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Hi all,
Lots of examples this month from Norway Chess, Sigeman, and other strong tournaments.

Download PGN of October ’21 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...d5 Mainline 6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 cxd4 8.cxd4 Be7 9.Nc3 Qd6 [B22]

This is one of Black’s solid but ambitious tries against the c3-Sicilian, where White often gets saddled with an isolated queen’s pawn in exchange for active play.

In Abasov, N - Asadli, V, after 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0-0 cxd4 8.cxd4 Be7 9.Nc3 Qd6 White avoided the heavy theory after 10.Nb5 with 10.Qb3 0-0 11.Rd1:

Black was comfortable but the white setup contains some poison.

c3-Sicilian: 2...d5 Mainline 6.Be3 cxd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Qa5!? [B22]

In Szabo, G - Ding, L, Black met 6.Be3 with the trendy 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 Bb4+ 8.Nc3 Qa5!?:

This is quite annoying, and White was busted in half a dozen moves.

Grand Prix Attack: 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bb5+ Bd7 [B23]

In the Sigeman tournament, Danish talent and Najdorf aficionado Jonas Buhl Bjerre was targeted twice in this line. In Van Foreest, J - Bjerre, J, Van Foreest again demonstrated that he’s the man to follow for interesting opening ideas at the moment, quickly gaining a very promising position after 6.Bc4 Nc6 7.d3!? Na5 (not forced) 8.Bd2:

Earlier in the event, in Short, N - Bjerre, J, Nigel demonstrated a better understanding of these structures after 6.a4:

which isn’t an attempt at an opening advantage, but rather seeks to get a game.

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

The World Champion had a couple of theoretically important games here recently. In Firouzja, A - Carlsen, M, after 5.Re1 he played 5...Ng6 in the classical game (and 5...b6 in the Armageddon).

Rossolimo: 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qb6 [B30]

In the Meltwater Tour Final, after 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qb6, in Giri, A - Carlsen, M the very dangerous 7.Be3!? Nxd4 8.a4 was uncorked:

Black has a couple of playable options, not including the World Champion’s choice of 8...Nxb5??.

Rossolimo: 3...Nf6 4.Nc3 Nd4 5.e5 Nxb5 6.Nxb5 Nd5 [B30]

I’ve always disliked this line for Black, but Carlsen keeps playing it so there must be something to it! In Firouzja, A - Rapport, R, White avoided the main option 7.Ng5 in favour of 7.0-0 a6 8.c4 Nb4 9.Nc3 d6 10.d4:

leading to an exchange sacrifice. Black was fine objectively but, facing difficult problems and on a downward trend after his unbelievable start in the event, Rapport stumbled and lost a fine attacking game.

Moscow: 3...Nd7 4.a4 Ngf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 g6 [B51]

In Huschenbeth, N - Areschenko, A, White used the promising move order 7.a5 Bg7 8.0-0 0-0 9.d3!?:

saving half a move on Re1. White had some edge from the opening, but a well played game ended in a draw.

Till next time, Sam

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