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Hi all,
This month’s games are taken almost exclusively from the European Championship, with White doing extremely well

Download PGN of September ’21 Anti-Sicilian games

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c3-Sicilian: 2...Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.d4 cxd4 6.cxd4 d6 7.Bc4 dxe5 8.dxe5 [B22]

In Vocaturo, D - Blohberger, F Black essayed the trendy 8...Be6!?, meeting 9.0-0 with the solid 9...Nc7:

He is fine objectively, with no weaknesses, but White has a lead in development and a slight initiative which Vocaturo exploited well.

2.Nc3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.d4 cxd4 6.Qxd4 [B23]

In Jones, G - Bjerre, J the players followed established theory in this trendy line with 6...Nc6 7.Qd3 g6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Nd5 0-0 11.Bg5. After 11...Ng4 12.h3, in lieu of 12...e6 Black essayed 12...h6:

He did fine from the opening but Gawain created (and missed) chances later on.

Moscow 3...Bd7, 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Nc6 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 g6 9.f3 Bg7 10.Be3 0-0 11.0-0 a6 [B52]

In Navara, D - Can, E, after the fashionable 12.Qd3:

Black immediately went wrong with 12...Rac8?! 13.b3 Rb8. Navara was a whole tempo up on established lines and showed several important ideas in a model game.

Moscow Variation: 3...Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.c3 e6 8.d4 [B52]

A couple of games in the European Championship reached this popular position.

Sanal, V - Grandelius, N was more or less a model game for Black (which subsequently went badly wrong) after 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 d5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nbd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Be7 13.Rac1:

While Vocaturo, D - Gabuzyan, H (where the trade on d4 was delayed for several moves) is another illustration of the power of Giri’s 12.g3 concept.

Moscow Variation: 3...Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 [B51]

In Romanov, E - Vocaturo, D White met 5...Ngf6 with 6.0-0!?:

The e4-pawn shouldn’t be taken and a Maroczy Bind position arose, which Romanov won convincingly.

Zaitsev Variation 4...Nf6 5.Be2 Nc6 6.Qe3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Nc3 0-0 [B53]

In Teclaf, P - Navara, D, Navara met 9.Rd1:

with 9...Bg4, seeking to exploit the omission of h3. A well-played game ended in a draw.

Rossolimo Variation 3...e6 4.Nc3 Na5 [B30]

In Mamedov, N - Lagarde, M (which followed the move order 2...e6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.Bb5), Black essayed the rare 4...Na5!?:

The game quickly spun out of control until Lagarde blundered and allowed a quick win.

Till next time, Sam

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