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Hi everyone,
This month's update focuses on the development of the White Knight to e2, both immediately, with the Keres move-order 2 Ne2, and in the more traditional Closed Sicilian set-up. Some quite original play emanates from 2 Ne2 but my overall impression is that Black is fine both here and in the Closed set-ups as long as he shows due care.

Download PGN of September '07 Anti-Sicilian games

Closed Sicilian [B20, B23 & B26]

The first three games deal with 2 Ne2, which may or may not transpose to main lines:

In Game One from the Arab Cities Championship, Black essays the rather dubious 6...Bh5 and after a period of very average moves he is solidly worse:

White continues 13 e5 and 14 d4, with a space advantage, and then breaks through with a thematic later f5.

Game Two goes into a Closed Sicilian where after 13...e5! Black is already arranging the pawn structure to his benefit:

Najer actually goes on to lose as Black, but it has nothing to do with the opening.

Game Three is very bizarre and confirms the sometimes individualistic nature of 2 Ne2, although this was totally down to Black here. Take a look at the position after 5...g5!?:

Game Four is a solid Closed Sicilian where John van der Wiel takes the safety-first route to outplay his opponent, although Bezemer plays passively. In place of 13..Qc7, I suggest 13..a4 as an improvement, after which Black is fine:

Game Five features the cheeky Charlie Storey who is known in England for his tactical prowess. Somehow he survives a withering onslaught from Chris Ward, who decides to get in first with 14...Bxg4!?:

In Game Six Gelashvili displays excellent technique on my view. This is a game where White drifts. Perhaps he doesn't like his prospectless position after 21...Qb4:

Basically, White has nothing here and there is a distinct danger that long-term he will be left with the worse Bishop in some miserable ending.

Finally, Game Seven sees Storey back in action and again his opponent seems provoked to start the action with the premature 16...d5?!

Black's pawn structure is inherently superior with the pawn on d6, thanks to the Bishops, so why change it?

I hope you enjoy the update. More soon, Andrew

Please post you queries on the Anti-Sicilians Forum, or subscribers can write to me at if you have any questions or queries.