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The d5 break in the Sicilian

Related question on this - while everything I've read about the Sicilian mentions that the d5 break is a key strategic idea for black, the actual move is conspicuous by its absence from a lot of high-level games that I've looked at. Is this one of those cases where the threat is significant even if the move doesn't actually get played - where the need to keep an eye on d5 is slowing down whatever else white would rather be doing and making it easier for black to get on with their other plans? Or is it just that a lot of the time the black player is aiming for something else entirely?

As in every opening, Black makes some kind of concession. French - LSB, Caro-Kann - No Centre, KID - No Centre etc...
There are 3 phases of the opening Centre control, piece development and King's safety. Every good opening covers all 3 phases, sometimes in different order as in KID where piece development and King's safety is before control of the centre (e5 push).
You have to make sense of your pieces, to activate them, that's how you need to think. Without ...f5 in KID Black is just dead, terrible pieces, but it happens that ...f5 compensates for most of that as IM Andras Toth said on his channel, considering ...f5 in KID.

In higher rated games you will probably very rarely see it since they know what to watch out for, but maybe looking for games where >2000 player played would be helpful.

@RamblinDave: you almost never see the move in high-level games because if black gets to play it without serious consequence, then black is arguably *better* (not just equal). So high-level players on the white side are constantly making sure it's not possible, or if it is possible, that they have serious compensation for it (usually some decisive kingside attack).

Put another way: if you see a game where black gets in ...d5 and gets away with it, then it's almost certainly not a "high-level" game, because in a high-level game white would not have allowed it.

i play sicilian and sometimes i play D5, sometimes i do not, i try to use my light squared bishop as a sniperboi

There are many different motifs for an early or a later ... d5.

For example I won uncountable games against notorious "English attackers" who tried to use against the Kan. Needless to say, in vain.

lichess.org/FwPmoVBe

people pretty much covered it but d5 is to open up activity for black’s pieces, since black has the central majority (the point of playing c5).

an interesting thing to note is sometimes Black will even aim for f5 to contest the center too! f5 is more of a reasonable way to fight if for example white advances d5 after an e5 break. Black can set up serious kingside counterplay in these variations of the najdorf, especially if he gets in a6 and b5 making it impossible for white to counter on the queenside. other times black can play g5! such as in the hedgehog or scheviningan, to control the e5 square for a knight, or break down the f3-e4 chain with an eventual g4, unleashing the power of a bishop on b7. In short all these pawn pushes are meant to control squares and gain space.

hope this helps

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