Lesson 42: Sicilian Defense

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This page will help you learn the Sicilian Defense chess opening. Find data, description, main lines and variations of the Sicilian Defense in part I (on this page). See video under the name of "Sicilian Defense Main Variations" in part II (on this page). Find more links on this chess opening in part III (part III on this page, links will open on other pages of this site).

Part I. Sicilian Defense Data and Description

Opening Name: Sicilian Defense
Opening Type: Semi-Open Game
Move Order: 1.e4 c5
ECO Codes: B20-B99

The Sicilian Defense was invented by Giulio Polerio in 1594. This chess opening was first named as Sicilian Defense by Jacob Sarratt in 1813. The Sicilian Defense is the most popular chess opening in chess. It is organic, beautiful, and best defense for Black.

Because of this, sometimes White avoids the Sicilian Defense by starting the game with 1.d4... There are 3 main lines that cover 70% of all the Sicilian play as follows. 1st Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 ~ 30%. 2nd Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 ~ 25%. 3rd Line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 ~ 15%.

The Sicilian Defense has many variations. The Najdorf, Dragon and Scheveningen are the most common. They run via 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6. The following is the list of 15 main Sicilian variations - in the order of popularity. You can see these variations in the video below.

• Najdorf variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6, B90-B99.
• Dragon variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6, B70-B79.
• Scheveningen variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6, B80-B89.

• Rossolimo Attack variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, B30-B31.
• Classical variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2, B58-B59.
• 2.Nf3 e6 variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6, B40-B49.

• Sicilian Counter-Attack variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4, B40.
• Closed variation [3.g3]: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3, B24-B25.
• Grand Prix Attack variation [3.f4]: 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4, B23.

• Alapin variation: 1.e4 c5 2.c3, B22.
• Smith-Morra Gambit variation: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3, B21.
• Grand Prix Attack variation [2.f4]: 1.e4 c5 2.f4, B21.

• Steinitz variation: 1.e4 c5 2.g3, B20.
• Keres variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Ne2, B20.
• Wing Gambit variation: 1.e4 c5 2.b4, B20.

Part II. Sicilian Defense Video Main Variations

This video on the Sicilian Defense includes 3 parts. Part I is a general description of the Sicilian Defense. Part II shows 3 main lines of playing the opening. Part III shows 15 main variations of the Sicilian. To see the video, click the Play button below:

• If the opening video hasn't shown up, please wait a little.
• If the video stops, drag a little right the player's handle.
• If the video displays an error, try to start and play it later.

Part III. Sicilian Defense More Links

More links on the Sicilian Defense chess opening will be placed here as soon as possible. They will show how to correctly play the main variations of the Sicilian Defense. Thank you for you patience!

Sicilian Defense Najdorf Variation [text, video]
Sicilian Defense Najdorf PGN File [pgn download]
Sicilian Defense Dragon Variation [text, video]
Sicilian Defense Scheveningen Variation [text, video]