Understanding before Moving 99: Play the Sicilian!

by ChessBase
11/13/2022 – 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 99th instalment of his ChessBase show "Understanding before Moving", Herman explains 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.


In this and the following video lessons we will look at the Sicilian. We start with an introduction to the Sicilian in general, and then we will have a look at the origins and the typical structure of the Scheveningen system.

I have often advised young players who started with 1.e4 e5 to switch to 1.e4 c5. It is good to learn other types of positions and the Sicilian tends to be more dynamic than the positions arising after 1.e4 e5.

"But the Sicilian is so theoretical," I hear many juniors and club players say. "I could never master all that." On the one hand, this is true, but on the other, it never hurts to learn something new, and "not hindered by too much knowledge" you can see if you become a better player when you are in  unfamiliar territory.

Good players can improvise and if you know the strategic ideas of the lines you play you will often have success against players of your strength.

This is why I often recommend to study the Scheveningen Sicilian, in which Black often develops in a very natural way.  This video lesson below discusses a few general ideas and plans.

Janofsky-Boleslavsky, Groningen 1946, was an early game with the Scheveningen. Black managed to achieve the thematic ...d6-d5 break and equalized easily. In the diagram position, White played 19.Kh1 and refrained from taking the pawn on a5 with 19.Nxa5. But was he right - or can White take pawn on a5 with impunity?


Master Class Vol.1: Bobby Fischer

No other World Champion was more infamous both inside and outside the chess world than Bobby Fischer. On this DVD, a team of experts shows you the winning techniques and strategies employed by the 11th World Champion.

Grandmaster Dorian Rogozenco delves into Fischer’s openings, and retraces the development of his repertoire. What variations did Fischer play, and what sources did he use to arm himself against the best Soviet players? Mihail Marin explains Fischer’s particular style and his special strategic talent in annotated games against Spassky, Taimanov and other greats. Karsten Müller is not just a leading international endgame expert, but also a true Fischer connoisseur.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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