Loek van Wely: An Anti-Sicilian repertoire

by Priyadarshan Banjan
12/23/2014 – What to do against the Sicilian? In the sharp and highly theoretical main lines you have to spend hours to be well prepared. Why not play a dangerous system that offers White good chances and that is easy to learn? Loek van Wely shows you what to do. In 60 minutes the Dutch GM prepares you for the Sicilian and gives you a solid repertoire for White.

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Loek van Wely: An Anti-Sicilian repertoire - in 60 minutes

Loek van Wely's DVD presenting an Anti-Sicilian repertoire is a training DVD in the ChessBase 60 minutes series. This series aims to help you learn a critical concept - without compromising on the quality - in 60 minutes. A hallmark of Open Sicilian positions is the huge amount of theory and memorization work that is involved in playing them. At club level even openings like the Grand Prix attack or the Closed Sicilian have been analysed deeply. The onus today has shifted from being the ‘better player’ to being ‘better prepared’.

This may prove exasperating to you when you wish to have a game of chess in which your better understanding takes you home. It might trouble you even more if you simply lack time to study 10-20 moves of theory in countless variations.

And here Loek van Wely helps if you need a good weapon against the Sicilian. In 60 minutes the Dutch GM guides you through a repertoire of what he thinks to be the most annoying lines White can play against the Sicilian - and that are easy to learn.

GM Loek van Wely is a seven-time champion of the Netherlands. He is also a regular guest in the famous super tournament in Wijk aan Zee where he has taken on the world’s elite with notable results.

Loek van Wely at the Wijk aan Zee tournament

Loek van Wely in action

Not the most outgoing of the presenters, Loek van Wely makes up with the depth of his knowledge!

GM van Wely suggests a positional weapon revolving around the move Bb5. Van Wely constantly focuses on lines in which the white pieces are mobile and the pawns exert control over the central squares.

After 1. e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 GM van Wely suggests to play the Moscow Variation 3.Bb5+. After listening to him you know what to do against all three defenses Black can play in response to 3.Bb5+, i.e. 3...Nc6, 3...Nd7 and 3...Bd7. In a simple and clear manner he explains what plans White should follow in these positions.

GM van Wely also deals with Black's main moves in the sidelines and pinpoints how to counter them.

He further points out that the Russian GM Sergei Rublevsky is the model player if you want to study this line and Van Wely uses games by Rublevsky to show how to proceed against all three moves Black has after 3.Bb5+. In the Games section of the DVD you will find model games, most of them annotated.

After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 van Wely suggests to play the Rossolimo Sicilian with 3.Bb5.

Now Black has two main replies namely 3...e6 and 3...g6. In both cases he proposes a simple positional line in which White trades on c6 to reach a position in which Black has the bishops but White a long lasting structural advantage and a lead in development.


In the final leg of the DVD the discussion centres on the position after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6. Here, GM van Wely asks us to play the King's Indian Attack with 3.d3.

The idea to play the King's Indian Attack in similar structures was a favorite of the 11th World Champion Bobby Fischer. He thought that ...e6 weakened the dark squares on Black's kingside which White now can attack. If Black also plays ...g6 things might easily look grim for him. GM van Wely here suggests two different approaches, one in which White attacks directly and one which does not allow Black much counterplay on the queenside.


You can study the lines presented in the videos more deeply in the Games section. A nice feature of this DVD is the ‘Analysis’ option right beside the video segment icon. After the segment is over, you can make the moves yourself on the chessboard in the Analysis section, refreshing your memory of what you just studied in the video segment.

In just 60 minutes this DVD presents an opening repertoire against the Sicilian can thus prove to be a useful preparation tool - even if you play a tournament.

A simple but useful idea!

A glimpse of the analysis

If you are a serious chess player who wants an alternate system against the Sicilian that you can play confidently, or if you just want a position to outplay your opponent in the middlegame, this is the DVD for you. Additionally, for an 1.e4-player who is busy with other worldly pursuits apart from chess, this DVD may prove to be a boon. Within sixty minutes GM Loek van Wely prepares you for fighting against the Sicilian without burning a hole in your pocket. This makes this DVD useful, especially at club level.

Sample video



An Anti-Sicilian Repertoire


This DVD can be downloaded directly from the Internet.

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Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.


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