The Sicilian Defence

vogt - andersson (STEAN) [B84] minority attack in the Sicilian, Capa memorial 1975

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6

This is nearly always Black's fourth move in the Sicilian, to force the N on b1 in front of the c-pawn. Left alone, White may play c2-c4, stopping counterplay with d7-d5 or b7-b5, and removing danger on the c-file.

5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 a6 7. f4 Qc7 8. O-O Be7 9. Kh1 Nc6 10. Be3 Nxd4 11. Qxd4 O-O 12. Rad1 b5

Already making use of the minority. The move b7-b5 is sometimes a way of threatening the e-pawn, but more often keeps the c-pawn backward on an open file.

13. e5 !? 13... dxe5 14. Qxe5 Qb8 ! 15. Qxb8 Rxb8 16. Ba7 Ra8 17. Bb6 Bb7 18. a3 Rfc8!

Chess magazines are full of quick White kills against the Sicilian. Why do players bother with it, then? Because the longer games where the attack founders and Black wins the endgame are too long for magazines. Watch...

19. Ba5 g6 20. h3 ? 20... h5 21. Bf3 Bxf3 22. Rxf3 h4

Now White has a weakness on g2 as well as c2.

23. Rd2 Rc4 24. b3 Rc6 25. a4 b4 26. Ne2 Rac8 27. c4 bxc3 28. Rxc3

The weakness has been replaced by one on b3.

28... Nd5 29. Rxc6 Rxc6 30. Rb2 Bf6 31. Ra2 Rc8 32. Bd2 [32. b4 Rb8] 32... Rb8 33. Nc1 Nb4 34. Bxb4 Rxb4 35. Rf2

The risks of the h2-h3 move are now clear.

35...Be7 36. Rf3


36... Bd6 37. Ne2 Re4 38. Rd3 [38. Rf2 Bc5] 38... Bc5 39. Rc3 Bf2 40. Rc2 Kg7 41. Ng1 Rxf4 42. Nf3 Bg3 43. Kg1 Re4 44. Kf1 Re3 45. Rb2 e5 46. Rb1 e4 0-1

Exeter Chess Club: White's attacking chances against the Paulsen/Scheveningen

White's attacking chances against the Paulsen/Scheveningen: Ljubojevic,L - Andersson,U (Wijk Aan Zee), 1976

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. Be2 a6 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Be7 9. f4 d6 10. Qe1 O-O 11. Qg3 Bd7 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nxe5 14. Bf4 Bd6 15. Rad1 Qb8 16. Rd3 Ne8 17. Ne4 Bc7 18. Rc3 Nc6 19. Bxc7 Nxd4 20. Bd3 Qa7 21. Nc5 Bb5 22. Be5 Nc6


White's initial lead in development and control of the centre has has got better and better.

23. Bxh7+ Kxh7 24. Rf4 f6 25. Rh4+ Kg8 26. Qh3 Nd8 27. Bd4 b6 28. Nxe6 Nxe6 29. Qxe6+ Qf7 30. Qe4 g5 31. Rh6 Ra7 32. Rch3 Qg7 33. Rg6 Rff7 34. c4 1-0

Black's chances in the Paulsen/Scheveningen: Renet - Taimanov, Montpellier 1986

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 Qc7 7. O-O Nf6 8. Kh1 Bb4 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. f4 O-O

[10... Bxc3 11. bxc3 Nxe4 12. Qd4 Nf6 13. Ba3]

11. e5 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nd5 13. Rf3 [13. Bf3] 13... c5 14. c4 Ne7 15. Rb1 Nf5 16. Bd3 Bb7 17. Rh3 g6 18. Bd2 Rab8 19. Rb3 d5


Always this blow in the Scheveningen. White is tempted by a King's-side attack, but this soon comes to an end because the bad Bd2 cannot help.

