[FEN ""]
 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qc7

Is this merely a transpositional device to avoid some lines of the Taimanov Sicilian, or does it have any independent ideas?

  • I'm not sure about the entire plan of black in Sicilian Flohr Variation but mostly black tries to go for a long-term attacking play. Black continues with e6 and a5 placing queen on b8, developing bishop on d6 and so on.... You can checkout Decode chess for some detailed analysis and idea behind this variation. Apr 11, 2022 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


It is an interesting move order commented by Antonio Pavlidis in his book "The Sicilian Taimanov" (2019). This deviation from the typical Taimanov order (i.e. 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6) avoids White's dangerous line 5. Nb5, which after 5... d6 can be followed by 6. c4 Maroczy-style, or by very concrete play with 6. Bf4 or 6. Bg5. The main drawback with the OP order is that White can play 3. Bb5 transposing to a Rossolimo, which is a super theoretical, trendy line. Antonio concludes that it is a good option if you can anticipate your opponent's prep (i.e. the Rossolimo is not in their repertoire, plus they are confident with the 5. Nb5 line).


A few thoughts on this, even though I do not play it.

I don't like it. I play the Sicilian Najdorf.

 [FEN ""]
 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Qc7

Since the pawn is still on e7, the d6 square is protected from Nd4-b5-d6.

This allows Black to still consider a g7-g6, Bf8-g7 setup.

Playing Qd8-c7 is flexible, it can transition into different setups.

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