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Hi everybody,
Games from the Russian Higher League and the Nadjorf Memorial feature prominently this month, and we see some original ideas by highly creative grandmasters like Zviaginsev and Bauer.

Download PGN of August ’16 Anti-Sicilian games

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Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.0-0 Ngf6 5.Re1 a6 6.Bd3 [B51]

In Areshchenko - Dastan, Black opted for a rather passive setup based on fianchettoing his dark-squared bishop and playing ...e5:

White has a choice of good options here, including by pushing with d5, but Areshchenko makes a good case for the simple exchange on e5 when Black has some weaknesses which are tough to cover.

Moscow Hybrid 7.Bc4 Bg4 8.d4 Bxf3 [B51]

Jumbayev - Dastan shows another strong GM essaying the fresh 7.Bc4!?, which we have covered in some detail in recent updates. Black (having varied from 3...Nd7, which he tried against Areshchenko a week earlier in the same tournament) went for a logical defence, compromising White's structure by taking on f3 and playing ...e6:

White gained an advantage with energetic play, but Black had a much better option at move 11.

Zaitsev Variation 4.Qxd4 e6 and ...Nge7 [B53]

In Zviaginsev - Gordievsky, via a slightly less usual move order, Black opted for a setup with pawns on e6 and d6, and a knight on e7:

Zviaginsev, who always obtains fresh opening positions, headed for an endgame which he won with energetic play.

King's Indian Attack 4.Qe2 [C00]

In Stankovic - Abramovic we look at a straightforward way for Black to meet this popular system, starting with 8...Ne8!?:

Black gets counterplay down the b-file and against the white pawns on b2 and c4.

3 c3 Variation 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Bd3 [B40]

In Bauer - Drabke, we look at a pet line of the strong French GM Christian Bauer, with 4.Bd3:

The game is a good advertisement for this line, since White wins with a sparkling attack.

Anti-Sveshnikov 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 [B30]

Popov - Cherniaev features the same line as in MVL - Komarov last month, with White varying on move 13 with 13.a3:

This gives some interesting options on the queenside and seems to lead to a more comfortable position for White, though Black is very solid.

Rossolimo Variation with ...e6 and ...Nd4 [B30]

Zviaginsev - Timofeev features an important position in this line, arising after 8.Bd3:

This has been tested in several GM encounters. Zviaginsev played the opening energetically and emerged with an extra pawn, which he converted with characteristically good technique.

2 c3 Variation 2...d5 [B22]

Sochacki - Moiseenko shows a less known idea for Black in an important variation, thematically re-routing the knight to d5 to block White's IQP with 13...Nb4:

White reacted very poorly and was clearly worse within a few moves.

See you next time, Sam

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