[November 12, 2017] Dusted Off: Opening Survey by GM Slaviša Brenjo
Sicilian Defense, Rossolimo Variation with 16. Nxc5!

Rauf Mamedov’s impressive performance during the European Team Championships has catapulted himself into the elite company of 2700+ players. His win against Dubov was instrumental in the triumph of the Azeri national team, as they managed to leapfrog the Russian juggernaut in the decisive
showdown of the two superteams.

While it’s now obvious that 19… a6! pretty much solves all Black’s problems in the main line, such a cold-blooded response was too much even for an in-form player of Dubov’s caliber in a high-pressure
over-the-board game. It took a seasoned correspondence player (and enough time to work everything out) to demonstrate a clear-cut path to equality for the players of Black, so the K. Norchenko – R. Tleptsok line should be considered the best mutual play in this variation.

[Diagram: White to Move] In our key game R. Mamedov – D. Dubov, Hersonissos 2017, White played a move previously tested in two correspondence games that creates ample practical chances. Would the same move be your choice in the diagrammed position?

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