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The Sicilian Defense is the most aggressive way for black to fight for an advantage against 1.e4. Unlike the classical e5, or g6, d6, e6 or c6, 1…c5 gives black a whole different repertoire of attacking options and lets him choose the direction in which the game will go.
This is an introductory video to the Sicilian Defense, and its purpose is to give you an idea of what the opening is about, which are the main plans for both sides, which are the upsides and the downsides for black and for white. It also covers all the variations briefly. A detailed separate video will be made on each variation.
The Sicilian Defense occurs as soon as black plays c5. White’s second move greatly influences what the game will be like. White can choose between several options; 2. Nf3 (the main line and the most common move), 2. Nc3 (the Closed Sicilian), 2. c3 (the Alapin or the c3 Sicilian), 2. f4, 2. d4 and several others.
Here are the main variations covered in the video:
14:49 2. Nf3
2…d6 (5. Nc3, f3 (Prins); 5…a6 Najdorf, 5…g6 Dragon, 5…Nc6 Classical, 5…e6 Scheveningen
2…Nc6 Old Sicilian (4…Nf6 Open, 4…g6 Accelerated Dragon, 4…e5 Loewenthal
2…e6 (3. d4, 3. c4 Kramnik; 4…Nc6 Paulsen, 4…a6 Kan, 4…Nf6 French: 5…Nc6 Four Knights, 5…Bb4 Pin)
2…g6 Hyperaccelerated Dragon
06:12 2. Nc3 (Closed Sicilian) 2…Nc6
3. g6 Fianchetto, 3. Bb5, 3. f4 Grand Prix
09:55 2. c3 Alapin 2…Nf6, 2…d5
12:20 2. f4 McDonnell Attack
13:04 2. d4 Smith-Morra Gambit
There are a lot of games and players to study if you would like to master the Sicilian. Perhaps the strongest Sicilian player today is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. His Najdorf repertoire is enough to get you to FM level (and it will take you a few years to study it). In separate videos on each variation I’ll name a couple of key players whose games should be studied. For now, start with MVL.