The Modernized Grivas Sicilian

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The Modernized Grivas Sicilian


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 The Modernized Grivas Sicilian

‘To my mind there is quite a straightforward explanation. In order to profit from the initiative granted by the first move, White has to make use of his opportunity to do something before Black has an equal number of opportunities of his own.’ However, to do this he has to make ‘contact’ with the black position. The first point of contact usually comes in the form of a pawn exchange which leads to the opening of the position. The thought behind 1…c5 is this: ‘OK, I’ll let you open the position, and develop your pieces aggressively, but at a price – you have to give me one of your center pawns.’ (Jonathan Rowson, Chess for Zebras: Thinking Differently About Black and White).

– ISBN 9789464201390

– 512 pages.

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The Modernized Grivas Sicilian The Sicilian Defense is an opening that commences with the

moves 1.e4 c5. The Sicilian Defense is  the most popular and best-scoring response to White’s first

move 1.e4. For example, 1.d4, is a  statistically more successful opening for White because of the high

success rate of the Sicilian  Defense against 1.e4.


New In Chess stated in its 2000 Yearbook that of the games in its database, White scored 56.1% in

296,200 games beginning 1.d4, but 54.1% in 349,855 games beginning 1.e4, mainly because the

Sicilian Defense held White to a 52.3% score in 145,996 games. 17% of all games between GMs and

25% of the games in the Chess Informant Database, begin with the Sicilian Defense Almost one

quarter of all games use the Sicilian Defense. Grandmaster John Nunn attributes the Sicilian

Defenses’ popularity to its combative nature since in many lines Black is playing not just for equality,

but for the advantage. The drawback is that White often obtains an early initiative thus Black has to

take care not to fall victim to a quick attack. Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson considered why the

Sicilian Defense is the most successful response to 1.e4, even though 1…c5, develops no pieces and

the pawn on c5 controls only d4 and b4.


The Modernized Grivas Sicilian


Today, most leading GMs include the Sicilian Defense in their opening repertoire. In 1990, the

authors of Modern Chess Openings (13th edition) noted that ‘in the twentieth century the Sicilian has

become the most played and most analyzed opening at both the club and master levels.’ In 1965, in

the 10th edition of that book, Grandmaster Larry Evans observed that: ‘The Sicilian is Black’s most

dynamic, asymmetrical reply to 1.P-K4. It produces the psychological and tension factors which

denote the best in modern play and gives notice of a fierce fight on the very first move.

Sample Pages



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