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We have an Olympiad special this month, all games being drawn from Baku 2016. Chess Pub subscribers will be particularly interested to see Dave Smerdon in action in several Anti Sicilians against elite players, including a draw from a good position against the World Champion!

Download PGN of October ’16 Anti-Sicilian games

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2 c3 Sicilian 2...d5 Main line 6 Na3 [B22]

Smerdon, D - Carlsen, M features Dave in action with one of his ChessPub recommendations, 7.Nc4:

He outplays the World Champion with aggressive, active chess, but missed a chance for a serious advantage and the game ended in perpetual.

2.c3 Sicilian 2...Nf6, ...e6/...d6 system [B22]

Smerdon, D - Saric, I was an IQP battle after the rare 9.exd6:

Dave rejects a couple of opportunities to play for a symmetrical structure and Saric gets the upper hand in a sharp struggle.

Arenas Vanegas, D - Topalov, V features a poor, trappy line with 12.Ng5?!:

Topalov shows a cool head and good preparation, calling White's bluff and taking most of his pieces.

2 c3 Sicilian 2...d5 Main line 6 Bd3 [B22]

Smerdon, D - Vachier Lagrave, M shows Dave on the white side of another c3-Sicilian, this time against the world number 2.

MVL plays into a typical IQP position and quickly gets the upper hand when Dave selects an unusual plan based on bringing his bishop to e5.

Rossolimo Variation 3...g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6, 6...Nh6 [B31]

A couple of important games happened in this trendy line. Adams, M - Harikrishna, P featured the topical 9...c4 pawn sacrifice which was introduced by Dubov and adopted by Gelfand in his match against Inarkiev:

Adams responded with a very interesting novelty, 10.d4, followed by an exchange sacrifice. Both players show great form and a well-played game ends in a draw.

In Caruana, F - Eljanov, P we see a novelty with 11.Na3:

The players quickly reach a complex structure and it seems that Caruana was more familiar with the key ideas, in particular based on a pawn sacrifice to obtain a passed a-pawn.

Anti-Sveshnikov 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4 Bc4 [B30]

In Vachier Lagrave, M - Zhigalko, S we see the Frenchman's pet line yet again, which was met with the rare 11...a6:

Zhigalko shows excellent preparation and convincingly equalises.

2.Nf3 d6 3.c3 Nf6 4.Be2 [B50]

In Smerdon, D - Wojtaszek, R, Anand's second shows good preparation against a sideline, going for the system with 6...Nc6.

Dave doesn't respond well and quickly gets into a strategically inferior position, which Black wins with wonderfully instructive technique.

Till next time, Sam

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