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Sicilian, Kan (B41)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6

Number of games in database: 1413
Years covered: 1914 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 35.1%
   Black wins 34.6%
   Draws 30.3%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Dragoljub Velimirovic  21 games
L Dominguez  13 games
Enrico Paoli  11 games
Normunds Miezis  17 games
Peter Svidler  13 games
Lajos Portisch  11 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs H Rossetto, 1959
G Marco vs Maroczy, 1905
Kasparov vs F Vallejo Pons, 2002
E Torre vs Karpov, 1977
A J Mestel vs Miles, 1979
Ehlvest vs Kasparov, 1991
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 page 1 of 57; games 1-25 of 1,413  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Reti vs Tartakower 1-0661914MannheimB41 Sicilian, Kan
2. Weenink vs De Brie  1-0271920VAS-UtrechtB41 Sicilian, Kan
3. Hromadka vs Tarrasch 1-0271922Bad PistyanB41 Sicilian, Kan
4. Opocensky vs Saemisch ½-½561922Bad PistyanB41 Sicilian, Kan
5. Spielmann vs Tartakower ½-½221922Teplitz-SchönauB41 Sicilian, Kan
6. Levenfish vs Dus Chotimirsky 1-0261923USSR ChampionshipB41 Sicilian, Kan
7. Spielmann vs Tartakower  ½-½361923ViennaB41 Sicilian, Kan
8. T Gruber vs Gyula Patay  ½-½301923ViennaB41 Sicilian, Kan
9. N Grigoriev vs B Verlinsky  1-0431924Ch MoscowB41 Sicilian, Kan
10. Spielmann vs Tartakower 1-0311925MarienbadB41 Sicilian, Kan
11. E Jacobson vs A Nogues Acuna  1-03219271st olm finalB41 Sicilian, Kan
12. Euwe vs R Grau  ½-½521927LondonB41 Sicilian, Kan
13. G A Thomas vs G Norman  1-0311928Hastings 1927/28B41 Sicilian, Kan
14. Kashdan vs J Brunner  1-0311932Mexico CityB41 Sicilian, Kan
15. Alekhine vs P Onnen 1-0521933Blindfold simul, 10bB41 Sicilian, Kan
16. Alekhine vs A Lee Jones 0-1481933Simul, 28bB41 Sicilian, Kan
17. Marshall vs D S Polland 1-0321937ch Marshall CCB41 Sicilian, Kan
18. Taimanov vs E Kuzminykh  1-0471947URS-ch sfB41 Sicilian, Kan
19. Konstantinopolsky vs Kan  ½-½791952USSR ChampionshipB41 Sicilian, Kan
20. Bondarevsky vs Polugaevsky  1-0361954URS-ch sfB41 Sicilian, Kan
21. F Blatny vs Sajtar  ½-½231954CSR-chB41 Sicilian, Kan
22. R Troeger vs J Marsalek  0-1441956Zittau-B 6thB41 Sicilian, Kan
23. A Ostrauskas vs Gipslis 0-1281957Ch URS (1/4 final)B41 Sicilian, Kan
24. Korchnoi vs Furman ½-½221957Leningrad-chB41 Sicilian, Kan
25. E Mnatsakanian vs Taimanov  0-1481957URS-ch qfB41 Sicilian, Kan
 page 1 of 57; games 1-25 of 1,413  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-09-05  Averageguy: <Akavall>Against that setup black should get an easy game with a quick ...d5. The English Attack piece configuration is strong against the Najdorf as black has a harder time getting ...d5 in but against a Sicilian with ...e6 instead of ...d6 the move ...d5 will come alot faster.
Dec-09-05  Akavall: Can you give a variation? If black queen goes to c7(and it usually does), d5 won't come very quickly.
Dec-10-05  refutor: <akavall> I Cheparinov vs D Bocharov, 2005 it is a B48 not a B41 but it's not a difficult transposition
Dec-10-05  Akavall: <refutor> Thanks, black did play d7-d5 in one move. But the game still remained sharp. I only took a quick glance, and perhaps I am missing something, but I would be fine with the position Cheparinov had.
Jan-14-06  MJW: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be3 Bb4! 7. Qd2 Nf6 8. f3 d5!
Mar-13-06  mediciii4: How is "kan" pronounce btw?
Mar-13-06  jamesmaskell: "kan" is pronounced literally as is.
Apr-16-06  LluviaSean: Ilia Abramovich Kan never won a game with his namesake opening.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: That's simply not true, Kan defeated Estrin in the 1955 Soviet Championship Semifinals. He probably won quite a few more games with his opening that simply aren't in databases yet. Rusbase might have more examples.
Jun-12-06  e4Newman: Anyone ever see white play 5.c4 followed by an eventual e5?
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <e4newman>

Opening Explorer

Looks like e5 would take a lot of preparation, if Black played to prevent it.

