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Posted by aandersen


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Subject: Help ! (with openings)

I�m trying to learn something about opening theory. The idea being that with a bit more knowledge, I might have some idea about where the game is going rather than being bounced around by circumstances as I seem to do now. So, I bought a book and started reading it but I�m stuck on chapter 1 verse 1. I�m looking at something called the C3 sicillian. I�m fine with the first moves (e4 c5) but then we come to C3. The author seems to set great store by this move without really explaining what is so good about it. I�m no expert (and possibly this is why I�m not getting it) but to me the move seems boring, pointless and almost gives the initiative to black at this early stage.
Can anyone out there help me with this one?
Yours sincerely
Confused from London

Posted by lighttotheright


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The c3 variation is OK; but from your description, it sounds like the author may have over-hyped it. I cannot be sure of what the author stated about it, since I only have your perception from your post.

To understand the move, you must understand the motive behind it. The opening is a struggle to force the play into lines that you feel comfortable playing instead of your opponent. Presumably, e4 is played because it is considered the strongest first move by many. This can sometimes be true regardless whether you like a tactical or positional style game. 1. e4 usually turns into a tactical game. 1. ... c5 turns that tactical game into one that is non-symmetrical. 2. c3 turns the game back into a more positional one. Many people don't quite understand positional play.

When Black played 1. ... c5 he was not likely to have wanted to play a positional game. So, 2. c3 is good in that it goes directly against much of the intent of Black's first move. It supports a possible d4 advance, which is good in the struggle for the control of the center. You stated that c3 seems to be a wasted move; yet, the normal line with Nf3 can be considered just as wasted because the knight will be soon forced into an early second move. So, the main difference is w