Exclusive Peek: Modernized: The Open Sicilian

Exclusive Peek: Modernized: The Open Sicilian

| 10 | Opening Theory



Modernized: The Open Sicilian

by IM Zhanibek Amanov & FM Kostya Kavutskiy


This book is the second in the Modernized series, as last year MetroChess released Modernized: The King's Indian Defense by GM Dejan Bojkov.

In this exclusive preview for members we'd like to provide an overview and sneak peek of our newest release.

Modernized: The Open Sicilian is a complete opening repertoire for White after the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 (followed by 3.d4, the Open Sicilian). In a staggering 562 pages, the authors provide coverage of all of Black's major and minor variations within the Sicilian Defense. The main goal in choosing lines was to reach middlegame positions with well-defined plans for both sides, so that the reader can focus on trying to understand the nuances of each structure rather than trying to memorize long variations.

The recommended lines against Black's most common variations include:

The Najdorf: 6.h3
The Kan & Taimanov: 6.g3
The Classical: 6.Bc4
The Dragon: Yugoslav Attack w/ 9.0-0-0
The Accelerated Dragon: Maróczy Bind
The Sveshnikov: 9.Nd5

Coverage of less frequently seen Sicilians are included in the book as well, including the Four Knights Variation, the Grivas Variation, the Nimzowtisch-Rubinstein Variation, the O'Kelly Variation, and the Katalimov Variation.

About the Authors

Photo Credit: Kele Perkins
IM Zhanibek Amanov, originally from Kazakhstan, has been the leading coach/chess player of Metropolitan Chess, participating in the previously held Metropolitan Chess Fide Invitational Series, a run of GM/IM norm tournaments that took place in Southern California. Zhanibek was also an active member of the Los Angeles Vibe, a USCL team, competing in 2011-2013.
Photo Credit: Tim Hanks
FM Kostya Kavutskiy of Los Angeles currently serves as the Director of Marketing for Metropolitan Chess, though is also an active member of's content team, having created several featured videos as well as many videos for's Youtube Channel. Kostya is also a regular commentator for ChessTV.

The book contains a total of 43 heavily annotated instructive games, highlighting not only the current state of theory in each variation, but also a multitude of common plans and thematic motifs for each middlegame.

The first game we'd like to present comes from Chapter 1a: Najdorf - 6.h3 e6, where GM Ian Nepomniachtchi executes a powerful long-term pawn sacrifice right out of the opening:

The second game comes from Chapter 2b: The Taimanov Variation, where GM Gadir Guseinov punishes his opponent's dubious opening play with the thematic Nd5 sacrifice:
This book is perfect for anyone looking for an answer to the ever-popular Sicilian Defense, as the Open Sicilian has long been considered White's most principled and ambitious response to Black's combative opening. The book was written for players rated 1600-2200, and is available for purchase from some of our partners at the following links:
The book will also be available for sale on New In Chess in March.

For a PDF preview of the book, please click here.
For more info about Metropolitan Chess, please visit 
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