Closed Sicilian [B25]
In the main line of the Closed Sicilian, after 1 e4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 d3 d6 6 f4 e6 7 Nf3 Nge7 8 0-0 0-0 9 Be3 the move 9...b6 is a modern twist aiming for a queenside fianchetto intending to advance the pawns in the centre rather than push the b-pawn which is the traditional plan:
The game Pena Dleguez-Rizouk sees White trying the side-line 10 Kh1 but struggles to play actively and Black is soon on top.
The alternative 10 Rb1 is explored in Novitzkij - Abein where White manages to create a strong kingside attack.
It might be best to try 10 d4 as seen in Brenjo - Arsovic but White will have to take note of the possible improvements or also lose!
Star game of the month
The star game of the month is Morozevich - Grischuk, which was played recently at the prestigious tournament in Wijk aan Zee. It is not every day you see a grandmaster trying the move-order 2 f4 in the Grand Prix Attack:
In this game between world class players White falters with his attacking strategy. After he has decided to sacrifice a pawn it appears that the timing is wrong and Black glides into an ending a pawn up.
The C3 Sicilian [B22]
1 e4 c5 2 c3 Nf6 3 e5 Nd5 4 Nf3 e6 5 d4 cxd4 6 cxd4 d6 7 Bc4:
This line is regarded as a tough defence for Black so it is interesting to see Smerdon - Kengis following this variation.
The young hopeful playing White grabs the pawn offered by the grandmaster but can make little progress and the excitement fizzles out until a draw is agreed.
In the game Richards - Jones, White adopts an attacking strategy and by move eleven is already threatening mate. A tactic soon after the opening helps to pile on the pressure and Black soon buckles.
It is Black who decides an exchange sacrifice might tip the result in his favour during the game Erenburg - Yagupov. The timing is not quite right and White can successfully fend off the onslaught.
Perhaps Rybenko - Cluksyte is an example of what can go wrong if White is careless when dealing with a swift attack. The threat of mate leaves White struggling to find a decent defence and with a little luck Black wins in just 24 moves.
I welcome e-mails and games from subscribers, and you can always write on the Anti-Sicilians Forum.