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Anti-Sicilians (a guide for black)
Titel: Anti-Sicilians (a guide for black)
Auteur: Rogozenko D.
Uitgever: Gambit
Jaartal: 2003
Taal: Engels
Aantal pagina's:   192
Verkoopprijs:   Ä 7.50
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004 Symbols
005 Bibliography
006 Introduction

010 1 Early Deviations
020 2 The Grand Prix Attack
035 3 The Closed Sicilian
049 4 The Alapin Variation (2 c3)
083 5 Miscellaneous Lines after 2 Nf3
132 6 3 Bb5(+) Lines
181 7 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Qxd4

190 Index of Variations††

Catalogue text:

The Sicilian is far and away the most popular chess opening, and many players prefer to side-step the Open Sicilian with one of the Anti-Sicilian systems at White's disposal. This book equips Black to fight against all these lines. The Anti-Sicilian systems include: positionally motivated lines such as the 2 c3 Sicilian and the 3 Bb5 systems; slow but tricky attacking lines including the Closed Sicilian and the King's Indian Attack; aggressive but loosening ideas like the Grand Prix Attack and a variety of gambits. In the most critical variations, Rogozenko provides a choice between a solid and an aggressive option. He caters for those who meet 2 Nf3 with the three main moves, 2...d6, 2...e6 and 2...Nc6.

A very large proportion of chess-players choose the Sicilian, and all of them have to face these systems. This is the first book for eight years to cater for their needs.

For all club and tournament players who use the Sicilian (i.e. about half of all chess-players).


The Sicilian Defence is meant to give Black a dynamic position with a lot of possibilities for counterplay. By answering 1 e4 with 1...c5 (D), Black prevents White's most natural follow-up, 2 d4.
Now the most ambitious and by far the most popular plan for White is to play 2 Nf3 followed by 3 d4. This opens up the centre and is named the Open Sicilian - an opening encountered many times in almost every chess tournament, no matter what level.
An attractive aspect of the Sicilian Defence for Black is that he is the one who decides which line to play in the Open Sicilian. From this point of view if White chooses to play the Open Sicilian, then he must be extremely well prepared, in order to meet any possible choice of his opponent. So far, everything sounds very good for Black -just prepare a line in the Open Sicilian and you'll get your desired position. Well, things are a bit more complicated (which doesn't mean they are necessarily worse!).
I've heard many times in my career from various players that I am a lucky guy because I have the Sicilian as my main weapon against 1 e4. When I asked "Why don't you include Sicilian in your repertoire?" I always got the same reply - "What about Anti-Sicilians? There are so many of them..."
I must confess that it is not an easy task to convince someone that Anti-Sicilians shouldn't be an obstacle to playing 1 ...c5. There are two main reasons for this difficulty: first of all because the amount of possible Anti-Sicilian lines is quite large, and secondly because by playing an Anti-Sicilian, White becomes the side to choose which type of position to play. These arguments are sufficient to frighten many players off choosing the Sicilian. We need to have a deeper look at all this.
To avoid confusion we must define the term 'Anti-Sicilian'. It means any line where White doesn't play 2 Nf3 and 3 d4 followed by 4 Nxd4. In fact, all these lines are really 'Anti-Open
Sicilians, but the term 'Anti-Sicilian' is generally established and it makes no sense to debate this subject. Thus 'Anti-Sicilian' refers to White playing 1 e4 and in reply to 1 ...c5 going for another line than the Open Sicilian.
It is historically established that the strongest way for White to meet the Sicilian is to play 2 Nf3, 3 d4 and 4 Nxd4. Other tries are objectively weaker and all you must know is how to face them and what exactly to do in each case in order to get out of the opening with no problems. I recall that sometimes when White has been scoring well in a particular Anti-Sicilian line, one would hear something like "Isn't the move 3 d4 in the Sicilian just a cheap trick?" The same answer came each time: "No. The Open Sicilian is best way for White to fight for the advantage." Anti-Sicilians definitely have the right to exist and many lines might be dangerous for Black, but only when he is not prepared to meet them. With accurate play and knowledge, Black is able to neutralize White's intentions without major difficulties.
Let's make things clear - most of the people who choose an Anti-Sicilian line do so because of need, because for various reasons they are not able or they don't wish to learn the theory of the Open Sicilian. They dislike the idea of learning the tremendous amount of theory and as a consequence try to convince themselves that an Anti-Sicilian line is not worse than the Open Sicilian. Should this be a reason for Black to avoid playing 1...c5? Of course not! It is your opponent's problem if he is not ready to play in the most ambitious way, and this factor certainly should not discourage you from playing 1...c5.
It is true that by playing an Anti-Sicilian line, White is usually the side to choose which type of position to play. On the other hand, as we'll see, Black still has many options and quite often he can decide the type of positions that arise. The present book will help readers in this respect. An important thing to remember here is that if Black is well prepared to meet Anti-Sicilians, then he'll get an enjoyable and good position in all cases. So, the first thing to keep in mind is that Anti-Sicilians do not bring an opening advantage for White.
The goal of this book is to provide readers with a complete, objective, safe and well-organized repertoire for Black against all possible Anti-Sicilians.
I decided to make a book based mainly on my lifetime experience in Anti-Sicilians. I have played more than 250 games in rated international tournaments over the last 15 years in which I answered 1 e4 with 1...c5. In almost a third of them (over 70 games) my opponents played an Anti-Sicilian line, so I have been trying for many years to find the best ways to meet the various Anti-Sicilians. That's why each recommendation in this book is given after a careful investigation of the line.

