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I am just back from playing 3 very mixed tournaments, the first went really well, the second was OK (my performance was slightly better than my ELO), but the third was a total disaster!
There were lots of interesting Najdorfs this month, mostly analysed by John-Paul Wallace - many thanks to him for his work. TonyK

Download PGN of July '06 Open Sicilian games

Paulsen/Taimanov [B40 to B49]

Black suffered another debacle in the line 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 in Navara, D - Macieja, B this month. Now that White seems to be getting the hang of how to play this I can see this line becoming less and less popular as time goes on.

Richter-Rauzer [B60 to B69]

After 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8.O-O-O Bd7 9. f4, Fed was very fond of the move 9...b5, the most popular, but Black has other tries, and one of the most interesting is 9...h6!? 10.Bh4 g5, fighting for control of e5:

This is examined in the game Kogan, A - Mamedov, N where Black tried to improve on previous play but got horribly mated.

In the notes you can see that Black has better tries that are very playable.

Scheveningen [B80 to B89]

The game Timman, J - Smeets, J sees the Dutch GM try his hand at the sharp Perenyi Attack, but after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. g4 e5 8. Nf5 g6 9. g5 gxf5 10. exf5 d5 11. Qf3 d4 12. O-O-O Nbd7 instead of 13 Bd2, 13 gxf6 or all the other moves mentioned in the eBook, he played 13. Bc4!?:

Pointing the bishop menacingly at f7. After a couple of imprecisions from Black Timman showed his tactical power to notch a quick point.

Najdorf [B86/7 & B90 to B99]

Each month I start my update I am always eager to see what unusual variation Nisipeanu will have unleashed on his opponents. At the moment he is still trying 6. Bc4 e6 7.Bb3, and in Nisipeanu, L - Karjakin, S we see how he counters my favourite move, 7...b5 (instead of 7...Nbd7 - see last month):

In fact he played the unusual 8. Bg5!? Be7 9. Qf3 which contains a lot of venom. His opponent is a very strong player, of course, and came to the board well prepared.

Do you remember that fantastic game Karjakin,S-Anand from January? Well Karjakin takes the black side of the same line in Harikrishna, P - Karjakin, S, and plays a big innovation. JP has really gone to town analysing the incredible complications here!

Spraggett, K - Rodshtein, M features the Poisoned Pawn with 9 Nb3 - this still has some life in it! Black currently seems to be having problems against 14. Nd1:

And in this game Black didn't do himself any favours by going astray on the very next move!

Black seems to be going through a bad phase in the old mainline, at the moment, after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. g5 Nd7 13. f5:

and Kochetkova, J - Lomako, A is no exception!

In Negi, P - Efimenko, Z Black tried 10...h6, instead, but this is a very risky line, and the strong Grandmaster was suitably demolished by his young opponent.

See you soon, Tony Kosten


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