For that reason, the main debate in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack occurs after 6. Nf3 Bb4 7. cxd5 Nxd5, where White has two moves of about the same strength: 8. Qc2 (covered in Line 306) and 8. Bd2. After the usual 8. Bd2 Nc6 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O Be7 appears a position typical for this variation. White has more space, but d4-pawn could become vulnerable. The most popular options for White are 11. Re1, 11. a3 and 11. Qe2, and in any case Black is able to obtain equal chances.
There is also a sideline 6. a3 which we recommend for beginners. White prevents Be7-b4, and plans to continue with Nf3, Bd3 and O-O.
[Diagram: White to Move] Black’s last move was a mistake 15…h6, allowing White to launch a decisive attack on the weakened position of black King. How can White punish his opponent?
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