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Welcome to the December Update. Festive Greetings wherever you are in the world.
I must admit that I am grappling with the new problems posed by taking over this section, because Jonathan (and Gary before him) did things very differently to me.
What would you like to see here: a selection of games each month or a detailed focus on a particular line or variation? I am open to all suggestions.

Download PGN of December '06 Anti-Sicilian games

2 a3 [B20]

Game One sees Black putting 2 a3 to bed by the simplest means. Cvitan goes 2...g6 and simply centralizes, leaving White to rue his eccentricity. Black is simply better after 13...dxc5!:

Morra Gambit [B21]

Game Two could be titled 'the unknown Morra'. We delve back into the archives and pull out 6 f4!?:

for your edification and general delight.

C3 Sicilian [B22]

In Game Three Van Beek challenges a critical line in the 2 c3 Sicilian with 6 dxc5!:

Black has to be precise now and despite Baramidze's defeat here I will suggest an improvement which I believe keeps Black on the board. Compare this with last month's Michalcsak - Becker game.

Game Four features one of the worst novelties of 2006: 14 h4?:

With ruthless play, Baklan takes advantage.

Grand Prix Attack [B23]

Game Five is a lovely performance by Murray Chandler, who demonstrates that the Grand Prix Attack need not be played in a brutal manner. White develops naturally, here is the position after 14 Rae1:

and scores a fine win. Maybe the GPA is due a comeback?

Then on to Game Six and another Grand Prix, where we learn a lot from Black's typical mistake 7...g6?, and Bodnaruk takes immediate advantage with 8 d4!:

Don't miss the neat finish!

Closed Sicilian [B26]

Game Seven is a Closed Sicilian where Black spices things up by playing the interesting novelty 14...h5!?:

At least this stops White exchanging dark-squared bishops!

Moscow Variation [B23]

Finally, Game Eight is a heavyweight 5 c4 Moscow Variation, where Black almost equalizes after 19...Kh7:

, but where his position remains tough to play. I agree with Jonathan Rowson that Black's chances in this line are better when he delays ...Nc6, but if White is careful with his move order he can avoid the 'Ivanchuk trick' and keep a plus, see the Roadmap.

Once again, don't forget to let me know your views; what would you like to see here?

I'll pick up the cudgels again 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.