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Welcome to the August Update. We concentrate primarily on the Grand Prix Attack this time, showing how strong players have been handling the black side recently, but there is also a classic O'Kelly game thrown in which I hope that you will enjoy.

Download PGN of August '07 Anti-Sicilian games

Grand Prix Attack [B21 & B23]

To start the ball rolling in Game One we look briefly at 1 e4 c5 2 f4 Nf6!?:

and note that this is very playable for Black. In the rush to go 2...d5 perhaps this is an idea which has been unjustifiably overlooked.

...Nc6 and ...e6

Shirov is in action as Black in Game Two, confusing and creating complications as usual after 7...g6:

Now 8 Qe5 is supposed to be good for White, but look what happens!

Game Three shows Krush playing in a very powerful style with a similar ...g6 move. Yes, after 8 Bxc6+ Black inherits doubled pawns, but in return she gets a very free game. Take a look at her position after 14...Nd4!:

In Game Four Koslak plays the very reliable 4...Nge7 (instead of ...d5) which after 5 d4 soon transposes to an Open Sicilian type of position, albeit not a common one. White's choice on move thirteen is critical:

Grand Prix - Old Main Line with 5 Bc4

The next 3 games look at the position where White refrains from 6 f5.

Game Five simply reinforces my conviction that 8...d5! is a very good answer to the Grand Prix Attack with an early Bc4:

Black subsequently played ...Na5 and gained the bishop pair.

Thus in Game Six and Game Seven White takes time out with 7 a3?! to preserve his light-squared Bishop:

I believe this idea to be a waste of a tempo.

O'Kelly Variation [B21]

Then a bonus classic in Game Eight, where Mark Taimanov shows us all how to play the O'Kelly Sicilian.

Until next month, Andrew

Please post you queries on the Anti-Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write to me at if you have any questions or queries.