The Sicilian Defence is an opening that begins with the moves 1.e4 c5. The Sicilian Defense is the most popular and highest-scoring response to White's first move 1.e4. For example, 1.d4, is a statistically more successful opening for White due to the high success rate of the Sicilian Defence against 1.e4. New In Chess stated in its 2000 Yearbook that of the games in its database, White scored 56.1% in 296,200 games from 1.d4, but 54.1% in 349,855 games from 1.e4, mainly because the Sicilian Defense kept White at 52.3%. score in 145,996 games. 17% of all games between DJs and 25% of games in the chess informant database start with the Sicilian Defence. Almost a quarter of all matches use the Sicilian Defence. Grandmaster John Nunn attributes the popularity of the Sicilian Defenses to their combative nature, as in many lines Black plays not only for equality, but also for advantage. The downside is that whites often get an early lead, so blacks must be careful not to fall victim to a quick attack. Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson considered why the Sicilian Defence is the most successful response to 1.e4, even though 1... c5, does not develop pieces and the pawn on c5 controls only d4 and b4.
J. Rowson writes: "In my opinion, there is a fairly simple explanation. To take advantage of the initiative afforded by the first move, white women must seize their opportunity to do something before black women have the same number of opportunities of their own. the black position. The first point of contact usually comes in the form of a pawn exchange leading to the opening of the position. The thinking behind 1 ... c5 is this: 'Okay, I'll let you open the position and develop your pieces aggressively, but at a price: you have to give me one of your center pawns' (Jonathan Rowson, Chess for Cebras: Thinking Differently in Black and White). When two squares of pawn c advance, Black controls the d4 square and begins the fight for the center of the board. The move looks like 1... e5, the next most common response to 1.e4, in that sense. Unlike 1... e5, 1... c5 breaks the symmetry of position which strongly influences the future actions of both players.
Today, most great DJs include the Sicilian Defence in their opening repertoire. In 1990, the authors of Modern Chess Openings (13th edition) pointed out that in the 20th century, the Sicilian has become the most played and most analyzed opening at both club and master level. In 1965, in the tenth edition of that book, Grandmaster Larry Evans observed that: “Sicilian is the most dynamic and asymmetrical response of Negroes to 1.P-K4. It produces the psychological and tension factors that denote the best in modern play and give warning of a fierce fight in the first move.