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is chess in the Olympics

  There is currently no chess in the Olympiad. The Chess Olympiad is a chess competition officially organized by FIDE since 1927 and takes place in even-numbered years. Before World War II the event was occasionally held every year. There was also an unofficial Chess Olympiad series that ended in 1976. Although chess is covered in the sports sections of many newspapers around the world, it is not one of the recognized sports in the Olympic Games. However, FIDE is now a member of the International Olympic Committee and follows its rules. This means that chess could one day become an Olympic event, although most knowledgeable observers say this is unlikely. The World Chess Championship is a competition held annually by the international chess organization FIDE to determine the World Champion of chess. Both men and women are eligible to participate in this championship. The World Champion does not have to be the player with the highest Elo rating: the 2006-2007 World Champion, Vladimir Kr

How To Play the Sicilian Defense

This is the Sicilian Defense. It goes 1. e4 c5. The main idea is that Black delays placing a pawn in the center and tries to take control of the center himself by capturing White's d-pawn. There are many ways that this can go from here but that's the basic idea of the opening. If you have read my other articles here, you would know that the Sicilian Defense is my favorite response to 1. e4 ever since I kept losing to people who played this against me. You know what they say, if you can beat them, join them. And boy did I join the party.

The Sicilian Defense is known to be very sharp for both sides. I've played it the most in all the games I've played. Partly because it's the second most popular response to White's e4 but mostly because it's pretty tactical and when I was starting out, I loved tactics. I loved surprising my opponents or getting them in a very murky position wherein whoever calculates best, wins. But I also like it because it's technically breaking one of the principles of chess. It tries to take control of the center by not claiming territory in the center. It indirectly controls the center in the sense.

And if you think about it, the guy who probably played the Sicilian Defense first was probably just thinking, "How can I surprise my opponents the most and win?" Most likely in those days, the most popular way to play a chess game in the opening is e4 then e5. It's still very popular today although e4 as White's first move is almost overshadowed by d4 especially in high-level chess. Nobody was probably expecting someone to play the move c5 until one person did and it got developed into the intricate and complex chess opening system that it is today.

I don't really know the nitty gritty details and variations of the Sicilian Defense. I mostly just play either the Taimanov or recently, the Accelerated Dragon. But there are many ways to play especially since White's second move would dictate whether you are going to play a classical setup or one of the more solid setups like the Closed System or the Alapin Variation. Suffice to say, whenever you play the Sicilian, just try to have fun with it and experiment.

Come to think about it, there have been times when I played the Sicilian and because of an inaccurate move order or because you play passively, it goes horribly wrong for either side. Black's main problem as I have encountered is that they tend to be behind in development. Most of the time, the best way to play as Black in the Sicilian is to be defensive in the opening and prepare for all out war in the middle game. While White wants to avoid Black opening up his possibilities and simply building up the pressure and dispelling Black's counterplay until he's ready to launch an assault on Black's weak king.

A few things to keep in mind. Watch out for White's pawn storm on the kingside as well as the queen and rook battery in the central files. For White, try to crack open Black's defenses and exploit the weak king early on. Grab space but not too much. Black should be careful not to get themselves in a cramped position because things will just get suffocating from that point. When you play the Sicilian right, it's going to feel so rewarding and that's what I want to get out of every game I play with the Sicilian. However, it's not always going to be the case. Don't try to experiment when you don't know what you're getting yourself into, especially in very technical positions like in the Najdorf or the Sveshnikov.

I don't really have any particular games to give as examples but Chess Games' database is a great resource to check out. Fischer and Kasparov have really great games in the Sicilian as well as many others but I think studying these two masters' games in this opening would be best. Perhaps, I'll try to analyze one of the games I had playing the Sicilian Defense one of these days.


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