No one plays Open Sicilian!


You got weirder 

wheredidtommygo wrote:
Hi guys. I’m having a little trouble with the Sicilian. The main line begins after the exchange at d4. But as a beginner it’s hard for me to play the Sicilian or use the Sicilian videos to my advantage because white never opens the center with the d4 push which becomes an issue because it paralyzed my queenside. I don’t want to push my dragon set up and my queenside is stuck with a bad bishop and a queen blocked by its own pawn chains. Any advice?

The best advice for you right now is to not worry about what your opponent plays.  You want to play the Sicilian, go for it.  At 1000, the players you will be playing will be just as unbooked as you, so instead of worrying about how to "force" an Open Sicilian so you can get into a book line you know, worry about tactics.  Keep your pieces defended and look for when your opponent hangs a piece (at your current level, it will happen several times a game).

Originally, I only had one reply from Optimissed. I woke up one morning to find this thread had 68 replies. Granted some of it was bickering amongst ratings. But I truly just want to say thank you to everyone, this means so much to me. That being said I want to get down the knitty gritty.

I chose the Sicilian because I’ve done so much research that states the Sicilian is the strongest defense against e4. Some will beg to differ, but let’s face is. I may only be a 1,000 player but the research and statistics are out there. SO much theory revolves around the Sicilian.

Every time you research the Sicilian they boast about how many lines! How many variations! How much theory! Mostly variations. What I find so funny is that 0/8,000 of those variations are playable without the d4 exchange. I truly believe that to be mind blowing.

But we already know this d4 exchange is the culprit. I’ve seen many posts that say I should not play the Sicilian line at my rating. I can tell you guys that it is my only response to e4. I don’t care if I get destroyed or what happens to my rating. I do not play anything else and I am loyal to the opening. My contingency is that eventually I will be a 1500+ player, and when I get there, my knowledge of the Sicilian compared to others will be outstanding from all the abuse I have taken. Call me crazy, but hear me out.

I play Magnus every day, multiple times a day. I do this because I know he 99.9% of the time he will respond with the Sicilian. Once he does I start analyzing his moves because I don’t force the exchange on d4 (like all my opponents. In the rare instance that’s not his response, I will restart the game twice just to force him to play it for my studies. I can say that I have learned a lot. And before we begin with “You should memorize lines from an app! He’s a GM! Stop memorizing!” Guys, Chess is all about memorization during the opening. That’s how we learn to get into a great position for our middle game which I feel becomes critical thinking at that point.

I’ve learned that low rated players love exchanging without a plan. An example is whites second premature move being the bishop pin to my Queenside Knight. I’ve learned that in this case you want to capture with your d pawn which means “away” from the center. Normally this is not advise but in the Sicilian it opens up the file for the Queen.

I’ve also learned that if white decides to give a check with their kingside bishop if there is no black knight present it is best to respond with your own bishop vs your knight on d7 because like my instructor said, “It forces the opponent to make the exchange decision immediately relieving the pin.

I promise I have been studying everything. I can also say that if white does choose to open the position on d4 be exchanging they almost always recapture with their queen. Once my Queenside knight chases the queen away I always contemplate two things. (And sometimes I contemplate these things without their Queen out.)

1. Their Queen is out, do I have enough time to Fianchetto?

2. Do I grab space by pushing e4 leaving me a hanging d pawn?

Now from what I understand, the strongest reply to whites kingside bishop just resting it’s balls blacks c5 pawn at c4 is for black to push e3. I can say I feel so SAFE and strongly believe in this move because it does two things. It makes that bishop useless. It stops any ideas of white using kingside knight or even queen to work together on blacks weak f7.

My last concern is probably the most frustrating. Blacks light squared bishop. Granted I’m beginner games it gets traded off in the first four moves. But say we have the luxury of keeping it. It seems to me that this bishop becomes a liability when placed anywhere near the fianchetto because an exchange with a recapture destroys the castle. So then you decide we’ll let me just put it on b7, that’s a great diagonal!!! Super idea! Well now you have an unprotected bishop.

From my experience playing closed Sicilians against Magnus. There is a lot of queen play. And that makes sense because the Sicilian completely opens up the Queenside. Which may be the problem with beginners and the Sicilian since beginners are taught to save their Queen for last. I believe this is where the issue arises. You’re opening up a side for a piece you’re not going to use immediately which gives White an amazing tempo. But when I do decide to use the Queen it also becomes a hassle because without tactics it typically gets pushed back by pawn storms from whites Queenside since they have already castled and could care less about that side.

I would have left this post in the first place but it was my first time on a forum. This to me was almost like admitting I have a drinking problem (I don’t). I can’t believe I actually came forward and people were so nice to weigh in. I didn’t think I would receive so many responses so I didn’t go into detail like I just did.

I just became a 1,000 rated player and it means a lot to me. I know this may be low and there’s always those guys that say they’ve never played chess and one day picked up the game and got to 1,000 in 4 days because they’re amazing. And that’s good for them if they want to lie or what not. But I’ve played honest and been honest and for me it’s a bit accomplishment. And my closing statement is this.

I don’t feel I should have to play another opening just because I’m 1,000. I always hear that I shouldn’t memorize lines. If that’s the case, then playing another opening would be just that because you memorized that opening. I feel that my loyalty to the Sicilian will eventually pay off.

Thanks guys.




wheredidtommygo wrote:
... I’ve seen many posts that say I should not play the Sicilian line at my rating. I can tell you guys that it is my only response to e4. I don’t care if I get destroyed or what happens to my rating. I do not play anything else and I am loyal to the opening. ...

Well, if you are really determined, you might want to consider Starting Out: The Sicilian, 2nd Edition by GM John Emms (2009).

"... a very informative book, and players up to about USCF 1800-1900 should be able to benefit from and learn the principles of the Sicilian Defence for both Black and White. ..."

"... In my opinion, he has taken what was a rather good book to begin with and made it absolutely excellent. The material touches all the right areas, the annotations and introductions are well-written, the examples well-selected, and, with the expansion of the number of pages, Emms covers everything that is relevant in a book of this type. ..."

Much of the book is about 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 etc., but there are also a lot of illustrative games involving various alternatives.