Understanding before Moving 103: Play the Sicilian! (5)

by ChessBase
12/11/2022 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books about chess training and chess strategy. In the 103rd instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman continues to explain why it is good to study and to play the Sicilian. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Games in the Sicilian often reach a climax in the late middlegame. From the  start, both players often have to struggle through a morass of tactical variation which can easily cause time trouble.

In some games, this leads to curious scenes. In today's lecture we follow a game between Mohamed Al Modiakhi and Vishy Anand, played in the 2002 Fide World Cup. Anand cleverly managed to solve his opening problems and then slowly got the upper hand.

However, the battle was far from over as the white player still had the chance to create a dangerous passed pawn on the queenside.

In the diagram position below Black's pieces are active but he has no obvious continuation. In the game the Indian suddenly threw the move 31...Qh4 on the board, about which Anand later said: "Since he was down to 7 seconds, I  couldn't resist just bashing out this move." The question now is: is this a  good move and if so, why? If no, why not? The game continued with 32.Bg3 Qg5 33.Bf4 and here Black came up with an incredible answer. Do you see what that might be?


Master Class Vol. 12: Viswanathan Anand

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors how to successfully organise your games strategically, and how to keep your opponent permanently under pressure.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.