A dangerous Anti-Sicilian: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3!

Magnus Carlsen knows how to avoid sharp theoretical lines but still get positions which allow him to put his opponents under pressure. Here it is interesting to see how Carlsen has played against the Sicilian recently. With 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ he avoided the Najdorf and the Dragon and against 2…e6 he played 3.g3, the subject of this 60 minutes DVD. At first sight 3.g3 seems harmless and seems to transpose into a passive line of the Closed Sicilian, but White has many opportunities to make the game complex and force Black to solve problems: 1) He may play an improved King’s Indian Attack and sharpen the position with Qe2 and c2-c4!. 2) He may try to weaken Black’s pawn formation in the center with 3…d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 3) He may play to form a broad center with c2-c3 and d2-d4 These options show why this variation is dangerous and why elite players such as Carlsen and Adams continue to win with it. You can do the same. FIDE Senior Trainer and IM Andrew Martin has recorded extensively for ChessBase.


Sample video

Sicilian Defence

1.e4 c5 are the moves which define the Sicilian Defence. Black fights for the d4-square, but unlike with the double move of the black e-pawn the symmetry is immediately destroyed and Black is indicating that he is not simply aiming to achieve equality. Then things can continue in quite different directions. 2.Nf3 followed by 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 leads to the Open Sicilian. But before that, Black has the option of laying down the direction in which the opening will go, according to whether he plays 2...d6, 2...e6 or 2...Nc6. But nowadays systems in which White does without an early d4 are also very popular.

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