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spurtus 33 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian Defense - Transpositions Q. As white is there much scope for trying to force or even encourage a Sicilian Defense Player out of known Sicilian themed lines (without giving away the game)?

1.e4 c5 2. ???

I couldn't find anything at all in my database.

I was just looking for something to 'not play ball' with a Sicilian player.

pandemona 99 ( +1 | -1 )
"anti-sicilians" Sound transpositions into known, completely mainline solid openings? I haven't come across any. As regards the remainder... these are all I know... I'm not an expert through so don't take me as gospel. :)

There are the "anti-sicillians"... 2.b4 (wing gambit), 2.d4 (smith-morra gambit, though black can force transpositon into 2.c3 sicillian with 2...cxd4 3.c3 Nf6), 2.c3 as a pawn lever (I think this is called Alapin Sicilian and is more positional... I wonder if White really keeps much intiative here though.).

And then there are the 3.Bb4 lines... 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb4 Rossimilio Sicillian and 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb4+ Canel-Solisky (spelling mistake, I think! :D) Sicillian, which also take Black out of the main lines.

Then you can play "chameleon" variation... 1.e4 c5 2.Ne2 which Black probably won't expect! Of course after 3.d6/Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 Nxd4 you are back into an open sicilian, but the Ne2 move might throw Black off somewhat!

~ Stephen / pandemona
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pandemona 4 ( +1 | -1 )
grand-prix Oh! And I forgot the grand-prix attack, 2.f4...
soikins 26 ( +1 | -1 )
pandemona "Sound transpositions into known, completely mainline solid openings? I haven't come across any." -- 1. e4 c5 2. c3 e6 3. d4 d5 4. e5 (or something like that, not shure about the move order). Now it's french.
1. e4 c5 2. Qe2 -- French Chigorin variation. Both not forced for black of course.
pandemona 79 ( +1 | -1 )
Sicilian into French Yeah, I noticed when reading about 2.c3 sicilian a while ago that some French-looking lines can crop up, providing Black plays ball. But wouldn't it be wonderful if there was a *forced* transposition into the French? ;) That would certainly dismay those who went after 1.e4 c5 for some interesting, dynamic play, only to find themselves defending the stumpy side of a big old pawn chain... (I say this, of course, being a player of neither the sicillian or the french. O;-))

What a strange game chess is, when one of the most dynamic openings can drift into one of the more, um, "solid" setups, given a little nudge by both sides.

~ Stephen / pandemona , musing aloud.
cryptos 19 ( +1 | -1 )
sicilian transposition. If you play the king's indian and black plays 2. ...e6 (Kan variation) you can transpose into the king's indian attack by playing d3, Nf3, g3, Bg2 and kingside castling. This is rock solid and very positional.
ereaserhead 53 ( +1 | -1 )
White as Sicilian If the Sicilian defence is so good, giving black good counterplay which seems to be the case, why not play it as an opening when playing white? I do this with good results at my level (1500 - 1600). My question is: I have never read anything that indicates that this approach is adviseable for white! If it's good for black, why not white? Another angle and one reason that I use it is that I only have to use one basic opening and this keeps thing less complicated in the begining of the games.
honololou 3 ( +1 | -1 )
eraserhead… Do you mean the English opening (1c4, e5)?
groove 229 ( +1 | -1 )
I play Sicilian exclusively against 1.e4 (although certainly not an expert!) and I think your best fight against Sicilian is an anti-sicilian system:

Closed Sicilian, Grand Prix attack, c3 (Alapin), b3 Systems, or some sort of gambit (Smith-Morra, Wing, what have you...) Personally, I groan the most when someone plays the alapin. I think your best chance of psyching a Sicilian player out is to use an anti-Sicilian system that YOU are very familiar with. Chances are most Sicilian players spend most of their time delving into theories involving Yugoslav Attacks, Uogele Variations, Nxc6 variations, Maroczy Binds, and Bc4 variations. Those latest variations are the most typical that I face and so naturally I spend the most time reviewing theory involving them. You might also look into 2. f4! systems (Grand Prix attack). Unless a sicilian player is very familiar with f4, it will probably throw him off and you might have good chances with it. I had many problems with Grand Prix before I sat down and studied it, and now I typically don't have much of a problem against it (against players on my level).

