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Hi everyone,
Some interesting lines for White this month, as well as model wins for Black in the Morra Gambit and the 2.Nf3 e6 3.b3 system.

Download PGN of January ’17 Anti-Sicilian games

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Morra Gambit Taylor Defence [B21]

Loh, Z - Demuth, A features a popular line of the Morra Gambit, with 8.Qe2?!:

After 8...Bg4 Black already has a good game and Demuth played powerfully to score a quick victory.

c3-Sicilian: 2...d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Bd3 g6 [B07/B22]

Rabiega, R - Almasi, Z features a pawn sacrifice after 5.dxc5 dxc5 6.e5 c4:

I haven't been able to find full compensation if White hangs on to the pawn, but in the game Rabiega hesitated and was quickly overrun on the kingside.

c3-Sicilian: 2...d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 [B22]

In Kersten, U - Fedorchuk, S, Fedorchuk went for his pet line with 8...Bd7:

This is quite a reasonable attempt to trade light square bishops and play a hanging pawn position. The game demonstrates a rather transparent trap which Black, very surprisingly, fell into.

2.Nf3 e6 3.b3 b6 4.Bd3 Bb7 5.0-0 [B40]

This line gained some popularity since Garry Kasparov used it in Saint Louis. White could have gained comfortable play by including Be4 at some point, but in Svoboda, V - Babula, V, after 5...Nf6:

Black played a model game with an instructive kingside attack.

2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 dxe5 5.Nxe5 [B50]

This line has some poison to it. Safarli, E - Donchenko, A is a game I saw live, featuring a quick win with Dave Smerdon's recommendation 5...Nbd7 6.d4!?:

Black can equalise but needs to be precise.

In Mamedov, R - Bologan, V the players continued a theoretical discussion after 5...g6 6.Bc4 e6:

but Mamedov's 7.Bb5+!? induced an immediate error, which was resolutely punished.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 [B51]

This is one of Black's more ambitious lines against 3.Bb5+. While we have covered the main move 6.Bxd7+ in the Archives, the rare 6.Be2!? is quite dangerous:

Yermolinsky, A - Sandipan, C shows how quickly Black can get into serious trouble with natural moves.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.f3 [B52]

In Movsesian, S - Wojtaszek, R, the Polish Super-GM repeats Anand's line with 9...Qc7!? 10.b3 Qa5:

Black has a solid position and, in the game, quickly equalised after executing both the ...b5 and ...d5 breaks.

Till next time, Sam

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