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Sicilian (B30)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6

Number of games in database: 13489
Years covered: 1834 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 38.1%
   Black wins 28.7%
   Draws 33.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Michael Adams  55 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  53 games
Peter Svidler  50 games
Alexander Moiseenko  139 games
Boris Gelfand  82 games
Teimour Radjabov  81 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Stanishevsky vs Nikonov, 1981
Alekhine vs Saemisch, 1923
Tal vs Y Rantanen, 1979
Gipslis vs Tal, 1955
Anand vs Carlsen, 2009
Szen vs Anderssen, 1851
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 page 1 of 540; games 1-25 of 13,489 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. McDonnell vs La Bourdonnais 0-1321834La Bourdonnais - McDonnell 4th Casual MatchB30 Sicilian
2. Mohishunder vs Cochrane 0-1161850CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
3. Mohishunder vs Cochrane 1-0321850CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
4. G Salmon vs Saint-Amant 0-1161850Casual gameB30 Sicilian
5. F G Heijmans vs M van 't Kruijs  0-1371851AmsterdamB30 Sicilian
6. Bird vs Horwitz 0-1321851LondonB30 Sicilian
7. Szen vs Anderssen 0-1361851LondonB30 Sicilian
8. E Williams vs J S Mucklow 1-0381851LondonB30 Sicilian
9. K Hamppe vs Harrwitz  1-0591852Casual gameB30 Sicilian
10. Staunton vs NN 1-0431853ReadingB30 Sicilian
11. Bird vs H Buckle 0-1271853Casual gameB30 Sicilian
12. Loewenthal vs Harrwitz ½-½531853Harrwitz - Loewenthal mB30 Sicilian
13. C Eliason vs S Leow  1-0481856BerlinB30 Sicilian
14. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0431856CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
15. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0191857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
16. Cochrane vs Somacarana  0-1621857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
17. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0431857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
18. Cochrane vs Somacarana  1-0281857CalcuttaB30 Sicilian
19. Casabianca / Isouard vs Harrwitz / Duke Karl  0-1381857Consultation gameB30 Sicilian
20. E Geake vs A Pieczonka  1-0111861Casual gameB30 Sicilian
21. G Schnitzler vs Hardung 1-091862DuesseldorfB30 Sicilian
22. Winawer vs C Golmayo  1-0461867ParisB30 Sicilian
23. Ajeeb vs H Meyer  0-1361869Crystal Palace ExhibitionB30 Sicilian
24. C Brook vs E Arblaster 0-13718753rd Oxford - Cambridge Varsity mB30 Sicilian
25. A Schottlaender vs Winawer 0-1331880Wiesbaden CongressB30 Sicilian
 page 1 of 540; games 1-25 of 13,489 
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-03-03  Shadout Mapes: BL: No, 1.e4 c5 is not hypermodern, as it controls the center with pawns, rather than pieces as in the Nimzo/Queen's Indian complexes. That's basically the hypermodern concept is to use pieces instead of pawns to controls the center.

Unless, I am wrong, which I have been before, anyone else want to comment?

Jul-03-03  Benjamin Lau: <BL: No, 1.e4 c5 is not hypermodern, as it controls the center with pawns, rather than pieces as in the Nimzo/Queen's Indian complexes. That's basically the hypermodern concept is to use pieces instead of pawns to controls the center.>

Thanks, I just remembered that- "hypermodern" systems are supposed control the center with an early Kkt instead of pawns. How about the Benoni (old one, not modern)? Does it count as hypermodern or only its cousin the Modern Benoni?

Jul-03-03  Shadout Mapes: That's one's tough, even the Modern Benoni isn't exactly "Hypermodern" despite the name. I think most indian openings (1.d4 Nf6) are usually just labeled modern unless they transpose into a QGD. Any other opinions?
Jul-03-03  Benjamin Lau: Then what about the English? Isn't that hypermodern? But it uses the c4 pawn...

