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So, I had a very interesting summer with two excellent tournaments, and two bad ones!

As I am currently spending so much time looking at the Open Sicilians for this site I decided to start playing them as White as well as Black, with mixed success (see below)! Enjoy! TonyK

Download PGN of August '05 Open Sicilian games

Paulsen/Taimanov [B40 to B49]

David Tg asked me to look at an variation of the Sicilian Four Knights with 8...Qa5+:

Should White answer with c3 or Bd2?

The former is seen in Dembo - Halkias with White managing to maintain a slight pull throughout.

Halkias certainly seems to be one of the big experts on this line, and in Macieja - Halkias he gives his highly-rated opponent a tough time in the 9 Bd2 line.

In my opinion this line is currently looking pretty good for Black.

Richter-Rauzer [B60 to B69]

In the Experts vs. the Sicilian book Peter Wells recommends answering the popular 7...a6 8 0-0-0 h6 line with 9 Nxc6 bxc6 10 Bf4:

Following 10...d5 11 Qe3 he feels that 11...Qa5 is probably Black's strongest possibility:

Therefore I have decided to examine this in the games Carlsson,P-Ernst and Ismagambetov - Cvek.

In fact, Black actually won both of these, but as you will see from the notes he still has a lot of awkward theoretical problems to solve here.

Najdorf [B90 to B99]

Before this next game my opponent and I were both on 5/5 and I fancied taking the sole lead! So, having seen that Georgiev likes to play the Najdorf I thought I would give 6 Bg5 a try, and tried one of the sharp piece sacrifices that I had analysed a little while ago:

Twenty minutes after the start of the game Black could resign -see Kosten - Georgiev,Kr! Quite amazingly, this same sharp line was also tried the very day before (see Nakamura - Gelfand in the notes)!

Sticking with the 7...Nbd7 line, it is time to take a look at 8 Bc4:

Black has to be very careful after this move, and in Sulskis - Van der Stricht he was quickly smashed by a bishop sac on e6!

Finally, a game I don't remember so fondly! Different tournament, even different country, but the same situation as before, and another sharp Najdorf! This time, however, my opponent improved on known theory, defended impeccably, and won!

Despite this, my assessment of this line is unchanged, see my improvements in Kosten - Movsziszian,K.

Till next time, Tony Kosten


Please feel free to share any of your thoughts with me, whatever they are, suggestions, criticisms (just the polite ones, please), etc. Drop me a line at the Open Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write directly to