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I am look for an aggressive response to the closed sicilian (1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 ...) in which black has strong attacking and tactical chances against white. Most of the variations I have seen result in black playing semi-positional plans on the queenside and center while white pummels black's king on the kingside.

Thank you in advance!

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It's difficult to recommend an tactical line against the Closed Sicilian as White is attempting to avoid this sort play by keeping the center relatively closed/semi-open. I wouldn't characterize the play as Black playing purely positionally on the queenside and White "pummeling" black on the kingside - there are a variety of plans for both sides in the resulting middlegames. Black's expansion on one side of the board can be just as effective if not more so than White's attack on the king. An aggressive approach isn't limited to tactical play. I can recommend an approach that may make this concept more evident.

Against 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3, I have played 2...a6 in the past. Black's idea is quite simple - as he knows he's going to be playing on the queenside anyway, he decides to expand there before developing any of his kingside pieces. He usually follows up with moves like b5, Bb7, e6, and d5. This is certainly an aggressive reply to the Closed Sicilian, and can be defined as a positional one as well.

  • Thank you! How would you suggest responding to white playing a4 relatively early in the opening against your suggested plan. ie (1.e5 c5 2.Nc3 a6 3.g3 b5 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. a4)? The research I've been doing suggests that black's main plan after playing b4 and chasing the c3 knight around for a while, will be to march forward in the center, usually opening the d-file and attacking white's soon-to-be backwards d-pawn. This plan seems promising, but if you have anything more 'edgy' in mind, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks again! – Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad Jul 12 '13 at 20:07
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    No problem! In the regular Closed Sicilian, Black usually pursues a similar idea of playing b5, a5, b4, etc. Black will almost certainly play b4 after a4 as the d5 square is covered by the pawn on e6, and he may even follow it up with Rb8 with the idea of b3. – Andrew Ng Jul 12 '13 at 21:30
  • Thank you! If possible, could you recommend me a book or article that articulates the plans for each side in depth? I understand the basics of blacks plan, which is to either undermine white's center with b4->b3 if white plays a4, or otherwise to play d4 and c4 and explode the center, while also playing h5, Nh6->f5 to slowdown/stop white's kingside attack. In the games I saw, white would only win if black messed up his attack, or if white didn't castle and played something like Kf2 followed by g4. (This is all based on going through 365chess's opening explorer). – Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chanchad Jul 13 '13 at 2:35
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    Unfortunately, I don't think I can recommend any books that teach the line (I'm not even sure if it has a name) but I would encourage you to go through whatever databases you can find for annotated games. I understand that the d4 square is still a central part of Black's plan, and I would suspect that white's plan will be to play the main Closed Sicilian instead of the Grand Prix attack as the light squared bishop is forced to go to g2. In those lines, white sets up with his knight on h3 and pawn on f4 with ideas of playing g4-g5. – Andrew Ng Jul 13 '13 at 3:08

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