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Hi all,
A wide range of games this month, including super-GM encounters and tussles from the Irish, British and African Championships.

Download PGN of August ’19 Anti-Sicilian games

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Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nxd4 7.Qxd4 [B30]

This line never seemed like much for White, but Black’s development is truly awful. In Amin, B - Zeng, C, the top Egyptian GM gave a good demonstration of White’s chances after 7...a6 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Qc3 b5 10.a4 b4 11.Qg3:

Even well into the endgame.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 g6 6.Bc2 Bg7 7.d4 0-0 8.0-0 [B51]

In Nepomniachtchi, I - Giri, A, Black essayed the rare but excellent 8...b5 (possibly justifying 7.a4, as previously essayed by Ju Wenjun).

Nepo went straight down an old engine recommendation which resulted in a catastrophic loss for White. There are alternatives but Black must be fine.

Moscow 3...Nd7 4.c3 Nf6 5.Qe2 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.0-0 e6 9.d4 Be7 [B51]

I’d like to plug a gap in my Anti-Sicilian coverage by covering an important position which can be reached from several move orders after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7:

  1. 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.c3 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.Qe2 e6 9.d4 Be7
  2. 4.c3 Nf6 5.Qe2 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.0-0 e6 9.d4 Be7
  3. 4.c3 Nf6 5.Bd3 e6 6.Bc2 b5 7.d4 Bb7 8.Qe2 a6 9.0-0 Be7

In Kobalia, M - Iljushenok, I, I cover the main move 10.Re1, while the rare 10.Bf4 is discussed in Navara, D - Vachier Lagrave, M.

Moscow 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 g6 7.c3 Bg7 8.Bc2 0-0 9.d4 e5 [B51]

This line was tested in Amin, B - Artemiev, V. After 10.a4 Rb8!? (a good novelty):

Amin took everything on e5 and d8 and both players showcased their abilities. Artemiev displayed original and ambitious endgame play to obtain a winning advantage, and Amin’s never say die attitude saved half a point.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.Ba4 [B51]

Two adjacent national championships were decided in this variation within a week of each other. Moreover, Black went for the same symmetrical (and unpromising) structure in both games.

Adams, M - Gordon, S saw 4...Nf6 5.0-0 a6 6.c4 e5:

Gordon wasn’t familiar with the details and soon allowed a decisive exchange sacrifice.

Murphy, C - O’Donnell, C was a less accurate move order from Black, 4...Nf6 5.0-0 e5 6.d3:

White still set up a Botvinnik structure with c4 and was doing brilliantly after Black tried to avoid ...a6, although there was a lot of drama later in the game.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nc6 6.c3 d5 [B52]

In Amin, B - Adly, A, Black essayed the rare 5...Nc6 6.c3 d5:

Amin won because of his enormous practical strength rather than because of the opening, although it would seem prudent for Black to restrict himself to the more conservative 6...Nf6.

Till next time, Sam

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