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Finally, a bumper crop for 2.c3 lovers this edition, with lots to cheer about for fans of the white pieces.

Download PGN of July '13 Anti-Sicilian games

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Grand Prix Attack 2 f4 d5 3 exd5 Qxd5 [B21]

We start off, however, with something a little different: Morozevich - Wang sees the accelerated Grand Prix (2.f4) making a rare appearance at the highest level. For some strange reason, the strong Chinese grandmaster decided to opt for the 3...Qxd5 variation, which in my opinion gives Black a very difficult sort of Centre Counter:

The mercurial Morozevich quickly built up an impressive advantage but let it slip when push came to shove.

2.c3 Sicilian 2...Nf6, 5...e6 [B22]

Moving into 2.c3 territory, Janev - Shyam witnessed the old 7.a3 line of the ...e6/d6 variation of 2...Nf6. White tried to breathe life back into this archaic line with the tricky 12.Ng5?!:

This move is unsound but definitely worth a whirl once in a while, as Black has to be extremely accurate. In the game, he wasn't, but neither was White, missing a golden opportunity to sacrifice his queen for two pieces.

It wouldn't be an antis column without a Rublevsky game, but we're not used to our hero behind the black pieces! In Potapov - Rublevsky, Rublevsky makes a poor choice of variation against his weaker opponent's c3, and is punished in spectacular fashion.

From the diagram, White played 22.Ng5! and finished the game in two more moves.

Sebag - Velikov is another kingside rout in the c3 Sicilian. 13.Bd2 continues to perform well against one of Black's main weapons after 2.c3 Nf6, and the young Frenchwoman quickly built up an impressive attack:

The diagram might not look like much, but probably Black is already lost, certainly after the natural 21...Nc4 as played in the game.

2...d5, 4...Bf5 [B22]

Vadja - Gagarin wraps up a good month for 2.c3 players. Black sprung some sort of accelerated version of the topical ...Bf5 line of 2...d5:

White's reply seems very sensible, and it wasn't long before one of our modern c3 heroes dispatched his opponent in a nice miniature.

Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 4 0-0 [B30]

Kamsky - Grischuk was another high-level anti-Sicilian seen this month. Gata came up with quite a novel idea in the 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 variation, preventing Black's ...b5 expansion with the prophylactic 5.Ba4!?:

followed by c4. I quite like White's subsequent positional pawn sacrifice, even if it doesn't objectively yield more than "sufficient compensation". In the game, Kamsky played far too slowly, both on the board and on the clock...

Four Knights 3...e6 4 Nc3 [B30]

Finally, an extremely interesting novelty was uncorked last month in the variation 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nf3 e6. Black has been scoring well after 6...Nxf3+, but Libiszewski - Esposito saw the dangerous novelty 9.Qh5!:

It's too early to say whether this changes the assessment of the line entirely, but certainly it gives players on the white side something to cheer about, as the resulting positions gift all the attacking potential that we "Antis" know and love.

Till next month, Dave

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