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Welcome to the February Update

Download PGN of February '07 Anti-Sicilian games

Queenside Fianchetto [B20]

Over to Italy for Game One and further confirmation that 2 b3 cannot be taken lightly. Black tried to play in the style of the Tal Gambit vs the Grand Prix attack, but after 12 Qxd4 White already held a pawn more and a big advantage:

Morra Gambit [B21]

The contents of Game Two will give great hope to Morra fans as we follow hero Flitney as he hacks his way through the Australian Open. Check out his answer to the 'Siberian trap', 12 Bf4:

A winning series of tactics soon followed.

C3 Sicilian [B22]

This update is full of heroism as various players try to uphold the honour of this or that favourite line. Game Three features Tiviakov at work in the 2 c3 line at the highest level.

Here, instead of the 12...a6 we had looked at previously, Karjakin, as Black, played 12...Rd8!, something of a pet line of his. In the game he equalised easily, and also seemed to be doing well in his game against Sebag (in the notes), but don't miss the remarkable win she missed!

Game Four catalogues Herman Jonkman's depressing experiences with 2 c3, also at Wijk aan Zee. 0/3 is not a good score!

The diagram's 6...Bf5 is well worth close study.

Grand Prix Attack [B21]

Game Five stays in Wijk aan Zee for some Grand Prix Attack mayhem. Bosboom was obviously confused by 17 f5!?:

A standard sacrifice to free a square for the knight on f4.

Closed Sicilian [B20 & 25]

In Game Six we see Grandmaster Spraggett demonstrate a very effective counter to a quiet line of the Closed Sicilian with 8...Bg4!:

The king's knight is an essential component in any coming White kingside attack, so Black eliminates it!

By contrast Game Seven is a rather quiet mainline Closed Sicilian, reinforcing our understanding that Black is fine in all the principal lines. After 17...e5! he has good counterplay.

Rossolimo variation [B25]

Then finally to Game Eight and the dubious novelty 12 g3!?:

Mariano and Zhang debate an interesting line here.

Well, that's it for now - see you in March! Andrew

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