The Modern Defense leaves White with more space, while Black’s biggest gain is that he usually avoids forced lines.
After the most common 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 Black often opts for 3… c6, planning the d7-d5 advance. White can transpose to lines of the Caro-Kann with 4. Nf3 d5, while other independent continuations are the Gurgenidze Defense (4. f4 d5 5. e5) and the Bishop Attack (4. Bc4).
In case of the Gurgenidze Defense, White typically keeps a small edge after 4. f4 d5 5. e5 Nh6 6. Nf3 f6 7. Be3, while Black is able to equalize against the Bishop Attack, both after 4. Bc4 d6 5. Qf3 e6 6. Nge2 b5 and 4. Bc4 d6 5. Bb3 Nf6 6. Nf3 O-O.
[Diagram: White to Move] S. Galdunts – O. Buergi, Zuerich 2004. Black Queen is overburdened. How can White make use of it to get a big advantage?
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