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Sicilian Defense - which is the best??


  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1

    Deeptactic

    Erm..... Any suggestion???? which sicilian defense is probably the most reliable???? I have two options - Sicilian Najdorf and Sicilian Dragon.... but i dont know which one is better, I'm an aggresive player, so sicilian dragon probably the best for me, but Garry Kasparov is also an aggresive player, but he choses Sicilian Najdorf.....I wonder why.....is sicilian dragon not reliable??

    so...... Sicilian najdorf or sicilian dragon??

     

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2

    Irontiger

    Both offer wild tactical complications and need to learn tons of theory to survive. Maybe less for the Dragon than for the Najdorf (I saw a book - 200 pages - about the Najdorf that started at move 15 of some subvariation), but the Najdorf makes White think more than the dragon at my level : in the dragon, White plays Be3 Qd2 0-0-0 Bh6 h4 (maybe g4) h5 and only then starts thinking, while Black has to find good moves.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3

    Andre_Harding

    Don't limit yourself to only the Najdorf or Dragon because you are "aggressive." Having said that, the Najdorf is definitely more reliable than the Dragon. Having said THAT, for weaker players the Dragon (no, the Accelerated Dragon doesn't count) is IMO the best Sicilian to start with because the resulting positions force you to develop a lot of important skills (play in opposite castling positions , managing competing pawn storms, attacking the king's field, initiative, etc.).

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #4

    Deeptactic

    oh thanks

    by the way.......should i really study for OPENING at my stage( rating around 1300 ) ???? Cause i have heard a few higher rated players ( rating around 1700 - 1900 ) said that DONT FOCUS TOO MUCH ON THE OPENING until you get a higher rating.....

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #5

    scandium

    The "best" would be the one that most suits your style of study and play. If you don't like theory, or razor sharp positions, then the Najdorf or Dragon would be the worst choice on either grounds. That's the part of the Sicilian's attraction: regardless of your style of play, or how little you like studying theory, there is a Sicilian that will fit.

    The Sicilian 4 Ns, for instance, doesn't give black the winning chances he has in say the Najdorf, but its also very resilient and a good choice for someone who wants to play the Sicilian, but doesn't want a lot of theory or to be faced with the knife edged attacks a Dragon player regularly sees. The trade off is that its very drawish and when there's winning chances, they often belong to white; and you need to know how to play with an IQP, because its something black is saddled with in the mainline 4 Ns.

    Also there is another factor too: transpositions. Sicilians generally have the flexibility of letting you transpose into another Sicilian, which is a useful tool for avoiding lines you prefer an alternative for. But some are more flexible than others.

    Really no such thing as a "best" Sicilian. It really boils down to knowing your own style, and the differences (and transpositional options) between the various Sicilians so as to put together something that fits you (which may be a something that starts off as a Taimanov, but which you may transpose, against a particular line from white, into something as totally different in structure and play as a Sveshnikov). 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #6

    GeniusKJ

    Theoretically the strongest is the Sicilian Najdorf but its true that there's a lot of theoretical knowledge required in order to play it well.

    I don't think its worth studying the Sicilian Dragon.

    Instead, learn the Accelerated Dragon.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #7

    koala8

    I do the najdorf and then I can see if I want to the dragon but it all depends on the game

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #8

    Fred-Splott

    Kasparov did not play the Najdorf. He played the Scheveningen with a Najdorf move order to avoid a sharp line. There is a world of difference.

    I play the O'kelly Sicilian and sometimes the Paulsen. I use the O'Kelly to transpose into a Kan but there are a lot of independant lines which I've worked out.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #9

    scandium

    GeniusKJ wrote:

    Theoretically the strongest is the Sicilian Najdorf but its true that there's a lot of theoretical knowledge required in order to play it well.

    I don't think its worth studying the Sicilian Dragon.

    Instead, learn the Accelerated Dragon.


    The Accelerated Dragon doesn't offer much for an aggressive player. More of a positional opening, with an entirely different flare, than the Dragon. This is particularly true if white opts for the bind, which black can't prevent, and then its very positional.

    To reduce theory, and still keep more of the aggressive potential of the Sicilian, I'd recommend instead the Taimanov. Its more about ideas and familiarity with the kinds of positions it leads to (which comes with experience playing it), than the concrete variations that are so much a part of the Najdorf and Dragon.

    The black K is more vulnerable in the Taimanov than in the Accelerated Dragon, but the upshot is that so is white's K. Its a very dynamic opening, with lots of flexibility and transpositional options into other Sicilian systems.

    There's a promising looking book out for it too: The Taimanov Move by Move by John Emms (written in the same style as his similarly named, and well received, recent book on the Nimzo-Indian).

