Move 4… b6 is also seen quite often in grandmaster practice. If White opts for 5. Nge2 Black has Fischer (5… Ba6), Romanishin-Psakhis (5… c5) and American Variations (5… Ne4) at his disposal. In case of 5. Nf3 the game usually continues with 5… Bb7 6. Bd3 O-O 7. O-O, where apart from the transposition to our Line 191 with 7… d5, Black also has a perfectly fine alternative in the Keres Variation (7… c5).
Taimanov Variation (4… Nc6) is a less investigated possibility since White is here typically able to obtain a small advantage. For example 5. Bd3 e5 6. Nge2 d5 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. e4 Nb6 9. d5, and White has more space for his pieces.
[Diagram: White to Move] M. Drobka – K. Shoup, corr. 1997. Black’s position is without weaknesses, yet his King is vulnerable at the moment, allowing White to gain a big edge. How would you proceed as White?
Click here to see the line in our viewer…