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Hi everyone,
Something of a mixed bag this month, with Tiviakov and Andreikin showing the way in the c3-Sicilian and Carlsen Variation, respectively. We have a battle between two Anti-Sicilian experts in Ziska - Jones, and I’ve been inspired to include a game from 1992, having just finished the second volume of Kasparov’s wonderful series on his great predecessors.

Download PGN of July ’18 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bc4 d6 [B22]

Sergey Tiviakov stayed true to the c3-Sicilian in his successful campaign to win the Dutch championship.

Tiviakov, S - Van Wely, L featured the endgame after 6.d4 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nb6 8.Bd3 dxe5 9.dxe5 Na6 10.0-0 Nc5 11.Be2! Qxd1 12.Rxd1:

This is somewhere between level and an edge for White, and Tiviakov won convincingly after Van Wely became too ambitious.

White has a good alternative to the main move 6.d4, preferring 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.d4 in Tiviakov, S - Leenhouts, K:

This leads to French Tarrasch type positions in which Tiviakov is an expert with both colours. He gets little or nothing out of the opening but goes on to win.

Carlsen Variation 2.Nc3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qd2 Nf6 6.b3 [B23]

Dmitry Andreikin enthusiastically tested this line for White in a couple of games after 6...e6 7.Bb2 Be7 8.0-0-0:

Andreikin, D - Zhao Jun proceeded 8...a6 9.Kb1 0-0 10.g4!?:

a promising sacrifice which was superbly met by Black.

Andreikin, D - Shevchenko, K went into a position resembling a Classical French (but with a bishop on b2) after 8...0-0 9.f4 d5 10.e5 Nd7 11.Nf3:

winning a complex battle. This line with 6.b3 is proving quite durable and I expect further games over the coming months.

Rossolimo Variation 3...g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.e5 Nd5 7.Nc3 Nc7 8.Bxc6 dxc6 9.Ne4 b6 10.Nf6+ Kf8 11.Ne4 Bg4 12.d3 Ne6 [B31]

This was chosen in a game between Anti-Sicilian experts in Ziska, H - Jones, G:

After 13.Ned2 Qd5 14.h3 Bxf3 15.Nxf3 Rd8 16.Be3 h6 17.Qe2 Kg8, White went for an endgame with 18.c4!? Qxd3 19.Qxd3 Rxd3 20.Rad1 Rxd1 21.Rxd1 f5! where Black generally equalises, and this game was no exception.

Rossolimo/Moscow hybrid: 4.0-0 Bd7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.c3 a6 7.Ba4 c4 [B51]

Tal, M - Akopian, V was the eighth world champion’s last tournament game, and contained a spot of Tal magic although the middlegame went in Akopian’s favour. Tal went for the direct 8.d4 cxd3 9.Bg5 e6 10.Qxd3 Be7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxc6 Bxc6 13.c4:

setting up an interesting battle between the knights and the bishops in a Maroczy structure.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.d4 Ngf6 5.0-0 a6 6.Bxd7+ Nxd7 7.Nc3 e6 8.Bg5 Qc7 [B51]

Demchenko, A - Stets, D is another game I found based on Kasparov’s book, since I was looking for examples after 9.Re1 which Tal used in a blitz game against Kasparov. Instead Demchenko played 9.d5 e5 10.a4:

and demonstrated why Black should include ...h6 by winning a model game after 10...g6 11.Nd2 Bg7 12.Nc4.

Zaitsev Variation 5...Bd7 6.Qd3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.c4 Bf6 9.Nc3 0-0 10.h3 [B53]

There have been several recent games between GMs in this line (which can also arise from 2...d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Qd3). Malakhov, V - Safarli, E featured a direct equalising attempt with 10...Rc8 11.Be3 Nb4 12.Qe2 a6 13.Bxd7 Nxd7 14.Rac1 Bxc3!?:

which seems to work well.

Till next time, Sam

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