The Closed Sicil ian is a reliable
opening with opportunities for a
kingside attack. Unl ike Open Sicil-
ian lines, such as the Dragon where
new moves are routinely introduced
on move thirty, there is no need to
Jearn a vast amount of theory.
Instead, White tends to follow an
establ ished plan of development
aga inst most set-ups after which the
stage is set for a middlegame battle.
World champions Karpov, Smyslov
nnd Spassky have favoured it and
laid the foundations for others to
follow. In recent years the English
duo Adams and Short have added
new ideas and played it at the
highest level with great success.
The ideas behind
the Closed Sicilian
I e4 c5 2 ltJc3 ltJc6 3 g3
This is the move that signals
White’s intention to play the Closed
Sicilian. Basically, the· idea is to
fianchetto on the kingside and fol-
low with d2-d3 to develop the
queen’s bishop. White tends to
develop his king’s knight to e2 or

  1. The currently fashionable 3 … g6
    is the most popular reply because a
    kingside fianchetto will al low Black
    to exert his influence on the centre
    and along the a I -h8 diagonal.
    4 .i.g2 .i.g7 5 d3 d6 6 .i.e3
    This is the new main line and is
    the reason why the Closed Sicilian
    is being played at international
    level . I have paid special attention
    to it because I think the simple
    development plan is easy to follow
    and the ideas can be applied in a
    variety of positions. It is an
    aggressive system that puts Black
    under pressure at the earl iest oppor-
    tunity. The plan is to play .. d l -d2
    and .i.e3-h6, exchanging the key
    defensive bishop on g7, and perhaps
    following up with h2-h4-h5 to open
    the h-file and deliver a speedy mate.
    It sounds too good to be true
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