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Is the Sicilian meant for chess experts only?

  • #1

    I have become a better player over the past few years, but I still shy away from Sicilians due to the massive amount of theory and preparation required.

    I believe that my record with the Sicilian is worse than with my other preferential moves against 1. e4. This is despite the fact that I have read that 1... c5 is Black's best scoring response to White's 1. e4. So does this mean that you need to be of a certain skill level to play 1... c5 successfully?

  • #2

    no

  • #3

    The Sicilian is not only for experts - some lines lead to super sharp but fun positions. For example, take a look at the Sicilian Dragon:

  • #4

    Yes, leave it to us, the expertsplayhand.png

  • #5

    No, its not and will never be.

  • #6

    are you willing to commit to the sicilian Gamificast , it has many supporters and rightly so

    but if you mess it up by 1 move it generally gives you a lesson in chess but get it right and you will see why so many spend years studying it

  • #7
    Gamificast wrote:

    I have become a better player over the past few years, but I still shy away from Sicilians due to the massive amount of theory and preparation required.

    I believe that my record with the Sicilian is worse than with my other preferential moves against 1. e4. This is despite the fact that I have read that 1... c5 is Black's best scoring response to White's 1. e4. So does this mean that you need to be of a certain skill level to play 1... c5 successfully?

    If you don't play it, how will you become expert at it?

  • #8

    There's a massive amount of theory and preparation involved ONLY if you're planning to play against Masters in the near future. Which of your usual opponents is massively booked-up against the Sicilian?

    I play it all the time, (with good success) and I haven't cracked an opening book in literally decades.

  • #9

    I just looked at your games on Explorer. You have a 50% win rate as white after 1. e4 c5.

    However, after 1. ... e5 and 1. ... e6 you win rate is 0% and 33% respectively.

  • #10

    The open Sicilian is generally characterised by black's 5th move
    after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3

    Black chooses between 5. ... a6 ( Najdorf ) 5. ... g6 ( Accelerated Dragon ) 5. ... Nc6 5. ... e6
    I do not play the fianchetto due to the Yugoslav Attack ( see #3 ) essentially white charges with pawns cracks open the kingside and mates on h7.
    The Najdorf 5th move (a6) is about preventing Ndb5.
    The asymmetrical position is such that black exploits the c-file maybe even a rook for knight sacrifice on c3.
    Black has the pawn majority in the centre but white has extra space.
    Another theme for black is to push either e5 or d5 where as white will look for say e5 with an f4 pawn to dislodge the f6 Knight.
    The more you like tactical fireworks, counter punching the more you should be drawn to the Sicilian.

  • #11

    5. ... g6 is not the Accelerated Dragon. It's the Dragon. The Accelerated Dragon is 2. ... g6 (or 2. ... Nc6 and 4. ... g6).

    The fifth move 5. ... a6 has far more points than just preventing Ndb5.

    It also prevents a Bishop check on b5 in many lines, such as White playing Bc4 and Black replying with ... Nxe4, intending to answer White's Nxe4 with ... d5 forking the Knight (on e4) and the Bishop (on c4). That combination falls apart if White can move the Bishop out of the Pawn-fork with CHECK (on b5).

    It also supports the push b7-b5, which not only reinforces Black's grip on the c-file (covering the c4 square for a Knight outpost) and makes room for a b7-fianchetto; it also threatens to push on to b4, unhinging the White Knight that protects the e4-Pawn.

  • #12

    I play it regularly as black. Doesn't make a difference in winning chances between equivalent strengths. Always 50/50 among patzers, although it's probably easy to skew results with just a little studying.

  • #13

    blueemu says it well:

    There's a massive amount of theory and preparation involved ONLY if you're planning to play against Masters in the near future.

    I worry more than I should about opening preparation. I'm a long from playing masters and I've stumbled badly in the opening and gone on to win games because my opponents were at my level.

  • #14
    blueemu wrote:

    5. ... g6 is not the Accelerated Dragon. It's the Dragon. The Accelerated Dragon is 2. ... g6 (or 2. ... Nc6 and 4. ... g6).

    The fifth move 5. ... a6 has far more points than just preventing Ndb5.

    It also prevents a Bishop check on b5 in many lines, such as White playing Bc4 and Black replying with ... Nxe4, intending to answer White's Nxe4 with ... d5 forking the Knight (on e4) and the Bishop (on c4). That combination falls apart if White can move the Bishop out of the Pawn-fork with CHECK (on b5).

    It also supports the push b7-b5, which not only reinforces Black's grip on the c-file (covering the c4 square for a Knight outpost) and makes room for a b7-fianchetto; it also threatens to push on to b4, unhinging the White Knight that protects the e4-Pawn.

