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Taming the Sicilian from the publisher "Everyman Chess"

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Title: Taming the Sicilian Author: Nigel Davies
Language: English Pages: 144
Cover: Paperback Published: 2002
Publisher: Everyman Chess Homepage:
Price: £ 14,99 ISBN: 1-85744-301-2
Reviewed by: Soren Sogaard Date: 17/1 2003

Quick-Review: Taming the Sicilian

Many chessplayers have troubles finding a good answer to The Sicilian Defence and therefore they avoid the Open Sicilian and instead plays 2.Nc3 or 2.c3. Now Grandmaster Nigel Davies has another suggestion on how to "tame the Sicilian" with a setup with g3 and Bg2.

A great idea, but if you think you with this setup don't have to study a lot of theory then you will be disappointed ;-) Of course you cannot play the open Sicilian without having to know a lot of theory, and Davies is very honest about this in the introduction and give the reader good advice on how to use the book:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the basic patterns by playing through the games at speed. At this stage you should ignore the notes and sub-variations.
  2. Play these lines in quick games at your local club or on the Internet.
  3. Look up the lines that occurred in your games and cross-check your play against the lines I recommend.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for a month or two.
  5. Study the book more carefully, working from cover to cover and making notes about any point of interest. Analyse the points of interest.
  6. Adopt your new weapon in competitive games and matches.
  7. Analyse your competitive games to establish what happened and whether either side could improve.



As always with the opening books from Everyman Chess each chapter starts with an introduction followed by illustrative games. At the end of each you find a short "Summary" which I find is very revealing (that it is short!) considering the fact that many of the opening books from Everyman Chess you find the same information in the summary as in the introduction. The book is round up with "Index of Variations" and  "Indexes of complete games".

As this is a Quick-Review, I won't go into details about the theory, but going over the book and trying out some of the suggestions I find Davies did a fine job. The book is a repertoire book and I think it is best suited for players up to ELO 2200. I tried the setup in a few games on the net, and it soon turned out that I have to study some theory before using it further ;-) The idea of having a easy setup with g3 and Bg2 is nice, but in practice I think it is difficult to play for White. On the other hand you can find a World Class player like Adams playing it against Anand so if you try it out you are in good company ;-)

If you are looking for a repertoire book against The Sicilian and want to try something new, I can recommend this book by Davies. As you can see from the content each variation only gets 10-20 pages so Davies can't examine every variation, but to start with I think you get the most important variations. At the end I have to warn you about some variations where you can't play the g3-setup like the Pelikan-Sveshnikov Variation. This means that you have to study a great deal of theory and you also have to know in which variations you should avoid playing the  g3-setup.



  1. The Najdorf Variation  (13 pages)
  2. The Classical Variation  (17 pages)
  3. The Scheveningen Variation  (19 pages)
  4. The Paulsen and Taimanov Variations  (15 pages)
  5. The Kan Variation  (9 pages)
  6. The Pelikan-Sveshnikov Variation  (14 pages)
  7. The Löwenthal, Kalashnikov and other ...e7-e5 Lines  (11 pages)
  8. The Dragon and other ...g6 Lines  (17 pages)
  9. Other Lines  (14 pages)



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