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Hi all,
This month features lots of promising move orders for White, used to good effect in important games from the Grand Swiss.

Download PGN of November ’21 Anti-Sicilian games

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Rossolimo Variation: 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Ng6 [B30]

In Sevian, S - Praggnanandhaa, R, after 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Ng6 7.Be3 Be7 White tried an interesting plan with 8.c3!? 0-0 9.Nd2:

winning after several adventures.

Rossolimo: 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.Re1 Ng6 6.c3 a6 [B30]

Grandelius, N - Caruana, F featured the same 5.Re1 Ng6 6.c3 line as tested in Firouzja - Carlsen from Norway Chess, but Caruana varied with the solid 6...a6 7.Bf1 Be7 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5:

White had a slight edge from the opening, but played too passively in a symmetrical IQP position and was gradually outplayed.

Moscow Variation: 3...Nd7 4.Be2!? [B51]

I hadn’t seen this move order before, but it has been developed by Alsina Leal. After 4...Ngf6 3.Nc3, we transpose to other lines after 5...a6 6.a4, but in Esipenko, A - Sasikirian, K White scored an important win after 5...b6:

While we examine 5...g6 in Esipenko, A - Divya, D:

It's always natural to go for a Dragon setup when White plays slightly passively.

Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.d4 Ngf6 5.Bd3 [B51]

In Alekseenko, K - Shevchenko, K White used the unusual move order 5.Bd3!?, but after 5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 it amounted to a transposition to 4...cxd4 5.Nxd4 Ngf6 6.Bd3. After 6...Nc5 7.Nc3 e6:

Black had a fine position from the opening, but Alekseenko won a model game.

Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.c3 Ngf6 5.Qe2 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bc2 Bb7 8.d4 e6 9.0-0 Be7 [B51]

In Neiksans, A - Sarana, A, after 10.Re1 Qc7 11.Bd3 e5 a typical Spanish structure arose, with complex manoeuvring play:

Black was doing well the whole game, until playing over-ambitiously and losing.

Moscow: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d4 [B52]

In So, W - Swiercz, D, Black essayed the rare 7...Qg4:

After 8.d5 Nd4 9.Nxd4 Qxd1+ 10.Nxd1 Black was objectively fine, but So showed excellent technique to cause problems and score a convincing win.

Moscow: 3...Bd7 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 g6 8.h3 Bg7 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 [B52]

Black has been suffering in this variation recently:

Zhao, J - Xu, Y is a good example of the problems he faces.

Till next time, Sam

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