Remember, the advantage that you have when playing against Sicilian is that if you have a "pet" anti-Sicilian system that you are VERY familiar with. Chances are that you will be much more familiar with your pet system than your opponent. You only have to be familiar with ONE system (you choose the battlefield) whereas black has to be familiar with many systems.

If you're a gambit lover I would recommend the Smith-Morra gambit. I think I read somewhere that Smith-Morra only involves 10 or so main lines and that black is rarely familiar with the nuances and can make a mistake very easily. You have such a huge lead in development in the Morra that one mistake is all it takes. It's more difficult to play in CC chess though because black can play more precise.

Of course, if you're a much better chess player, you'll be successfull with whatever system you choose. Much depends on your style of play.
groove 38 ( +1 | -1 )
To answer your question more directly though... I'm not aware of any way to "force" a Sicilian player to play anything other than open or closed Sicilian, or a pet anti-Sicilian system of your choosing. I think the closest would be the Smith-Morra gambit where you force black into uncharted territory unless he's familiar with the gambit.
anaxagoras 27 ( +1 | -1 )
The Sicilian is not an uber-defense, it's just that White often suffers from confidence problems because the defense is a favorite in master chess. Just look at our GK database and notice how many 1...c5's there are; far too many than is justified by the winning percentages....
soikins 36 ( +1 | -1 )
No forced transpositons I think there are no forced transpositions in Sicilian. There is a bunch of variations that make the Sicilian so difficult to learn, but one of the good things of the defence is the fact that white cannot force a transposition. Once black hgas played 1. ... c5 in answer to 1. e4 it is the Sicilian.
Of course white can play 2. c4 going for some strange English variations.
spurtus 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Great response thanks, I'm pretty much persuaded to study the Morra - Smith Gambit just so hopefully I can have a basic plan when I encounter it.

Is the Sicilian more or less unique in the way in which it has extremely few possible tranpositions?... would this be a reason for its popularity at higher levels of chess?

pandemona 96 ( +1 | -1 )
In my opinion the simplest way to handle the Smith-Morra gambit as Black, without having to learn your way through the dangerous lines, is simply to play the transposition into a main line of the 2.c3 sicilian, with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6. Seeing as you'll face the 2.c3 sicilian sometimes anyway this might make more sense than going up against black's preparation in the SMG - and if nothing else, SMG leads to open tactical games while 2.c3 is slower and more positional... i.e. the poor SMG player is playing the opposite kind of game to the one they desired! Obviously it's not the way you go if you're convinced SMG is unsound and that you can keep the pawn and win. But it's practical and simple for my level, at least. :)

My guess as to why the sicilian is so popular is less about what it is, than about what it's not. It's a way of meeting 1.e4 without playing the Ruy Lopez (I think white should always be glad to play the Ruy!), the French, etc...

~ Stephen / pandemona
groove 101 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree with Pandemona in that the Declined variation of the Morra is the safest route, but my guess would be that fewer players decline the gambit at club level considering Alapin is no more fun to play against than a Morra, and that extra pawn is very tempting...;) However, he brings up a point that if you plan on playing the Morra, you need to be familiar with c3 lines in the eventuality that it does get declined! That would be a way of black forcing you out of Morra theory and into a potential line that he is more prepared for. Again though, I don't think most club level players would choose to decline the gambit, but I don't play it enough to know one way or the other.

Here's a link for the main lines of the Morra:

The html link is not working properly, so you'll need to remove the <WBR> from the hyperlink.
cryptos 6 ( +1 | -1 )
morra > c3 sicilian line. Wouldn't e5!? be a rather nasty reply to an attempt to transpose?
peppe_l 6 ( +1 | -1 )
I believe (1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6) 4.e4 leads to the main line of Alapin variation :-)
peppe_l 61 ( +1 | -1 )
Actually I have played 3...Nf6 line once, and it DID transpose to Alapin...

[Event "Lets play chess"]
[Site "";]
[Date "2004.05.13"]
[White "deepwhite"]
[Black "peppe_l"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1547"]
[BlackElo "1560"]
[TimeControl "1/1209600"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[Termination "normal"]

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Qxd4 e6
6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Qg4 Qc7 8. Qc4 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qxe5+ 10. Be2 Qc7
11. Qd3 Nf6 12. Be3 Be7 13. Nd2 d6 14. Bf3 Bd7 15. O-O O-O
16. Bg5 Bc6 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Rfe1 Bxf3 19. Qxf3 d5 20. Rad1 Rfc8
21. Qd3 Rab8 22. g3 b5 23. Nb3 Qc4 24. Qc2 b4 25. Nd2 Qb5
26. c4 dxc4 27. Ne4 Be7 28. b3 cxb3 29. Qxb3 a5 30. Rdc1 a4
31. Qb2 b3 32. Nc3 Rxc3 33. Qxc3 Bb4 34. Qc7 Bxe1 35. Qc8+ Qe8
groove 30 ( +1 | -1 )
We should have some sort of mini-Tourney or something with the Smith-Morra. I'm really very interested in the opening, but have never really had the opportunity to sit down and study it. (Or had the balls to play it as White;) Let me know if anyone is remotely interested. Rated or Unrated, I don't care.
cryptos 16 ( +1 | -1 )
smith-morra mini tourney. Yeah, I'm interested, as long as there's not more than five players. I get bored with these tournaments where there's 20 games each :(
groove 39 ( +1 | -1 )
Haha, well you were the only one who responded, so I guess no tourney:( It's a fascinating opening and warms my attackers heart good, but I just don't know if it is theoretically sound. I've got so many openings that I'm trying to study lately! I'm trying to increase my knowledge of the dragon by studying nuances of the yugoslav and maroczy, learn the scandinavian defense, and learn some of the finer points of the stonewall.
groove 30 ( +1 | -1 )
Ironically, after all this talk on anti-sicilians, I played a GM Semon Palatnik this past weekend in a simultaneous event and he played the alapin! I think I buried my face in my hands when he played c3. Not that it would have mattered WHAT he played, but he utterly destroyed me.
pandemona 70 ( +1 | -1 )
"Scud" 2.a4?! What do people think about the "scud" sicillian? 1.e4 c5 2.a4?! and the sicillian player has been scudded!

The black player is left with a position more akin to those found in a variation of the English opening (1.c4 e5) but the other side has gotten in the pawn push a4 for free. So, it's a transposition of a kind, if a rather bizzare one (transposing yourself all the way to the other side of the board!)

I'm sure it's neither as forcing or as sharp as most of the main sicillian lines but it certainly seems to give the sicillian player a very different kind of game to play, the English and the sicillian hardly sharing common spirits...

~ Stephen / pandemona
groove 201 ( +1 | -1 )
Interesting... I can find no resource on this line, and it looks dubious at best. Of course I'm not a very strong player, but I can see no reason why black would have a problem with this. It looks like a wasted move? Instead of developing, white is instead pushing the a pawn, and to what effect, a psychological tactic? The pawn is inducing weaknesses in his own camp, it is not grabbing any immediately useable territory, it is not taking advantage of any immediate tactical opportunities, and it's not fighting for control of the center which is the first thing that white should be worrying about! The whole point of c5 is an assymetrical declaration by black , allowing white to have temporary control of the center, but in this case, white has wasted that opportunity by playing a4. He's giving up a move essentially to "trade places" in a sense with black, with nothing more than a vain hope that he will be unprepared for an english line....and it's not even a true english! A dragon player could merrily go setting up a dragon type fianchetto'd formation and probably have a good game considering that formation is one of the main lines of the english with similar theory, and that's only if he absolutely had no clue as to how to play the english. He could probably do just as well aiming for a closed sicilian setup. In my opinion, if white is going to choose NOT to play open sicilian, there are a myriad of better 3rd moves. Any anti-sicilian or closed sicilian would give white a much better game than a4! or should I say a4??? In my humble opinion, if white is trying to transpose into something different than a sicilian, he really had no business playing e4 to begin with. Better to play c4 and play the English as white.

Any e4 player as white should have a system prepared to play against c5 sicilian, e5 symmetrical, and perhaps d5! scandinavian defense (since that seems to be a semi-popular club opening nowadays).

Of course, these are just my 2 cents!
cryptos 30 ( +1 | -1 )
a4??? I guess the point of a4 is to prevent an eventual b5 as in Najdorf lines. All black has to do is play something else, eg the Dragon. By the way, ...d5! is supposed to be the best black answer to the c3 sicilian, challenging the centre. If the e4 pawn takes. Black takes back with the queen and white can no longer bring his knight out to c3 to challenge it.