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Hi all,
Games from a range of tournaments this month, including important theoretical contributions from Van Kampen and Duda.

Download PGN of March ’18 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 d6 6.cxd4 Nc6 7.Bc4 e6 8.0-0 Be7 [B22]

We start with a couple of games from the Bunratty weekend tournament, which featured 9 GMs. In Collins, S - Melaugh, S, after 9.Qe2 0-0 10.Nc3 Black played the unusual 10...Nb6:

We quickly ended up in a position which is characteristic of the French Tarrasch with 3...Nf6. I was in poor form in this tournament as is clear from the game, but hopefully the notes are instructive for the typical middlegames which can occur.

Chameleon Sicilian 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nge2 e5 4.Ng3!? [B23]

The eventual winner of the tournament prevailed in Tiviakov, S - Bates, R with one of his pet lines, 4.Ng3!?:

The game is an ideal demonstration of White's attacking chances, while the notes show how Black's defence can be improved.

Rossolimo: 3...g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 0-0 8.d4 [B31]

White players have gone to this line recently to avoid Gelfand's 8.h3 f5!?. After 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.e5 f6 I don't like the 11.Nbd2 of Van Foreest, J - Dubov, D:

Black gets very rich dynamic play and White's position is tough to handle.

Moscow Variation: 3...Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 a6 6.Bxd7+ Bxd7 [B51]

Two contrasting games this month.

Miton, K - Huschenbeth, N features a positional approach with 7.0-0 e6 8.c4 Rc8 9.a4!?:

, which does very well in the game.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 [B51]

In Meier, G - Studer, N, the more dynamic 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 Nf6!? 9.Bxf6 gxf6 led to Rauzer-type middlegames where both sides castle queenside.

Black was doing fine until a really bad blunder.

Moscow/Rossolimo Hybrid 4.0-0 Bd7 5.Re1 Nf6 6.c3 a6 7.Ba4 b5 8.Bc2 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 [B51]

In Ashton, A - Van Kampen, R, the main action remained behind the scenes. After 10...g6 11.a4 the Dutch theoretician played 11...Bg7!?:

Many believe this to fall into an opening trap, but I think the line is quite playable for Black based on some stunning tactics.

Moscow: 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 5.0-0 Ngf6 6.Re1 [B52]

This line has been used with success by Nakamura amongst others, but Black had a bad day in Adams, M - Grandelius, N. After 6...e6 7.d4! cxd4 8.Nxd4 Be7 9.c4 0-0 10.b3 Re8 11.Bb2 Nc5 12.Nc3 d5??:

White was already winning and Adams converted flawlessly.

Prins Variation 5.f3 e5 6.Nb3 [B55]

Vitiugov, N - Duda, J is an important theoretical discussion of 6...Be6 7.c4 Nbd7 8.Be3 b5!? (instead of the more common 8...Rc8).

As far as I can tell, Duda's homework was impeccable, and this line is a serious challenge to White's hopes for an advantage.

Till next time, Sam

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