20. Bxf5 ? 20... exf5 21. Rbg3 f6 22. exf6 [22. Qh5 Qg7] 22... d4 23. Rb3 Rxf6 24. Qb1 Re6 25. Rhg3 Re2 26. Qd1 Rbe8


the difference in the power of the two bishops is enormous, and White will never be able to play a light-squared bishop to f3 to exchange off the Bb7

27. h3 Qc6 28. Rbf3 Qe6 29. Rb3 Bc6 30. Kh2 Qxc4 0-1

White's chances in the Dragon : Karpov - Korchnoi, Moscow 1974

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O

  White intends to hold the centre and attack the King. There is a recipe fr these attacks: play Bh6xg7, h2-h5xg6, Qh6 and Qxh7 mate! Black has got about ten moves to arrange an upset in...

9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. O-O-O Nc4 13. Bxc4 Rxc4 14. h5 Nxh5 15. g4 Nf6 16. Nde2 Qa5 17. Bh6 Bxh6 18. Qxh6 Rfc8 19. Rd3


The first new move of the game! All this was known to theory.

19... R4c5 20. g5 Rxg5 21. Rd5 Rxd5 22. Nxd5 Re8 23. Nef4 Bc6 24. e5 Bxd5 25. exf6 exf6 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27. Qh8+ 1-0

  Karpov's team later claimed they had worked out the whole game beforehand in analysis!

Black's chances in the Dragon: Prokopp - Deuel (corr. 1986)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. O-O-O


a typical Dragon line

12... Nc4 picks up a bishop

13. Bxc4 Rxc4 14. g4 b5 15. h5 b4 16. Nd5 e6 17. Nxf6+ [17. Nxb4] 17... Qxf6 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. Qh2 Rfc8 20. Rd2 e5 21. g5 Qd8 22. Nb3 [22. Nf5] 22... Qc7 23. Kb1 a5 24. Qf2 Rc6


you can see the potential of the half-open c-file when White castles Q-side

25. f4 ?

  allows opening of long diagonal

25... a4 26. Nd4 b3 27. f5 exd4 28. Qh4 bxc2+ 29. Kc1 Qb6 30. Qh7+ Kf8 31. Rdh2 gxf5 32. exf5


32... Qxb2+ 33. Kxb2 dxe3+ 0-1

Let's look at the finish again:


34. Kc1

[34. Qxg7+ Kxg7 35. Rh7+ Kf8 is lost]

  34... Bb2+ 35. Kxb2 Rb8+ 36. Ka1 c1=Q+ 37. Rxc1 Rxc1# 0-1

White's chances if allowed to play c4 (The Maroczy Bind): Portisch-Reshevsky, Petropolis izt 195

1. c4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. e4 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Nc3

  We have arrived at a Sicilian by transposition from the English; White has played Nc3 behind the c-pawn. White has more space, which he will try to maintain by preventing Black from playing freeing moves like ...b5. Then, when Black is passive and White is fully developed, he will move to the attack.

6...Nxd4 7. Qxd4 d6 8. Bg5 Bg7 9. Qd2 O-O 10. Bd3 a5 11. O-O a4 12. Rac1 Be6 13. Qc2 Nd7 14. f4 Rc8 15. b3 axb3 16. axb3 Nf6 17. Kh1 Qa5 18. f5 Bd7 19. Nd5



White invites the exchange of Knights, which would only serve to open lines of attack for the Bishops and Rooks.

19...Qd8 20.Qf2 Bc6 21.Qh4 Bxd5 22.exd5 Re8 23.Rf3 Nd7 24.Rcf1 Bf6 25.Rh3 Nf8 26.fxg6 fxg6 27.Bxg6 hxg6 28.Rxf6 1-0

Chess Quotes

[cool blue cat says:]

COOL TIP: What does Reti mean? He was one of the strongest players of his day, but surely grandmasters are superb calculators! Yes, they are, but often they do not need to calculate something from scratch, because they recognise the type of position they are in, and they know what to play in that sort of position. All the calculating has been done before by someone else, and once you are shown how it works, you can use it and apply it in your own games.
— Dr. Dave.