Jun-12-06  Marvol: If you go through some lines you will find a white e5 somewhere, eventually. Look for lines where black does not explicitly try to block e5 (by Qc7 e.g.). You can already see these lines are rare - mostly black prevents or dissuades e5.

This one for instance scores very poorly for white **massive link follows** Opening Explorer

10/50/40 for black.

Jul-15-06  oao2102: What do people think about:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5. a4

Jan-22-07  Minty: <oao2102> 5. a4 doesn't seem to do anything useful. At best it seems to allow black easy equality:

5. a4 Nf6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Nxc6 dxc6 8. O-O e5=

May-07-07  pacey: I am new to the sicilian, can someone explain to me what a hedgehog structure is? is it the same as the schevenigen strcture? thanks
May-07-07  sitzkrieg: I don't think there is much difference in the setup for black, white has however a pawn on c4. If you play Scheveninger with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 white can go for it with 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Nf6 7.N1c3

Aug-19-07  Minty: As far as I'm aware, the hedgehog structure generally involves black hiding behind a row of pawns on a6, b6, d6 and e6, usually with Queen on c7, bishops on b7 and e7, and knights on f6 and d7. Or sometimes the kingside bishop is fianchettoed as well. I think the idea is that the row of pawns on the 3rd rank are like a hedgehog's spines, stopping white from playing things like Nd5, Nb5, e4-e5, etc.
Nov-29-08  Cactus: Has anyone ever read Taimanov's Paulsen book? If so, could they please offer an opinion on it?
Jan-16-09  rodrigo170988: Am I the only one who has the impression that Kasparov played the Hedgehog?? Look at his Scheveningens and Najdorfs (when he plays ...e6), it's pure Hedgehog style!
Oct-26-13  Wyatt Gwyon: Question for you guys: I've played the French exclusively for probably 12 years. Getting sick of it, and looking to pick up another opening against e4. I'm rated about 1825. What are your thoughts on the Kan? How long you think it would take with reasonable effort to obtain enough knowledge to employ it in tournaments?
Oct-26-13  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Wyatt>

It's a fine opening. It's quite flexible (there are junctures where one can transpose into the Paulsen or Scheveningen, for example) and has the added advantage of avoiding English Attack set ups. Don't play it, though, if you don't like Hedgehog structures, which occur quite often.

Swedish GM Johan Hellsten's "Play the Kan", published by Everyman Chess (2008), is a terrific book on the variation.

Oct-26-13  parisattack: "Play the Kan" an excellent book, offering a specific Kan repertoire. some others on the Kan:

Winning with the Kan - Mortazavi
Sicilian Kan - Emms
Sicilian Kann(sic)/Paulsen- Taimanov - Chess Digest
Sicilian: Paulsen - Taimanov

One big difference for me between the French and Kan - the number of possible candidate moves for Black from say moves 5-10 is much higher for the Kan - sometimes almost bewildering.

A danger is getting a static/lifeless position - that has happened to me quite a few times. This seems especially true in the Taimanov-like lines with ...Nc6 when White exchanges on c6...both the resulting pawn structures (...bc:, ...dc:) seem lifeless for Black to me.

I especially like that the Kan is a 'whole board' game for Black. He can get play on the Q-side, the center and the K-side.

Oct-26-13  Wyatt Gwyon: <SimonWebbsTiger> <parisattack>

Thanks for the info, guys. I actually have the Hellsten book in my chess library. Guess I'll dig it out.

Oct-31-13  parisattack: This game is a nice example of black's 'whole-board' play in the Kan -

M Brunello vs A Muzychuk, 2013

Jun-07-14  vkk: why does this opening have such a high win percentage at top levels for black as compared to najdorf or schevenningan?
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