Siclian Defense – Alapin Variation

In chess, the Sicilian Defence, Alapin Variation is a response to the Sicilian Defence characterized by the moves:

1. e4 c5   2. c3

It is named after the Russian master Semyon Alapin (1856–1923). For many years it was not held in high regard, since 2…d5 was thought to allow Black easy equality.[1][2]

Semyon Alapin

Semyon Alapin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, the Alapin is considered one of the most solid and respectable Anti-Sicilians and is championed by grandmasters such as Evgeny SveshnikovEduardas RozentalisSergei Tiviakov and Drazen Sermek. It has in the past been played by World Champions Viswanathan Anand,Garry KasparovAnatoly KarpovVeselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik.

The Alapin is also sometimes seen in deferred form, particularly if Black chooses an unusual second move after 2.Nf3. For example, after 2.Nf3 a6 or 2.Nf3 Qc7, 3.c3 is often seen, since neither …a6 nor …Qc7 is a particularly useful move against the Alapin.

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