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Paul Cavezza
25-07-2009, 11:07 PM
Lacking a good coach and with a stack of books that refuse to answer my persistent questions, I turn here to ask some simple questions about the Sicilian.

Basically when pushing d4 is a good idea, and what are the general ideas behind it.

For example in this line or one like it:

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.Nf3 a6 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.O-O Nf6 8.Qe1 e6 9.d4

9. d4! in response to g6 or e6, looks good right?

or 7. d4!? looks decent too? taking a black pawn from the center and putting a white night in there. To develop black is probably going to have to play g6 which meets f5! or e6 and weaken the d-pawn, and that is the idea of the d4 push, correct?

And what about if black doesn't play 3. Nc6 in this line? Could white gain an advantage by pushing d4? Eg:

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nf6 4.Nf3 g6 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nc6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.O-O Nxd4 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Qxd4 Bg7 11.Qf2

silly example I suppose that could easily transpose to the other line... anyhow! the question's out there...

Capablanca-Fan
25-07-2009, 11:59 PM
If you want to play d4, do it right away with 2.Nf3 and 3.d4. In both your lines, playing f4 and Bb5 don't work well with the delayed version. In #1, it's simply bad because of 9... cxd4 10. Nxd4 Qb6! 11. Be3 (or else ... e5) Ng4. In #2 the d4 is playable leading to a known line, but 7. Bb5 is slack and should be 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. e5.

Igor_Goldenberg
26-07-2009, 02:28 PM
Lacking a good coach
Check the signature in the post :lol: :lol: :lol:



Basically when pushing d4 is a good idea, and what are the general ideas behind it.


I agree with Jono that if you want to play d4, play it on move 3 after 2.Nf3.

Otherwise you can develop first and decide later when you play d4. Generally it's neither good nor bad, depends on the position.

One case when it works well is after black played both g6 and e6, as those two do not go well together in open Sicilian.
If black develops bishop to g7, then d6 pawn (or square) can become weak.
If black keeps the bishop on e7, then black squares around the king are weak.
Once I played English with black (reversed Sicilian in a sense). When my opponent played e3 and g3 I almost immediately responded with d5 and got an overwhelming position pretty quickly.

Having said that, it's important to remember that there are plenty of exceptions and g6+e6 setup is alright if d4 for white is not practical, or black is so perfectly developed that d6 weakness is not a problem.

Paul Cavezza
05-07-2010, 01:39 PM
A slightly belated thanks for this response Mr. Goldenberg and Jono! :lol: (which is almost a year old!) It's been very useful to me:)

I have another question about the Sicilian so I thought I'd pop it in here.

The following is from Soltis' Pawn Structure Chess:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 a6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.O-O?

When 8. 0-0 is given a ? on account of the fact it forces white to play f3 to defend the overloaded e4 pawn, which stunts his ability to launch an attack on the KS.

My question is how can white avoid playing f3 with another response? This variation of the Sicilian where black hasn't played Nc6 yet seems to force it no? For example:

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be2 a6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.Qd2 b5 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.O-O b4 11.Nce2 Bxe4 12.Bxe4 Nxe4 13.Qxb4

or something of the like. The Sicilian seems so chaotic to me that even the most simple attacks for black like b7-5-4 or Qb6 require white to know complex tactical defenses. What about Qd3? I've seen it a few times but it just looks like asking for trouble.

Igor_Goldenberg
05-07-2010, 02:13 PM
Open Sicilian often requires knowledge on the moves order.
Castle by itself is quite alright. As far as e4 pawn concerned, you either prevent b4 with a3, prevent b5 with a4 (which is often good!), play f4 followed by Bf3, place bishop to d3. Some variations rely on tactics to defend the pawn. Sometimes white even sacrifice it.

ER
05-07-2010, 05:40 PM
Open Sicilian often requires knowledge on the moves order.
Castle by itself is quite alright. As far as e4 pawn concerned, you either prevent b4 with a3, prevent b5 with a4 (which is often good!), play f4 followed by Bf3, place bishop to d3. Some variations rely on tactics to defend the pawn. Sometimes white even sacrifice it.

and don't forget the signature! ;) For private coaching email to IgorGoldenberg@bluebottle.com

Max Illingworth
05-07-2010, 09:27 PM
8.Qd2 is inaccurate.

White should prefer 8.a4 to prevent ...b5 or 8.f4 with the idea of playing 8...b5 9.Bf3 Bb7 10.a3.