Mecking Variation (5. Bg2 c5 6. O-O cxd4 7. Nxd4 Nc6 8. Nc3 Qa5) has become highly popular in the recent years. Black’s plan typically includes Qc5 (attacking the Knight on d4 and the c4-pawn) or Qa5, followed by either Ng4 or d7-d6, Bh3 and Ng4. If White fights the Black Queen’s maneuver with 9. e3, Black gets a comfortable position after 9… Ne5 10. Qe2 d6. The usual continuation for White is 9. Nb3, where after 9… Qh5 the players of White have tried to create problems to his opponent with 10. e4, 10. Nd5, 10. c5 and 10. h3, but Black has sufficient resources to obtain balanced positions in either case.
Black also has some other possibilities on the 8th move: 8… Nxd4 9. Qxd4 d6, 8… Ng4 9. e3 d6 and 8… d6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bxc6 Rb8, but only the first of them offers promise of positions that are roughly equal.
[Diagram: Black to Move] In this highly complicated position Black has a hidden means to get a draw, but it demands a very accurate play!
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