Classical Variation of the Sicilian Defense stands for very flexible and resourceful opening, for either side.
White’s setup usually consists of Be3, f2-f4, Kh1 and Qe1-g3, with kingside pressure, though Black has a few plans to counter it.
In this variation 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 O-O 9. f4 is generally considered to be the main line. Black can continue with a7-a6, Qc7, Nxd4 and b5, transposing to the Classical Scheveningen covered in our Lines 486-487.
An alternative plan for Black could be 9… Qc7 10. Kh1 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 e5 with a7-a6, or b7-b6 and Bb7.
Probably, the easiest system to employ is 9… e5 10. Nb3 exf4 11. Bxf4 Be6, followed by d6-d5, with good prospects for Black.
[Diagram: Black to Move] J. Benjamin – V. Zvjaginsev, Groningen 1997. The diagram shows a common Sicilian scenario: White advances his pawns on the kingside, while Black typically counteracts in the center with d6-d5. However, it turns out that a small preparation before the aforementioned central thrust can secure Black a tangible advantage!
Click here to see the line in our viewer…