Sicilian is the most
commonly used defense against 1.e4. The beginner can be
confused by its complexity and several variations; therefore he could
be tempted to look for ways to avoid it rather than to deeply study it.
That's a pity because understanding, studying and playing the
Sicilian defence can give him a lot of fun and it's also a required
step if one wants to become a strong chess player.
The purpose of this section
is to provide a simple guide
to understand the Sicilian, its ideas, the possible pawns
structures and the plans; it will be easier then to
choose your pet variations and to build up a Sicilian repertoire to
extensively study and play.
The above diagram shows the
Sicilian starting position. Black controls the d4
square and so prevents
White to occupy the center. The idea is the same of the King's
Pawn opening (after 1.e4 e5) but with different consequences:
In the Open
Sicilian White allows the d4 exchange with 1.e4 c5;
2.Nf3 d6 (or 2...Nc6 or 2...e6); 3.d4 cxd4; 4.Nxd4.
That is the main and most effective variation, that
a complex and uncompromising play, characterized by the dynamic balance
between White's extra space and the best pawn structure of Black.
Obviously White is not forced to propose the d4
he can play in a different way. The alternatives to the Open
Sicilian are called Anti-Sicilian systems; some of them are perfectly
playable although they create fewer problems to Black and do not
provide the dynamic and rich continuations of the Open Sicilian.
center is controlled by
a side pawn and therefore the exchange in d4 is in favor of the Black
pawn structure that remains with two central pawns against White's only
one (instead in the King's Pawn opening Black controls d4 with a
- Black pawn
can't be directly
attacked; so White doesn't have a second move that is both a developing
and attacking one (as it happens instead in the King's Pawn
Bishops are still blocked by pawns and that will initially delay the
minor pieces development and the castling (in
the Black Bishop in f8 has already an open diagonal).