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The variation starts 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+. It is considered an anti-Sicilian, and though I can find the theory behind it, I'm having a hard time tracking down any history. I checked the Oxford Companion to Chess, and it has one line referring to it: "Two sound attacking lines in the Sicilian defence, unrelated to one another, both developed in the 1930s." However there is no mention of who developed the lines or when/why it was renamed to the Canal attack.

[Title "Sicilian Defense: Canal Attack"]
[FEN ""]
[StartPly "5"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+
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Maybe research Esteban Canal. He was a strong Peruvian player who moved to Italy. He played in many tournaments along with most of the leading players of the 1920's onwards including Capablanca, Nimzowitsch, Rubinstein etc. He was awarded an honorary GM title by FIDE.

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  • I did and he was one of the main contributors to the variation's theory, what I am really interested in is why it was originally called the Moscow variation. I know the Petrov defence is referred to as the Russian defence in eastern slavic countries, so it may very well be a case of cultural nomenclature.
    – Paweł
    Mar 28 at 16:18

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