The Sicilian Defense is the most popular opening from the black side. The Sicilian defense is a response to white 1st move E4. New In Chess stated in its 2000 Yearbook that of the games in its database, White scored 56.1% in 296,200 games beginning 1.d4, but 54.1% in 349,855 games beginning 1.e4, mainly because the Sicilian held White to a 52.3% score in 145,996 games. 17% of all games between grandmasters, and 25% of the games in the Chess Informant database, begin with the Sicilian. Almost one-quarter of all games use the Sicilian.
Why play Sicilian defense?
Dynamic play – This opening has a very dynamic structure. Both black and white play for the win. Complicated positions with no early simplifications or forced draws make it one of the best bets if you want to outplay your opponent.
Creativity – This opening is very creative and every year new variations are coming from both sides. Overall it makes the Pirc more interesting and fun to play.
Outplay your opponent– This opening requires very much precision and deep study. But when you successfully study this line and analyze and remember each line in deep then defiantly you can outplay many of your opponents easily
Mainstream opening – If you start to learn and play Sicilian defense in the early of your chess career. Then it will become very beneficial to you to understand deep lines. One more benefit is that you don’t have to change lines again and again.
There are mainly 4 major lines you have to study if you want to learn
1- Najdorf Variation
Najdorf is the most popular variation in Sicilian defense. Top grandmasters like Petrosian, tall, Fischer, Kasparov, MVL, and almost all players above 2700 played this variation in their career. This Najdorf variation invented by Miguel Najdorf who is a world-class player at that time. The basic plan of Najdorf is to create an attack on queenside if white plans for the long castle and if white plays short castle then black aims to create a center break.
2- Dragon Variation
Dragon is a very dangerous opening from black and white sides. It is the most attacking and thrilling opening in the world. The major difference between a dragon and other variation is that in dragon black opens his black bishop from g7. There are two types of options are available for white, first is the Yugoslavia attack and the other is classical variation. In Yugoslavia attack the white do long castle and attack on the kingside, is a very risky line. In a classical variation, white does short castle and take benefit of black’s week center.
3- Classical variation
In this variation, all 4 knights get developed in the first few moves. Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik played this variation until 2000. This variation is also known as richer Rouzer variation. The ritcher Rouzer attack can offer strategically ambitious positions. White doesn’t have many risks in this variation but should be careful and the black king completely gets open in the mainline but black also is comparatively safe
4- Scheveningen variation
The variation first came to international attention during the 1923 chess tournament in the village Scheveningen at the North Sea coast near The Hague. During the tournament, the variation was played several times by several players, including Euwe playing it against Maróczy. This variation’s m main plan is to break center with black move d5.
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