After 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6

Why is the Rossolimo line impossible for white?

[fen ""]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6

1 Answer 1


In the Rossolimo proper,

[FEN ""]
[Title "Rossolimo variation"]
[Startply "5"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6

white usually holds back pawn to d4 and doubles black pawns with Bxc6, or later builds a center with an eventual c3 followed by d4.

In the Open Sicilian,

[FEN ""]
[Title "Open Sicilian"]
[Startply "9"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Bb5?!

none of these plans are available, and 5. Bb5 doesn't make much sense. Besides, the bishop on b5 is tactically vulnerable to a later black Qa5+ or Qb6.

  • I would just like to add, in response to the phrasing of the original question, that it is not "impossible" to transpose to the Rossolimo by playing 5.Bb5 (it's as if you started the Rossolimo and then played 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4), and it's not even terrible; it's just not very good.
    – dfan
    Oct 24, 2015 at 14:53

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