A Preview on Understanding the Sicilian by GM Mikhail Golubev
A book review on Understanding the Sicilian by GM Mikhail Golubev

A Preview on Understanding the Sicilian by GM Mikhail Golubev

NM 2Bf41-0

Hi Everyone! I usually do not dedicate entire blogs to only one book review but I must make an exception to a particularly exceptional work, "Understanding the Sicilian"by experienced Ukranian GM Mikhail Golubev. 

The book is excellently formatted, an encyclopedic guide to understanding the Sicilian for both colors. He covers every line, ranging from the Alapin, to main line open Sicilians, to dubious but tricky sidelines such as the Nimzowitsch variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6!?). Instead of pure theory work (which becomes useless when theory develops and old variations obsolesce) he provides model games with instructional explanations on the tactical themes and positional plans arising from different variations. Especially his comprehensive analysis of the Dragon is as useful as any theoretical guide can be.

In all the lines he discusses not only the game line, but all the potential alternatives (for both colors) and their theoretical, transpostional, and psychological benefits. For instance, take the following example:

While reading this book, I could sense the undiminished passion of a dedicated Sicilian player with decades of experience. Another glowing line is in the following sub-variation:

I do not wish to divulge all of the masterpieces of this book but just watch this next resplendent game. A positional torture against a strong grandmaster.

I believe that this is a unique book on an a highly relevant topic. "Understanding the Sicilian" will definitely enrich your understanding of not only the middlegames arising from the numerous Siclians covered in the book, but also positional chess in general. This book truly lives up to it's title, and doesn't disappoint!