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Introduction to the Chess Openings: Anti-Sicilians

Because of Black's success in the Open Sicilian - and the huge amount of theory involved in maintaining a mainline Open Sicilian repertoire - many players have turned to White's alternatives on move 2 or 3, the so-called Anti-Sicilians. Although never as popular as the Open Sicilian among grandmasters, and historically considered less critical, these sidelines have always been popular at the club and amateur level, and are a viable option for any player lacking the time or motivation to learn dozens of theoretical lines in each of Black's Open Sicilian options. The most popular Anti-Sicilians all have their adherents among grandmasters and some have even been regularly adopted by World Champions. If you play the Sicilian as Black, especially at club level, you will frequently encounter these attempts to avoid the main lines, and so anyone looking to take up the Sicilian should prepare to spend as much time studying these lines as their favourite Open Sicilian.

The Rossolimo and Moscow variations

Here are some games to demonstrate chances for both sides in the Rossolimo.

Adams vs Philippe, French Team Championship, Paris 2004

Ponomariov vs Kramnik, Linares 2003

The Alapin (c3) variation

Here are some games to demonstrate chances for both sides in the Alapin variation.

Kaidanov vs Perez Ponsa, Mar del Plata 2012

Cohen vs Stohl, Isle of Man 1994

The Closed Sicilian

Here are some games to demonstrate how White's attack can unfold, and how Black can counter it.

Spangenberg vs Fiorito, Buenos Aires 1999

Spassky vs Portisch, Toluca Interzonal, Toluca 1982

Introduction to the Chess Openings: 1.e4 Back to Contents << The Open Sicilian
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