Skip to main content

Basics of the Sicilian Defense in Chess

Learn the basics of the Sicilian defense from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.


Hi. My name is Rebecca Taxman and I am with Chess NYC. Today, I am going to show you the basics of the Sicilian defense. Now, when people think of the Sicilian, they're like woo! It's a huge opening. This is one of the strongest defenses for black. There are probably about over ten variations that can be strongly played in the Sicilian defense.

I've played the Sicilian defense, maybe, over 2000 times and every time that I play it, I learn something new. So today, I'm just going to show you the raw basics of the Sicilian defense. So, let's start.Usually, white wants to start off with E4 controlling the center. Now instead of playing E5, black decides to play C5, a counter center. White then proceeds with knight F3. And now again, there are different variations that can be played here, but the typical variation is D6 creating a minor little pawn chain and opening up way for bishop development. Next, white wants to develop and attack the center. So, they play D4. This is a must take.

Then, white takes back. Now, we notice that white seems to have a little bit of an advantage here because they have their knight in the center and a pawn in the center. We want to stop white from playing C4, which is called the Moroczy Bind. And, we want to stop them from playing this and really controlling a lot of the center. In order to do that, we play knight F6 attacking the E4 pawn. Therefore, white cannot play this because we can take the E4 pawn. White's next move is knight C3. Now in order to stop an attack on this B5 square which is aiming directly at black's king, it is extremely imperative that black plays A6 to stop an attack on B5.

The knight, now, cannot come to B5. This knight cannot come to B5. Additionally, this bishop is hindered from coming to B5 and is forced to go to C4 or somewhere further back. And, this is the raw basics of the Sicilian. From here, we can go on to many different variations, such as the Scheveningen, the Najdorf, and the Dragon, just to name a few.

Popular Categories