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A month where traditionally promising lines did well, for both colours!

Download PGN of March ’16 Anti-Sicilian games

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Rossolimo: 3...g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 0-0 8.h3 f5 [B31]

Jumabayev, R - Kamsky, G is a recent outing in this highly topical line. Kamsky shows a remarkable concept, a novel pawn sacrifice with 13...c4!?:











This would lead to interesting play if White took with the b-pawn. In the game he took with the d-pawn, had nothing to oppose the light-squared bishop, and got crushed.


Rossolimo: 3...g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4 b6 10.Nf6+ [B31]

In this variation Black forfeits castling rights but, as we have seen in other games on this site, his position is quite playable if handled correctly. In Mamedov, R - Vakhidov, J, Black lost a whole tempo with the bizarre 12...Bh5??:











after which Mamedov showed model play in the middlegame before losing control around move 40.


Rossolimo/Moscow Hybrid: 6.c3 a6 7.Ba4 [B51]

Kuzubov, Y - Kotronias, V is another example of Kotronias faithfully following his published analysis, with good results.











Here Kuzubov played the novelty 15.Qe2, suggested in Kotronias’ recent book, and didn’t shake the Greek GM’s evaluation of the line as fine for Black.


Rossolimo/Moscow Hybrid: 6.c3 a6 7.Bc4 b5 [B51]

Bartel, M - Murdzia, P is another example of this fresh line, which continues to pose problems for Black. Murdzia went for a setup with 10...d5 which gave White two pleasant options:











Bartel went for the French style 11.e5 and won a good game.



Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 [B51]

This system has been developed by MVL with both colours, and in Nakamura, H - MVL the American GM essayed 10.d4:











He showed nothing to vary from the draw between Bacrot and Ragger in Gibraltar 2016, and this line remains in great shape from Black’s perspective.


Moscow: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.f3 0-0 10.Be3 [B52]

Sandipan, C - Sjugirov, S shows one of several drawing lines in this variation, after the surprisingly popular 13.Rc1:











White loses control of d5 and Black executes his freeing advance although, as the game and the notes show, he needs to demonstrate some precision.



2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2 g6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Bb5+ [B50]

Delgado, N - Valenzuela, F shows this line which is gaining some popularity since Markus Ragger showed that White has some prospects:











The game featured 10.h3, one of the main lines, and White won a good game.



Grand Prix Attack 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bc4 [B23]

In Adhiban, B - Tran, M, the revelation of Tata Steel 2017 used this promising line for White in his (otherwise disastrous) tournament in Aeroflot.











His opponent picked a bad line with 8...e6 (diagram) and ended up in a poor Rossolimo in which Adhiban demonstrated some nice ideas.



Till next time, Sam

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