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Greetings! Sorry for the late arrival of this month's update. I have no good excuses so I won't bore you with a bad one.

Download PGN of August '05 Anti-Sicilian games

Early c4 [B40]

I begin with an answer to a question from David:

«Hi Jonathan, My Sicilian repertoire is based around the Sveshnikov/ Four knights (and sometimes accelerated dragon), and the following early c4 lines are rather annoying for me: 1. e4 c5 2. c4, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c4. I have found that the second version occurs most often. These lines might well be classified as an English Opening but I'd really love to hear your recommendations! Thanks for the excellent updates :)

In fact, only the second of these is any real problem for Black and the best answer to the other two lines is contained in the notes to Zvagintszev - Rubelevsky. In answer to 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 c4 I recommend playing 3...Nc6 4 Nc3 Nge7:

Which reaches an Open Sicilian (strictly speaking outside the scope of this section!) after 5 d4 Nxd4 6 Nxd4 cxd4 7 Qxd4 Nc6:

, and the first game together with the following games examine this position, and will hopefully makes all these lines less 'annoying': Malakhov - Epishin, Malakhov - Tregubov, Aronian - Svetushkin and Yandmirov - Short.

2 c3 Sicilian [B22]

Next I look at a few games from the C3 Sicilian including yet another victory for Pavasovic from a seemingly harmless variation: Pavasovic - Schandorff.

Then two IQP set-ups, both involving an early ...Nc6 and ...Bg4 from Black: Tippleston - Emms and Papaionnou - Chapirinov:

This way of playing looks quite promising for Black at the moment, and forces White to move up a gear if he is going to cause any problems.

2 Qh5 [B20]

Anybody playing Nakumara as Black should seriously consider playing 1...g6 against 1.e4 if only because it stops him playing one of his favourite moves: 2.Qh5 ! However, 1...c5 is also ok because against the Sicilian I suspect this move is even less promising than it is against 1...e5:

Nonetheless it was enough to win the following game: Nakumara - Dejmek.

Rossolimo [B20]

Finally, another look at 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5:

and a good example of how things can go wrong for Black very quickly in this sharp line: Morozevich - Lanka.

Next month I plan to look at 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ and focus on the mainlines with 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7 Qxd7.

Bye for now! Jonathan

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