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Sicilian (B53)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Qxd4

Number of games in database: 3717
Years covered: 1850 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 37.0%
   Black wins 30.8%
   Draws 32.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergei Zhigalko  40 games
Luka Paichadze  34 games
Evgeni Vasiukov  33 games
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  17 games
Alexey Sarana  14 games
David Navara  12 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Vasiukov vs Van Wely, 2002
M de Bolster vs NN, 1970
Tal vs R Byrne, 1976
Svidler vs Kasparov, 1999
Kasimdzhanov vs Kasparov, 1999
L Shamaev vs A Ufimtsev, 1949
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 page 1 of 149; games 1-25 of 3,717  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C F Smith vs Bird 0-1211850Casual gameB53 Sicilian
2. V Uulberg vs L Kremer 0-1291936non-FIDE Munich OlympiadB53 Sicilian
3. V Chekhover vs Lisitsin ½-½30193811th USSR Championship SemifinalB53 Sicilian
4. Szabo vs S Landau  ½-½451939Szabo - Landau MatchB53 Sicilian
5. J Szily vs Bogoljubov  0-1371939StuttgartB53 Sicilian
6. I V Rohacek vs Bogoljubov  0-1561942MunichB53 Sicilian
7. N Dantas vs O Trompowsky  0-1411943CXRJ-chB53 Sicilian
8. Geller vs E Kogan 1-0341946OdessaB53 Sicilian
9. A Chistiakov vs Kotov ½-½561946Moscow ChampionshipB53 Sicilian
10. W Shipman vs H Fajans  ½-½27194647th US OpenB53 Sicilian
11. Borbely vs Kovacs 1-0141948BudapestB53 Sicilian
12. J Szily vs B H Wood  1-0661948BudapestB53 Sicilian
13. F Howard vs W Shipman  0-1411948United States ChampionshipB53 Sicilian
14. V Castaldi vs Szabados 1-0491948VeniceB53 Sicilian
15. L Shamaev vs A Ufimtsev 0-1341949URS-ch sf LeningradB53 Sicilian
16. J Szily vs Stahlberg  ½-½261949Reti MemorialB53 Sicilian
17. P Leepin vs H Johner  ½-½171950SUI-chB53 Sicilian
18. R Nezhmetdinov vs G Ilivitsky  0-1261950RSFSR Team chB53 Sicilian
19. Szabo vs Kotov 1-0371950Budapest CandidatesB53 Sicilian
20. E Paoli vs Szabados  ½-½211950VeniceB53 Sicilian
21. W Bialas vs B Malich  0-1281951GER-ch U20B53 Sicilian
22. N Dantas vs J de Souza Mendes  0-1781951Mar del Plata ZonalB53 Sicilian
23. N Dantas vs F Pinzon  ½-½521951Mar del Plata ZonalB53 Sicilian
24. F J Perez Perez vs Grob  ½-½501951MadridB53 Sicilian
25. Z Solmanis vs Koblents  0-1391952Latvian championshipB53 Sicilian
 page 1 of 149; games 1-25 of 3,717  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-27-04  ds99bwood9: 4.e5 is bad as it leaves a backward pawn on the d-file which white will place immense pressure on. I myself play the Chekhover and the best continuation for black is indeed 4.a6, although white continues development with Bg5 and prepares for castling queenside. But, ruy you are indeed correct that black can launch (as I have encountered) a massive queenside attack if white falls behind in development, so for those wishing to avoid this an early c4 helps bind the centre and counters black pawn breaks... although this leaves a hole which I'm not particularly happy about, but by all means the position is playable. Of course, your opponent could screw you with 2.e6, forcing you into mainline theory. But hey, deal with it!
Mar-28-04  refutor: any opinions on this line? i faced it for the first time in a rated game today and the opening went

White : NN
Black : Refutor

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 a6 <i know that ...Bd7 is theory> 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.O-O Nf6 <7. ... e5 is better, the "dragon" setup isn't optimal> 8.Nc3 g6 9.Bg5 Bg7 10.Qd3 <worried about potential tactics down the long diagonal?> 10. ... O-O 11.Rad1 Bb7 12.e5 dxe5 13.Qxd8 Rfxd8 14.Rxd8+ Rxd8 15.Nxe5

this is a pretty even position and i know basically nothing about this line. how does white aim for more than equality in this line? also is 4.Qxd4 viable v. 2. ...e6 for instance?

