Sicilian Defense 3. Nc3: A feasibility study

Sicilian Defense 3. Nc3: A feasibility study

Sep 28, 2017, 3:48 PM |

I am in a quest! For a long time I fear the Sicilian Defense. And for many years, I use to bang the center with d4! to open up the position and fight. Now I am exploring 3. Nc3 against most, if not all, of Black's 2nd move. This game is specially important for me because the Sicilian with 2... e6 is my worst nightmare.


The following game is played under 30 minutes time control with no increment. The night is young and I just had my dinner. A bit noisy as usual but at least I am not sleepy yet.


Its hard to find material about Sicilian 3. Nc3. I can only find it in transpositions since Nc3 is very common in Sicilian Defense. Its kind of like the Reti Opening, which stems to many opening lines. Move order affects the game though as with my game below.

 The position after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 has less than ten thousand games in database. Not many masters play the Sicilian in this sequence I guess. 


I found this master game on database. Its nice to see how White maneuver to eventually utilizing the control of the d5 square. This also demonstrate the idea of keeping the pieces behind pawn protection. An exposed piece is bound to be exploited.


As always, after self analysis its a good to let the premium do its job. My CAPS is saying that I play a typical 2200 OTB strength in this game. With 50% "Best move" and no inaccuracies or mistakes. Man I am impressed, and I do like the way I played this game. In a previous game my CAPs is 98% so it seem I am not getting consistent. My opponent on the other hand played a typical 2000 otb player. 

Strength White Black
Excellent 26 23
Good 4 3
Inaccuracy (?!) 0 4
Mistake (?) 0 0
Blunder (??) 0 0
Forced 0 0
Best Move 50.0% 57.1%
CAPS  93.80 90.77
Avg. Diff 0.10 0.53


Neither sides played mistakes or blunders. But I am pretty sure that 25... Bxc5 (+5.41) is a blunder because it loses a piece. And on move 13... h6, the engine gave an assessment of +2.16. I am starting to wonder how the computer rate the moves as mistakes and blunders.


So the Sicilian Defense 3. Nc3 is called the Pin Variation. I dont see a pin though so it might be a position from another opening line. I will be closely examining this move. I feel more comfortable with it as against 3. d4 from which I have poor performance.