"Moscow Variation & Sidelines"

This second and final volume of my Anti-Sicilian series covers our approach for all alternatives to 2 ... Pc6. The choice against 2 ... d6 was obvious. The Moscow variation is the only critica! alternative to 3.d4 that has caused any concerns for Black-by developing with a tempo, we force Black to make an immediate decision on move 3 and wait for the right moment to open the position. 

Whilst in the Rossolimo book I tried to achieve an objective advantage against every line, my choices in the Moscow were mainly selected by their ability to create practical difficulties for the opponent. Naturally, it is not possible to find an advantage in every variation but I have ensured to add many detailed explanations to guide plans and aid understanding in the various positions we'II encounter. 

Against 3 ... Pd7, 1 analyse two distinct options -either castling immediately with the aim of breaking in the centre with c2-c3 and d2-d4, or first playing 4.a4 and denying Black their typical counterplay on the queenside. Against the sol id 3 ... Ld7, 1 offer two choices of achieving central control. 5.c4 aims for a more positional Maroczy structure, whereas the alternative 5.0-0 transforms the position into a French advanced-type structure, where we develop interesting chances on the kingside. We already discussed 3 ... Pc6 in the first volume from the move order 2 ... Pc6 3.Lb5 d6, but l've analysed a second option -6.h3 instead of 6.c3. The point is to limit Black's piece activity by suppressing the scope of the c8-bishop. 
lt was a bit harder to choose between 3.c3 or 3.g3 against 2 ... e6 -so I analysed bath! The farmer transposes to an Alapin where my recommendations gene rally revolve around generating an attack against Black's king-this is even attempted in the more 'positional' lines after 3 ... dS 4.exd5 Dxd5. The latter aims for a slower build-up before striking in the centre with d2-d4. Particular attention is given to Black's attempts to generate immediate activity with a ... d7-d5 push, and I think my analysis here makes Black's path to equality extremely narrow. 
Finally, 1 thought it was important to also consider the less popular second moves {2 ... g6, 2 ... a6, and 2 ... Pf6). In particular, 1 examined bath 3.c3 and 3.c4 against 2 ... g6. The latter transposes to an Accelerated Dragon, which I can justify including in an Anti-Sicilian book as I believe it's correct to enter an 'Open-Sicilian' type position if it benefits us. This approach has been emphasised across bath volumes and it is made especially clear in the chapter against 2 ... g6. 

On a personal note, in the two years since I published the first volume I have graduated from university, attained the Grand master title, represented England at the World Cup, European Teams', and Olympiad, and started a new job. 1 hope this somewhat justifies the delay in releasing this second volume - and for the few readers of this book, 1 hope the wait has been worth it. Theory has moved on trom two years ago and it will continue to change, but l'm confident that this Anti-Sicilian series will provide a strong lifetime repertoire, and a foundation to respond to future theoretica! developments.

My thanks to Kimberley Rubio for her generosity and skill in designing an amazing cover; Conor O'Donnell and Adrien Demuth for their extensive help and patience in editing and finalising this publication; my friends without whom this series would have been completed a lot faster; and as always my parents, simply for everything they do. 

Ravi Haria 
London, February 2023.

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The Modernized Anti-Sicilian: Volume 2 (Hardcover)

Auteur / Author: Ravi Haria
Uitgever / Publisher: Thinkers Publishing
Jaar / Year: 2023
Type: Hardcover