The Maroczy Variation leads to dynamic positions. There are four viable choices for Black on 3rd move: the highly solid 3… e6, unconventional 3… Qb6, typical kings fianchetto 3… g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Be3 Qb6!, and sharp 3… dxe4 4. fxe4 e5.
In the Exchange Variation 3. exd5 cxd5, Panov Attack (4. c4) is dealt with in Lines 304-306. The ideal variation for beginners is 4. Bd3. After 4… Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 White has a few possibilities of similar strength at his disposal: 6. h3, followed by Nf3 and O-O, 6. Bf4 and 6. Nf3. In any case Black has no problems reaching the equality.
[Diagram: White to Move] Hou Yifan – R. Ruck, Bastia (rapid) 2014. Black has just taken the poisoned pawn on b2, which gives White a chance to finish the game in just a couple of moves. White to play and win!
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