Mastery: Openings

Slaying the Sicilian: Kingside Storms

Slaying the Sicilian: Kingside Storms

Tired of getting mated by Sicilian aficionados? Turn the tables with killer kingside pawn storms!

This course will help you practice the most important attacking strategy to take town the Sicilian! Run pawns at your opponent's king and checkmate before they know what’s coming!

Here is what you will learn:

  • Learn key attacking ideas in a host of Sicilian Variations!
  • Learn how to judge when to attack and when to defend!
  • Learn from top-level games, including those of World Champions!

"Open the h-file, "sac, sac, ...mate!" - Bobby Fischer on checkmating against the Sicilian.


  • Pawn Tension

    The goal of the pawn storm is to open lines by forcing captures and removing the pawns in front of the king.

    • 6 challenges
  • The H-Pawn Hook

    In the Dragon, with Black's g-pawn advanced to g6, White normally uses a different method of opening a file.

    • 8 challenges
  • Wing Versus Center

    White often uses his kingside pawn storm not just to open lines on the kingside, but also to fight for the center.

    • 4 challenges
  • Spassky Throws Away a Pawn

    In a decisive game from the 1969 world championship match between Boris Spassky and Tigran Petrosian, Spassky used a typical method of attacking on the kingside in the Sicilian.

    • 1 challenge
  • Kingside Space

    The key to many of White's kingside attacks in the Sicilian is his space advantage there, which makes it easier to bring up attackers and hard for Black to defend.

    • 5 challenges
  • Being Quicker...

    In a sharp Sicilian game, often victory goes to the one who manages to bring the attack home faster. In this case, the players must act with great energy and use forcing moves to keep the initiative.

    • 4 challenges
  • Cracking the King's Shell

    Breaking the king's position even without a sure forced mate is often worth a material sacrifice.

    • 2 challenges
  • Slaying the Dragon

    Different attacking methods are used for the different kingside pawn structures that Black adopts in the Sicilian. In the Dragon Sicilian, White uses some of the same methods very frequently. Here we see one of them, from a famous game of Bobby Fischer.

    • 4 challenges
  • The Key Defender

    Sometimes you should conclude a well-crafted attack by removing a key defender.

    • 4 challenges
  • Setting Up the Sac

    Here is yet another of the typical methods White uses to break up Black's kingside defenses.

    • 4 challenges
  • Attack With the Pieces

    White's attack on the kingside often involves a pawn storm, but sometimes the pieces alone can crash through — particularly when both sides are castled kingside.

    • 3 challenges
  • Blitz Attack

    White's development lead can allow a rapid attack on the kingside. The attack was quite fast in this blitz game played in Philadelphia’s Franklin Mercantile Chess Club.

    • 10 challenges
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