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Hi all,
Plenty of success for White in the Anti-Sicilians this month, including Gawain’s qualification to the World Cup and an IM title for John Pigott!

Download PGN of June ’17 Anti-Sicilian games

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Rossolimo 3...g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 0-0 8.h3 f5 9.e5 Nf7 [B31]

This trendy line continues to be popular at all levels. In Adams, M - Giri, A, Adams experimented with the unusual 10.d4!?:

Seizing the centre comes with some risks since it makes it easier for Black to open the position for his bishop pair, as demonstrated by the game and the notes.

In Areshchenko, A - Bailet, P the French GM went for an unusual move order with 10.d3 Ba6 (10...Rb8 is more common) 11.Bf4 e6, which was well met by 11.h4:

This was just a crush although, as always, the engine shows some interesting defensive resources, starting with an early ...c4.

Rossolimo 3...g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nc3 0-0 [B31]

In Vallejo Pons, F - Radjabov, T Vallejo essayed the unusual 8.Bf4, with which Caruana won a beautiful game against the same opponent:

Radjabov improved his defences and quickly gained a winning advantage after over-ambitious play by Vallejo, although it required outstanding technique to convert in the face of Vallejo’s resourcefulness.

Rossolimo/Moscow hybrid: 4.0-0 Bd7 5.Re1 [B31]

Pigott, J - Shirov, A shows how you can crush Shirov in 21 moves, improve on Anand’s play, and complete your IM title, all the more impressive because White was 59!

Moscow Variation: 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 7.c3 b5 [B51]

MVL - Giri, A was yet another demonstration that MVL is the world’s leading expert in this line with both colours. After 8.a4 Bb7 9.Bc2 c4 10.d4 cxd3, he essayed the dangerous 11.Qxd3!?:

Giri played poorly in the Norway blitz and got crushed, although we must note that he got his revenge in the main tournament.

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

Gawain Jones relied on this offbeat line in a couple of recent tournaments, including a vital European Championship game which secured his qualification to the World Cup.

Check Jones, G - Gupta, A and Jones, G - Ter-Sahakyan, S for the main ideas.

Moscow Variation: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 [B52]

In Areshchenko, A - Czakon, J we see White’s main ideas in the Maroczy structure after 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 g6 8.Nc3 Bg7 9.Be3 Nf6 10.f3, in particular after the passive 10...Nxd4 11.Bxd4:

It was surprising to see a strong player choose this continuation with Black, and Areshchenko quickly executed a devastating kingside attack.

Till next time, Sam

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