A book that guides readers in how to handle a popular variation of the Sicilian Defence, which is far and away the most popular chess opening. An intimidating body of theory has been developed around the Sicilian's main lines, in which White grants his opponent a central majority which may prove an important factor later on. Many players prefer to avoid the all-or-nothing attacks of the Open Sicilian, turning instead to the positionally sound 2 c3 line. White prepares to seize space and will develop his pieces rapidly to natural squares. Those who specialize in the 2 c3 Sicilian find it to be an excellent point-scorer, as Black has not only objective difficulties to contend with, but also has the psychological problem that he is battling just for equality, with little prospect of taking the initiative.

Eduardas Rozentalis is a strong grandmaster (best Elo rating 2650) from Lithuania. He is well known as a specialist in various opening systems, notably the 2 c3 Sicilian, that he has played for many years and enriched with many new and imaginative ideas. This is his second chess book. Andrew Harley is a FIDE Master from England who has specialized in the 2 c3 Sicilian for many years. This is also his second chess book.

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"Eduard Rozentalis is a first-class grandmaster with enormous knowledge of this system, and his co-author Andrew Harley is insightful and assiduous, so much so that I strongly suspect that he contributed as much as his better-known partner. It is impossible to describe this book in any detail for reasons of space, but nearly every chapter and variation contains new and interesting ideas, often treated in great detail, so the authors get a perfect grade in the involvement department. It is also a tribute to the open-minded approach of the authors that they can find counter-intuitive moves that effectively change the assessment of a position that has been around for years and dismissed as dully equal. Several times they demonstrate a definite if small White advantage by pursuing some simplified middlegame that looks prospectless until you realize that it really is difficult for Black to coordinate his pieces. I certainly had to reevaluate my assessments of some key variations. ... A very fine effort." IM John Watson

"Lots of variations, but the material is very well organised (for example, the authors have taken great care to note the many possible transpositions), and, every time, where a general evaluation os more pertinent than a simple list of variations, one finds clear explanations which, taken together, give a good account of the logic of this opening." - Echec et Mat

"The unlikely combination of a 2650 Lithuanian super-GM and an English FIDE master has produced an impressive new study of the c3 Sicilian, probably the most popular method of avoiding the main lines of the open Sicilian. At their different levels, both co-authors are enthusiastic practitioners of this opening, which tends to give one confidence in their selection of material and assessments. Another strength of the book is the large amount of verbal commentary and explanation. There is an index of variations and a useful bibliography, indicating the cut off-point for the research. The usual high GAMBIT production values apply. Verdict: ***** This looks like another first-class opening book from the GAMBIT stable. If you play the white or the black side of this opening, this is THE book" - Phil Adams

"The authors of Play the 2 c3 Sicilian have done a wonderful job. They explore all major AND minor lines. They often go into detail about the plans, ideas, and tactics of various key positions. And they are not shy about presenting their own analysis and assessments. Without a doubt, this is a must buy for anyone wishing to add 2.c3 to their arsenal..." - Jeremy Silman

"Anyone who plays the Sicilian should have this book..." - John Pugh, CHESS POST, CHECKMATE

"The c3 Sicilian remains alive and a very valid alternative to the main lines, whilst it is good to see coverage of it being brought up to date in such a thorough, but enjoyable, way. For all who play this opening with either colour this work will contain much of interest, whilst it may well tempt even more players into taking the c3 Sicilian up as White" - Richard Palliser

"Assessment: This is an excellent book; I found no drawbacks at all. It fully achieves everything I look for in an opening book, including: detailed coverage of all lines, up-to-date inclusion of recent developments, a balanced perspective (i.e. not being biased toward either White or Black), a clear explanation of WHY moves are made (instead of merely listing variations), a detailed lesson on the key pawn structures and principles typically arising from the opening in question, as well as the authors' original improvements sprinkled throughout. This book is a "must-have" for anybody who plays either side of the Sicilian Defense - I rate it 4 out of a possible 4 peaches." - Chris Chambers, GEORGIA CHESS

"offers the kind of detailed, in-depth coverage one has come to expect from Gambit" - Mark Donlan, CHESS HORIZONS