Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: A Gambit against the Sicilian Alapin

by Robert Ris
5/27/2022 – This week Robert Ris looks at a gambit, which Magnus Carlsen tried at the Chessable Masters to counter Nils Grandelius' Sicilian Alapin (1.e4 c5 2.c3). | "Fast and Furious" is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here.

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In this video course, twenty-nine examples with multiple questions are presented in the interactive format, which is ideal for a range of playing strengths. Step by step you will be taken through the complex positions.


The game Grandelius-Carlsen covers an interesting concept against the Sicilian Alapin. After 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 rather than recapturing the queen on d5 the World Champion decided to play 3...Nf6!?, an old idea which is currently re-examined by a lot of strong players.

Black is ready to sacrifice a pawn or two for fantastic piece play and this concept is actually also known from other lines like the Scandinavian (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6) and the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5 3.exd5 Nf6). In this episode the differences and similarities are discussed in depth, but first it's your turn to improve upon Carlsen's play!  

Exercise: Which shot did the World Champion miss here?


Feel free to move the pieces on the live diagram!

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.