Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: The Carlsen Sicilian

by Robert Ris
7/21/2022 – This week Robert Ris discusses a sharp variation of the Sicilian Defence, explored this week by none others than Magnus Carlsen and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Sometimes short draws can be very exciting! | "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.


A short, exciting draw

Sometimes short draws can be very exciting, as was proven this week in the game between Magnus Carlsen and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. First of all, it’s always cool when the World Champion plays his own variation against the Sicilian, but play became even sharper very quickly after Black sacrificed a pawn on move 7!

In subsequent play, both sides had to be play very precisely in order not to go astray, and a repetition of moves apparently was inevitable. Possible deviations for both sides and potential improvements from a theoretical perspective are discussed.

Exercise: Back to the stem game of this variation. Can you do better than Magnus and find the best move for White 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.