The Structure of this Book

I have my opinion about the objective strength of the various Anti-Sicilians and I arrange the material in accordance with it. At the beginning we deal with Early Deviations (Chapter 1), Grand Prix Attack (Chapter 2) and Closed Sicilian (Chapter 3). Some of these lines presented a certain danger in the past, but Black has learnt how to face them and nowadays these Anti-Sicilians are relatively harmless. For instance, one shouldn't be discouraged by the little space allocated to the Closed Sicilian. I am convinced that the information provided here is sufficient to play against the Closed Sicilian at every level, from amateur to grandmaster.
Then I continue with Alapin Variation, a very popular Anti-Sicilian. I explain my opinion about it in Chapter 4.
Chapter 5 deals with various moves (not including 3 Bb5) after 2 Nf3 d6, 2 Nf3 Nc6 and 2 Nf3 e6. White has many possibilities and all of them require a detailed examination. I consider that from today's point of view, Black must handle these kinds of Anti-Sicilians quite carefully, and I have treated them accordingly.
Chapter 6 examines what I consider to be the objectively strongest Anti-Sicilian - 3 Lb5(+).
Finally, in Chapter 71 look at 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Qxd4. I decided to put this line at the end because it is very close to the Open Sicilian and is the only Anti-Sicilian line where White plays 3 d4. All other chapters are arranged in order of their importance from the modern theory point of view.
I have chosen the main recommended lines for Black on the basis of their objective strength. Sometimes they may lead to simplifications, but I don't consider that an equal endgame should be a problem for Black. Here I want the reader to remember that equal positions aren't necessarily sterile or drawish. With Black, reaching equality is a psychological victory and in most cases there are plenty of possibilities to continue the battle in those positions that are roughly evaluated as equal.
If in a certain position there are several reasonable ways for Black, then I will usually try to mention all of them, although I focus on the main recommendation. This is quite important, because often there are two, three or even more continuations considered by theory to give Black easy and comfortable play. I agree with some of them; others I find not so good, or at least not suitable for the majority of players. And given the fact that it is impossible to analyse everything, I concentrate on the main recommended line, which I try to analyse in detail.
An important question when discussing Anti-Sicilians is what concrete variation Black is going to play in case White goes for the Open Sicilian. Or to put it differently: what move would Black play after 2 Nf3? Some players with a universal style choose a tricky move-order with White and decide later whether to play the Open Sicilian or an Anti-Sicilian line. At the very top level such a player is Michael Adams although lately almost every top grandmaster has become more flexible in this respect. There are several move-orders where White doesn't adopt the classical 2 Nf3 followed by 3 d4, but nevertheless keeps the option of playing an Open Sicilian. For instance if Black is a Najdorf player (1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 4 Nc3 a6), then after the moves 1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nge2 he wouldn't want to allow White to play 4 d4 (since the knight is already on c6, while in the Najdorf Black keeps the possibility of developing it on d7). Black can prevent 4 d4 by playing 3...e5. However, I am not entirely sure that Black's position is absolutely OK after that, and many people wouldn't be happy to have it in their opening repertoire, and so I don't recommend it in this book; therefore 2...Nc6 is not really suitable for a Najdorf player. I try to indicate most of these move-order subtleties and give recommendations suitable for everybody.
I would like to express my hope that my work will help readers to deal with Anti-Sicilians and will serve as a good guide for Black. Years of personal experience and investigations are reflected in many lines of this book. Each time when I study or analyse a position for my own opening repertoire, two words would be most appropriate to characterize my work: safety and objectivity. I tried to make them the main characteristic of the lines given in the present book.
In the end I would like to thank my friend GM Mikhail Golubev, whose precious advice helped me while writing the book.


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