1.e4 c5 2.b3 d6 3.Bb2

For 3.Nf3, see Illustrative Game 1.


The Botvinnik system is very effective here.  Black clamps down on the d4-square and limits the effectiveness of White's Queen Bishop.


a) 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.f4 exf4 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.Nd5 Be7 8.Nxf4 Nxe4 (also worth considering are 8...Bg4 and 8...O-O) 9.Qe2 (if 9.Bxg7, then 9...Rg8 10.Qe2 Rxg7 11.Qxe4 is unclear) 9...Nf6 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Qe3 d5 12.Nh5 Be6 13.Bd3 Qd6 14.O-O O-O-O 15.Rae1 (Czerviak-Kinnmark, Goteborg 1971) and now Black should play 15...c4 with a fine position.

b) 4.f4 exf4 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bb5+ (if 6.Nc3, then 6...Be7 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 O-O and ...Bf6) 6...Bd7 7.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 8.O-O Be7 9.Nh4 g6 10.Na3 O-O with a large advantage to Black, Gurgenidze-Chechelian, USSR 1979.

4...Nc6 5.Nf3

This may not be best, as White may want to advance the f-pawn. (Note that this position can arise after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.b3 d6 4.Bb2 e5 5.Bb5).  However, alternatives also do not offer White much.
a) 5.Ne2 Nf6 6.Nbc3 g6 7.f4 exf4 8.d4 Bg7 9.d5 a6 10.dxc6 axb5 11.Nxb5 O-O 12.c7 Qe7 13.Qxd6 Qxe4 14.Bxf6 Ra6 is fine for Black, Naftalin-Figler, 1971.
b) 5.f4 exf4 6.Nf3 Bd7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Bxc6 Bxc6 9.e5?! Nd5 10.Re1
Be7 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.Qe2 O-O 13.c4 Bf6 14.Be5 Bxe5 15.Qxe5 Qxe5 16.Nxe5 Nb4 17.Nxc6 bxc6 18.Na3 Rfe8 and White hardly has enough compensation for the pawn, Witkowski-Klawin, Riga 1959.


Also possible is 5...Nf6.  See Illustrative Game 2.


If 6.a4 , then 6...g6 7.b4 cxb4 8.d4 a6 9.Bd3 (better is 9.Bc4) 9...Bg4 10.Bc4 Qc8 11.dxe5 Bg7 12.Qxd6 Bxf3 13.gxf3 O-O 14.Nd2 (if 14.f4, then 14...Qg4) 14...Rd8 15.Qc5 Nxe5 with a good position for Black, Malaniuk-Sturua, Odessa 1982.


Also possible is 6...g6 7.Ne1 Bg7 8.f4 O-O.

7.Bxc6+ Nxc6

a) If 8.Ne1, then Black should play 8...g6.
b) If 8.d3, then 8...Be7 9.Nc3 O-O 10.Nd5 f5 is good for Black.
Back to Sicilian Page