Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...c5/2. Nf3/2...d6/3. d4/3...cxd4/4. Nxd4/4...Nf6

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Open Sicilian
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

rnbqkb1r/pp2pppp/3p1n2/8/3NP3/8/PPP2PPP/RNBQKB1R

Open Sicilian[edit]

Whites pawn is under attack from the knight on f6. He must defend it or forestall Blacks capture of it in some way. 5. Nc3 is almost universally played as it is the knight's natural square anyway. A knight on c3 increases Whites influence of the d5 square, and forms a defensive bulwark against attacks on the c-file, to the extent that Black will often give up a rook to remove it.

Also played is 5. f3. At first glance White is attempting to reserve the option of moving the c-pawn to c4. However there is not usually time for this, because without a White knight on c3 Black is immediately threatening to play e5 and d5 and equalise in the centre. White is compelled to throw a spanner in the works, usually with Bb5+, and c4 gets forgotten in the ensuing complications.

5. Bb5+ is plausible and may transpose into common lines, but if Whites plan is to simplify this way, why now and not two moves previously when White could have followed up by castling kingside with a useful defensive knight on f3? Bb5+ is a shade inconsistent.

5. Bd3 commits the bishop to a square on which it will have no future after the obvious e5. It also fails to prevent a subsequent d5.

Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6

5
Main line Nc3
-
=
Prins Variation f3
-
=
Bb5+
-
=
Bd3
-
=

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References[edit]