Starting Out: The C3 Sicilian
I have used Smith-Morra gambit against Sicilian successfully up to 2000+ level, so it is a sound opening. If you are afraid of Sicilian Theory I strongly recommend starting with it and playing a bit of Sicilian yourself. This is how I learned how to play and fight the Sicilian. Currently I have abandoned Smith-Morra in favor of more mainline approaches, as they may have some theory, but are mostly pleasant to play for white!
Starting Out: The c3 Sicilian
Basically what the title suggests. Many of the responses to the c3 sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.c3) that I find online result in very drawish positions usually with queens off the board and very little dynamic play. I want lots of action and craziness while still being sound.
The authors' choice for the starting point of the Classical is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2, and the first things they cover are deviations in the form of 6...c6, 6...Bg4 and 6...c5. After 6...e5, they spend 12 pages on the Exchange Variation 7 dxe5, and 24 pages on the Gligoric Variation 7 Be3, which at first seems a bit sparse. Interestingly, Panczyk and Ilczuk conclude that none of 7...Nc6, 7...c6, 7...Qe7, 7...exd4, and 7...h6 equalise; but that 7...Ng4 is adequate, and indeed, it seems as though every leading player has gone in that direction in the past few years.
I discussed Ilya Odessky's English Defence in column#90; that system involves 1...b6 or 2...b6. In Play 1 b3! The Nimzo-Larsen Attack, Odessky switches to the White side of the board and fianchettos his queen's bishop. He may be the craziest author around, which can be funny and entertaining (depending upon your tastes; I rather like the loony style); but he is also the most disorganized. Without going into detail, I can say that if you want an independent opening system which limits your preparation time, all the information you need is here. But with 1 b3, White has no pretensions of being able to get an advantage versus decent play, so this is purely a way to get off the starting blocks.
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