Opocensky Variation (7. Bd2) is the most principled continuation for White after the introductory moves of this opening line. White is ready to meet 7… Nxc3 with 8. Bxc3, without disrupting his pawn structure.
On the 7th move Black has a couple of reactions of about the same strength.
With 7… f5 Black takes control of the e4-square and usually puts the black-squared Bishop on f6 sometime later.
Move 7… d5 is another way to take hold of the e4-square, and here again Black should not have difficulties reaching equality.
[Diagram: Black to Move] A. Karpov – V. Salov, Rotterdam 1989. Karpov’s last move was Ra1-c1, which turns out to be a big mistake. How can Black punish his opponent’s oversight?
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