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Hi everyone,
This month again features a few 2.c3 Sicilians. There are also a couple of unusual 3.Bb5(+) lines. I had to face some less common Anti-Sicilians myself recently, and a couple of these games led to amusing miniatures. Enjoy!

Download PGN of April '08 Anti-Sicilian games

c3 Sicilian [B22]

Tiviakov - Sutovsky featured the c3 expert's pet 6. Na3 line, and ended up determining the clear winner of the 2008 European Championship.

Kaidanov - Shulman was played in the fifth round of the USA Championship. Yury Shulman dominated the event, scoring three wins in a row with Black against Gulko, Kaidanov, and Becerra!

In Smerdon - Sales Black successfully tries a very rare move against White's 8. Bb3 gambit line:

When White's slight initiative quickly dried up.

Hadzimanolis - Anastasian caught my attention - an Alekhine's Defence quickly turns into a 2. c3 Sicilian! Note that in the game both sides have taken an extra move to reach the theoretical position. Black plays a "bad line" in order to avoid White's gambit play.

Closed Sicilian [B26]

Please allow me to indulge with a couple of short but instructive games of my own...

The Closed Sicilian with Nge2 is not very critical theoretically, but it is still popular at club level. Getz - Vigorito is strategically instructive.

Bb5 Variations [B30 & 51-2]

The "Modern Grand Prix" has become rather popular. I think 4...e6 is the way to go:

See Wang - Vigorito.

In Adams - Cheparinov Adams quickly gets "out of book" to avoid the Bulgarian novelty machine, with 9. h3!?:

White does not have much, but Adams excels in these kinds of simple positions with a space advantage.

Finally, in Hernandez Guerrero-Nakamura, Nakamura wins a nice game with harmonious development in a line that is not terribly theoretical.

Best wishes, David

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