And a question- how come everyone says the Sicilian is tactical, but the English is positional? Is the difference in tempo enough to cause such a huge transformation?

Jul-10-03  euripides: The Sicilian briefly got trendy in the 1920s when Euwe played it at Scheveningen. If it had been successful then, it might well have been thought 'hypermodern'. But by the late 1920s the Scheveningen was thought too passive and you go on seeing this view even to Reuben Fine's 'Ideas of the chess openings' in the 1940s. Reti annotates Maroczy-Euwe (Shceveningen 1922, beautiufullywon by Maroczy) in his last book, but assumes different black strategy from that now current. It was the Russians who caught on to the possibilities. But there is certainly an affinity between Nimzowitsch's liking for restricted formations e.g.the Philidor Hanham and the hedgehog andScheveningen interpretations of the Sicilian.

I guess it's often White who explodes the tactics in the Sicilian, and Black who seeks to contain them. A move behind, Black in the English is unable to be as explosive.

The 2...Nf6 line was played by Nizowitsch and is certainly hypermodern, but apparently no good.

Jul-10-03  ksadler: <The 2. .. ♘f6 line was played by Nimzowitsch and is certainly hypermodern, but apparently no good.> Take it back...the problem with it is not that it is no good, its just that it's not theoretical. I transpose into it all the time from Alekhine's Defense (1. e4 ♘f6 2. e5 ♘d5 3. ♘f3 c5!) and have good results. Probably it wouldn't be as easy if I wasn't an Alekhine's players, but that's besides the point :) The line we're talking about btw is Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29)
Jul-10-03  ksadler: Speaking of Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein (B29) , (1. e4 c5 2. ♘f3 ♘f6) is a beautiful weapon in blitz/bullet. Most 1. e4 players play 1. e4 2. ♘f3 3. d4 without even a though against the Sicilian, but after 3. d4? ♘xe4! and Black has claimed a pawn after 3 moves.
Jul-11-03  Fulkrum: I stongly recommend the Emms book. Of all the Starting Out books this is the best (although Starting Out-The Nimzo-Indian is pretty good too). I am also reading Silman's book on the Sicilian (2nd edition). He sets up a complete repetoir for black against e4 with the main focus being the Accellerated Dragon. The book was hard to find but it was worth the trouble.
Apr-07-04  reekingskunk: I personally think the sicilian is hypermodern; it controls the center with wing demonstrations, generally, the fianchettoed bishops, either king bishop in the dragon or queen's bishop in some other systems najdorf, schevingnen, etc. help that along. also, there is of course the classic b5, a wing move aimed at the disrupting the center much of the time (by hitting the c3 knight which is guarding the e-pawn) And if you look at the closed sicilian structure, it is very hypermodern, of course similar to the english
Apr-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Euripides, thanks for the reply earlier, I did not see it. Nimzowitsch probably would have been very fond of the Sicilian had he seen what later masters did with it. So euripides, what about the English? It's commonly labeled "hypermodern," but it's cousin the Sicilian apparently is not. And what exactly would the Sicilian be? Apparently no one has decided to call it hypermodern, but it's hardly classical either, black's center is much more fluid and restrained than in the Ruy Lopez for instance.
Apr-07-04  Shadout Mapes: In the Reti system c4 is a very thematic move. The thing about the English though is that it can traspose into a many number of things, even a reversed Sicilian. So i'd say it can be, or it can be classical.
Apr-07-04  Benjamin Lau: Thanks Shadout.
Nov-13-04  kostich in time: I dont know if anyone thought the Sicilian was too "passive", even in the twenties. Maroczy had some interesting sucesses with it, as did Lasker. Shortly after Euwes defeat at the hands of Maroczy, it became fairly popular. What really made the Sicilian take off were the discoveries of Boleslavsky and Najdorf.
Nov-14-04  euripides: I think the Scheveningen had a vogue in the 1920s but by the end of the 1920s was seen as pretty much refuted. Both Reti in 'Masters of the chess board' (late 1920s) and Fine in 'Ideas of the chess openings' (1940s, but badly out of date even when it was written) are very discouraging about it. The problem may have been partly that people thought Black's main plan should be d5, when he can get a bad version of a French (basically what happened to Euwe versus Maroczy). The flexibility needed to play it effectively hadn't been developed.

