24

It is a blunder White can win a piece instead. Black's queen is trapped in a molasses of its own pieces, so to speak, and White has a very good chance of trapping it. Capturing the bishop loses this large possibility, and is thus a grave mistake. Here is White's best line of play that quickly plants Black a firm loss. [FEN "r2n1rk1/pp1bppbp/1n4p1/q1N5/...


18

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 because the g7 pawn is pinned by your rook on g3. If black could take that (even losing the queen to do so) with tempo (i.e. so you don't have time to play Qxh7#) ...


12

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. 9.Nd5 followed by a fork on c7 is an even bigger threat ensuring that there is no defense: 8...Bf8 9.Nd5 Rb8 (what else ?) 10.Nbc7 Kd7 is awful, when the ...


12

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. The d6 weakness is basically using all you pieces to attack the pawn and, once all of black's pieces on defending it, to shift the attack to another point and, ...


8

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 BxN. It is one which will lead to an entirely different game, one which white may prefer. In any case it makes some sense to wait for black to commit with a6 ...


6

The move c3 prepares d4; if Black proceeds blindly by playing, for example, 2. ...Nc6, 3. d4 gives White full control of the centre and a strong advantage. To prevent White dominating the centre, Black tends to counterattack with 2. ...d5 or ...Nf6, which often leads to French-like structures that can throw off a player with the black pieces who is familiar ...


6

It is certainly playable. The main drawback is that you give White the choice between two very different mainline openings: 3.Nf3 transposes to a Sicilian, where Black is already committed to e6 (Kan, Taimanov or Scheveningen, but no Najdorf, Sveshnikov, etc.). 3.d5 reaches a Benoni structure and may transpose to a mainline Benoni if White later plays c4. ...


6

A trade of c6 will not happen in all variations, so White keeps his options open (as the saying goes, to take is a mistake!) but even if that were the case there's no need to trade immediately if White considers that all of Black's moves that prevent the trade are bad. There is no reason to assume that capturing immediately should be the default. We should ...


5

Bc4 is a reasonable move in most Sicilians. The drawback is that the Bishop might find itself blocked out of the action after ..e6, and the likelihood of that is different in different variations. For example, in the Dragon, Black always plays ..g6 and playing ..e6 as well would leave weaknesses on the Black squares. In lines where ..e6 is played, White ...


5

First and foremost it should be noted that while you can employ the Grand Prix Attack against basically any Sicilian, the Rossolimo/Canal Variations can only be played against 2...Nc6 and 2...d6 Sicilians. If you look at GM games, the Rossolimo will appear more than the Grand Prix Attack due to being more solid (not moving the f pawn so early and following ...


5

Both moves have their advantages and disadvantages. In the system you gave with 3...g6, 4.0-0 doesn't commit to capturing on c6. White may do this anyway at some point, but he also has other plans. For example, one line runs 4...Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4. So in this particular example, White does end up capturing on c6, but the ...


5

d5 is a very good Benoni for white (if there is such thing as a not-very-good Benoni for white) exactly as Arne mentioned, because white can maneuver his knight to c4. Usually arises from a different move order though, 1. d4 c5 2. d5 e6 3. e4, and this is the reason why 1. ... c5 is not great against 1. d4. You'd want to wait for that pawn to arrive on c4.


4

For starters, the e6 pawn controls d5 and f5. (1) This is great for defensive purposes because a knight landing on d5 or f5 can often ruin black's game completely in the Sicilian. A great example of why we don't play e5 and allow a knight to land on the d5 square would be the Sveshnikov variation. With our pawn on e6, white must find another square (and ...


4

Carlsen introduced 8... Ne7 (after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5) instead of 8...Nb8. He played this in round 12 and then again in game two of the tiebreak. The line was known before but not played at the highest level and therefore not considered a serious approach by black. You can find the analyzed games here ...


4

You are asking a good question, because the answer gets to the root of good opening play. The object of the opening is not just to get the pieces out. If it were, then after 1.e4 c5, 2.Bc4 would be a popular move. The reason why it is not is that c4 is not yet clearly a good square because 2..e6 neutralizes the Bishop, and an eventual ..d5 will take ...


3

The idea is that c3 supports d4 and if black plays cxd4 then white recaptures with the c-pawn leaving white with the better center. If white is able to carry out that plan then he will have a clear opening advantage. However, in actual play, the idea is a little slow. After 2...d5 white really doesn't have a good answer. 3. e5 just gives black an improved ...


3

I think there was good points and explanation so far, I will just add few. I recently also started to play Alapin, and there are two points two that: 1- make your opponent uncomfortable! as mentioned before the structure and form of the play is not what black players are looking for, and it make it uncomfortable to face it. 2- Also, white is trying to avoid ...


3

Bc4 is a good move in every Sicilian. As with all aggressive moves, it provides a target, specifically for a rook on c8, a queenside expansion by b5, and the center pawn fork. The gambit requires active pieces and quick development for the pawn, so not only is Bc4 a good move, but it's necessary.


3

I play it to avoid 'normal' sicilian lines. When possible I do attack often on the Kside. OTOH your example line is not one that gives me a lot of problems. What causes me more problems as white is fighting for an early d5 by black and attacking on the Q side. Yes some opponents have castled Qside as black which led to other type of play than a Kside attack ...


3

Check out this website for more information: https://thechessworld.com/articles/openings/the-keres-variation-against-the-sicilian-defense/


3

Disclaimer: there might be other ideas too. I used to play this some time ago against sicilian. My idea was that I liked closed sicilian positions (2. Nc3) if black did not play the "main" setup against it (that is, 2. ... Nc6, 3. ... g6 etc). So with Ne2, I still could play the closed variation against, for example, 2. ... e6 and 3... d5, and ...


2

Actually g1 knights best square is f3 and is not blocked - but the point is pretty obvious to take on d4 with pawn and have firm control over central squares. And b1 knight that lost ability to go to c3 either will go to c3 after cxd4 recapture or will be routed into play via a3 or d2.


2

Haven't checked, but I would guess it is due to a combination of weaker players (the classical Scheveningen is not all that popular nowadays), most games being blitz or bullet and the move not being obvious. While it might be the strongest move in the position, the maneuver Ne8, Bf6 is not obvious at first glance. It comes with some downsides which have to ...


2

You should take a look at the Kveinis variation. I play it, and it is a good and surprising variation, with a lot of tactical traps.


1

Any answer to the question will be as dangerously biased as the database behind it, and moreover Stockfish will have other opening "reasons" than a human (I play 100% c5, and that even without knowing theory...), but here are some values from the database behind the Lichess analysis board, as number of games and white win-white loss: c5 - Sicilian ...


1

I managed to find a line that seems playable for White, although Black is definitely somewhat better here: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nge2 Nc6 4.g3!? d5! 5.exd5 exd5 6.d4 Bg4! 7.Be3 Bf3 8.Rg1 c4 9.a3 Black plays 8...c4 because we are in fact threatening to capture on c5 (note that 9.dxc5 d4? would not win a piece), and we play 9.a3 to prevent ...


1

I'm a big believer that players below expert level should play system openings against 1. d4. They drastically reduce what you need to know to get a playable game. Bobby Fischer thought the same way and played the King's Indian but the problem is that opening has acquired a lot of theory since then. The Tarrasch Defense is very much a system opening. You can ...


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