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How to play the Open Sicilian

The Sicilian Defence is one of the most popular and sharpest replies to 1.e4. After 1.e4 c5, an exciting, unbalanced position is assured, where Black can play for a win from the very start of the game. The Open Sicilian describes all variations where White plays an early d2-d4.

Free video sample

On this all-new ChessBase video course, IM Andrew Martin introduces you to this exciting world, so that you can begin playing the Sicilian in your own games. The main themes and ideas of the Open Sicilian are discussed, followed by a summary of all the accepted main lines. You will be able to make a choice as to which of them you want to play. This video course is full of Sicilian masterpieces that delight and instruct. The author hopes that they will also inspire you to play the Sicilian yourself. Players under 1800 will gain most benefit from this video course.

  • Video running time: 5 h 50 minutes
  • With interactive training including video feedback
  • Extra: Training with ChessBase apps – Memorize the opening repertoire and play key positions against Fritz onvarious levels

This is what is delivered:

  • Fritztrainer App for Windows and Mac
  • Available as download or on DVD
  • Video course with a running time of approx. 4-8 hrs.
  • Repertoire database: save and integrate Fritztrainer games into your own repertoire (in WebApp Opening or in ChessBase)
  • Interactive exercises with video feedback: the authors present exercises and key positions, the user has to enter the solution. With video feedback (also on mistakes) and further explanations.
  • Sample games as a ChessBase database.
  • New: many Fritztrainer now also available as stream in the ChessBase video portal!

That's what the FritzTrainer App can do for you:

  • Videos can run in the Fritztrainer app or in the ChessBase program with board graphics, notation and a large function bar
  • Analysis engine can be switched on at any time
  • Video pause for manual navigation and analysis in game notation
  • Input of your own variations, engine analysis, with storage in the game
  • Learn variations: view specific lines in the ChessBase WebApp Opening with autoplay, memorize variations and practise transformation (initial position - final position).
  • Active opening training: selected opening positions are transferred to the ChessBase WebApp Fritz-online. In a match against Fritz you test your new knowledge and actively play the new opening.

Even more possibilities: Start FritzTrainer in the ChessBase program!

  • The database with all games and analyses can be opened directly.
  • Games can be easily added to the opening reference.
  • Direct evaluation with game reference, games can be replayed on the analysis board
  • Your own variations are saved and can be added to the own repertoire
  • Replay training
  • LiveBook active
  • All engines installed in ChessBase can be started for the analysis
  • Assisted Analysis
  • Print notation and diagrams (for worksheets)

Muestra de vídeo


  • Introduction
  • Introduction
  • An extra central pawn
  • Game 1: Stanojoski - Kurajica
  • Game 2: Zavoronkov - Shulman
  • Game 3: Blandon - Lu
  • Game 4: Pflug - Enders
  • Queenside counterplay
  • Queenside counterplay
  • Game 5: Hartston - Westerinen
  • Game 6: Svidler - Karjakin
  • Game 7: Bakalchuk - Smirin
  • Sacrificial possibilites
  • Introduction
  • Game 8: Karpov - Kasparov
  • Game 9: Large - Basman
  • Game 10: Suarez Uriel - Moreno Ruiz
  • Game 11: Unzicker - Taimanov
  • Game 12: Grieve - Artemiev
  • Various pawn structures
  • Introduction
  • Game 13: Drygalov - Nakamura
  • How to not play the Open Sicilian
  • Introduction
  • Game 14: Bok - Yu Yangyi
  • Game 15: Almasi - Mohr
  • Game 16: Spassky - Fischer
  • The Najdorf Sicilian
  • 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
  • Introduction
  • Game 17: Polgar - Anand
  • Game 18: Paravyan - Aronian
  • Dragon Systems
  • 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 and 2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6
  • Introduction
  • Game 19: Karthikeyan - Vachier Lagrave
  • Game 20: Sarana - Martinez Alcantara
  • Game 21: Kurayan - Spiridonov
  • Game 22: Al Modiahki - Motylev
  • Game 23: Do Valle Cardoso - Xiong
  • The Kan/Taimanov/Paulsen Sicilian
  • 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7
  • Introduction
  • Game 24: Liang - Mareco
  • Game 25: Erigaisi - Carlsen
  • Classical & Scheveningen Sicilian
  • 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Nc6/e6
  • Introduction
  • Game 26: Zarnicki - Kasparov
  • Game 27: Renet - Apicella
  • Systems with an early e7-e5
  • Introduction
  • Game 28: 2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 a6; Lanka - Majorovas
  • Game 29: 2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6; Fiedorek - Sebenik
  • Game 30: 2...Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6; Mchedlishvili - Gharibyan
  • Unusual Lines
  • Introduction
  • Game 31: 2...a6; Sidletskiy - Lodici
  • Game 32: 2...b6; Struk - Meister
  • Game 33: 2...Nf6; Karjakin - Mamedyarov
  • Game 34: 2...e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5; Arjun - Del Rio de Angelis
  • Game 35: 2...e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bb4; Berg - Johnsen
  • Conclusion
  • Exercises
  • Description
  • Exercise 1
  • Exercise 2
  • Exercise 3
  • Exercise 4
  • Exercise 5
  • Exercise 6
  • Exercise 7
  • Exercise 8
  • Exercise 9
  • Exercise 10
  • Exercise 11
  • Exercise 12
  • Exercise 13
  • Outro
  • Practice Positions
  • Najdorf
  • Dragon
  • Kan
  • Classical
  • Scheveningen
  • Löwenthal
  • Sveshnikov
  • Repertoire Training
  • Black Repertoire


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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