I'm a Closed Sicilian player and I like the setup with Nc3/g3/Bg2/d3 a lot for White, since it cuts out having to learn tons of theory I'd have to know otherwise against the Open Sicilian. However, I noticed that it's kind of hard to avoid playing into the Taimanov Sicilian without accepting a worse position. Consider:
[FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6
In this position, if I go for my usual setup with
3.g3, then Black can already play
4.dxe5 dxe5 White can choose between
5.Bg2, but neither of these lines look appealing to me:
- Even though
5.d4results in an IQP position, Black gets a lot of activity and White's queen gets chased around.
5.Bg2, Black gets to grab a lot of space sooner or later by pushing
So instead of
3.g3, I tried looking into
3.Nge2, which is the highest-scoring move in this position. Now if Black tries
4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 it looks like a very comfortable IQP position for White. So you'd think we'd be able to go for
4.g3 on the next move without having to worry about
4...d5, right? However, after
[FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nge2 Nc6
I found out that
4.g3 can lead to a nasty-looking position for White if we try the aforementioned plan in response to
d5. Here's the line given by Stockfish:
[FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nge2 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.exd5 exd5 6.d4 Bg4! 7.Bg2 Nxd4 8.h3 Bf3 9.Kf1
Somehow the engine says this is +0.2 for White, even though I'm down a pawn and deprived of castling rights...?
So should I be playing
4.g3 and potentially get into the above wacky line, or play
4.d4 and learn a bunch of Taimanov Sicilian theory?