: Sneaky here are a few of the analyses I made on the kalashnikov :

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6 6.Nd6+ Bxd6 7.Qxd6 Qf6

Black is positionnaly lost (d-file pressure, dark squares) but is going to make something of his advance in development.

8. Qxf6!? Nxf6 9.Nc3 Nb4 (9...d5?! I don't believe in this) 10. Kd2! (the key move) d5 11.a3 d4 12.axb4 dxc3+ 13.Ke3! cxb2 14.Bxb2 0-0 15.f3 (doesn't fall in the little trap 15.Bxe5? Ng4+ 16.Kf4 g5+ ) with a very easy endgame for White

8. Qd1!? Qg6 9.Nc3 d5?!
- 10.exd5? Nb4
- 10.Qxd5?! Nf6 with great compensations
- 10.Nxd5! Qxe4+ 11. Be3! (11. Ne3 Be6 or 11...Nf6) Nd4 12.Nc7+ (other moves as 12.Rc1 Bg4 or 12.Qd3 Nxc2+ give unbalanced endgames where black has some chances) Ke7 13.Nxa8 ! the Fritz's refutation :-)

The difference between the two knights is that the white one could escape by b6 while the dark one is trapped. The programm shows there is no attack on the white king and after a few moves "he" evaluates the position as smthg like +2.

I also checked


which is very interesting.
for the anecdote I found a little trap

8... Qg6 9.Nc3 d5 10.Nxd5 Qxe4+ 11. Ne3 Nge7 11.Bd3 Qd4! 12. 0-0?? b5! and white loses his queen with ...Ra7:-)

I hope there would be no mistake.
Contact me if you wanna chat about this line paul_tarchichi at hotmail dot fr

Jun-19-06  euripides: <vizir, sneaky> 5...a6 can be a powerful surpise weapon even at the top level: Kramnik vs Vallejo-Pons, 2005.
Jun-19-06  vizir: yes :)
I've just seen the nice Sneaky's compilation and favourited it! thanks

I'm gonna play the 9...d5 line soon and will tell you about it. cya, Paul

Jun-19-06  DeepBlade: A nice game, we played this in a chemistry lesson, no board, text only.

[White "Willem"]
[Black "DeepBlade"]
[Result "*"]
1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.cxd4 d5 5.Qh5 e6 6.h4 g6 (we played these moves but they are illogical and illegal 7.Rh3 Bxh3 8.gxh3 Nf6 9.Qd1)

Aug-11-06  vizir: I would like to add something on 8.Qxf6 Nxf6 9.Nc3 Nb4 10.Kd2 here the correct move is probably d6 to prepare d5 with Be6, then open the d-file on the Kd2

8.Qxf6 Nxf6 9. Nxc3 d5 looks good in fact :-D. maybe 10.f3 is interesting here to keep the two bishops

I played the lowenthal, my oppoonent answered with the 8.Qd1 variation but followed with 11.Ne3 instead of 11.Be3. I guess it is because it the last round of the tournament, in the morning, and I played all my moves tempo so he was afraid of entering in complications as I would be well prepared. Here is the opening :

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 e5
5. Nb5 a6
6. Nd6+ Bxd6
7. Qxd6 Qf6
8. Qd1 Qg6
9. Nc3 d5
10. Nxd5 Qxe4+
11. Ne3 Nge7 (I knew Nf6 & Be6 were the moves played by the masters but I wanted to control f5) 12. Bd3 Qh4
13. Qf3 0-0
14. Qg3 Qh5
15. Be2 Qg6
16. c3 Be6
17. Qxg6 Nxg6
18. g3 e4
and I won thanks to the white squares (Nge5 to follow), and of course the lung play of my opponent.

I would be interested to know what Ray Keene thinks !

See you

Aug-11-06  vizir: I still have something to add!! :-DD

8. Qa3 is the line played by a lot of programs!
8... Qg6
9. Be3! (Nc3? Nd4) Qxe4
10. Nc3! Qb4 (I don't even wanna see what's happening after Qxc2,lol. A queen exchange seems more wise) 11. Qxb4 Nxb4
12. 0-0-0 Nge7
13. Bc5

With of course excellent compensations for the pawn ...I can't evaluate this.

Jan-11-07  midknightblue: Hi I know there were some references to this above, and I read it all but still a little confused. Is the Lowenthal exactly the same thing as the Kalashnikov??
Jan-11-07  midknightblue: ah, i got it now. Kalashnikov prevents Nd6+ with d6, while lowenthal encourages Nd6+ with a6.
Aug-07-09  muwatalli: in this line i win as white often, but theoretically wouldn't this just be a sort of scotch game where white gets the c pawn rather than the e pawn which is better for black? i am wondering what the differences are. and what side they are better for?
Apr-21-10  Redsoul: Somebody can explainme why the names of the variants on b32 (especially the kalashnikov)?
Apr-22-10  parisattack: After Ndb5 I believe ...d6 is the Kalashnikov, ...a6 is the Lowenthal and ...h6 is the Harrwitz.
Apr-22-10  rapidcitychess: Rapidcitychess's best (on the white side) game in the B32!! W:RCC B:NN
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 ( A very double edged opening, I use as black.)9.Bxf6 Qxf6? 10 Nd5 Qd8 11.Bxb5! and I won about ten moves later.

The moral? Watch out for Bxb5 sacs in the Svesnikov! John Nunn used it on an *IM*.

Comments would be appreciated.

Apr-22-10  rapidcitychess: <muwatilla> Sorry if I am becoming the rare postnik, but I must answer the question! He cannot push his pawn to e5 as in the scotch. (Qa5+!) Black cannot pin the Knight on c3.(via 4 Knights Scotch) Totally different.
Dec-15-14  Maatalkko: I really think that 4...e5 should be called the la Bourdonnais variation instead of the "Kalashnikov". Kalashnikov is just a pun, while la Bourdonnais not only played this variation, but played it so brilliantly that MacDonnell switched to 2. f4 for good. Moreover, la Bourdonnais' opening choice endured 150 years of unfair criticism from people who did not fully grasp its possibilities.

It's true that la Bourdonnais did not face 5. Nb5 in recorded play, but based on the amazingly modern lines he played in McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais, 1834, he would have clearly had no problem playing dynamically in response, and I would bet very heavily that 5...d6 would have been his choice.

Dec-15-14  parisattack: <parisattack: After Ndb5 I believe ...d6 is the Kalashnikov, ...a6 is the Lowenthal and ...h6 is the Harrwitz.>

Bit of a brain zephyr - ...h6 is the Haberditz. Ulf Andersson is the most recent player to essay it at the higher levels.

May-04-23  Stolzenberg: My book about the Sicilian opening calls the position after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 the <Loewenthal system>.
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