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Firstly, please accept my apologies for the late arrival of this update. I blame this tardiness on a zebra, who was been dominating my life for the last few months. At the end of June I was struggling to meet my final deadline for Chess for Zebras - due to be on the shelves at the end of August. I finished the book a few days ago, but then I had to take a break from the chequered board, or risk complete burn out.

If that all sounds a bit plaintive, it's only because I don't like being late, and need to offload my guilty conscience...

Download PGN of June '05 Anti-Sicilian games

3 Bc4 Sicilian [B50]

Anyway! I decided to leave most readers' letters until the next update, but Chris from Germany wanted to know my thoughts on 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4!?:

and I've given them in Timofeev - Kasparov and Khalifman - Adams.

Rossolimo [B30]

I also took a look at a full-blooded clash in the Rossilimo- Naiditsch - Nataf. Look at the following position after 16 moves:

2 c3 Sicilian [B22]

All the remaining games are important clashes in the c3 Sicilian.

If I seem to be spending a disproportionate amount of time on the c3 Sicilian, it is mainly because I consider it, along with the Rossolimo, the most threatening Anti-Sicilian, and something that I might like to play myself one day!

Nevdnichy - Krasenkov features an endgame resulting from one of the main lines in 2...d5 with White playing 6 Na3!? and Black carrying on and allowing White to do his worst:

I analysed this game 'cold' and then looked at the existing theory. As far as I can tell, Black is currently scoring very well in this ending, which means that my note to moves 12 and 14 might be quite important.

Tiviakov - Radjabov looks like an important game from a theoretical perspective. This line was looking dangerous for Black, especially in Tiviakov's hands, but Radjabov handles Black's position very carefully and emerges from the opening without any problems. Indeed, Tiviakov felt obliged to force a draw.

In the same line, Jones - Nataf again involves what used to be considered the critical line with ...g5:

I believe it has now been established that the coming ending is comfortable for Black, and this game does not challenge that assessment.

Tiviakov - Czarnota looks very one-sided at a casual glance, but I believe it might be possible for Black to play these positions with the queens on the board, even if it is definitely safer to exchange them.

Timman - Bruzon has been included mainly because it's a good game. I also think it is a good example of how the c3 Sicilian can lead to very comfortable play for White if Black is less than fully accurate in the opening.

That's all for now- I look forward to writing the next update before the end of July! Jonathan

I welcome e-mails from subscribers, please write to You can also try the Anti-Sicilians Forum.