ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hi all,
More classical games this month from Biel and other events. I was struck by how well recently published white repertoires are working, gaining good positions on the board and the clock against (apparently surprised) GM opposition.

Download PGN of August ’21 Anti-Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 d6 5.exd6 e6 6.g3 [B22]

This line was recommended by Johan Sebastian Christiansen in his Chessable repertoire. In Praggnanandhaa, R - Visakh, N, the players followed Christiansen’s analysis for several more moves, including 6...Bxd6 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.0-0 0-0 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Qc7 12.c4:

The game developed into a prospectless endgame for Black which Pragg converted in a very instructive manner. Catalan players ought also to see this game since the positions are very similar.

Rossolimo Variation: 3...e6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.b3 f6 [B30]

Boris Gelfand is the world’s leading expert in several systems against the Rossolimo and, in Alekseenko, K - Gelfand, B, he dusted off this line (which he used to great effect against Anand in their World Championship match). After 5.b3 f6 Alekseenko used a clever move order with 6.d3!? (preventing ...Nh6), easily achieving the f4 break after 6...e5 7.Nh4 g6 8.f4:

and going on to score an impressive technical win.

Anti-Sveshnikov: 3...e5 4.Bc4 d6 5.d3 h6 [B30]

Black has two ways to handle this variation, either to play solidly with ...Be7 or to play ambitiously with a kingside fianchetto (at the cost of several tempi since, amongst other things, Ng5 needs to be prevented). Magnus Carlsen gets away with the fianchetto but it’s a tough ask for anyone else, and it was a surprising choice in Kamsky, G - Studer, N after 4...d6 5.d3 h6:

Kamsky won a model game which showed all the reasons why ...Be7 is recommended for anyone below 2850.

Moscow Variation: 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.c3 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 [B51]

Due to the continuing popularity of 3...Nd7 against the Moscow we have now expanded this line into three ChessPub Guides and three chapters in the PDF eBook.

This line was the height of fashion for several months and, in Kasimdzhanov, R - Donchenko, A, the main variation 8.Re1 c4 9.a4 e6 10.d4 cxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc5 12.Qe2 bxa4 was discussed:

The game is instructive not so much from a theoretical perspective, but rather from the assessment of the resulting endgame where engines marginally prefer White, but the bishop pair prevailed. Something of a model game for Black.

Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.a4 [B51]

This line is likely to become more popular since it was recommended by Wesley So in his 1.e4 repertoire for Chessable:

In Blomqvist, E - Hillarp Persson, T, Blomqvist got a lovely position by following So’s analysis for 22 moves. Tiger fought back and managed to turn the tables for one move but, as often happens when an opening disaster has been remedied, didn’t have enough time and/or energy to find the winning move, and lost.

In Kamsky, G - Lagarde, M this line was also tested but Kamsky went his own way, after 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.0-0 Be7, with 7.a5:

A well played game ended in a draw.

Moscow Variation: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 5.0-0 Ngf6 6.Qe2 e6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 a6 9.c4 [B52]

A couple of ambitious tries for Black this month.

In Blomqvist, E - Ochsner, B Black essayed the rare 9...Qa5, seeking to avoid a combination of Nc3 and b3.

White replied well and had some edge from the opening.

In Demchenko, A - Chigaev, M Black played the very ambitious 9...Rc8 10.b3 g6, aiming to develop the bishop to g7:

Black soon sacrificed an exchange and won a very complex game.

Till next time, Sam

>> Previous Update >>

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