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After a few months of relatively grim reading for White, with a number of promising lines for Black featuring heavily, this month we see White scoring well across a range of Anti-Sicilians.

Download PGN of October '12 Anti-Sicilian games

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

Vajda - Fillip shows one of the first examples of someone standing up to Levente Vajda in his pet line. Fillip plays his queen directly to c7 (rather than to a5, as we have seen in previous games), reaching an interesting tabiya at move 15:

At first glance White's position looks threatening, with ideas of h4-h5, Qg4, and crashing through on g6. However, Black has resources. Apart from simply playing for exchanges down the d-file, there is the interesting idea of simplification with ...Na5 and ...Bxf3 when, at the cost of the bishop pair, White's attack is weakened. The game was a draw but I would be surprised if Vajda were happy with the results of the opening.

c3-Sicilian 2...d5 [B22]

Vajda - Ionescu is another c3-Sicilian from the Romanian Team Championship. Black heads straight for the dangerous IQP position I have recommended for White, and in a favourable version where the bishop can develop on f4:

Vajda has no problems outmanoeuvring his opponent and landing a stock sacrifice on e6 to win a nice game.

Rossolimo Variation 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 [B23/B30]

Grischuk - Gelfand showed Boris being tested for the second time in a month in the same line of this system:

Perhaps unwisely, he allowed the centre to open, after which Grischuk smoothly developed his pieces and gained a strong initiative. A late blunder led to a nice finish, but Black was already in trouble.

Grand Prix Attack 5.Bb5+ Bd7 [B23]

Collins - Burke:

, from a local Irish league game, is not of great theoretical importance, since my over-optimistic 8th move cannot be recommended. However, the game contains some interesting moments (as well as a chance for me to show off), and I've gathered my thoughts on a couple of early alternatives in the notes.

Nimzowitsch Variation 2.Nf3 Nf6 [B29]

Jones - Gagunashvili is another outing in this offbeat variation. Unlike Fier a couple of months ago, Gawain opts for the solid and practical 7.c3:

The notes suggest that White has a couple of ways to play for an edge, but nothing overwhelming. In the game, Gawain does not continue in the most precise fashion, and Black equalises easily.

Quiet System 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 [B40]

Morozevich - Vitiugov features this sideline which has been favoured by Nigel Short amongst others. Vitiugov's 6...Bg4:

strikes me as a clean equaliser in an otherwise dangerous system.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 [B52]

Carlsen - Anand shows a very interesting idea for Black based on an early ...Qc7:

Vishy equalises comfortably before falling prey to the Magnus factor and playing moves which are just inexplicably passive.

See you next time, Sam

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