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Hi everybody,
Another month of high level games (White was rated over 2650 in 7 of the 8 encounters), particularly with topical encounters in the popular Moscow Variation.

Download PGN of September ’16 Anti-Sicilian games

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Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 [B51]

In Biel, MVL unleashed a relatively new option in the trendy 7.c4 line, 7...Rb8!?:

In Svidler - MVL we cover the critical 8.cxb5. Studer - MVL (from the exhibition blitz a few days later) contains analysis of the alternatives.

Moscow Hybrid 7.Bc4 Bg4 8.d4 [B51]

Safarli - Aravindh shows more of White's resources in the fresh 7.Bc4 line. We looked at 9...e5 before, but Safarli's treatment of 10.dxe5:

led to a very convincing victory.

Moscow Variation: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.d4 [B52]

In Fressinet - Zoler we look (for the first time, I think) at 5.d4:

In the game (and the notes) we see White getting the typical Maroczy or Hedgehog positions he's aiming for.

Rossolimo: 3...e6 4.0-0 Nge7 5.d4 [B30]

In Ivanchuk - Moiseenko we see the rare 5.d4 line:

Moiseenko repeats his preferred option with 9...b6, but Ivanchuk is well prepared and gets a good position from the opening.

Closed Sicilian 6.Nh3 h5!? [B25]

In Granda Zuniga - Demuth, White went for the Closed Sicilian with 6.Nh3:

Demuth played a very impressive game starting with the resolute 6...h5, although the battle was drawn after further adventures.

c3-Sicilian: 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 [B22]

Zhigalko - Ivanchuk features a new move in a topical line, 10.Nb3!?:

Play quickly transposes back into known lines, when Zhigalko demonstrates his second novelty, the plan with 12.Qd4 and 13.Bf4. White has an edge and Zhigalko won a really impressive game.

c3-Sicilian: 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.g3 [B22]

In Kamsky - Kavutskiy, White chose this rare line, and Black responded with the also rare 5...b6!?:

I think this works well in combination with ...Ba6, but in the game Black quickly fell into an unpleasant position.

Till next time, Sam

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