Solid Chess Opening Against the Sicilian Defense | Avoid ALL Theories

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In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov shares with you a very simple and effective chess opening against the Sicilian Defense for White. The Sicilian Defense begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 and it is the most popular and best-scoring response for Black against White’s first move 1.e4.

Learning the Sicilian Defense requires you to study a bunch of opening theories from different variations including the Najdorf variation, the Dragon variation, the Classical variation, the Scheveningen variation, the Sveshnikov variation, and the list goes on.

If you are someone who finds it difficult to learn all these theories and variations and looking for a simpler opening variation against the Sicilian Defense, you are going to love this. You can play the Moscow variation which happens after the following moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+. 

The Moscow variation (also known as the Canal–Sokolsky Attack) is used to avoid opening theory and it gives White a great position, rock-solid pawn structure in the center, and active pieces. Even the world champions Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov have played this variation extensively.

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► Chapters

00:00 Chess Opening Against Sicilian Defense
01:36 Moscow Variation 3.Bb5+ Anti-Sicilian
03:39 Beware of this attacking idea
05:26 White’s active position, Black’s passive
07:18 Stop Black’s plan of advancement
08:59 Black’s plan backfiring
11:18 Can you find the tactics? 

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93 Comments

  1. Really very instructive and useful. Thank you

  2. How are you Igor ? do you still live in Ukraine ?

  3. Bh6. If black takes the bishop on h6 then take with the queen with Qh6, then play white plays Ke6.
    If black does not take the bishop h6 the white takes the black bishop on G7, black takes with the king. White then plays Kf5 check which would really open up blacks king.

  4. I think I'd play Nd5 with the intention of checking black's king on via Nxe7; unless I'm mistaken, this forces a queen exchange, so it would be THE in-between move (after black responds with Qxd2 as the only move) and only then re-capture with Rxe2. Then I'm unsure – I think I'd retreat the knight (?), but I like that white's up a pawn and more, making black defend the lone one in the middle for the rest of the game. It could give white quite an advantage, IMHO.

  5. i will try this system lets see how it goes🙂 ..and the puzzle is Nd5!

  6. Igor,
    Don't you think it would be important to tell people the name of White's pawn setup, which is Marocsy Bind?
    The move order and exchange of White bishops is one move order and version of this Bind with the usual plus/minuses… White is rid of his "bad bishop" but when the pawn formations aren't locked, the bishop might not be that bad and have latent potential. White could really miss that white bishop, first reinforcing the pawns that are under attack because they're holding Black down and then maybe roam free on an open board when the pawns are exchanged off.
    And, without consulting a computer, Black's Ra8-c8 in your video is likely premature and committing. It's too early to know exactly where both rooks belong, on c8 it's on the half open file but hitting top of one of the bind pawns. It might have had a better future staying on a8 or reinforcing cracking open the bind on b8. Although the K rook wasn't moved, it's also unclear which file the rook belongs on. And, it should be noted that b5 and d5 are only the most obvious pawn breaks but f5 should not be forgotten.

    I've played boths sides of the Marocsy Bind probably like a lot of players. It's actually not that easy to play on both sides and is one of the more difficult paths strategically. Maybe you avoid the White knight sacrifices on Blacks center in the main lines of the open Sicilian, but I wouldn't call this the simplest or easiest way for White or Black to play.

  7. 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 ? Where is the cat ? and how did the rabbit get there

  8. At 9 minutes. I am sure you have your reasons but I don't quite follow. Before playing the "generic moves" (rooks to the center) you suggested Qd3 to defend the b5 pawn advancement. However with Ne5 black still solidifies/prepares b5 while getting a tempo. Why not just go, say, Qe2 instantly?
    I am sure there are reasons behind this but it felt a bit hand-wavy "and there's really nothing more to do". Is Qd3 serving another purpose/threathening something further when first played? I think Qd2 or Qe2 seems better in that position (connecting rooks, defending b5 without wasting tempo)

  9. Pink bunny? It's ok, but I prefer the cat!
    Err.. I meant to type: Thank you for this video! 🙂

  10. There is a very fun line also in the Sicilian : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Bc4 Nxe4 6. Qh5. Carlsen tried it in 2020 but somehow blunder inverting the move order of the trap after 6… e6.

  11. This looks absolutely fantastic! I will try this. I always thought White didn't have enough advantage (engine/lichess and master stats) compared to other Anti-Sicilians, but this looks very much like a position my opponents would hate 😂😂👍

  12. Puzzle:
    If I'm not wrong, this is a Sicilian Defence: Dragon Variation. So, my move will be Bh6. intention is to exchange his strong dragon Bishop with my weak Bishop. if he exchange then well. if he doesn't and plays Bh8 then he is in big trouble. My next move will be Ncd5, attacking his undefended queen and Nxe7 checkmate.
    it's 3 months, I'm learning chess and your channel is really helping me out. Thanks 🙏

  13. After 3 months of Playing on liches. my classical rating is 1656. I'm pretty satisfied with this. in classical games I can easily calculate complex tactical idea with enough time in hand but how can a beginner decrease calculation time for Blitz? please give a suggestion. it will be beneficial for many beginners including me. Thanks sir

  14. I owe you a lot for sharing this vodeo😊!

  15. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii8iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii8iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii8iiiii8iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii88i8ii8iiiiihiiiihhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  16. I will play this Moscow variation against my Ukranian friend.

  17. I am now a 2300 blitz rated lichess player because of your lessons thanks you very much 🇿🇲

  18. I am now a 2300 blitz rated lichess player because of your lessons thanks you very much 🇿🇲

  19. The logo and website link look outdated. You should redo it.

  20. Nd5 Qxd2
    Ne7+ Kh8
    Rxd2
    Les Blancs gagnent 1 pion

  21. Hello Igor, in case black chooses a Taimanov set up what would you recommend? By the way, I fully understood your Moscow variation ideas. Concrete and clear from a pawn structure point of view. George

  22. "This is the video for the people who do not have time to learn whole theory"…
    Bruh. Im meeting my friend in 10 minutes…

  23. What if hyper accelerated dragon?

  24. Russia and russians are now canceled and dont exist anymore. Please do not play Moscow defence

  25. that political joke omg that was amazingly executed

  26. I really enjoy Igor's videos. My only mild criticism is that he believes that a player with a small advantage has an easily winning position. At my level, trading a knight for a pawn, or bishop for a rook does not automatically translate into a win. The chances of screwing up later in the game tend to balance out such small advantages, not being a Grandmaster. Overall, though, Igor Smirnov is one of the best chess teachers on the internet.

  27. White is giving up the initiative to black in this set up.😌

  28. For the end puzzle I'm thinking 1. Nd5 Qxd2 {forced} 2. Nxe7+ {The in-between move} Kh8 3. Rxd2 Rfe8 4. Nd5 Nxd5 5. cxd5 Rc8 6. Rcc2 [And what does Black have for the missing pawn?}

  29. 8:20 What about Na4 (enticing b5) or Nd5 (protected), followed by queen-rook fork of Nb6?

  30. I just have one question it is a good opening with black the Sicilienne Grivas,some strong players like this opening,it is a good opening and can you do an video on how this opening can be good for black.Thank you very much.

  31. At 10:24 you move your knight to a4 but what about pawn e5 attacked by theBg7?

  32. Thank you so much, Igor! I am on the way to destroy my sicilian-playing friend. What if they play Nxd7 rather than Qxd7 though?

  33. In 50% of the cases, black doesn't play 2. d6. If so, you're basically out of book if you follow your "system". sorry but this video is clickbait and a waste of time.

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