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Hi everyone,
Games from the World Cup, Isle of Man and Oslo this month, plus a couple of interesting blitz games from St. Louis.

Download PGN of October ’17 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 c4 7.Bc2 d5 8.exd6 e5 [B22]

Howell, D - Mekhitarian, K features this ambitious line for Black, and after 9.0-0 Be6 (9...Bxd6 is also possible) 10.a4!? with a dangerous queenside initiative:

Howell gets a lot out of the opening but then lets the advantage slip.

Rossolimo: 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.Re1 a6 6.Bf1 d5 7.exd5 Nxd5 [B30]

In Ziska, H - Radjabov, T, Black shows two ideas for handling the position after 8.d4 Nf6 9.Be3, first 9...Nd5!?:

Then after 10.Bc1 (10.Bg5 is critical) Radjabov rejected the repetition with 10...Nf6 11.Be3 cxd4, going on to win a good game.

Rossolimo: 3...g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 0-0 8.h3 f5 9.e5 Nf7 [B31]

In Wang, H - Gelfand, B we see the master of this variation at work, after White’s 10.d4 (10.d3 has been more popular):

Gelfand plays 10...cxd4 11.cxd4 Bb7 12.Na3 c5, a move I recommended in a previous update, and a fighting draw ensues.

Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 [B50/51]

We have two games in this topical line this month both featuring unusual Black defences. 5...Ngf6 6.c3 g6 7.Re1 Bg7 was tried in Navara, D - Nepomniachtchi, I:

and the highly aggressive 5...e6 6.c3 g5:

was played in Lund, G - Vovk, A.

Moscow 3...Nd7 others [B51]

With White struggling to demonstrate an advantage in the main lines after 3...Nd7 4.0-0, it seems worthwhile to explore the alternatives.

Carlsen, M - Dreev, A features the trendy 4.a4!?:

, coupled with a logical plan of advancing the pawn to a6 and compromising White’s queenside.

Kasparov, G - Nepomniachtchi, I shows some typical middlegame ideas in the well tested position after 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3 e5:

Finally, Maze, S - Vovk, A considers the Spanish-style positions arising after 4.c3:

Black winning smoothly.

Till next time, Sam

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