Defending the c-pawn with 6. Qb3 is often followed by pressing on d5, with Nc3 and Ne5. The game frequently continues 6… O-O 7. O-O, and now both 7… dxc4 and 7… Qb6 lead to balanced positions, while 7… a5 is an interesting alternative.
White can leave the c-pawn unprotected by playing 6. O-O, where 6… dxc4 is a viable alternative to the more common 6… O-O. White regains the pawn after 6… dxc4 7. a4 O-O 8. Na3, but Black gets an active piece play.
Modern line 6. O-O O-O 7. Nbd2 leads to a quiet game, where White’s plan is the queenside fianchetto, while Black generally counters it with Bf5, a7-a5-a4 and Ne4.
[Diagram: Black to Move] L. Polugaevsky – B. Gelfand, Reggio Emilia 1992. White’s last move was careless 16. Nd2-e4, underestimating his opponent’s reply. How should Black proceed from the diagrammed position to gain a big advantage?
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