6

As the knight is already developed on c6, black can immediately create counterplay in the center: 4....Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4. Clearly, 7.Bd3 (the mainline after 4....a6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb4) is not possible now, as black wins a piece by 7....Nxd4. Instead, white has to defend the pawn on e4 in another way. Both after 7.f3 and 7.Qd3, black has the strong ...


4

Main ideas: Castling long as soon as possible The Qf3 will most often move to g3 to pressure g7 and d6, and possibly help the break e4-e5. Both central files are left for the rooks to apply maximum pressure (unlike after Qd2 or Qe2 developments)


2

For starters, the e6 pawn controls d5 and f5. (1) This is great for defensive purposes because a knight landing on d5 or f5 can often ruin black's game completely in the Sicilian. A great example of why we don't play e5 and allow a knight to land on the d5 square would be the Sveshnikov variation. With our pawn on e6, white must find another square (and ...


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