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Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack (B51)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bb5+

Number of games in database: 6783
Years covered: 1939 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 30.2%
   Black wins 33.6%
   Draws 36.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Mikhail Ulybin  33 games
Magnus Carlsen  30 games
Anna Muzychuk  29 games
Ivan Cheparinov  53 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  53 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  47 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Ivanchuk vs Kasparov, 1991
Kalegin vs S Yuferov, 1990
E Sedina vs S Tkeshelashvili, 2003
M Fette vs B Perenyi, 1985
Bologan vs Topalov, 2012
Unzicker vs Filip, 1955
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 page 1 of 272; games 1-25 of 6,783 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Ragozin  1-041193914th Ch LeningradB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
2. Lilienthal vs Kotov 1-0251940USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
3. Smyslov vs Veresov 1-0411940USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
4. J Dobias vs K Opocensky  ½-½251943UJCS-17.KongressB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
5. Averbakh vs Kotov 0-1301944URS-ch sf MoscowB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
6. T Wildschuetz vs L Rellstab  1-0291947EssenB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
7. Ahues vs Bogoljubov  ½-½631947LueneburgB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
8. V Lyublinsky vs Simagin  ½-½351947URS-ch sfB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
9. Sokolsky vs Botvinnik 0-1511947MoscowB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
10. O'Kelly vs Najdorf 1-0831948Mar del PlataB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
11. E Canal vs Najdorf 0-1541948VeniceB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
12. Aronin vs Kotov 0-1551948USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
13. Kholmov vs Ragozin 1-0401948USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
14. V Trupan vs Simagin  1-0421949Moscow ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
15. Simagin vs L Abramov 1-0401949Moscow ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
16. K M Bergsma vs Tartakower 0-1351949HoogovensB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
17. P Schmidt vs Tartakower  1-0621949HoogovensB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
18. G Ravinsky vs A Ufimtsev  1-0331949URS-ch sf LeningradB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
19. S Kalabar vs A Bonert  1-0211949YUG-ch Semifinal EastB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
20. Sokolsky vs Kotov 1-0401949USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
21. V Lyublinsky vs Taimanov 0-1261949USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
22. Aronin vs G Goldberg  ½-½431949USSR ChampionshipB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
23. N Hruskova-Belska vs C Chaude de Silans  0-1291949World Championship (Women) 1949/50B51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
24. Aronin vs V Soloviev  0-1731950URS-ch sf GorkyB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
25. L Abramov vs Lisitsin  0-1391950URS-ch sf LeningradB51 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack
 page 1 of 272; games 1-25 of 6,783 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-09-05  bomb the bishop: <Everett> thanks for the insight, looks like I will go for the main line against 2...e6, but against 2...Nc6 I will play Bb5 and against d6, I will try the g3 fianchetto variation, all done with the Cameleon Sicilian which is by playing 2.Nc3 instead, simply with the idea of confusing my oponents as much as I can and try to get a psychological advantage out of it
Jun-09-05  Everett: <Btb> don't lose yourself in the process ;-)
Jun-09-05  bomb the bishop: lol, well I'll be sure to practice it, i actually hope that my rival will be the one that will lose himself in the moves, so I'll have to revise it a couple of times
Jun-09-05  aw1988: Actually, this line isn't as bad as e4 c5 nf3 nc6 bb5. At least the check allows me to play Bd7 Bxd7+ Qxd7 and get the kind of game I enjoy.
Jun-09-05  BiLL RobeRTiE: Really? Statistics would indicate that Bb5 works better as a response to Nc6. (It seems to make more positional sense as well, forcing Black to either double the c-pawns or else waste time worrying about it.)
Jun-09-05  Everett: Both are positional, as sited above. After Bxd7+ can come c4, with a good bishop and two knights in a closed position.
Jun-09-05  ongyj: From what I can see 3.Bb5+ is a great move both subjectively and objectively speaking.

Firstly it allows White to simplify and saves White from even bothering to know(or mug?) the Najdorf and/or Dragon systems. In that aspect White has already won, avoiding probably tons of preparation work which Black spent. Also, this means that when 2...d6 is concerned White can spend all his efforts on 3.Bb5+ and enjoy a superior preparation advantage whereas Black is less likely to prepare 3.Bb5+ so well, since Black'd probably prepared Najdorf and/or Dragon better(again, White needs much less effort compared to Black).

Next White retains the initative despite the fact of returning a tempo to Black (3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7...) As mentioned before White may choose to form up strong central advanced pawns which Black is helpless about it. One thing to note is that I feel Black isn't in such bad shape, with no weaknesses but nevertheless there are different plans White may adopt. For instance, as White I'll rather work on the pawn structures considering the dark square Bishops left on the board and go for 5.b3 with obvious plans of Bb2, and choose not to get central pawns at all and hold the position with d3, Nbd2 ectera. Looks like a typical closed Sicilian?

