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Hi everybody,
Our usual collection of strong GM encounters this month, plus a few ideas for ambitious black players against the Rossolimo.

Download PGN of September ’17 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.cxd4 e6 6.Nc3!? [B22]

In Adhiban, B - Duda, J White used a move order I was not familiar with to obtain a very promising (and, later, winning) position with 6...Nxc3 7.bxc3 d6 8.f4!?:

Duda was on the ropes but I was very impressed that, once a drawing chance arose, he rattled off a string of only moves to bring the game to safety.

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

Gelfand and Inarkiev met up for an entertaining rematch, and Inarkiev clearly prepared for this line which is effectively the main line of the Rossolimo right now. After Gelfand’s latest preference of 10.d3 d6 11.Bf4 Ba6, Inarkiev played two novelties; first 12.c4 in Inarkiev, E - Gelfand, B:

Then 12.Na3 in Inarkiev, E - Gelfand, B:

Gelfand responded, as he tends to, with perfect preparation and principled responses, resulting in two rook endgames which he drew without breaking a sweat.

Rossolimo/Zaitsev.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Qxd4 [B51/53]

This line was recommended by Kotronias for Black, with 5...Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6. In Hou, Y - Georgiadis, N and Paichadze, L - Andersen, M we cover the more ambitious 5...a6!? 6.Bxc6 bxc6:

Despite the results of the two games, this looks like a good choice for ambitious black players, who can easily take over the initiative after passive white play.

Moscow Variation 3...Nd7 4.0-0 a6 5.Bd3 Ngf6 6.Re1 e6 [B51]

This variation is MVL’s pet line with both colours and, in Tari, A - Najer, E the players followed an MVL game for some time (7.c3 b5 8.a4 c4 9.Bc2 Bb7 10.d4 cxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc5 12.Qe2 bxa4 13.e5 dxe5 14.Nxe5) before Najer played the strong novelty 14...Bd6!:

This equalises and, in the game, Tari fell into a difficult position which he held with precise defence.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.c4 [B52]

In Bacrot, E - Morozevich, A, Morozevich avoided several known equalising lines and preferred 5.c4 Nc6 6.Nc3 g6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bg7 9.Be3 Nf6 10.f3 0-0 11.0-0:

This is what White wants in this line and, after a poorly judged central break, Black went down in flames.

Moscow Variation 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nxd7 [B52]

Mamedov, R - Ivanchuk, V follows an old Kasparov simultaneous game for some time, beginning with 5.0-0 Ngf6 6.Qe2 Rc8 7.c3 e6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Be3:

White has chances of an advantage here and Mamedov built up a promising position.

Till next time, Sam

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