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Two recent tournaments dominate this update, namely the Spanish team championship and the strong event at Hoogeveen.

Download PGN of November '12 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5, 7.Bc4 [B22]

In Tiviakov - Giri the world's leading c3-Sicilian expert essayed 10.Rd1 (rather than the more aggressive 10.Nc3 as favoured by Vajda):

Giri, unsurprisingly, was well prepared and equalised cleanly.

Rossolimo Variation 3...Nf6 [B30]

This interesting line was played twice by Alsina Leal in the Spanish team championship. He lost both games, though this had more to do with the strength of his opposition rather than any problem with the line itself.

Ponomariov tried a favourite of Rublevsky, 7.Nc3!?:

this seems to lead to easy play for White on the kingside, see Ponomariov - Alsina Leal.

Two days later, Harikrishna debated a different tabiya where Black castles kingside:

Black's position looks extremely solid and Alsina Leal should have held the arising endgame, see Harikrishna - Alsina Leal.

Delayed Queenside Fianchetto 2.Nf3 e6 3.b3 [B40]

Ibarra Jerez - Ubliava, also from the Spanish team championship, shows Black playing a popular response to this slightly offbeat line. However, the position after 3...d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bb5+:

contains some poison for Black.

2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 [B50]

Bartel seems fond of this offbeat line, which he uses as an effective surprise weapon:

In Bartel - Demuth, White won a good game, using themes from the Ruy Lopez (as often happens in this line).

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 [B52]

Tiviakov - Nakamura features a Maroczy Bind position which we have seen many times before on this site:

Nonetheless, I was interested in how easily Nakamura got a slight advantage with Black.

Zaitsev Variation 4.Qxd4 e5 [B56]

Hou - Nakamura features a rare response to this offbeat line, the direct 4...e5!?:

You may have seen from previous updates that I quite like these plans with an early e5, which cut out a lot of annoying options and direct play towards comfortable Najdorf-type positions. The game progressed along similar lines to those seen in the Najdorf after 6.Be3 e5 7.Nf3 (and actually transposed into a 6.Be3 Classical Sicilian), and ended in a well-played draw.

Till next time, Sam

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