Regarding the aspects of boring games I find it simply ridiculous. (Really didn't mean to sound so mean, I apologise if anyone finds it offensive) I mean in this particular opening only a pawn and a minor piece are captured off the board, and the game is stil well alive. Is it ture that the position is dull, or is it that the participants of the game makes it dull? The position is not even symmetrical(I enjoy symmetry as White and again does not understand why people hate symmetry so much:) but if dullness of an opening is concerned I think the mainlines of Petrov's defence must be #1.

Afraid to face particular variations of the Sicilian? Then you should consider anything else but 1.e4. But that'll mean your depriving yourself 1/4 of a choice for White's favourite first move(1.c4, 1.d4 1.e4 and 1.Nf3) and a great learning/experiemtal environment since 1.e4 openings are very different from the others...

Hope to receive feedbacks, criticisms in order to improve. Thanks:)

Jun-10-05  Everett: <ongyi> Agree with most of it, especially the "boring" quality of it. Thanks for the input.
Jun-13-05  refutor: <...e6 sicilian> why not 3.c3 and get some kind of french line.
Jun-17-05  ongyj: <refutor> that seems another good anti-Sicilian choice! Since we'd come to this topic I'll post this question that I've been pondering. In this position :1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.e5 d4... which side is better and any offers of continuation?

Thanks for the guidance!

Jan-04-07  madlydeeply: i like the Bb5 sicilian...sicilian players suddenly have to play a central game, then they cry and cry and after I BEAT THEIR A** they cry some more! HAH!
Jan-04-07  another italian tony: I personally play only e4 at the moment.... I've taken to playing the closed sicilian with 2. Nc3, 3. f4 and 4. Bb5 as well in there at my local club when given the chance. Take a look at Lawrence Day's B21 and B23 games... for fun.

I play 3. Nc3 against the Petrov and if black plays Nc6, you can transpose to a Scotch game or Guoco Piano as well away from the borrring Petrov.

Mar-17-07  legija: this is a great opening,believe me is extremly logical when you think of my tournament practice i noticed that nobody likes to play against it,it gives black minimum play,wlile white has fast development,and positional pluses...
Mar-17-07  SirBruce: The thing is, this opening has far, far less success than B31, where the bishop pins the knight on c6. Black has many more options, such as exchanging bishops instead.
Mar-18-07  legija: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.B:d7 Q:d7 5.c4.....this variation is solid as steel...blacks play has no future...while white plays on the light squares...and thats the main continuation to 3.Bb5+...
Mar-19-07  SirBruce: 5.c4 does seem to be the move to make, but after that the opening appears to be very drawish, although I agree black's chances of winning might seem slim. And the Sicilian seems to be made for draws, so I'm more interested in better lines against it for white.
Jan-29-11  Lennonfan: After reading the above posts(admittedly all old)i think that unless your a super GM with valuable points or perhaps money at stake,then playing for a draw in chess just ruins the game...if you can turn a loss into a draw then fine,go for it thats common sense and of course skill,but to just play for a draw is as tal said"a crime"....i never play to draw with the white or black pieces,and the most exciting players in history haven't either...,maybe im too "exciting" for chess!!!! Perhaps whats more likely is id prefer a morphy or a tal to a karpov or a kramnik....certainly wont be playing for a bore draw either way...anyway most of you above who posted probably aren't at cgdotcom no more so im hopefuly talking to myself as this is not up for discussion!!!!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: I've heard this opening was also called the "Moscow" Variation. Is that true?
Feb-28-12  whiteshark: Yes, <3.Bb5+> is known as the Moscow Variation or the Canal–Sokolsky Attack.
Jun-05-12  Jacob Arnold: To avoid the Sicilian against 2. ...e6, my personal favorite is to play 3. d3, which transposes into a reversed King's Indian with a position slightly favorable for white (in my opinion). Bobby Fischer played some excellent games in this variation early in his career, such as his game against Sherwin in the New Jersey Open Championship of 1957.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Makes one wonder, if that ...g5 novelty played by Topalov would only work with Rossolimo Attack, or did Topalov just opened a whole new can/line of theory into the Sicilian Opening.
Aug-23-15  dusk: <WannaBe> I just think the move was more of a surprise factor. Had he played the correct moves -which were obviously hard to find- he would enter midgame with some important attacking opportunities and material advantage. It was just Topalov dragging Carlsen out of Carlsen's home prep into his own, in my opinion. It is like Topalov just sacrificed half a pawn score to get the computer to play for him which ultimately crashed Carlsen. The position is way too sharp and risky to be considered a new common way of Sicilian in my honest opinion. It would not work the second time for everyone would be aware of beloved engines' analyses and just counter it. Did it work? Hell yes it did. Just like Marshall's Gambit.. Not!
Aug-23-15  dusk: Sorry for the silliness of my paragraph's organization, I just can't arrange things on mobile version so just let it be.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The game Hutchings - Quinteros, Nice, 1974, began <1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7>. Writing in "Chess", August 1974, p. 339, Hutchings noted:

<"Alternatives are 4...Bd7 and 4...Nc6".>

Such insights are why annotators get paird the Big Bucks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Dang it, that's why <Ah> never got the beeg money! Could never stand such so-called annotations.
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