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Hello everyone,
In my opinion, the 3rd Sinquefield Cup was one of the most exciting tournaments in history, so I am glad to present 4 games from there. This time we actually have 2 drawn games in our update, but all the games were full of fighting chess and interesting theoretical ideas.

Download PGN of September '15 Open Sicilian games

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The Kan/Taimanov 5...a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 [B46]

We start with the game Adams, M - Laznicka, V, which has an exceptional sporting value, since Michael had to push for a win at any cost. He went for a very rare line with 9.Qf3 Be7 10.Qg3!? Viktor's response was quite natural, so the players entered into a complex position after 13...Be7:

At this moment, it looks like Adams' way of handling the position wasn't the most precise, but Laznicka still had some problems to solve. The critical moment came on move 21, when Black clearly underestimated White's attacking potential and carelessly played 21....Bf8? As a result, Adams quickly developed a crushing attack and got an important victory.

In general, White's setup with 9.Qf3,followed by 10.Qg3 isn't without poison, so we should see more practical tests of this line.

The Kan/Taimanov 6.f4 Nxd5 7.Qxd4 b6 [B47]

In our next game Balogh, C - Safarli, E Black employed the relatively rare 7...b6, which wasn't covered on our site before. It looks like the natural novelty 10...Nd5! definitely makes Black's position playable:

Indeed, Black had excellent counter-attacking chances till move 17, when Eltaj erred with 17...Rb8? and got a very difficult position. Even though White's play was far from perfect, the Hungarian Grandmaster was able to achieve a very important victory.

Most probably White should search for an early deviation, such as 8.Bd2!? in order to fight for the opening advantage after 7...b6.

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

The next game Kryvoruchko, Y - Vaibhav, S saw another theoretical discussion in one of the most current and sharpest lines of the Taimanov. The position after 9...0-0 is well known to our subscribers, but 10.a3!? is a fresh idea for our site. White's aggressive way of handling the position definitely may cause Black some problems:

but had Vaibhav played 18...a5! the position would be very double-edged. Instead, 2 inaccurate moves on moves 20 and 22 enabled White to develop a crushing attack, but in his turn, after missing 21.f5!, Kryvoruchko also lost his initiative.

The further play was full of mutual mistakes, but the higher-rated player was luckier and eventually won the game.

The Kan/Taimanov 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.0-0-0 Be7 [B48]

In Nakamura, H - Giri, A the players entered into an extremely sharp theoretical position after 12.Nxb5:

Now 12...Qb8 was briefly analysed in my notes to Shankland, S - Kovalyov, A and was considered rather risky for Black. Most probably Anish had another opinion, so he went for it. Well, my assessment hasn't really changed after this game, since it looks like Hikaru had a couple of ways to develop his initiative, such as 18.c4 and 22.Re3. However, a few moves later it was Giri who missed an excellent winning chance, so the game eventually ended in a draw.

The Najdorf 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 b5!? [B90]

In the next game Vachier Lagraeve,M - Ortiz Suarez,I, Black employed the ambitious continuation 7...b5!?, which wasn't seen on our site before. On his turn, Vachier Lagraeve replied with 8.Nd5!?:

It's hard to believe, but this move is already a novelty, even though after 8...Nbd7 9.Nec3 Bb7 10.Bg5 the game got back to known paths. In general, Maxime's convincing victory illustrates that White has a small, but long-term positional advantage in this line. This means that Black should search for another way to meet 8.Nd5!?. In my opinion, 8...Nxe4!? should be Black's first try in this line.

The Najdorf 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 [B90]

Another theoretical discussion in one of most fashionable lines of the Najdorf with 6.Be3 took place in Grischuk, A - Topalov, V. The position after 14...Nb6 is well known to our subscribers, since the impressive game Anand - Topalov was analyzed in detail by Richard Palliser in 2008. Despite his loss in the above-mentioned game, Veselin was ready to play 14...Nb6 again. In his turn, Alexander came up with a promising novelty 17.Na5!?:

Even though Topalov was able to achieve an early draw in this game, White's attacking setup might cause Black definite problems, so the ball is in Black's court in this line.

The Najdorf 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 Nbd7 9.Qd2 b5 [B90]

Our next game Carlsen, M - So, W was one of most beautiful in the Sinquefield Cup. The players entered into a long theoretical line, and Magnus then employed the natural-looking novelty 17.Bc4!?:

As the analyses prove, objectively White hardly had more than sufficient compensation for a pawn, but Wesley's practical task wasn't easy at all. The critical moment came on move 26, when So erred with 26...Rc5? and got a difficult position. Despite some inaccuracies, Carlsen's harmonious play on both sides of the board makes a big impression.

The Najdorf 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7...setup with Qd3 and Nd5 [B92]

Our last game for this issue Carlsen, M - Grischuk, A also has a significant theoretical value, since in the position after 12.exd5:

Black played the relatively rare 12...Rc8!? and got quite a comfortable position. Carlsen's response was the most logical, but it looks like there is no way to prevent Black from delivering the knight to g7, which offers Black a lot of k-side counter-play. The position was about equal for a long time, but Alexander's impulsive decision on move 21 could have invited some trouble. Luckily for Grischuk, Magnus was far from his best and made more mistakes than his opponent. As a result, Alexander was able to score his first ever classical win against the World Champion.

The Singuefield Cup is over, but I am sure that the World Cup will offer us a lot of exciting battles. Enjoy!

See you next month, Michael Roiz

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