I agree with <BenLau)that Nimzowitsch would have been interested in the modern Scheveningen.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: <WannaBe: According to opening explorer, 1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 and black wins most of the time! For some reason I don't... I always lose when facing this 'strange' Bc4... Can anyone offer an opinion or hints?? Thanks in advance.>

Ah yes, the early Bc4 in the Sicilian. I see it all the time playing online and I often wonder why it's almost never seen in GM games. The reason why Black wins most games (statistically) is probably not because White is really that bad off, but because anybody who plays a patzerish move order like that is probably not very highly rated.

Here's my take: if you, as White, move the Bishop out "too early" you either (a) end up playing d4 too late and wind up facing complications that might actually favor Black, or (b) get into an inferior variation of the closed-Sicilian. It's probably not as bleak as this, but these are certainly real dangers of the early Bc4.

Below are just my home cooked ideas on this move order, but looking around with Opening Explorer I was pleased to see no less than the current World Champion playing the same moves.

1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 e6

The plan is to play ...a6 and threaten ...b5, where the Bishop will have no good place to go. But ...e6 is necessary first, otherwise the bishop can go to d5.

3. Nc3 a6

The whole point. Dummy now has to decide what to do with his bishop, and it's too late to transpose into "normal" Sicilian lines.


What else?

4...Nc6 5.Nf3 Nf6

or ...Qc7 is good as well. And now White might think he can turn this into your garden-variety Sicilian after 6.d4 cxd4, right? Wrong! Try this, 6.d4 d5! and Black has suddenly seized the reigns. (Please see E Arruda vs Kramnik, 1991 for a stunning demonstration.)

Sep-28-05  hintza: <Sneaky> Very interesting. Ah yes, the bizarre popularity of Bc4...
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Sneaky> Thank you very much for your analysis and the time you spend to do it. =)
May-20-06  Edwin Meyer: Question; What makes Sicilian Defense B30 to B39 stand out from all the other Sicilian Defense variations? Is it because of the move 2...Nc6?
May-20-06  borisbadenoff: I think the variations from B30-B39 don't stand out any more then any other like B40-B49 where the variations start with 2. .. e6

But yes the B30-B39 have in common that they start with 2. .. Nc6 and that just comes around move 5 normally. Exception maybe the rossolimo.

Aug-30-09  DHSGRE55: B30
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e5
help my please
Jan-31-11  Lennonfan: If white plays 3.d4 isn't this the scotch opening?? Chess is so intricate! Yet brilliant
Mar-31-11  Helloween: <Lennonfan>No, it's still a Sicilian, and typically transposes to a mainline after 3...cxd4 4.Nxd4 and either ...d6, ...e6 or ...a6.

After c7-c5 it can never be a Scotch.

Jun-18-12  Jacob Arnold: Why has the B30 been getting so much play recently? d6 seems to have stopped being played at top level chess, and now Nc6 is more common, If the Sicilian Is even Played at all!
Jun-26-12  Jacob Arnold: So I guess no one knows?
Jun-26-12  pawn to QB4: Wouldn't presume to know, but down at my humbler level I'm not finding Be3 systems against the Najdorf much fun to play against; most forms of the Dragon seem to leave White with easy attacks. Maybe the top players are finding much the same, too much theory and knife edge stuff after ...d6, with White's moves easier to find. ...Nc6 systems seem to get me safer into the middle game, my talent against White's. Sometimes this turns out to be a contest where White has a totally unfair advantage, of course, but I'd rather that than who can remember the book better.
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