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Hi all,
This month we look at several fresh weapons for White.

Download PGN of August ’18 Anti-Sicilian games

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Chameleon Sicilian 3.Nge2 Nf6 4.h3 [B23]

This system has some venom and has become popular amongst strong GMs, particularly at faster time controls. Hammer, J - Saric, I features the direct equalising attempt 4...Nc6 5.g4 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Bg2 Nxc3:

when Hammer won a nice endgame after recapturing with the d-pawn.

We cover the alternatives in Caruana, F - Grischuk, A, including the natural Dragon setup with 4...g6 5.g4 Bg7 6.Bg2 Nc6 which Grischuk favoured:

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.Ba4 Ngf6 5.0-0 a6 6.c4 [B51]

This line is an interesting option for White against 3...Nd7, which is probably the most topical Moscow line at the moment:

Mamedov, R - Cheparinov, I became sharp after 6...g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.d3 0-0 9.Rb1 Ng4!?:

rerouting the knight to e5 and preparing ...f5.

White often cuts out this option with 9.h3:

which we will see in Bartel, M - Mista, A.

Finally, Black’s alternatives on move six, 6...Nxe4 and 6...e5, are examined in Santos Ruiz, M - Shevchenko, K.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 6.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 [B51]

In Svidler, P - Georgiadis, N, the Russian Champion essayed 7.a4 against the tournament tail ender:

Of course this is logical, preventing ...b5 and, by ultimately making ...c4 more difficult, seeking to build a full centre with d4. White won a good game but not because of the opening - in particular, Svidler’s 44th move really showed his class.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Re1 Nc6 7.c3 e6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.e5 [B52]

This line has always been viewed as very safe for both colours after the standard 10...Ne4, but in Nisipeanu, L - Duda, J the Polish wunderkind played more ambitiously with 10...Ng8!?:

Nisipeanu played very poorly, hanging his d4-pawn for no compensation within a few moves, but even after White’s better attempts this is an interesting line for Black.

Prins Variation 5...Nc6 6.c4 e6 7.Nc3 Be7 8.Nc2 [B55]

I think White mixed up his move order in Fernandez, D - Jones, G, going for 5...Nc6 6.c4 e6 7.Nc3 Be7 8.Nc2 0-0 9.Be2 which allowed the equalising 9...d5!:

The arising endgame was balanced for a long time but, as he often does, Gawain ground out a win through sheer force of will!

Till next time, Sam

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