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The Safest Sicilian: A Black Repertoire with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 (Current Theory and Practice Series) Paperback – January 1, 2006

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Product Details

  • Series: Current Theory and Practice Series
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Chess Stars (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9548782456
  • ISBN-13: 978-9548782456
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I’d say this is probably my favorite opening book ever. --S. Evan Kreider, Chessville, April 2006

The high quality of the material earns the book 5 out of 5 possible stars. --IM Hedinn Steingrimsson, Schach Niggemann, February 2006

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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. Sharp on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
"The Safest Silian..." is a Chess Stars book written primarily by Bulgarian GM Alexander Delchev.The book is a Black repertoire commencing after 1.e4,c5 2.Nf3,e6 and thus covers the Taimanov open Sicilian + "misc" third moves for White. In particular,, the first 8 "parts" cover open Sicilian variations, parts 9 - 11 respectively cover 3. c3,3.d3,and finally a grabbag of other 3rd moves (b4,b3,c4,Nc3, and Qe2).

I very much liked this book for both the content and the style of GM Delchev, who writes in a cheerful,conversational way with the knack of appearing to converse with the reader.

The book is unusual in a couple of different ways. In the format, each part has 3 sub-sections "Quick Repertoire", "Complete Games",and "Step-by Step".The first two sections are self-explanatory,while the third is sort of a reference set of other variations that might occur,while the quick repertoire is ostensibly adequate to get started playing the Sicilian.This division is very attractive,I think,speaking for myself and I suspect many others,it's hopeless to imagine that I would actually absorb a complete opening book.

Another unusual feature is that "obsolete" White approaches are covered,e.g. the first part covers 3.d4,cd4 4.Nd4,Nc6 5.Nb5,d6 6.c4,which was Karpov's (very successful) treatment in the 1970's.

(An incidental peculiarity is that the notation does not include an "x" for captures, as illustrated in the line quoted above. I've often wondered why this was not standard).

It's harder to describe the final unusual feature,but it's something like this: Delchev does not regard variations as "final",and instead often produces analysis or recommendations that he himself refers to as speculative and resovable only in the future.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Frear on October 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've been intimidated by the vastness of the Sicilian since I first learnt openings. In this book, GM Delchev tries to guide the reader through the 2. ... e6 Sicilian. I have started using it, and I enjoy Sicilian games as Black now (and hopefully understand what I'm doing a bit better).

The book is laid out into various chapters, each dealing with an approach by White to crack Black's defenses. He covers the main lines, old variations, and the c3 and d3 Sicilians. Thus, you have something to combat virtually any known White response. Each chapter has 3 parts: Quick Repertoire, Step by Step, and Complete Games. I like this setup very much, as Delchev presents the ideas and concepts first, then gets down to the nitty-gritty, and finally shows us the lines in action. There are quite a few complete games with all three results (win, draw, lose). Many of them are Delchev's and the insight that he gives into his thinking is appreciated.

There are a few things I didn't like about this book. First off, the grammar is often noticeably bad and/or awkward. Whoever translated it did not fully understand modern English. Secondly, Delchev assumes a lot of chess ability and knowledge. He will write an evaluation of a position or plan, and I'll be left in the dust trying to put the pieces together and figure out why it's a good or bad plan. There's plenty of meat here, but it takes multiple readings for an average player like myself to get to it all.

Overall, this book is enjoyable, solid and excellent.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Juniorplankton on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
It seems that these days anyone can write a chess book about the openings. Quite a few authors have a well-established production routine: do a database search, add a few meaningless comments, secure the praise of a few drivel-producing colleagues and here you go! A marketable chess book is born!

Well, Chess Stars book in general are on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Safest Sicilian is another great example with a lot of original research and useful insights into the opening.

I cannot say that I always agreed with GM Delchev, but it is just a difference of opinion. The format of the book is very interesting, one way to utilize it would be:

1. Read just the quick repertoire part (won't take long)

2. Start playing the opening in blitz

3. Go back to the book and review the "holes" in your preparation.

And yes, despite the title, this book will not guarantee you a draw with black, but you didn't expect it, did you?

For those of you who want to see great opening books for white, I strongly recommend "Opening for White according to Anand" and "Opening for White accroding to Kramnik" series.
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