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aandersen 81 ( +1 | -1 )
Help ! (with openings) I知 trying to learn something about opening theory. The idea being that with a bit more knowledge, I might have some idea about where the game is going rather than being bounced around by circumstances as I seem to do now. So, I bought a book and started reading it but I知 stuck on chapter 1 verse 1. I知 looking at something called the C3 sicillian. I知 fine with the first moves (e4 c5) but then we come to C3. The author seems to set great store by this move without really explaining what is so good about it. I知 no expert (and possibly this is why I知 not getting it) but to me the move seems boring, pointless and almost gives the initiative to black at this early stage.
Can anyone out there help me with this one?
Yours sincerely
Confused from London
lighttotheright 184 ( +1 | -1 )
The c3 variation is OK; but from your description, it sounds like the author may have over-hyped it. I cannot be sure of what the author stated about it, since I only have your perception from your post.

To understand the move, you must understand the motive behind it. The opening is a struggle to force the play into lines that you feel comfortable playing instead of your opponent. Presumably, e4 is played because it is considered the strongest first move by many. This can sometimes be true regardless whether you like a tactical or positional style game. 1. e4 usually turns into a tactical game. 1. ... c5 turns that tactical game into one that is non-symmetrical. 2. c3 turns the game back into a more positional one. Many people don't quite understand positional play.

When Black played 1. ... c5 he was not likely to have wanted to play a positional game. So, 2. c3 is good in that it goes directly against much of the intent of Black's first move. It supports a possible d4 advance, which is good in the struggle for the control of the center. You stated that c3 seems to be a wasted move; yet, the normal line with Nf3 can be considered just as wasted because the knight will be soon forced into an early second move. So, the main difference is whether you want a slug-fest or a dance. A lot of people cannot dance, so they prefer to slug it out in a tactical game. And then there are those people that consider 'boxing' as a form of dance. It can get confusing.

Most people play e4 because they want tactical play. It just seems strange to some that white would abruptly change the presumptive character of the game like that. Despite this, 2. c3 is fine. It is just unusual.
schnarre 27 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmnnnnn The move 2. c3 essentially forces direct confrontation by preparing a later d4 to force Black into exchanges (e.g., 2. c3 Nc6, 3.d4 cxd4, 4. cxd4--here White has the center squares), or to supplement other moves (e.g, 2. c3 Nc6, 3.Nf3 d6, 4.d4 cxd4, 5. cxd4 Bg4, 6. Bb5). To put it simply, it's the "I'm going to grind you down!" move.
marinvukusic 35 ( +1 | -1 )
... "The author seems to set great store by this move without really explaining what is so good about it."

Exact quote would be nice.

In any case this is a good opening and I would recommend putting the effort in at least first 10 pages or so (maybe author's position will become clearer from his comments).
aandersen 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you folks for your responses. I have decided that i will carry on reading and also when i've finished some of my current crop of games, i will try to find some games where i can experiment with this. I think that pehaps some practical experience will help me to understand.
Once again, thank you all.
schnarre 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Glad we could help mate! Good luck, & good hunting!
wschmidt 41 ( +1 | -1 )
My two-bits... get a book or look at a website that focuses on good opening principles rather than trying to learn the nuances of a particular line at first. There are several good books out there that talk about controling the center, piece development and pawn structure. That stuff is way more important to learn than specific lines at the 1200-1500 level.
ionadowman 61 ( +1 | -1 )
Also ... ... find a database that features games with this opening. Play through wins and losses (and draws). It's not a bad idea for the first few games at least just to play them through without thinking too deeply into the lines, but observing how the game shapes, and look out for motifs (tactical or strategic) that seem to recur in several games. Does the pawn structure seem pretty much the same in most games? (Yes or no). If so, what's the upshot? If not, is it because emphasis is on some other aspect of the game e.g. piece play or direct attacks on the king, say.
Cheers,
Ion