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A caveat: I would not recommend it against someone you think may know it deeper than you. Say you're 1500. It's probaby a good idea to play it against 1300s or maybe even 1600s, but you'll probably be down in the opening if you play it against 1900s. You should try to do something he isn't real familar with in that case. Although I've always felt that to play 1...e5 was to let him play his pet line...
How are you going to get better playing the Sicilian against 1900s if you never play it against 1900s?
Good point. That's why I would play the Sicilian against any rating group.
I'm no expert by a long shot - never will be. However, my record playing against the Sicilian over the last so many games is 12/3/0 (excluding one practice game I won against a good player who just wanted to try out an opening variation).
The way those opponents played, I think was about as well as I played, except for the choice of opening defense.
I've seen it posted by other good players (pfren for example) that this defense by Black is not for the beginner, and perhaps he implied not for the intermediate player.
So, how good do you have to be to play it well, and if you have to be pretty skilled to play it, why is it so popular with lesser skilled players?
The Scicilian is one of the most trusted, and dependable openings for black.
The reason that it is popular with beginners is because its "agressive" and every beginner think they are a tactical wizard, so they play it.
Obviously anyone can polay it if they want, but it does require quite a bit of study, and knowledge to navigate through all of the dangers.
Fischer had a great quote on the accelerated dragon: "Sac..Sac...Mate. Ive played this so many times i should apply for a patent."
Fischers game against Larsen killed the AD for awhile.
You don't have to be good, to play the Sicilian. You just have to be a little crazy.
Nothing holds your chess development back as much as Fear of Losing. If you're not playing against opponents who can beat you soemtimes, you're just stagnating.
To play an opening well, you don't just play the first move, and say, "I'm trying the Sicilian!" You need to know what you'll do on move 2, move 5, and in many Sicilians, move 15, move 18. If you intend to make it up as you go, I think the Sicilian is a poor choice. If you intend to play a non-theoretical system, some Sicilians might get you there, but it's a matter of choice as to whether such a system is the best system for you. If you intend to immediately turn the tables with an early counterattack...the only Sicilian variations that can aspire to this are EXTREMELY theory-intensive.
But I'll add one point that was brought up earlier, too. You rarely see an Open Sicilian until you reach a certain, fairly high level. There is nothing intuitive about 3d4 for most lower level players, and intermediate players avoid the highly theoretical Open Sicilian lines. So you usually play against anti-Sicilians of one stripe or another. Everything you hear about the Sicilian from experts is completely inapplicable to these anti-Sicilian games--black equalizes quickly, but the game loses a lot of dynamism. On top of that, it's very hard to remember the counterintuitive mainlines when you almost never play them. You aren't rewarded for your study, nor do you reinforce it with practice. This is the same issue as with other highly theoretical openings, like the Ruy Lopez.
Maybe it's just happenstance or just a limited number of games, but playing White against the Sicilian, I seem to do much better when my opponent lets me keep a Knight at d4.
Here's a game where that was not allowed:http://www.chess.com/echess/game?id=93620072
Heres a few where it was allowed:http://www.chess.com/echess/game?id=93178460http://www.chess.com/echess/game?id=92312616
I have been playing the Sicilian off and on for over 20 years, and after many years of battles, my many loss's and many specatucular wins, some days of hair pulling out. i can honestly say i aggree with you Mark..:)
Overall when i can keep my knight at d4 i seem to get that little more room, more options, when im black i try to get rid of the White knight at his central bastion. i know you cant make fast and quick rules but most times Knight at D4 can be real mongrel if you dont get rid of him.
so good luck with your chess explorations, i just purchased the complete sicilian batsford from the 1980's , sweet book.
@Chess_is_my_God - thanks for the post - so it's not just me!
I'm just going to put this on here.
sicilianka noooo 23gujhgruop gg
I watched this about halfway. e5 is so easy it's amazing that all GMs don't play it. Instant win as black.
I watched the video and I'll give a summary. The first few minutes is about how easily the sicilian can go wrong for us mere mortals and the the rest of it is how much more intuitive it is to play 1...e5 against 1. e4 - the guy goes through several openings - worth viewing when you have 30 minutes to spare.
It sort of goes to the point implied in my posts - the sicilian is best left to advanced players, if you are playing for a win (of course anyone can play whatever opening for learning or for fun).
I think there should be a rule that if you are under 1800 USCF you can't play certain openings or you forfeit. It would be much better for the game.
That's the stupidest thing I've heard in quite some time.
Sorry, but a bunch of 1200s running around trying to play the Sicilian or Catalan is bad for chess.
No offense intended, but on here you are about a 1200, so you would have to subject yourself to those rules. Would you want to play a game where you don't have freedom of which openings to play? That's what you would have to do if those rules were in place. People can play whichever openings they want, and making rules about which openings to play and which not to play would be a disastrous mistake. It would prevent the players from having freedom in their opening decisions, and furthermore, many players would tell you that the Sicilians are more fun than any other chess opening complex. Since a vast majority of chessplayers play for fun, I think this would be a terrible decision.
Dont listen to them Mark ... how can you draw your own life lessons here, how can you really learn .. only person that means anything here is you!
therefore if its right or wrong, you must decide, you must analyze..
i know my ratings is not as high here, but Over the board thats a different story.. so mark keep chipping away at the Siclian, best lessons are learned by blood, by sweat, not by a smart a$$ on post, so keep exploring, keep making mistakes.. because you will learn..and it would be worth enjoying the post
This is in reference to the Yugoslav Attack of the regular Dragon. The Accelerated Dragon is a positional system that is normally played to circumvent the sharp attacks with opposite side castling in the Yugoslav Attack.
The Accelerated Dragon with 2...g6 is fairly low maintenance in comparison with a lot of other Sicilians, but you might get tired of the Maroczy Bind as you reach expert level.
The Kan and Taimanov with 2...e6 is also a practical choice for the amateur, as many of the lines are not as sharp as you would find in more popular Sicilians. The under 2000 crowd often gets confused by the amorphous qualities of these systems that delay the advance of the d-pawn. For instance, someone who normally plays the English Attack against the Najdorf will likely end up worse if they try the same system against the Kan since ...Bb4 + ...d5 is an additional option. Combine this flexibility with understanding of Scheveningen structures and you have an excellent practical weapon.
The Sicilian is a double-edged sword, but you can minimize risk by adopting positional systems that are often overlooked by other amateurs.
Speaking of dragon systems (especially accelerated but also the main dragon) why would you want to play a system where d5 is terribly weak and attempts to cover it result in a weak d6 pawn!? True, d5 is a weak spot in most Najdorf lines too, but it isn't as pronounced unless you go wrong somewhere. In the Najdorf you don't have the g6 pawn which white can use as a hook/lever for attacks.
Whether it's the dragon or Najdorf I hope you have great major piece endgame technique! Those tend to be common.
I second MetalRatel's Paulsen/Kan suggestion. It's a great choice, though one major drawback is it circumvents the Moscow variation. After 1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,e6 3.Bb5?!,a6 4.Be2 when black is practically playing the white side of an English defense. In fact Tartakower and Lasker played such a game!
Anyway the Moscow being played is only a plus if you know the theory since it's more relaxed than the mainline Najdorf and in some variations white's d4 is weak especially in lines with c4. Like any other sound opening the Moscow is anyone's game however but you have more leeway than mainlines.
Oh, 1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,d6 3.d4,cxd4 4.Nxd4,Nf6 5.f3 is something you'd want to study, it's the featured line in Steamrolling the Sicilian.
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