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This update mostly includes important games from the Turin Olympiad.
After a fairly dull period of club matches, my tournament season starts in a few days and lasts most of the summer. This is the time when I travel more (mostly to the South of France), and hope to play better (else I won't get any money!)
See you at the end of July, TonyK

Download PGN of June '06 Open Sicilian games

Paulsen/Taimanov [B40 to B49]

It seems risky to play the line 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 against Peter Svidler, who has made something of a speciality of this line himself as Black. Indeed, Black was crushed in Svidler, P - Volokitin, A. Instead of the currently popular 9. Re1, Svidler played 9. Qe2:

followed by b3, Bb2 and Rad1 with a very agressive setup.

The old Paulsen/Taimanov mainline 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bd3 Qc7 8. O-O has rarely been examined on this site, but Fressinet, L - Rublevsky, S gave me an opportunity to rectify this. In the game Rublevsky played the best move 8...Ne5, and achieved a good position:

In the notes I have also quickly looked at 8...Bd6 9 f4!?

Scheveningen [B80 to B89]

After 8...b4!, instead of the normal 9. Na4, in Anand, V - Gelfand, B, Anand gave 9. Nce2 a go:

in reply Gelfand played very dynamically with his pawns, first ...e5, then ...a5-4, and obtained a good position effortlessly.

Najdorf [B86 & B90 to B99]

Whereas a lot of the top players seem happy to find novelties on move 30 of the 6 Be3 line, Nisipeanu is successful following a resolutely original route. After last month's examination of his 6. Be3 e5 7. Nde2!?, this month he seems to have switched to 6. Bc4 e6 7.Bb3, and on 7...Nbd7 8. Bg5:

His idea is to simply castle kingside, take on f6, then follow up with f4-5 to attack the e6-square. This worked wonderfully well in Nisipeanu, L - Grischuk, A after 8...h6 and also after 8...Qa5 in Nisipeanu, L - Paragua, M.

Hopefully next month we will see what he had planned against Black's main move 8...Nc5!

By coincidence, there was some discussion of the line 6 Bg5 Nbd7 on the Forum:

I say 'by coincidence' because after 7. Bc4 e6 we transpose to the above line! More often White simply plays 7. f4 instead, happy to transpose into normal lines, and this is what often happens as Black almost always replies 7...e6 - the alternatives are inferior and are covered in the notes to Safarli, E - Sjugirov, S.

In this game Black tried to play Browne's Variation (with ...h6) but White simply captured on f6 to gain a substantial lead in development, and a few moves later reached this position:

White can win in two ways here, but the one he chose was really surprising!

In the mainline 13. Bh3 has had a bad reputation since a famous Smyslov-Fischer game:

But in Radjabov, T - Ivanchuk, V White tried it anyway and it led to very interesting play.

See you soon, 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