Sicilian Defense (introduction, ideas & variations) ⎸Chess Openings

♘ Follow me on lichess (write, ask, challenge):
😎 Become a Patron (extra daily content):
🎥 Twitch:
💲 Support the channel:
👕 Chess merch!:

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
2…a6 O’Kelly
2…Nf6 Nimzowitsch

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.


  1. This is blablabla unlike other chess bloger igor ismirnov

  2. 2…d6 3. f3 Prins 15:405…a6 Najdorf 18:145…g6 Dragon 19:145…Nc6 Classical 20:125…e6 Scheveningen 21:002…Nc6 Old Sicilian 22:444…Nf6 open old Sicilian 23:304…g6 Accelerated Dragon 24:204…e5 Loewenthal 26:382…e6 French variation 28:283. c4 Kramnik variation 28:363. d4 mainline 30:004…Nc6 Paulsen variation 30:224…a6 Kan 31:004…Nf6 French 32:02 5…Nc6 four knights 32:105…Bb4 Pin variation 33:022…g6 Hyperaccelerated Dragon 34:482…a6 O’Kelly 36:002…Nf6 Nimzowitsch 37:142. Nc3 Closed Sicilian 2…Nc6 6:103. g3 fianchetto variation 6:453. Bb5 7:353. f4 Grand Prix 8:472. c3 Alapin 9:542…Nf6 10:152…d5 11:362. f4 McDonnell attack 12:152. d4 Smith-Morra gambit 13:00

  3. First of alI, I want to thank you for each of your deep analysis.Especially for Cathalon and Banko gambit. You are the best chess YouTuber just keep going.Greetings from Bulgaria and again thanks a lot Stephan❤❤❤.

  4. What about the bowlder attack my opponent always respond with that stupid move

  5. Wonderful video, you did forget 2. Be2! it's a pretty good surprise attacking weapon for beginners to avoid any theory.

  6. It is also said that this Sicilian is called this because the Ag7 is a dragon in its lair ready to hurl blasts of fire at the white king.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *