An anti c3-Sicilian system


This opening paper focuses on an effective system against the c3 sicillian. It places emphasis on the system where black plays an early Bg4.

Starting position

Black takes the decision not to leave the bishop on c8. I believe that this is more active than leaving it on c8 and playing e6. From these sort of positions where the bishop is left at home in my experience, I have struggled to gain equality. White has a highly aggressive plan of a3 followed by eventually bd3-c2 and then Qd3.

Batsford chess openings gives the following relevant lines:

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.h3 [7.Na3 Nc6 8.Nb5 Qd8 9.dxc5 Bxc5; 7.0–0 Nc6 8.Na3 cxd4 9.Nb5 Rc8 10.Nbxd4 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 Bxe2 12.Qxe2 Be7] 7...Bh5 8.0–0 Be7 9.Be3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nc6 with approximate equality in these variations


This system is more agressive in principle than leaving the bishop on c8.

Further Reading

The Complete C3 Sicilian (New American Bratsford Chess Library)
Murray Chandler / Paperback / Published 1997
C3 Sicilian : Analysis and Complete Games
Gary Lane
Sicilian : 2/C3 (Tournament Player's Repertoire of Openings)
    Murray Chandler
Sicilian 2C3
Murray Chandler 


Example Games

Kramnik V - Kasparov G
Paris FRA (3), 1994

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.h3 Bh5 8.Be3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Bb4+ 10.Nc3 0–0 11.0–0 Qa5 12.Qb3 Nc6 13.a3 Bxc3 14.bxc3 Nd5 15.Rac1 Qc7 16.c4 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Rfd8 18.Rfd1 Ne7 19.g4 Bg6 20.Ne5 Rac8 21.d5 b6 22.h4 f6 23.Nxg6 Nxg6 24.dxe6 Qe5 25.Qxe5 fxe5 26.Rxd8+ Rxd8 27.c5 Rc8 28.Rd1 Kf8 29.cxb6 axb6 30.Rd7 Nf4 31.Bd3 Nxe6 32.Bxh7 Nf4 33.Be4 Rc1+ 34.Kh2 Rc3 35.f3 Rxa3 36.h5 Ne6 37.Rd6 –

Ljubojevic Ljubomir - Kasparov G
Olympiad, 1994

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.0–0 Nc6 8.h3 Bh5 9.Be3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.Nc3 Qd6 12.Nb5 Qb8 13.Ne5 Bxe2 14.Qxe2 0–0 15.Nxc6 bxc6 16.Nc3 Nd5 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Rac1 Qb6 19.Rc2 Bf6 20.Qd3 a5 21.Rfc1 a4 22.Qd2 h6 23.Rc5 Rab8 24.R1c2 Qb4 25.Qd3 Qe1+ 26.Qf1 Qb4 27.Qd3 Qe1+ 28.Qf1 Qb4 –

Vogt,L (2475) - Hracek,Z (2635)
Altensteig (3), 1995

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Qa4+ Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qe4+ 8.Be3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Qxf3 10.Rg1 cxd4 11.cxd4 Qc6 12.Qb3 e6 13.Nc3 Rc8 14.Bb5 Qd6 15.d5 a6 16.Bxd7+ Qxd7 17.Rd1 g6 18.Bd4 Bg7 19.Ne4 Nxe4 20.Bxg7 Rg8 21.Bh6 exd5 22.Rxd5 Qe6 23.Be3 Nf6 24.Rd3 Rc1+ 25.Rd1 Qxb3 26.axb3 Rxd1+ 27.Kxd1 Nd5 28.Bd4 Kd7 29.Kd2 Re8 30.Rc1 Re4 31.Kd3 f5 32.Be3 Nxe3 33.fxe3 Rh4 34.Rc2 Kd6 35.Rg2 Kd5 36.Rd2 g5 0–1

Nunn and Chandler are two British players which have crushed people with the c3 Sicilian!

Nunn,J - Sher,M
Vejle, Denmark (5), 1994

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d4 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.h3 Bh5 8.c4 Qd6 9.g4 Bg6 10.d5 Nb4 11.0–0 f6 12.Nc3 Nc2 13.Nb5 Qb6 14.Bf4 e5 15.Nxe5 fxe5 16.Bxe5 0–0–0 17.g5 h5 18.Rc1 Nb4 19.Bc7 Qxb5 20.cxb5 Kxc7 21.Bc4 Ne7 22.Qf3 Nc2 23.Rfd1 Nd4 24.Rxd4 cxd4 25.Qf4+ Kd7 26.b6 1–0

Nunn,J - Lutz,C [B22]
Bundesliga, Solingen GER (6), 1994

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Be2 e6 7.0–0 Nc6 8.Be3 cxd4 9.cxd4 Be7 10.Nc3 Qd6 11.h3 Bh5 12.Qb3 0–0 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.a3 Rac8 15.Rac1 Qb8 16.d5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 exd5 18.Rxd5 Bg6 19.Rb5 b6 20.Rd5 Bf6 21.Ba6 Ne7 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.Rd7 Re8 24.Qa4 Bf5 25.Rb7 Qd8 26.Rxa7 Nd5 27.Bd4 h6 28.Bxf6 Nxf6 29.Bc4 Bg6 30.Qb3 Nd7 31.Qd1 Ne5 32.Qxd8 Nxf3+ 33.gxf3 Rxd8 34.Rb7 Rd6 35.b4 Rf6 36.a4 Rf4 37.Rc7 Rxf3 38.Rc6 Rf4 39.Rxg6 Rxc4 40.Rxb6 Rc1+ 41.Kg2 1–0