Mar-28-04  SicilianDragon: Overall, it probably isn't best to fall into White's plans with 4...Nc6. Instead, you may want to employ somethign a little more subtle such as 4...Bd7. Then, after 5. c4 Nc6 6. Qd2, you can head for a Dragon setup with 6...g6. Also, there is no real need to play a6 so early given that White is going to capture of c6 eventually anyway. You also may want to try 5...Bg4!? which looks very interesting. 4. Qxd4 is just kind of an offbeat opening where White aims for quick developement and (usually) queenside castling with something like 4...Nc6 5. Bb5 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Bg5 e6 9. O-O-O. Rather than going with that or enticing White to chop off the knight, 5...Bg4 or 4...Bd7 both look like they should get White out of any opening preparation. Qxd4 is, like most anti-Siclians against 2...d6 (eg 3. Bb5+) based on quick development. 3. Bb5+ is based on quick development of the kingside pieces and an early O-O while Qxd4 shows that White wants to development his queenside pieces and connect his rooks (usually with O-O-O) as quickly as possible. Realistically, if Black has an IQ greater than 10 he should be able to equalize out of the opening and it is more or less used for surprise value then for its strength as an opening.
Mar-29-04  ds99bwood9: <4...Bd7 both look like they should get White out of any opening preparation.> ... 4.Bd7 is mainline theory, for which White's best responses are either 5.Bg5 or 5.Be3, allowing White to continue rapid development and enable early castling long. Whilst I agree that 5...Bg4 may well take White out of opening preparation, to all intents and purposes if White wishes to castle long then plans to disrupt the kingside pawn structure at this time seem irrelevant. Also, White can maintain a slight advantage with an early c4, binding the centre (as many have said) and countering a fair few of Black's attacking options. So, in all fairnness Dragon, equality is perhaps not as easy to achieve as you assume, as many fine wins have been achieved with this opening. That said, mainline theory I will agree is still a better option to pursue, but for those like myself who have university studies to contend with, learning less theory and spending more time on positional play is probably time well spent. In answer to refutor's question in response to 2...e6, unless you are willing to sacrifice a tempo early on, which with most sicilian setups is not particularly wise, the best bet I'm afraid is to enter mainline theory and pursue maybe the English Attack. That's my two cents.
Nov-20-04  FearsomePawn: I recently played a6. In an online game and my opponent replied Be3, but when I played Nc6 he played Qb6!? then his blockade of my b-pawn caused me some trouble. Should I take the queen?
Nov-20-04  acirce: <Should I take the queen?> Yes. The ensuing endgame is almost completely equal. It may seem boring to some but certainly it has chances for both. In that sense Black should be happy with the opening. Black will have to play moves like ..Kf8 that may seem awkward but is no big deal in lines such as

6.Qb6 Qxb6 7.Bxb6 g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Nd5 Kf8 10.0-0-0 Nf6 or 8..Bh6!? 9.Nd5 Kf8 10.Be2 Kg7

Aug-11-05  bomb the bishop: Just like to ask anyone that knows of any good books on this opening, if they can post the books titles, I feel this is a very strong opening
Aug-12-05  bishopmate: This is a cool Sicilian position I reached while playing a game.

Blitz:10' Brampton

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 Nf6 8.Bg5 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 0-0 12.Nc2 Rb8 13.h4 Bd7 14.g3 Be7 15.Bg2 Be6 16.Nce3 Qd7 17.Qd3 Bd8 18.0-0 Ne7 19.Rfd1 Qa7

I played the move 20. h5 here looking for some initiative on the kingside maybe. Do you guys think that was the right decision to take, if now what do you recommend i should have done?

Aug-13-05  SEMENELIN: 20. h5 is too early there are many moves h5 is too early f3 is more better. The knight and the bishop are too watch out.
Sep-02-05  bishopmate: <SEMELIN> doesn't f3 look a little dangerous?... especially in lines like bxd5 exd5 bb6? or bxd5 exd5 f5?
Sep-03-05  SEMENELIN: <bishopmate> ur line is different =)
Sep-18-05  bomb the bishop: Any good books on this opening?
Sep-19-05  midknightblue: shout there was a great lecture available through the net (put together by ICC/ on this opening. I cannot remember, GM Larry Christiansen maybe, did it, not sure.
Sep-03-06  Tariqov: <sicilian dragon>In my opinion i disagree, i think 4...Nc6 is better then the other moves, even kasparov played Nc6. All you have to be prepared is that you should know about Bg5-xf6, Be7-xf6(not gxf6?) when white should not take the pawn Qxd6 as you will gain some counterplay with Bxc3 or Qa5 Rd8 etc.
Sep-03-06  KingG: I used to play 4...Nc6, but after reading 'Anti-Sicilians: A guide for black' by Dorian Rogozenko, i switched to his recommendation of 4...a6, after which Black gets an even more comfortable game.
Nov-01-06  BaranDuin: This opening is great for white if he wants a draw against a stronger player or if he likes a more positional Maroczy-like type of game.

Nov-09-06  WarmasterKron: It's also good for white if s/he doesn't want to learn mountains of theory that come with 4.Nxd4.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <KingG> Never seen the 4...a6 move, but after looking in the DB, I see there are quite a few games.

What is the idea behind moving a6?

Nov-09-06  alicefujimori: <WannaBe>Preventing the bishop from pinning the c6 knight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <alicefujimori> Okay, thanks, same move is seen in the Najdorf variation. Should have thought of that. =)
Nov-09-06  e4Newman: in the mainline najdorf ...a6 was actually intended to prevent Nb5 but of course it also works well to prevent Bb5
Nov-09-06  WarmasterKron: Something I've been playing around with this evening. It's probably completely unsound (according to the Opening Explorer, it's never been played in this database - rarely a good sign), but that's never bothered me in the past:

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 d6
3.d4 cxd4
4.Qxd4 Nc6
5.Bb5 f5

Someone tell me what's not quite right about it, please.

Nov-10-06  e4Newman: one thing i can say for sure, it's very refreshing to see new ideas like that
Jan-17-08  Arbitrarily0: This is actually called the Chekhover Variation. How come this page makes no mention of it?
May-24-09  battaile: WarmasterKron: Definitely looks playable, I'm guessing the reason its not played is that it creates a weakness on e6?
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