White player vs Sicilian, which Sicilian gives the least theory to learn please?


I play Italian as white, but if my opponent plays Sicilian in reply to 1.e4 what is my best option as white to meet this with the least amount of theory to learn please? I realise there is a lot of theory in most Sicilian lines, but which would be better for someone who doesn't have a huge amount of time to study openings please?


lol the biggest reason I started playing 1. d4 exclusively is because I do not have the time to get booked up on the Sicilian either. Too much theory is known by Sicilian players. It'll be interesting to hear the replies here.

Smith Morra Gambit might be worth looking into. I quite enjoy playing it against the Sicilian, and thoroughly hate coming up against this gambit. There's not all that much theory to learn, it's more about understanding the general idea of this opening.

The less theory there is in a line, usually the worse it is. Why? Because "more theory" just means "lots of people agreed this is the best way to start the game". So you could learn the Smith-Morra, but know it has less theory to memorize because it's worse than the alternatives.

In any event, learning theoretical moves in any opening doesn't necessarily constitute more or less work. If you want to learn a single main line of the roughly half a dozen major Sicilians you could do it in a few hours. You don't have to know every single line in the Najdorf to be able to competently play the position as long as you know one good line to guide you. When your opponent plays a deviation from the one line you know, ask yourself at that time "why is move X that I know better than move Y my opponent played? What's the difference between the moves?" and make your choice accordingly.

And remember, your opponents are always roughly the same rating as yourself. What makes you think that if you play a more theoretical opening like the open Sicilian that they'll know any more than you will?

I would say that under 1000 & not wanting to learn theory means yes you have less time so ok I will make a suggestion . Play 2 Nf3 & after black responds with d6 you can play 3c3 with the idea of d4 . There is even a trap there 3.... Nf6 4Be2 Nxe4 5 Qa4+ check winning the Black Knight on e4 , NOW if Black plays 2... e6 or 2... Nc6 you can stick to the c3 plan but you have to pay attention to when your opponent attacks your e4 pawn ... on d5 you can play exd5 & then d4 & remember to castle Kingside early & Often . I would reccomend at your under 1000 Rating to read a Basic Chess book or two like Logical Chess Move by Move by Chernev & Neil Mcdonald ... Chess The Art Of Logical Thinking From The First move To The Last ... You can download these free from the Internet Archive

I would say what you're looking for is the Short-Nunn attack. This is essentially a system, and you can play it against virtually all Sicilia type games. With some variation, it is the following moves: 1.e4, 2.Nf3, 3.d4, 5.Nd4, 6.Nc3 7.Be3, 8.f3, 9.Qd2, 10.0-0-0, 11.Kb1, 12.g4 13.h4

Key points, you tend to leave the Lightsquare Bishop on its home square, castle Queenside, and attack their king with pawns. They'll be going after your king as well.

GM Andrew Soltis wrote this book..

Here is a somewhat similar version Nepomnyaschy used in a win vs. Carlsen.

And here is a game, Polgar played vs. Kasparov and drew -- not specifically the same opening but fairly similar.

# 5 -----> << I would reccomend.....a Basic Chess book or two like Logical Chess Move by Move by Chernev & Neil Mcdonald ... Chess The Art Of Logical Thinking From The First move To The Last ... You can download these free from the Internet Archive >>

This sounds like an excellent resource for multiple purposes.

What is the Internet Archive ? --- A portion of this site, or an unaffiliated information resource ?

given you strength you opponent will not know the opening either. So learnign any variaton part 4-5 moves is useless. You on your own pretty soon as you opponent will deviate and no books is gonna telly what to do obvioule bad move (from strong player perspective) . The proposed Nf3, c3 clearly goes for central control which after all is one of the really important things. There are other similar variations but that looks simple enough to survive first five moves

It depends on what your opponent plays. The variation that gives the least theory to learn might be a bad one, and the best variations in terms of winning chances may be the ones which require learning the most theory.