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Hi everyone,
Life in the world of the Anti-Sicilians does not change especially quickly, or with enormous variety, but we still have an interesting update for you this month.

Download PGN of June '08 Anti-Sicilian games

2 a3 Sicilian [B20]

In our first game we see 2 a3 all but defused by 2...e6 3 b4 b6:

There is little to be found here for White; well I don't believe so.

c3 Sicilian [B22]

Two of the games in this selection are old, if you will permit me this liberty. I have recently been reading Avni's Surprise in Chess and enjoyed these games so much I've annotated them for you here.

Take a look out for 19 Nb1 in Game Two:

Back in 2008 we come to Game Three, Godena-Gallagher, which features some important theoretical play in the 2 c3 Sicilian. Is Black equal after Godena's innovation 17 Qb3 (or David Howell's 17 Qf3)?

I give new analysis to demonstrate that he is.

Grand Prix Attack/Closed Sicilian [B23 & B25]

I have three games from the recently concluded Short-Karyakin match, where overall, the English Grandmaster got a hammering. However, as far as our interest goes, there are some ideas here.

In Game Four Short plays something very weird, 6 Ng3:

You begin to wonder how he is going to get the knight back into the game, but he manages it!

In Game Five Short is White again in a Grand Prix Attack. We take a closer look at 8 a3!?:

Game Six is more Closed Sicilian than anything else. Short again shows his liking for an early a2-a3; however I doubt after 13 Qd2 White has anything at all.

Bb5/Bc4 Variations [B50-1]

Game Seven shows a simple and good way for Black to meet 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 Bc4. Sutovsky treats it like an English-reversed and after 9...a5 is very comfortable:

Finally, another Avni 'Surprise' is 15 Na7!! in Game Eight:

I like these moves.

See you very soon. Andrew

Please post you queries on the Anti-Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write to me at if you have any questions or queries.