Understand the Sicilian - 20 Must-Know Concepts
Athletics is said to be the queen of sport because it is one of the most massive kinds of sports. Its huge variety is something that leaves none indifferent.
In chess, this role is played by the Sicilian defence. The huge variety of arising positions, the complex nature of the battle, the immense pressure in every game is what crowns this opening as the Queen of the openings.
Even the number of the arising lines arising after the first 1.e4 c5 moves speak volumes about its importance at the chess scene.
The world champions have recognized its potential a long time ago. You do not need to scroll down too far in the past to notice its significance in the matches for the world crown. Check these facts out:
- Fischer winning against Spassky, while using his beloved Najdorf.
- Kasparov triumphing against the great Karpov thanks to his pet Scheweningen in the final game.
- Same Kasparov confidently holding Anand in the Dragon
- Anand dismantling Kramnik’s Classical Sicilian at their final match game.
- Gelfand holding the black colour against Anand thanks to the Sveshnikov Sicilian
- Carlsen following his footprints in his quest for the crown keeping against Caruana
This list can be easily expanded further. But there is no need. Everyone knows how important the Sicilian is noways for both colours. Every strong player includes the opening in his/her repertoire to gain the maximum points for both colours.
In this introductory course, I will try to present to you the main pawn structures and most common strategical ideas for both sides to build upon our knowledge for the future.
The Sicilian Defence is and will remain one of the most complex openings, but the proper understanding of the middle game and endgame principles will guide through the jungle of the lines. The general direction of the play will also help you determine what to trade and what to keep, what to avoid and what to aim for.
The huge variety of lines and sub-lines makes this task far more difficult than it seems, but I hope that most of your questions will find the right answers and that you can build upon that base your future understanding of the Sicilian Defence.
Complex does not mean impossible, challenge yourself to become better!