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In my club and local tournaments, opponents playing White often do an early Bc4 when I start a Sicilian. Usually I begin an Old Sicilian, eg 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6. My opponents may play Bc4 on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th move. A recent example is 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4. Usually my UCI or engines code this as B20, aka the Sicilian Cochrane Attack.

I searched for. detailed ECO listings, but I couldn’t find this under B20, or anywhere else. Web searches revealed that John Cochrane played 5. Bc4 in a Petrov variation and 4. Bc4 in a variation of the King's Gambit. I also couldn’t find anything about Bc4 in the Sicilian.

So, what is Sicilian Cochrane Attack?

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John Cochrane is known for his dashing and creative playing style – liberally sacrificing pieces and always attacking. He played an early Bc4 against many openings including the Sicilian. Here are 3 examples against Howard Staunton, regarded as the world's strongest player from 1843 to 1851. These games may explain the origin of the name Sicilian Cochrane Attack.

On the 2nd move

[Title "John Cochrane vs Howard Staunton, London m2 (1842)"]
[FEN ""]

1.e4 c5 2.Bc4 e5 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 exf4 5.O-O g5 6.d4 cxd4 7.c3 Bc5 8.cxd4 Nxd4 9.Nxd4 Qb6 10.Kh1 Bxd4 11.Nc3 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Ne7 13.g3 d5 14.Bxd5 Bh3 15.Qh5 Bxf1 16.Qxf7+ Kd8 17.Ba3 Re8 18.Rd1 Be2 19.Bc6+ Bxd1 20.Qxe8+ 1-0

On the 3rd move

[Title "John Cochrane vs Howard Staunton, London m2 (1842)"]
[FEN ""]

 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Bc4 e5 4.f4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Qe2 Be7 7.O-O d6 8.Ng5 O-O 9.fxe5 dxe5 10.Qf3 h6 11.Nxf7 Rxf7 12.Qg3 Na5 13.Bxf7+ Kxf7 14.Qxe5 Nc4 15.Qh5+ Kg8 16.Qe2 Ne5 17.Bf4 d3 18.Qd2 Nxe4 19.Qe1 Bc5+ 20.Kh1 Qd4 21.Nc3 Bf5 22.Bxe5 Nf2+ 23.Rxf2 Qxf2 24.Qxf2 Bxf2 25.cxd3 Bxd3 26.Rd1 Re8 27.Rxd3 Rxe5 1/2-1/2

On the 4th move

[Title "John Cochrane vs Howard Staunton, London m2 (1842)"]
[FEN ""]

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.Nf3 e5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Ng5 d5 6.exd5 h6 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.h3 Qc7 9.hxg4 Qxc4 10.Nxe5 Qxd5 11.O-O Bd6 12.Bf4 O-O 13.Re1 Re8 14.c4 Qa5 15.Bd2 Qc7 16.Nd3 Rxe1+ 17.Bxe1 Qxc4 18.Qf3 Nc6 19.Bd2 Re8 20.g5 hxg5 21.Bxg5 Nb4 22.Bf4 Bxf4 23.Nxf4 Qc1+ 24.Kh2 Qxb2 0-1
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    Thanks, Kortchnoi. Is there some app I'm missing ? I see the boards, but there is a long vertical scrollbar below, obscuring the moves. – dlemper Apr 23 at 22:22
  • You are welcome! I see the moves on the right of the diagrams. At the bottom of each diagram do you see a menu with Start, Back...Next buttons? You can use those to watch the games. – Kortchnoi Apr 23 at 22:34
  • @dlemper is a long vertical scrollbar still obscuring the moves? – Kortchnoi Apr 28 at 20:35

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