The main choice of the players of White in this line is 12. Nbd2, where 12… Bd7, 12… Re8 and 12… Nc6 are some of the options in addition to the most common 12… cxd4. After 12… cxd4 13. cxd4, the variation beginning with 13… Nc6 is covered separately in our Line 413, while 13… Rd8 and 13… Bd7 are the other two popular choices for Black. In all these lines, which is typical of the Chigorin Variation in general, White’s position tends to be slightly preferable, though in view of the closed nature of the positions, Black has solid chances in the upcoming maneuvering play.
White also has an alternative in 12. d5, which we recommend for club level players. Players of Black have tried a few replies, but in all of them White generally gets somewhat preferable positions, for instance: 12… Bd7 13. b3, 12… Nc4 13. b3 Nb6 14. a4, and 12… c4 13. b4 Nb7 14. a4, with slight spatial advantage.
[Diagram: White to Move] White can take the opponent’s Knight with 22. fxe4 but after 22… dxe4 Black gets good counterplay. Can you find a better continuation for White that secures him a considerable edge?
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