Basics of the Sicilian Defense | Chess

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Hi. My name is Rebecca Taxman and I am with Chess NYC. Today, I am going to show you the basics of the Sicilian defense. Now, when people think of the Sicilian, they’re like woo! It’s a huge opening. This is one of the strongest defenses for black. There are probably about over ten variations that can be strongly played in the Sicilian defense.

I’ve played the Sicilian defense, maybe, over 2000 times and every time that I play it, I learn something new. So today, I’m just going to show you the raw basics of the Sicilian defense. So, let’s start.Usually, white wants to start off with E4 controlling the center. Now instead of playing E5, black decides to play C5, a counter center. White then proceeds with knight F3. And now again, there are different variations that can be played here, but the typical variation is D6 creating a minor little pawn chain and opening up way for bishop development. Next, white wants to develop and attack the center. So, they play D4. This is a must take.

Then, white takes back. Now, we notice that white seems to have a little bit of an advantage here because they have their knight in the center and a pawn in the center. We want to stop white from playing C4, which is called the Moroczy Bind. And, we want to stop them from playing this and really controlling a lot of the center. In order to do that, we play knight F6 attacking the E4 pawn. Therefore, white cannot play this because we can take the E4 pawn. White’s next move is knight C3. Now in order to stop an attack on this B5 square which is aiming directly at black’s king, it is extremely imperative that black plays A6 to stop an attack on B5.

The knight, now, cannot come to B5. This knight cannot come to B5. Additionally, this bishop is hindered from coming to B5 and is forced to go to C4 or somewhere further back. And, this is the raw basics of the Sicilian. From here, we can go on to many different variations, such as the Scheveningen, the Najdorf, and the Dragon, just to name a few.


  1. What I don understand is why not take the queen out to make an easy checkmate?

  2. Chess960 should be the form of chess played because normal chess is all just memorizing sequences now…. 🙄

  3. the names for chess moves is just as interestingly odd as the transitions and names for jiu jitsu moves

  4. Aha, so all Sicilian variations are actually the Najdorf, got it.

  5. I am new to this and I am shocked to know there's a name for each one

  6. Everyone playing chess because of the Netflix bandwagon

  7. wait until you see the MS13 defense……we start by attacking your pupusa….

  8. ah yes….. teach raw beginners the najdorf. possible the stupidest idea of all time

  9. She sounds like Mabel from Gravity Falls

  10. Hi, Can you recommend a defense for white to the Sicilian defense? Or anyone else out there?

  11. It's Chess. Play any how you like. Start any how you like. Forget the rules.

  12. This is not the ‘raw basics’ as this is just the sicilian open: najdorf variation, a very, VERY high level opening (do not recommend for beginners, there is alot of theory to memorize). In fact, the entire sicilian is very complex and ‘raw’ basics will not even cover the surface. There is the closed sicilian with its own variations like the grand prix, open sicilian dragons, yugoslav and much more. I suggest Nc6 for the traditional line as sicilian is way too complex.

  13. This channel is amazing!! Little by little I'm learning tactics which would never entered in my mind. You're doing an excellent job.

  14. I am sorry what? I zoned out after you expected me to see things 1 move ahead.

  15. Everyone after watching this vid: I……AM…..BETH………..HARMON

  16. just started learning how to play and i regret calling chess boring …. my apologies

  17. I didn't know my opening was sicilian until I watch Queens gambit movie and search this up lmao

  18. What if the queen had killed instead of the horse

  19. If white plays d4, can black still play f5? Is that still sicilian defense?

  20. This is absolutely one of the best fundamental chess tutorials I have viewed on YouTube. Simple, to the point and instructive.

  21. There is a lot more than 10 variations

  22. What was played with a6 is called the najdorf DON'T play it if you are a beginner or not willing to learn a ton of theory try something off beat and find something that works for you

  23. What's interesting Americans call us Sicilians WOPS

  24. I can't believe this is teaching beginners to play the Najdorf Sicilian, one of the most complex openings for beginners.

  25. Why did the white bishop not take out the black pawn in that last demonstration?

  26. Where can buy that t shirt? Do they have the long sleeve?

  27. She does not say why, "White proceeds with knight to f3" What advantage would black have if white played something else, like perhaps bishop to c4, or bishop to e2, or pawn to c4, or pawn to d3, or knight to c3, or…

  28. What confuses me about openings is:
    If you decide to play sicilian defense before the game starts and white moves a random pawn that is not associated with the sicilian, say h6, Do you continue with your the sicilian syle anyway or change the opening style?
    Pls reply

  29. First of all, EVERY TIME I watch the tutorials of Chess, they keep mentioning another names of strategy and it's going on. It's like never ending lessons for chess. I at least wanna win while I'm playing against the computer. But this move enlightens me that computer is using this defense most of the time. Although I'm not winning no matter how it plays against me.🤪

  30. Your voice sounds like Mila Kunis 😮

  31. thanks for the lesson i won alot of game using this opening

  32. This is the raw basics of one specific variation of an opening who's theroy can't be discussed in 3 minutes. I don't understand the point of this video

  33. Am i the only one who is trying to learn chess not because of queens gambit show 😐😐?

  34. Strong recommendation: You should watch a more detailed guide about the sicilian from the channel called "GothamChess", there you can learn many variations for white and black if you happen to be against the sicilian OR to use the sicilian.

  35. Can anybody please give me the link of the pieces she's playing with.
    They are looking good, I would like to order such a wonderful set.. Please drop the link below. Thank you❤

  36. i have been playing this without even knowing it

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