    Yes sorry about the dragon name.
    I take all your points of course.

    I just did not want to get to deep since we do not know which Sicilian variation appeals.

    Opps # 1
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Qe2
    Be7 8. O-O Nbd7 ?? 9. Bxe6 

    Opps # 2
    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8.
    Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. e5 dxe5 11. fxe5 Nfd7 12. Ne4 h6 13. Bh4 Qa4 14.
    Be2 Nc6 ?? 15. Nxe6 {( 1-0 )}

    Both in 5 minute games, one black is me the other black a well known GM ...

  • #15

    The Sicilian is not an easy defense. White usually has a number of choices of attack and Black usually chooses to defend a tough, likely cramped position or accept some potentially troubling weaknesses for a counter attack. But there are some Sicilians where Black might be able to limit the complicated attacking offshoots White might want to get into.

    The old classical Dragon really suggests White might only want to push on the Kside and there probably still are adequate defenses against most but the really booked up there. There is also the Dragon with an early ...g6 and ...a6 which can suggest to White to 0-0 which can throw off his Kside attack plans helping Black possibly equalizing. Plus Black's Dragon setup is generally fairly standard with relatively few major ideas for progressing.

    There's also the Sveshnikov or even the Kalashnikov with an early ...e5 where Black kind of sets the battleground. Though with some obvious structure issues that's not to every players taste. Again, Black's setup is fairly consistent with a few general ideas. Though here the middle game can be tricky both ways. Mistakes can be punished quickly. But the plus is after some losses by Black it becomes pretty clear what not to do and the defense can improve quickly. 

    These are still complicated defences, like pretty much all Sicilians, so some study is still necessary. But anybody can play them with maybe less study needed than the Najdorf or Scheveningen. 

     

  • #16

    The Sicilian is not an easy defense.

    True enough. But are there easier ones? 

    I play the French. Between the Advance, the Tarrasch, the KIA and whether I go Classical or Winawer, I feel I've got my hands full.

    1...e5 is worse IMO between having to study up on the Ruy, the various Two, Three, Four Knights or Giuoco Piano, Evan's Gambit, King's Gambit or even the Ponziani.

    The Caro-Kann doesn't suit me but there are a bunch of ways that can go too.

    Then there's Alekhine's, Pirc, or Modern, which all face a number of White responses.

    I don't think there's an easy defense for Black after 1.e4. Which is not to say Black is faced with insurmountable problems, but it's a mean old world.

    I do take Nckchrls point that there are less complicated ways to go in the Sicilian than the Najdorf, though I always thought, perhaps mistakenly, the Scheveningen wasn't that horrible.

  • #17

    I wish to correct the statements made by Rat1960 & Blueemu


    1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6

    The above move order is the Sicilian Dragon not the Accelerated Dragon like Rat1960 said!

    1.e4 c5 2. g6

    The above move order is the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon not the Accelerated Dragon like Blueemu said!

    1.e4 c5 2.Nc6

    The above move order is the Accelerated Dragon.

  • #18

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  • #19
    Gamificast wrote:

    I have become a better player over the past few years, but I still shy away from Sicilians due to the massive amount of theory and preparation required.

    I believe that my record with the Sicilian is worse than with my other preferential moves against 1. e4. This is despite the fact that I have read that 1... c5 is Black's best scoring response to White's 1. e4. So does this mean that you need to be of a certain skill level to play 1... c5 successfully?

    Little Kids play the Sicilian Dragon!

    They get interested in the line based on the line name.

    You are asking the below question:

    Is the Sicilian meant for chess experts only?

    What if I say yes! It is only ment for Experts!

    Are you going to give up the idea of the Sicilian?

    Little 8 year olds play the Sicilian Dragon because they like Dragons.

    and your worried about chess skills?

  • #20

    @ipcress12, I agree. There's really not an easy 1. e4 defense. I also agree that to be fully comfortable with 1...e5, it probably takes a lot more study than certain other choices.

    My goal with the 1.e4 defense has always been to try to keep some control of the direction of the game. So I play  the French also as a standard with prep for the Advance and Exchange and some general ideas with the KIA. If White goes any other way, I usually take ...dxe4 and try to go for the Fort Knox or Rubinstein lines. But of course I get a somewhat cramped defensive position that most good players can eventually crack open.

    As a second defense I usually try for a Dragon, mixing the classic with the early ...g6 and ...a6. Occasionally throwing in a Sveshnikov. Though my results certainly haven't been extremely successful, most of the time I get a decent enough position where the opponent has to show how to win it. Too bad they show how to win it way too often.

    Been starting preliminary study into the Caro-Kann and it looks promising. But isn't that what everybody says about their potential 1.e4 defense solution?

     

     

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