The Paulsen Sicilian (2…e6) is one of the trickiest lines a 1.e4 player can face.
Black develops quickly, targeting your center with knights and your kingside with those long-ranging bishops.
It’s hugely tactical too, requiring real familiarity with all the tricks and traps. The Paulsen (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6) is only one small pawn move different from the Najdorf, but frees the dark-squared bishop… sometimes with deadly effect.
The c3 knight gets pinned, e4 comes under pressure… it’s easy to get into a real mess.
But the good news is White not only has counters for all of these, but also has a ton of deep attacking ideas that are far more difficult for Black to deal with.
Paulsen Sicilian 80/20 Tactics Multiplier
This video was a free preview of GM Rashad Babaev’s new 80/20 Tactics Multiplier.
Rashad is from the same Azerbaijani School of Chess that produced Kasparov, Radjabov and Mamedyarov. Like Kasparov, he was trained by the legendary Oleg Privorotsky.
His approach is centered around analyzing games to see what works and why – ideas first, theory later. And that’s what you need to beat the Paulsen, and it’s why it’s the perfect opening for the 80/20 Tactics treatment – White’s strongest ideas are tactical in nature.
Play “ordinary” opening moves and you’ll be in for a tough game. Instead, be prepared to put knights on the rim, retreat bishops, and place pieces en prise! These weird moves will bring you brilliant victories by the truckload.