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #10

    thehedgehog2000

    Fred-Splott wrote:

    Kasparov did not play the Najdorf. He played the Scheveningen with a Najdorf move order to avoid a sharp line. There is a world of difference.

    I play the O'kelly Sicilian and sometimes the Paulsen. I use the O'Kelly to transpose into a Kan but there are a lot of independant lines which I've worked out.

    Sure he played the Scheveningen but he also played the poisoned pawn Najdorf a couple dozen times

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #11

    jontsef

    Against Bg5 it's the Najdorf. Also those times he played e5 or Ng4 vs Be3, and e5 vs Be2, it's the Najdorf. So he did play pure Najdorfs often, though less often than the Scheveningen.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #12

    Andre_Harding

    Kasparov played the Scheveningen early in his career and always had a love for it. The reason he employed the 5...a6 move order was to avoid the Keres Attack (5...e6 6.g4). When Kasparov faced 6.Be3, he most often played 6...e6 (the Scheveningen-style line) rather than 6...e5 (with a true Najdorf structure).

    For example, in the 1995 Intel/PCA World Championship match against Anand, Kasparov would play 5...a6 and upon Anand replying 6.Be2 would continue with 6...e6.

    Notice that Najdorfs with 6.Bg5 (including the PPV) lead to a typical Scheveningen or Rauzer structure for Black.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #13

    GeniusKJ

    scandium wrote:
    GeniusKJ wrote:

    Theoretically the strongest is the Sicilian Najdorf but its true that there's a lot of theoretical knowledge required in order to play it well.

    I don't think its worth studying the Sicilian Dragon.

    Instead, learn the Accelerated Dragon.


    The Accelerated Dragon doesn't offer much for an aggressive player. More of a positional opening, with an entirely different flare, than the Dragon. This is particularly true if white opts for the bind, which black can't prevent, and then its very positional.

    To reduce theory, and still keep more of the aggressive potential of the Sicilian, I'd recommend instead the Taimanov. Its more about ideas and familiarity with the kinds of positions it leads to (which comes with experience playing it), than the concrete variations that are so much a part of the Najdorf and Dragon.

    The black K is more vulnerable in the Taimanov than in the Accelerated Dragon, but the upshot is that so is white's K. Its a very dynamic opening, with lots of flexibility and transpositional options into other Sicilian systems.

    There's a promising looking book out for it too: The Taimanov Move by Move by John Emms (written in the same style as his similarly named, and well received, recent book on the Nimzo-Indian).

    As the person who created this forum isn't a master or expert I completely standby my answer. Perhaps Carlsen shouldn't play Acc.Dragon but besides that GM Dzindzi agrees its the best one to learn for non-GMs and still great for GMs

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #14

    GeniusKJ

    Also, scandium...

    Those single opening books are worthless for non-experts and non-masters.

    The person asking this question does not need to know more than 8 or 9 moves of theory in a few var.

    Acc.Dragon is the way to go man.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #16

    Andre_Harding

    @GeniusKJ

    Accelerated Dragon...yuck!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #17

    Fred-Splott

    <<Sure he played the Scheveningen but he also played the poisoned pawn Najdorf a couple dozen times>>

    OK but it was pretty easy to see which Kasparov thought was the solid opening and which was just a vehicle for extended analysis.

    Incidentally I read some analysis years ago that suggested that The Dragon and the Accelerated Dragon each have their problems and that Dragon players should go for the semi-accelerated version, which also has problems but not so bad!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #18

    Fred-Splott

    <<To reduce theory, and still keep more of the aggressive potential of the Sicilian, I'd recommend instead the Taimanov>>

    A lot of GMs swear by it and have for years but I don't care for the bind that White can get and the knight on c6 which is a characteristic of the Taimanov sometimes is misplaced there. You wish you'd just left it in its box.

    I'm awaiting the day the O'Kelly Sicilian is taken up seriously by GMs but I suppose I won't get my own original lines and opening theory named after me! :)

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #19

    vidhan

    my favorite is exalarated dragon

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #20

    Fred-Splott

    P.S. The O'Kelly transposes into the Paulsen, the Kan, the Scheveningen, the Dragon and, of course, the Najdorf. Thus it may be the most transposition-oriented of ALL Sicilians and yet it retains vast chunks of theory that's peculiar to the 2 .... a6 move order. When I started playing it over 20 years ago many strong players simply thought it was unsound! Still virtually nobody plays it!

    I think the reason for that is that the original lines are so distinct and different from normal Sicilians and GMs would have to put in a LOT of work to understand the lines that are peculiar to the O'Kelly.


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