ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hi everyone,
For some reason, in this issue we have less games from Top GM's, but all the games were extremely spectacular. Almost all of them were decided by a direct attack - so very typical for Open Sicilians! Enjoy!

Download PGN of September '14 Open Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

Kan/Taimanov 6.g3 a6 7.Bg2 Nf6 8.0-0 Nxd4, 10.Qd3 [B47]

In our first game Wang Hao-Gopal, the Chinese grandmaster went for a rare line with a kingside fianchetto. 10.Qd3 is not without poison, as was shown a couple of times in Michael Adams' games:

However, this time Black was able to solve all the problems with an attractive pawn sacrifice (10...Ng4!, 11...h5!). White's position looked quite scary for the major part of the game, and at the end he committed a decisive mistake.

Kan/Taimanov 6.Be3 a6 7.Qf3!? [B48]

Our next game Edouard, R - Sokolov, A saw a quite rare but rather attractive set-up with White's queen on f3. In the Diagram position after 7.Qf3 Black has some concrete problems to solve:

In my opinion the best response is 7....Nf6 8.0-0-0 Ne5 9.Qg3 b5!, which needs some practical tests. Instead, 7....Bb4?! was played, and after 11.Na4! the game transposed into the preceding game Caruana-Rublevsky, where White was clearly better. Andrei's innovation 11...Rb8 didn't really change the evaluation, and White convincingly won the game.

Kan/Taimanov 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Bb4 9.f3 0-0 [B48]

The game Gharamian, T - Sokolov, A is quite important from a theoretical point of view. For some reason 9...0-0 is not popular, but it looks like a reasonable alternative to the main lines with 8...Be7 or 8...Bb4 9.f3 Ne5. In fact, Black has some playable options on moves 10 and 12. Anyway, Andrei Sokolov followed his previous game in this line, and an important theoretical position arose after 13...Be7, when Tigran produced the interesting novelty 14. Nde2:

It seems that Black's position should be fine had he played 14...Ne5!? or 14...Rfd8!? rather than 14...d5?! which was somewhat premature. However, the real mistake came on move 17, and as a result, Gharamian managed to develop a decisive attack.

Kan/Taimanov 6.Be3 a6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.0-0 Nxd4 [B48]

Out next game Kotronias - Banikas saw another important novelty, 12...Bd7!:

It seems that this opening line is quite safe for Black, and 8...Nxd4 definitely looks the most convincing way to equalize. The position was about equal until move 20, when Kotronias lost the harmony of his pieces. The most serious mistake came on move 23, though, and Banikas was then able to win in a nice style

Scheveningen English Attack with an early 8.g4 and 9.h4 [B80]

In the rapid game Klimov, S - Khismatullin, D the players entered into an extremely sharp opening line with an early k-side pawn advance, which has been known since Short-Kasparov, London 1987. The critical position for the whole line arises after 10.Rg1:

Black's best continuation here is probably 10...Nb6, which leads to very complex and dynamic play. Instead, 10...g6, which was played by 13th World Champion, seems rather dangerous for Black, as was proved by Sergey Klimov. White had decent alternatives on almost every move, but his chosen way to handle the position looks most unpleasant for Black. In fact, even such a strong player as GM Denis Khismatullin was forced to resign as early as move 24.

The Perenyi piece sac 7.g4 e5 8.Nf5 h5 [B81]

The game Safarli, E - Artemiev, V saw a fashionable and long theoretical line, and the players were following my recommendation from the previous issue right up until move 20:

Here White deviated with the dubious 21.g7?! but Artemiev missed a beautiful refutation (21...Rc8!! is a tough move to find for a human player), and came under some pressure. Still, at the end he was able to achieve a draw.

The Najdorf with 6.h3 e6 7.g4 Nfd7!? [B90]

In the game Horvath, A - Kuzubov, Y Black employed the rather unexplored 7...Nfd7!?. This looks like a reasonable alternative to the main lines with 7...d5 or 7...h6, and Black could be satisfied with the outcome of the opening, since the position was double-edged for a long time.

However, in the Diagram position after 14.f5, Kuzubov failed to handle the position correctly and was outplayed. Luckily for him, White committed some serious mistakes on moves 26 and 28, and so finally Yuriy achieved an important victory.

The Najdorf with 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5 [B90]

Our last game of this issue Kovacevic, A - Szuhanek, R saw another common theoretical line of the Najdorf, which was already previously covered on our site. The aggressive set-up with 11.Qd3, followed by 0-0-0 seems insufficient for claiming an advantage.

However, in the Diagram position after 12.0-0-0, Black didn't manage to play precisely, so that after 14.f4! Kovacevic had a somewhat better position. However, his subsequent mistakes (16.Nxe6?!, 19.Qxc2?!) allowed Szuhanek to seize the initiative. Had White played 25.Bd3! the result of the game would still be unpredictable, but 25.Bc4? was already a decisive mistake, and Black was able to develop a crushing attack. No doubt, the ball is back on White's court in this line!

We are looking forward to a European Club Championship and some other other attractive competitions! Michael Roiz

>> Previous Update >>

Please feel free to share any of your thoughts at the Open Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write directly to