Wing Gambit [B20]
The book Challenging the Sicilian with 2 a3 by Alexei Bezgodov has seen a number of imitators trying to advance their a-pawn and win:
Now it can transpose to lines such as the Wing Gambit so I have made a point of selecting games where White displays an independent spirit.
The example Williams - Wells sees White playing very sharply but the English grandmaster finds a tactical trick in the opening and then it is a marvellous attacking spree by Black.
The game Shchukin - Malina sees 2...Nc6 but after 3 b4 he plays 3...e5 inviting complications. White manages to find a way to gradually increase the pressure and thanks to a blunder by Black creates a decisive attack.
In the example Shchukin - Golichenko, White keeps faith with his pet line and after 2...e6 3 Nc3 Nc6 he tries 4 Bc4 because now the bishop can always retreat to a2 if necessary.
Star game of the month
The star game of the month is Lenderman - Miton where after 1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3 the Polish 2600 grandmaster declines the Morra Gambit with 3...d3:
White soon builds up a decent space advantage and has opportunities to really push his opponent. However, a long ending results in honour being evened with a draw.
The C3 Sicilian [B22]
1 e4 c5 2 c3 Nf6 3 e5 Nd5 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 Na3:
The game Smagin - Nataf sees a couple of grandmasters battling it out with the quirky line 5 Na3. It is a good way to avoid the main lines to make the opponent think in the opening rather than just play the standard moves.
In the game Glavina Rossi-Hamdouchi the game continues with 5...d6 6 exd6 exd6. The chances are level and the lower rated player with White comfortably draws with the grandmaster.
In the game Wall - Zwanzger, Black tries an early ...e6 to create a slightly different position. White responds positively but only makes the breakthrough in the ending.
An interesting move-order is used in Baklan - Anapolsky who plays 4 Na3 but transposes back to our main line. The Ukrainian star playing White manages to create attacking chances and triumphs with a dazzling attack.
I welcome e-mails and games from subscribers, and you can always write on the Anti-Sicilians Forum.