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Hello everybody! This month we look at a number of promising ideas, mainly for Black!

Download PGN of May '12 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...d5 [B22]

Something of a crisis for the c3-Sicilian this month.

Paethz - Short features the 2...Qxd5 and 5...Bf5 line:

... and claims another victim, this time in only 15 moves! Nigel's 6...Nf6 looks very logical and, while I think White should be able to hold out longer than 15 moves, I haven't found a route to an advantage.

Pavasovic - Schlosser features a line seen several times before on this site, 9...g6!?:

I actually wasn't aware of this move before but it looks very sound, with the one practical drawback that White can force a draw, as Pavasovic did here.

Almadinia - Amin features White's critical try against the ambitious 2...g6 variation, building up a massive pawn centre:

Destruction of the centre is the first order of business for Black and Amin's 12...Rxf3!? certainly fits the bill. While I don't think this should be objectively threatening White has to play precisely to consolidate and, in the game, Black won very quickly.

O'Kelly Variation 2...a6 3. c3 [B28]

This rare variation was essayed in Jones - Nakamura:

A short but well-played game (that actually transposed to a Tarrasch with ...c5 - [B07]) between two of the best young GMs in the world. As with so many of Nakamura's games, what works for him can rarely be recommended for ordinary players!

Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 [B50]

Martynov - Shimanov beats Amin's 12...Rxf3 for "most shocking novelty" with the remarkable 9.Nd5:

Unfortunately I don't think this is very good. However Black, after defending very well for a long sequence of moves, eventually cracked and got mated in the middle of the board.

Moscow Hybrid 3...Nc6 [B51]

Popovic - Ivanisevic features a novel approach for Black, willingly taking on an IQP:

I have made some comparisons to the French Tarrasch and think this version is quite playable. Ivanisevic played in characteristically ambitious and dynamic style, sacrificing a pawn and winning a fine game.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 [B52]

Ivanchuk - Dominguez sees Chucky avoid his own equalising idea via the 10.Be3 move order:

Dominguez ends up playing ...h6 and ...g5 in order to force through ...d5. This didn't fully equalise since the weakness of the f5-square allowed White to cement his knights on f5 and d6.

Till next time, Sam

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