ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
A lot of this month’s games are from the World Rapid and Blitz Championships, where new ideas were shown by Giri (with both colours) and Carlsen (as Black), the latter demonstrating the depth of his prep from the Caruana match.

Download PGN of January ’19 Anti-Sicilian games

>> Previous Update >>

c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4 7.Bc2 d6 8.exd6 Qxd6 9.0-0 Bg4 [B22]

This is one of Black’s ambitious tries against the c3-Sicilian, and worked wonderfully for Vishy against Gawain in last year’s Tata Steel (where he secured a winning advantage within about 15 moves).

Zhigalko, S - Carlsen, M shows the dangers of the position for Black, who faces a strong white centre. Zhigalko really ought to have won, against any opponent and at any time control, but Carlsen managed to survive.

Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.b3 Ne7 6.Bb2 [B30]

This line has been essayed by Shirov, Adams and Naitisch, and was endorsed by Gawain in his Anti-Sicilian book:

In a battle of veteran GMs, Soffer, R - Dvoirys, S Black grabbed a very hot pawn after 6...f6 7.Nh4 Qc7 8.0-0 Qf4 9.g3 Qxe4 and lost a brilliant attacking game.

Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.Re1 a6 6.Bf1 d5 7.d3 [B30]

In Collins, S - Glek, I my opponent essayed the unusual 7...Ng6:

I ought to have taken on d5, with an edge. Instead I played 8.g3 and was convincingly outplayed in an IQP battle. My loss is, hopefully, your gain!

Rossolimo Variation 3...g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nc3 Nd7 8.Be3 e5 9.Qd2 h6 [B30]

This ambitious line, where Black keeps his bishop pair at the price of delayed castling, was used to great effect by Magnus Carlsen in the World Blitz Championship.

In Wang Hao - Carlsen, M, after 10.0-0 b6 11.a3 Nf8 12.b4, Carlsen offered a thematic pawn sacrifice with 12...Ne6!? 13.bxc5 f5! and won a great game.

Bosiocic, M - Carlsen, M shows why 10.0-0-0 isn’t a great idea.

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

Anish Giri used a similar queenside plan to win two games which arose (by transposition) after 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 b6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Bb7 9.0-0:

In Giri, A - Tsydpov, Z Black went for a Scheveningen setup with 9...e6, while Giri, A - Salem, A featured Najdorf-style play with 9...e5.

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

Giri showed why the a4-square should be reserved for the pawn instead of the bishop in Antipov, M - Giri, A. After 4...Nf6 5.0-0 a6 6.c4 e6:

he won a beautifully thematic Hedgehog game, landing ...f5 and ...d5 breaks.

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.