Understanding before Moving 116: Play the Sicilian (17)

by ChessBase
3/12/2023 – 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 116th 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.


One variation of the Sicilian that should not be overlooked when considering to play and to study this opening is the Dragon.

This beautiful variation, in which Black puts his king's bishop on the long diagonal has many followers and to this day the "Dragon" seems to be alive and kicking!

In particular, positions in which White castles queenside and Black castles kingside usually lead to battles, in which both players attack each other on the other wing, and this has led to great victories for both White and Black.

Recently there have been some shifts in theory, particularly in lines, in which White lets his opponent play ...d6-d5, so that the skirmishes take place mainly in the centre. In certain variations, Black is not afraid to sacrifice an exchange and then to rely on the famous Dragon bishop to get compensation.

In the position shown in the diagram, White has just played c2-c4 to force the rook on d5 to make a statement. What would you play with Black?


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, consequently how to keep your opponent permanently under press

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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