How to Play a Decent Opening in Chess: Sicilian Defense!

This guide teaches you the Sicilian Defense, which is a solid opening against white's most common opening move: pawn to e4.

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How to Play a Decent Opening in Chess: Sicilian Defense!
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1
White plays e4 (most people open this way, I swear). You will have a good defense, if you follow along...

White plays e4 (most people open this way, I swear). You will have a good defense, if you follow along...

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...c5!

...c5!

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"Never go against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line! a hahaha!" Some people will balk at an unfamiliar c5. Most casual players rarely ever see it and may think you crazy. Excellent!

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Nf3 might come next... then what?

Nf3 might come next... then what?

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OK we know she's onto us! Nf3 is the most frequent response so we'll go from there... There are many variations tho. The goal is to eventually open the c-file, and perhaps mount a queen-side assault!

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The majority of folks opt for d6 here. Meh?

The majority of folks opt for d6 here. Meh?

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...d6 is not always my style, but perhaps it's yours? I like to try (and fail!) several variations of an opening before I settle into something I like. Even then, it's important to be able to adapt!

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What about ... Nc6?

What about ... Nc6?

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I like the ole Nc6. Perhaps it's "wrong" but the game is young yet. Black developed a knight and created a nice diagonal for the queen instead of a bishop. The c-file is closed, for now...

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d4!

d4!

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At some point, in all likelihood, white will offer a pawn swap - d4, for example. Accept the offer and see what happens. It's a fair trade and is part of the overall strategy. (d4...cxd4)

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a material trade is looming

a material trade is looming

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White should probably recapture material immediately. She had better believe that d-pawn will prove a nuisance as the game progresses. May as well balance things out with Nxd4.

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Nxd4...

Nxd4...

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Black now has several options to consider...

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...Nxd4 is one option but has some drawbacks

...Nxd4 is one option but has some drawbacks

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We want to think about developing more pieces, and knights are good candidates. They control multiple, unconnected squares and it's important to get them active early. It just is - trust.

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...Nf6?

...Nf6?

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...Nf6 is popular. It attacks the e-pawn, which cannot advance due to the black, c6-knight. Attacking the defenseless, in chess, is fully respectable behavior - odd, that.

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or ...g6?

or ...g6?

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...g6. A bit subtle. It prepares for a "fianchetto", where you tuck the bishop in on g7, then, ...Nf6, and finally castle kingside (...0-0). But if you're going to do this then I say start with Nf6?

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...d5?

...d5?

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Nothing wrong with d5. It takes a piece of the middle, but realize, it will probably force you to bring your queen out. Not always a great idea. The center will be wide-open. Fully debatable move!

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Consider ... e5

Consider ... e5

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Black benefits in a few ways: 1- The knight will be evicted from d4. He must move or attack. 2- The king's bishop / queen have a new diagonal. Cons: he might just take the knight, closing c-file :/

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Did you see this one yet? (...Qa5+)!

Did you see this one yet? (...Qa5+)!

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This, would perhaps be premature, so file it away for later mischief. Or, hell, DO IT, and watch your opponent's reaction! Just have fun and try a few things... No big deal.

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Has your head exploded yet?

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Remember: chess is a thinking person's game, but it doesn't have to be so complicated! The goals of ANY opening are to: develop pieces, control the center, prepare some attack plans, protect royalty.

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Try some of these variations and learn from your mistakes and successes. Have fun! Thanks for reading!

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