Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...c5/2. c3/2...Nf6

Sicilian, Alapin
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6

Sicilian, Alapin


This move continues development for Black. It puts pressure on the e pawn, and aims to protect the d5 square. This variation is marginally preferred to the 2...d5 response, and is statistically a better win-rate for Black (as per

White’s Responses


3.e5 immediately pressures the Black knight, and is by far the most popular response. It also continues White’s assault on the centre, and aims to reinforce with d4.

3.d3 and 3.d4 are playable, but more passive. d3 aims to protect the e pawn, while d4 simply continues with White’s original plan of controlling the d4 square - the goal of the Alapin opening.

Theory table


For explanation of theory tables, see theory table and for notation, see algebraic notation..

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6
Sicilian, Alapin e5

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  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.
  • Modern Chess Openings: MCO-14. 1999. Nick de Firmian, Walter Korn. ISBN 0-8129-3084-3.
  • Kasparov, Garry, & Keene, Raymond 1989 Batsford chess openings 2. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.