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This month we look at Anti-Sicilians from the European Club Cup, the European Team Championship, and the World Junior.

Download PGN of November '09 Anti-Sicilian games

Big Clamp [B21]

'Super-amateur' Luke McShane destroys another strong opponent with the Big Clamp in McShane - Cheparinov. After 1.e4 c5 2.d3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 White's setup looks harmless, but Black cannot just sleepwalk through the opening. Following the further 5...d6 6.0-0 Nf6 7.Qe1 0-0 8.Qh4 c4!? 9.Kh1 cxd3 10.cxd3 Bg4 11.Nc3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Qb6 13.Bd1!:

White quickly whipped up a strong attack and won in only 20 moves.

2.c3 Sicilian [B22]

The line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4 7.Bc2 Qc7 8.Qe2 g5 is tough to get a handle on. It just always seems unclear!

In Pavasovic - Laznicka after 9.h3 Bg7 10.0-0 Nxe5 11.Nxg5 d5 12.a4 Bd7 Black eschews the common ...h6, castles kingside, and wins amazingly fast.

Grand Prix Attack [B23]

An odd move order in the Grand Prix is seen in Kamsky - Bologan. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 Black omits 5...Nc6 with 5...e6:

Of course White plays 6.d4! This is not fatal for Black but I do not see any reason to allow it either.

Rossolimo 3...e6 [B30]

Despite a couple of reversal, Radjabov is still very dangerous with Black in the 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 line. In Adams - Radjabov White plays the slightly unusual 4.c3 which is met by 4...d5!?:

This looks risky, but it has its logic too. Radjabov gets a healthy, double-edged position and then Adams just seems to drop a pawn...


A bridge between the Rossolimo and Anti-Sveshnikov is 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 (this could also arise after 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Nc3). After 4...Qc7 5.0-0 Nd4 6.Nxd4 (maybe 6.Re1 is better) 6...cxd4 7.Nd5 Nxd5 8.exd5 Qc5 9.c4 Black plays very ambitiously with 9...a6!? 10.Ba4 (10.b4 is critical) 10...Qxc4!? in Maenhout - Zhigalkoand eventually comes out on top.

Anti-Sveshnikov [B30]

Somehow we have neglected the formerly fashionable 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Bc4 Be7 5.d3 d6 6.0-0, (mostly focusing on the positional 6.Nd2):

After 6...Nf6 7.Ng5 0-0 8.f4 Bg4 9.Qe1 exf4 10.Bxf4 Nd4 11.Qd2 Black seems to have solved any problems he once had, but there is still a lot of play in the position. See Robson - Potapov.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 [B51]

This line remains a good way to play for a win with Black, and there are a couple of ways to do it. After 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 Ngf6 (4...cxd4 is also popular now) 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bxd7+ Nxd7 we see another game with the hasty 7.d5. In Bergez - Amonatov Black gets a pleasant position, but White manages to complicate when Black relaxes for a moment.

3...Bd7 [B52]

Since the 'Ivanchuk Trick' came to the forefront of Moscow theory a few years ago, we see more and more positions where Black can benefit from the delay of the natural ...Nc6. Adams' line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.h3 remains popular, and in Shyam - Robson we see another fresh idea for Black following 10...0-0 10.Be3 Rc8 11.b3 Na6!?:

The knight heads to c5 to attack e4, when White's h3 look rather out of place. Food for thought!

Until next month, David

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