26 votes
Accepted

Why is capturing the bishop in this position a blunder?

It is a blunder because White can win a piece instead. The Black queen is in a molasses of its own pieces, and White has a very good chance of trapping it. Capturing the bishop loses this chance, ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

A disagreement between me and my chess engines

I think that Black is doomed after Qh6 but the engines do not even recommend it as a correct move. Is there something I am missing here? Yes. The only reason black can't take your queen on h6 is ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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16 votes
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How bad is 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. a3?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. a3? No, it is not clearly losing, but I would say that the question mark is appropriate. You have to understand that white, by the nature of going first, can afford ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Why do all e4-c5 variations only have a single name (Sicilian Defence)?

Back in the day where most openings got their names, 1...e5 was much more popular than the Sicilian, so it made sense to distinguish between the King's Gambit, the Italian and so on as those were the ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
14 votes

What to play vs. 1. d4 when Sicilian is my favorite defense?

You can play the Stonewall defence with black as well, as quid suggested. You can start with a Dutch and get the familiar structure (just an example): [FEN ""] 1. d4 f5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5. ...
kmartin's user avatar
  • 1,638
14 votes

In Bb5 systems against the Sicilian, why does White exchange their b5 bishop without playing a6?

Some things that are probably part of the answer, but probably not complete and concrete enough: 1...a6 won't come. There is no threat to a pawn on e5, the knight isn't pinned, the only point of 3....
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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13 votes
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Queen placement in the Dragon

One of Black's development plans will include moves like Nd7 intending Ne5 hitting the Q and Bishop if the Q is on d3. This will cost White an important tempo in this dynamic opening. Black's plans ...
cousin_pete's user avatar
  • 1,227
12 votes
Accepted

Why is an early e5 against a Yugoslav setup evaluated at +2.6 according to Stockfish?

This move creates several weaknesses, at f6, d5, and d6, and restricts the movement of the Bg7. The outpost weakness is usually shown by the game https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1257953. ...
Mike Jones's user avatar
  • 5,159
12 votes

Why is an early e5 against a Yugoslav setup evaluated at +2.6 according to Stockfish?

Besides Mike Jones' correct positional explanation, Black is also losing material at once after the simple 8.Ndb5. White attacks the d6 pawn, whose capture would also deprive Black of castling rights. ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 15.8k
11 votes
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If the Sicilian is so strong, why do people still play e4 in competitions?

How much statistical difference is there? Is it really statistically significant? Do these statistics take account of only GM games, so are they biased or not? And do you know that not every player ...
ferit's user avatar
  • 4,434
11 votes
Accepted

Why is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 b6 so unpopular?

It's not that unpopular amongst off-beat lines that can emerge from the Sicilian defense, on top which it has a natural tendency to transpose to Owen defense type of positions. As to why it's not as ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
11 votes

How bad is 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. a3?

It's pretty bad but not close to losing. 3.a3 has been chosen in 34 games in my database, and scores around 38%. Stockfish at depth 28 gives an evaluation of about 0.14. So objectively speaking the ...
Inertial Ignorance's user avatar
11 votes

Queen placement in the Dragon

Qd2 is used in these lines to support the Be3, which is typically played to h6 to exchange for the Bg7, followed by a pawn attack on the king-side.
Herb's user avatar
  • 4,187
10 votes
Accepted

Why almost nobody plays ...6...b5 in the Lipnitsky Najdorf?

This is a good question, and I'd like to provide you an in-depth analysis but I don't have time right now, so here's a short answer, more to be added later: Short answer: An immediate b5, before ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
10 votes

I like to play 1. e4 but I dislike 1. ... c5. Can I continue with 2. c4?

You can, but if you like most openings with 1.e4, it's probably not the most adequate choice for your "style" (the resulting position will be "slow" rather than a fast exchange of tactical blows. 2.c4 ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
9 votes
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What is the idea behind playing 6.a3 in the Sicilian Najdorf?

