B27-29 Sicilian: O'Kelly, Nimzowitsch and others minor lines

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In the Sicilian defence, after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 in addition to the common replies 2...d6, 2....e6 amd 2...Nc6, Black has some minor lines among with the Nimzowitsch variation and the O'Kelly variation are the most interesting.  

In the Nimzowitsch variation (2...Nf6) Black attacks White's pawn centre causing its advance, in order to show its weakness later. In spite of being a minor and seldom used line, 2...Nf6 is sound and gives good opportunities to reach equality.  White's has two main option: he can either challenge Black's second move with 3.e5 or try to switch to Sicilian main lines with 3.Nc3.

O' Kelly variation (2...a6) is based upon a smart idea: Black defends the important b5 square in advance, so that White's usual move sequence of the Open Sicilian is weak, as after 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5! the White Knight can't jump to b5 (also 5.Nf5 is not possible due to the strong reply 5...d5!).   As a consequence Black can take the initiative and has an easy game ahead.  However if White is aware of that he can create difficulties to his opponent just delaying d4 and playing instead either an improved version of the Alapin with 3.c3 or an effective Maroczy Bind with 3.c4.

Other Black's played second moves include 2...g6 that very often leads to an Accelerated Dragon, 2...b6 (Katalimov variation) that is playable although too slow,
2...h6, 2...Qc7 and 2...Qa5.

Opening Sicilian B27-29
Download ChessBase file B27-29.cbv
Download PGN file
Last Update January 2019