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Hello and welcome to the October Update. This will be my last update on this part of the site, at least for the foreseeable future, because I am swapping sites with Andrew Martin to give us both a fresh set of positions to think about!

Download PGN of October '06 Anti-Sicilian games

Grand Prix Attack [B23]

Bjorn wrote to ask for some coverage of Grand Prix Positional Main Lines:

My impression is that these lines are no longer 'hot' so games from a few years ago are every bit as useful as more recent encounters. Consequently, I have selected a couple of my own games, where I upheld the Black position in Hodgson - Rowson and Turner - Rowson.

2 Nf3 Nf6!? [B29]

I was wondering whether there is any anti-Sicilian line that I haven't covered at all, and the only one I could think of was Nimzovich's Variation, 2.Nf3 Nf6:

I am not sure if this is an anti-Sicilian, strictly speaking, but I figured it was relevant to the site because many players begin their anti-Sicilians with 2.Nf3 and then they need to have some idea of what to do about this move!

In any case I have built a few ideas around the recent game Effimenko - Paetz and added some related thoughts based on one of my own games, Rowson - Murey.

C3 Sicilian [B22]

As I have mentioned in previous updates, anything that Pavasovic does in the 2.c3 Sicilian is noteworthy. The following game, which features the resurrection of an almost forgotten sideline, is no exception. Pavasovic - Hracek.

Anti-Sveshnikov System [B30]

Finally, while clicking through TWIC (that seems more accurate than 'flicking' through) I noticed three games all arising from the same line, typically thought to be quite turgid and drawish, in which White seemed to be doing rather well, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Bc4 Be7 5. d3 d6 6. Nd2 Bg5 7. h4 Bh6 8. Qh5 Qd7 9. Nd5 Rb8:

So I thought this line was worth a closer look.

Movsesian - Radjabov got me started, and I noticed that 10.a4 was an attempt to improve on 10.c3.

However, then I felt a bit confused because after 10.c3 two strong players deviated from a path that looks quite acceptable for Black, first demonstrated by Kramnik, and White wins both games in some style! See the games Petrosian - Smirnov and Shirov - Roiz.

I am not sure what to conclude from these games other than to say that they confirm the general impression that this line gives White a slight initiative that can be neutralised with accurate play, but it is also a line where Black's winning chances are rather slight.

Anyways, that's all for me on Anti-Sicilians for now. I hope to see most of you on the 1.e4... site, but until then I hope you have enjoyed watching! Jonathan

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