How to Beat the English Attack with the Sicilian Kan
If White insists on playing the English Attack—Be3, Qd2 and 0-0-0—against the Sicilian Kan, Black doesn't just get an equal but complicated game or just some hopes of going into a promising sideline. No, he gets an out right advantage thanks to the special characteristics of the Kan allowing an early d5.
In my LAST BLOG on the Sicilian, we focused on White's e5 thrust. This time around we're looking at Black's d5 which is typical in many Sicilians but especially central to the strategy of the Kan. There really isn't a better place to start than playing d5 against the English Attack because Black gets this break in so early and so effectively. Make sure to check out my Sicilian videos on MY CHANNEL if you are interested in learning about White's e5 thrust.
Many Sicilian players rightfully fear the English/Yugoslav attack. When I used to play e4, my best chess friend always played the Dragon and I have many happy memories of driving my h and g pawns down the board (a key attacking motif in the English/Yugoslav) followed by "Sac Sac Mate." When I took up the Sicilian again from the Black side, I rightfully feared this attacking formation. As it turns out, Kan players have nothing to fear! The English attack simply doesn't work. Let's see why not.
Learning Objective: In the Kan, Black plays e6 instead of d6. As a consequence, he has the ability to play d5 in one move saving time, but also Black has the option to play Bb4 adding pressure to c3 which in turn adds pressure to e4 making d5 all the more effective. However, this alone wouldn't really be enough. It is also important that Black has played Qc7 and omitted Nc6 which means he maintains control of e5, while also adding extra influence down the c-file.
Summary:After d5 broke down White's e4 strong point, the center was much too fluid for him to get any kind of a Kingside attack going. Not to mention if White is really stubborn and castled 0-0-0 anyway, Black has ready made pressure down the c-file giving him excellent attacking chances while White d-file failed to yield any real attacking prospects of his own.
Be on the look out for more analysis of Black's d5 break in the Sicilian. As always, thanks for reading! And make sure to ADD ME as a friend to be notified of my next blog! Leave a comment. I love to hear from you.