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The alapin sicilian.Any thoughts on this opening from sicilian players? Do you like/dislike playing it? How do you usually respond?
I personally like to play against it, and I don't really think it's the best weapon White has to fight against the Sicilian.
This variation reminds me a lot of the Alekhine defence. In fact the principle is the same: Black somehow "punishes" White for such a slow opening with c3 attacking the center right away. White pushes the pawn and the black knight finds a really nice square on d5.
As for the Alekhine the "problem" for Black is maintaining the king's knight into the game, and not allowing White to cramp the position (ie. by pushing c4 forcing the knight back to b6). Otherwise that black knight will have serious problems to get back to the battle. The main difference in this Alapin set-up in comparisson to the Alekhine is that in the former Black has already played c5, which gives him much more space that in the Alekhine set-up
With normal play I would say that Black can achieve at least equality with not many tears.
That's my feeling for this opening. Hope this helps.
Well I wouldn't call it easy rdecredico that's a bit of a stretch, if it was easy then players like Kasparov, Kramnik and Anand wouldnt have used it and it wouldn't be a much used variation at GM lvl.
Thanks for you comments :). As a non sicilian player I can't really comment on how it is to play against. I can only see how it works for me.
Seems like its alot of the same ideas as the Ruy Lopez for white? I happened upon this varation when i was trying to play the Ruy. Have not tried to learn it yet but I am going to check it out this week. Any suggestions on good Alapin games to look at? I found the comments posted to be helpful so far thank you.
From the for-what-its-worth department, chessgames.com lists 7,693 Sicilian Alapin games in it's database. Hardly a rare opening.The results of the games in that database are: White wins 31.7% Black wins 32.8% Draws 35.5%
Personally, I don't like taking c3 from my Knight, but that's just my own preference. While B22's results aren't impressive, they do seem decent enough not to dismiss the opening.
One of the more impressive games is a loss by Kasparov to some stupid machine:
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