The move a3 serves basically two functions: White can develop the bishop to c4, and keep it aimed on d5, even if Black attacks it with b5, or, as Giri did, with Be6. In the lines where Black plays .....
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 24.8k
9 votes

The strength of Smith-Morra gambit

If you like the Morra gambit, then there is no reason not to play it. It indeed leads to open positions where white has a lead in development. Moreover, black players are typically more familiar with ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,526
9 votes
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Introduction to the Sicilian

There's no known recipe that works for everyone for how to approach the Sicilian (or any new opening) as a newcomer to the opening, but it definitely helps if you concretize your target even more than ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
9 votes
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How does the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defense stop the Keres attack?

In the Najdorf variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6), the c8-h3 diagonal remains open and Black has two hits (Nf6, Bc8) on the square g4. If White plays 6.g4?? in the spirit of the ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 15.8k
9 votes

Is The Four Knight Sicilian winning for White?

It isn't a main line, as Black struggles to equalize in the opening. But the Sicilian 4 knights isn't refuted/winning for White. In the variation you give, 15. .. O-O by Black is a blunder. Black ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,010
8 votes

Why does 6.Bc4 prevent 6...e5 in the Sicilian Najdorf?

e5 is bad against the Fischer-sozin variation, because of 7. Nf5, which puts pressure on the d6 weakness. Now granted, you could play Nf5 whenever black plays e5, whether you're playing Be2 (the ...
Fritz Flathead's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

After Bc4, is it better to play e6 to stop the bishop?

You have already mentioned one good thing about e6, it blocks the c4-bishop. It may not seem very important, but the white's attack on a2-g8 diagonal can be rather unpleasant later on, especially ...
kmartin's user avatar
  • 1,638
8 votes
Accepted

How do I defend against players who keep pawn pushing in the Sicilian?

Pawn pushing is a well known anti-Sicilian strategy. The main problem here is that your play was too passive and you paid more than enough attention to your opponents while they were pushing their ...
Wais Kamal's user avatar
  • 3,022
8 votes
Accepted

Short and long term plans in a closed game in the Sicilian Defense

Before we talk planning, you can see from the diagram arrows that the tactical line 12.Nxd3 followed by c4 is available. A trade of c&b pawns for Whites e&d pawns = the center is Blacks; not ...
Ywapom's user avatar
  • 6,111
8 votes
Accepted

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 c5 — Sicilian Defense to King's Gambit?

My initial reaction is that 3...c5 is very weak just by looking at it, which is why it is so rare. The ECO key that comes with ChessBase's Mega databases is very detailed, but even this does not even ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
  • 32.4k
8 votes
Accepted

Why is 5. Nc3 preferred over 5. f3 in the Open Sicilian?

The move 5.f3 is an interesting one and worth a try for two reasons: Avoiding heavy theory. Tricking some Najdorf or Dragon players who are not keen to play the Maroczy bind with c4. However, Black ...
Kortchnoi's user avatar
  • 3,525
8 votes

What is the point of delaying the exchange in the Rossolimo?

The underlying reasons for delaying BxN are - Preserving options Saving tempi Suppose in the final position black plays a6 forcing white to make a decision. Bf1 is a perfectly good alternative to ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
  • 94.5k
7 votes

What is the current theoretical state for the Chinese Dragon?

When black plays the Dragon, recently, the top players tend to choose 9.0-0-0 and 9.g4, instead of 9.Bc4. For example, Topalov-Lu Shanglei, Wei Yi-Lu Shanglei, Caruana-Nakamura and Karjakin-Nakamura. ...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,526
7 votes

Why is the Scheveningen Sicilian almost never seen nowadays at top-level chess?

As far as I know the theoretical reason for this is the Keres attack. (As stated by Jan Gustafsson in one of many live commentaries.) [Event "Tata Steel"] [Site "Wijk aan Zee NED"] [Date "2013.01.23"]...
BlindKungFuMaster's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

The strength of Smith-Morra gambit

Merits for white: easy and quick development attacking chances, particularly against f7 (with a bishop on c4) and on the open c and d files (after putting rooks on c1 and d1 potentially (depends on ...
user1583209's user avatar
  • 20.7k

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